Top Ten Book Turn-offs

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Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of the bloggers there at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join!

So this week’s Top Ten Tuesday topic is our Top Ten Book Turn-offs, which is actually REALLY hard! I realized as I perused my Goodreads shelves that I don’t really have that many turn-offs, because nothing is really an absolute deal-breaker. I just MAY look a bit sideways at a book if something pops up or I see something in a synopsis, but I’ve never not picked up a book – or stopped reading a book – because of one specific thing. Nonetheless, below is what I finally came up with (you’ll note I couldn’t figure out ten things, so just settled on six), although please be aware that these are not hard and fast rules.

1) Dull Storytelling
You know, those books where you’ve read 100 pages or more and still NOTHING HAS HAPPENED. The ones where you realize you’d rather be doing ANYTHING else than reading the book? Yeah. Definite turn-off.

2) 1st Person Point of View
This is something I have sort of come to grips with, probably because of how much I adored the Percy Jackson & the Olympians books, but I still don’t really love 1st person POVs. Percy is definitely the exception to the rule!

3) Spelling, Punctuation, and/or Grammar Issues
If you’re mixing up your homophones, or don’t know how to punctuate your dialogue? I’m probably not going to get too terribly far into your book. I just can’t deal with mistakes that REALLY should have been caught prior to your book’s publication.

4) Main Characters I Can’t Connect With
If your book has an MC that I couldn’t care less about – or can’t sympathize/empathize with – then the book’s most likely going to be a struggle for me. I am an emotional reader, which means I need those emotional connections to SOMETHING in the story. The MC is usually what I connect with, and when that doesn’t happen, reading just really becomes a struggle.

5) Overly Flowery Prose
You know it: the good old Purple Prose epidemic. Descriptions are good, and I love a good turn of phrase, but sometimes you really can have too much in that department, which is a surefire way to throw me out of the narrative.

6) Overly Emotional Reads
Sometimes I am connecting TOO much with a story, to the point where I am physically uncomfortable with what I’m reading. A perfect example of this is Noughts & Crosses by Malorie Blackman, which I just couldn’t finish because of how uncomfortable I was with the setup, the characters, and the plot. Was it good? Yes. Could I finish it? Nope.

So, yeah. That’s all I’ve got. I’m sure that I’ll see some other subjects I could have added once I peruse others’ lists, but this was all I could come up with on my own!

What did you put on your list this week? Do we share any similar turn-offs? Please link me!

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15 Responses to Top Ten Book Turn-offs

  1. ChrissiReads says:

    We don’t have any of the same turn-offs, but I agree with a lot of yours! Especially dull story-telling. I need something to happen quite early on for it to grip me.

  2. Jessica says:

    Bleeeeh. Spelling and Punctuation errors are the bane of my existence! It’s one thing that can just take me completely out of a story and if there are enough of them I just end up pissed at the author. Great list!

  3. Vilia says:

    Purple prose is makes my eyes glaze over but spelling or grammar errors will get me every time. I really feel like pulling out a red pen and circling them. Here’s my TTT

  4. Funny that you don’t really like 1st person POV!! Most people usually complain about 3rd person! Spelling and grammar mistakes drive me crazy!

  5. Brittany says:

    Interesting to see you don’t like 1st person!!! I don’t think I’ve heard that before. That’s super interesting to me for some reason haha. I wonder why that is?
    I TOTALLY cannot do purple prose. So sue me that I’m the only person in the world who hated Shatter Me but nope. Can’t do it!
    If I can’t connect with a main character, it’s totally game over. Doesn’t matter how good the plot is. I pretty much won’t be able to finish!

    • Merin says:

      I honestly don’t know what it is about first-person that doesn’t work as well for me. Considering I need to connect with the MC, you’d think I’d be all over it! I am getting better about dealing without any initial stops and starts, but it’s still not a favorite by any means.

  6. Quinn says:

    I’m with you a zillion times about being able to connect to the main character in some way. It’s an absolute must for me.

    I used to not care for 1st person POV, but it’s grown on me a lot over the last couple years. Now I kind of like it. But I love 3rd person POV, too.

  7. Books, Tea & Me says:

    Love and completely agree with this list! I can’t believe I forgot to include bad grammar/punctuation/spelling in my list, considering that’s my number one pet peeve! Haha oh well, you read my mind :)

  8. Elin says:

    Love your list :) Have a nice day :)

  9. I have been noticing that more and more books are being written in first person. I don’t mind it, but I guess I would prefer a third person narrator if I had the choice. The good part about first person narration is that the reader can get a clear insight to the character’s thoughts and feelings throughout the novel.
    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

  10. Rebecca says:

    Dull storytelling is definitely a turn-off. Something should have happened in the first half of the book, lol. I personally prefer first person narration – I feel more in tune with the main character, but I see the benefits of third person as well. :D Happy reading.

  11. Molli says:

    Oh Merin, YES YES YES to characters I can’t connect with. If I read the book and never once click with them, I can’t LIKE the book. I just can’t.

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