Top Ten Tuesday is an original meme created by The Broke and the Bookish for list addicts. This week’s list is…
Top Ten Book Turn-offs
Rubs hands maniacally. I have been hanging out for this one for quite a while. There are so many little things that bug me and rather than whinge about them individually, I have a chance to get them all out of my system in one go. These aren’t in any specific order. Feel free just to read the text in bold if I am being too wordy.
1. Heroes or heroines without any flaws
I loathe Mary-Sue and Marty-Stu characters. Give me a character with real problems any day and I’ll cheer for them. Even Harry Potter had to train to improve his latent ability, people. The Demon Librarian & The Rabid Reader addressed this in one of their posts last week.
2. Phrases or actions repeated ad nauseum
The Girl on Legare did this quite a bit and three months later I still shudder when I think of all the elegant shrugs and raising eyebrows. Funnily enough the rest of the book is a bit of a blur but these two things have been etched into my brain.
3. Overly modern attitudes, values and beliefs in a historical novel
I can handle a bit as after all the author is writing with a contemporary audience in mind but I have limits. Any Duchess Will Do balanced this tightrope fairly well and I after I read this book I wanted to believe it was possible. Both our hero and our heroine acknowledged that there was no earthly way they should be entering into a relationship given the disparity of their ranks. I’m glad Tessa Dare didn’t resort to the unknown aristocratic background to justify it either.
4. 2D stereotypically evil characters
I like it when there is a reason for their evil behaviour – addiction to power, bad childhood, traumatic experience etc. A Lady’s Revenge irked me because the baddie actually kills a green-eyed kitten that was trying to protect its mistress. A kitten…seriously? No reason was given for the baddie’s behaviour beyond the fact that he was French.
5. The virgin who is completely inexperienced mysteriously becomes a sex kitten immediately and somehow just ‘knows’ how to please the hero without any practice
No need to reference a book as I’m sure you’ve all read one. I read one book however that took a slightly different tack. I can’t remember the name of it but after the couple had ‘coupled’, they agreed that the sex wasn’t bad and they were going to have lots of fun practising.
Still with me? I’m afraid I’m on a bit of a roll here.
6. Controlling men that dictate everything
It isn’t hot, it’s annoying. Caveman attitudes can only get so far even if you have an incredibly buff bod. Kristen Ashley writes alpha males but in her Rock Chick series she pairs them with heroines that are full of spunk and give as good as they get.
7. Badly written insta-love
The likelihood of you meeting your one true mate and falling irreparably in love with them immediately is fairly small yet this trope pops up everywhere. The rules for paranormal novels are a bit different as as you expect weres to respond with their animal side as well as their human side. If the author has skill and can make me believe in insta-love rather than insta-lust then props to them because it isn’t easy.
8. Love triangles involving a werewolf and a vampire
There has been a stack of these since Twilight came out. Cecy Robson handled this really well – two guys were interested in the heroine but she made her stance fairly clear pretty early on. We were saved the internal monologue where she debates their relative characteristics.
9. TSTL heroines
The ones that are warned repeatedly not to do something but still go tripping merrily towards danger. Often she runs away from the safety of the hero and into the clutches of the villain – repeatedly. I especially hate it when everyone tells us how smart the heroine is and then she just constantly does stupid things.
10. Lip biting and scented lips
Yes I know I’ve listed two but they both relate to lips so I figure I can get away with it. I have written on both topics before – lip biting is a medical condition and scented lips makes me think the heroine is just a sloppy eater.
11. (so sue me) Telling not showing