01 October 2013

Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Book Turn Offs

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I heart lists!
I suspect quite a few of these turn-offs will be repeat offenders, but they are also the ones that irk me the most, so I wanted to include them.  In no particular order, these are my Top Ten Book Turn Offs!


Insta-lust, insta-crush, insta-hate - all of these I get, but insta-love is just SO FRUSTRATING.  I recently read a book where the two main characters met, fell in love and started talking about marriage within two weeks of meeting each other.  I totally get that this happens in real life, and that's great, but in books it's such a difficult thing to pull off, especially when there's no real chemistry between the characters.

Love Triangles

You know what's worse than a love triangle?  An insta-love triangle.  They tend to go something like: boy and girl are best friends, boy has had secret crush on girl since before time began, new hot boy shows up, girl falls in insta-love with new boy and then old boy and new boy duke it out until new boy is revealed as bad/terrible person or new boy 'lets girl go because he loves her'.  Bring me a bucket.

More than three POVs

I like multiple POVs if they are done well, and they can really give a different perspective on a story.  But three tends to be my limit, any more than that and I get confused, or I start to not like one or more particular POV and rush through them to get back to the ones that I enjoy.  This is not a good thing.


For a while it seemed like every single series I read had a cliffhanger at the end of every book, and it really started to piss me off.  Being open-ended is completely OK and probably how those books should end, but blatant cliffhangers don't have me eagerly awaiting the next book - they make me mad and frustrated.

Inconsistent Characters

You know that character that one moment is strong and brave and clever and the next moment is a complete twat that doesn't know their arse from their elbow?  Yes, I hate them.  

Poor world-building

Reading a lot of apocalyptic/dystopian books means that world-building is incredibly important to me.  I want to know where, when, why, how, everything and get to know it in the context of the story.  Revealing details gradually is great (and keeps me interested), but not including the basics is incredibly frustrating, and storing them up for book two is not going to work if I'm already pissed off with the first book.


Pretty much directly connected to world-building, I really don't enjoy having three pages of world-building or backstory in one go.  I want it to be revealed gradually whilst still telling the story.


It may sound incredibly twisted, but I love when an author isn't afraid to kill off a key/important/likeable character.  When everyone miraculously survives an onslaught of 94504749 zombies, or there's a killer virus but everyone is 'immune' or 'lucky' or a tornado and everyone makes it to shelter and survives, I feel ripped off.


I love cheese - in the right setting.  The cheese that annoys me is stuff like 'his eyes were grey, like the colour of the ocean on a stormy day', or 'he smelt like the ocean and grilled cheese'.  PEOPLE DO NOT SMELL LIKE THE OCEAN. Or grilled cheese, usually.

Cliched Characters

The quiet girl that suddenly is the saviour of the world, the zombie apocalypse survivor that just happens to be ex-military with a huge stash of weapons under his bed, the bimbo that screams everytime something mildly frightening happens - all cliched characters that appear and I roll my eyes.

That's my Top Ten Turnoffs.  Do we have any in common, or have I missed something that really turns you off?


  1. Insta-love and love triangles seem to be on a lot of people's lists. They're definitely on mine! And as for cheese, I read a book recently where the love interest smelled like "summer-sunshine", complete with hyphen. Last I checked, sunshine didn't have an odour, regardless of the season!

    Here's my list: http://www.melbourneonmymind.com/2013/10/top-ten-tuesday-top-ten-book-turn-offs.html

  2. I love how many people are turned off by Insta-love and love triangles. It's just getting ridiculous and predictable in books.

  3. I can agree with the invincibility one. I am never worried about the main character, because I know that they will survive because there's four more books after this one. I love it the very few times an author has just killed them off and not made them superheroes instead. It makes it realistic (even if it makes me hate the author for killing off someone I liked).

  4. Cliff-hangers are THE way to make me mad at a book. Poor world-building and the opposite of info-dump are annoying, especially when it comes to fantasy/dystopian books.

  5. A poorly-done cliffhanger might be my #1. Even if I loved the book, I cliffhanger that just screams, "YOU HAVE TO READ THE NEXT BOOK!" is pretty much guaranteed to make me do the opposite.

  6. I dislike instalove for sure.
    Also--- yeah... too many POVs makes a really confusing book. I recently read one with 4 POVs and I had to keep going back to see who was talking. I like 2... but more than that is too much.

  7. Hahaha, 'People don't smell like the ocean!' THEY DON'T! Except when they've just been in it, but that's hardly ever the case...
    And ugh, insta-anything!
    And cliffhangers make me want to throw things.

  8. Ugh, I hate inconsistent characters. They drive me crazy!

  9. I hate cliffhangers! I'm an impatient person and it kills me to wait for the next book. What's worse is when there is no next book.

  10. Your reasoning for inconsistent characters made me laugh so much! I definitely agree though, it's super frustrating to read!

  11. I thoroughly agree with the insta-love, love triangles and cliched characted so much!! UGH!!
    Cliffhangers I can tolerate, but I still prefer when there are just threads left open for the next book and not a massive WTF?

  12. I agree with your comment about invincibility. Sometimes I get bored when reading because I know that the main character really isn't in any danger and that they are going to escape from the bad guy and end up living happily ever after. Authors should be more willing to spice it up and kill off a main character.
    Check out my TTT list: http://booksavvyblog.blogspot.com/

  13. LOL @ bring me a bucket! You crack me up! Also agree about world-building. It is SUPER important to me in fantasy and Sci Fi novels.



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