Saturday Six: Six Reasons I Give Up On a Book

1. MIA Hero – this is the number one reason I will put down a book! When I pick up a romance, I’m expecting to see two characters for a majority of the time. If the hero is missing for a legitimate reason, then the other character must at least think about the hero enough to satisfy me.

2. TSTL (Too Stupid to Live) heroine – I cannot stand these characters. These brass pantied women jump into the action without rhyme or reason.  I’m not talking about a woman who gets backed into a corner and has no choice. I’m talking about the woman who chases the hero/firefighter back into the fire, for no reason other than she thinks he’s being chauvinistic. Is this really necessary? She couldn’t just discuss this with him later, over dinner? NO! She has to follow him into a burning building, to prove she’s as tough as he is.

3. All-powerful heroine – almost as bad as the TSTL heroine, is the impossible to kill heroine. I absolutely hate when authors create these larger than life characters (this usually happens in urban fantasy) and then they put them in life or death situations.

Here is how the scenario usually plays out. The heroine has survived everything from fire to dismemberment. She is super strong, super fast, and usually a capital B. Then suddenly an unlucky chance encounter brings her face to face with the one and only being in the world that can kill her.

Which leads me to….

4. Coincidence – While small coincidences are okay (I need a bar of soap and my neighbor accidentally bought an extra), those big coincidences that bring the villain to a small town in Wyoming, where he finds the heroine, who just happened to meet the hero who can help her defeat the villain. 98% percent of the time, coincidence in writing is a bad thing.

5. Cliche  physical descriptions – I know that not everyone is as picky as I am when it comes to physical descriptions, but this is truly a pet peeve of mine. If I read anything in the blurb about red hair, green eyes, or scarred heroes, I give the book a pass. I know that this has no real bearing on the quality of writing, but my instinctive thought is “if this author can’t even bother to try and come up with unique physical descriptions, will they really bother making their plot original?”

6. The BIG misunderstanding – Most of my favorite authors use this, and the only reason I forgive them because everything else they do is so great. I understand that there are certain times when misunderstandings are plausible, but 70% of the time they just aren’t believable. I will give examples of both….

Acceptable: Halfway to the Grave by Jeaniene Frost ends on a BIG misunderstanding. While I still think that Cat underestimated Bones, I understood her reasoning behind making the decision she did. She really did have something to loose, which made her dumb move more believable.

Unacceptable: New Moon by Stephanie Meyer. I don’t hate the Twilight Saga like many people do. I believe that it is a very good series for the genre and age group for which it was written. However, Meyer should have worked a lot harder to make the lapse in Alice’s visions more believable.

9 thoughts on “Saturday Six: Six Reasons I Give Up On a Book

  1. God, I agree with so many of these. I hate #2. Every time I read a character like this I roll my eyes and grit my way through it unhappily. She needs to have a real motivation to run inside the burning building–like her sister is in there! Or something! Otherwise it’s stupid and a poor way to create tension in my opinion.

    Equally so, I hate #3. Probably even more than #2. I hate all powerful characters unless they have equally as many faults. I see a lot of these in paranormal books now with heroines who can’t be beaten. I don’t like it. I want a weaker character who has to be strong or brave even when they don’t want to. I think that’s more exciting!

    #4 Coincidence–you said it perfectly.

    #5. Totally agree. I’ve actually gone to using more vague descriptions or only focusing on a few things so that way the readers fill in the blanks. I hate reading about the same exact looking characters in every book. It’s not awful to me but I don’t like it. And until I can come up with another way to describe facial features, I’ll stick to slightly-more-vague descriptions.

    #6. I see a lot of these in historical romances. Drives me nuts. That is all. I hate it. I can’t stop eyerolling and sighing the whole time. Will I finish the book? Probably, but only because I’m a determined person once I start something.

    Great article! I’ve been waiting to reply until I finally had some downtime.

    • Thanks for stopping by!

      I’m glad I’m not the only one driven crazy by these horrible romance trends! It wouldn’t be so bad if they didn’t keep popping up, a lot of the times, in the same book.

  2. I definitely agree with #1, #2 (hate, hate, hate this one!) and #4. I think my biggest pet peeve, though, is lack of communication between the main characters. It’s similar to reason #6, but worse because it’s what generally leads to misunderstandings. I really hate when a character doesn’t tell someone something important “for their own good” or because the other person should “just know”. Drives me crazy!

  3. The Big Understanding is one of my pet peeves too and the reason I almost gave up on Jeaniene Frost’s series. I guess women have their blind spots, but does it always have to be a man? Baugh. I finished the series, but it urked. LOL

    And I also am not a Twilight hater, but I agree with you about Alice’s visions. I need some explanation, even if it isn’t a good one.

  4. Pingback: Debut Author: Hourglass (2011) « RiffsAndReviews

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