I am so sorry guys! I have seriously neglected my blog this last couple of weeks. I don’t really have much of an excuse other than my mental health has been a bit bad and I’ve just not felt like writing reviews. Of course this is why I made a bank of posts that I could go to when I didn’t want to write reviews but yeah, I just haven’t posted. So here’s a pot I wrote a month or so ago – I hope you enjoy it!
I imagine this has been done a lot before but I recently found out something about a book I was super interested in reading that put me off it so I thought I’d collect my thoughts on things that are instant turn off for me in a book.
These are really personal preference and I know a lot of people disagree with certain ones. I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with books that do this thing – just they’re not for me!
So, the first one I’m going to talk about is the one that came to me last week. I was planning on reading Forest of Souls because it looked really good, I missed the fairyloot readalong but, when I saw a review, I thought I’d check it out. That’s how I found out it has no romance plotline (please, please, if I’m wrong on this tell me, like even if there’s the barest hint of romance I’ll read it).
The thing is that I really love romance. I really enjoy reading rom-coms, I pretty much grew up binge watching rom-com movies. It’s one of the things I love about YA – almost every single one has a romance plotline. I really can’t tell you why I need it other than that I just really enjoy a good romance.
I spent my early teen years trawling through the old adult fantasy that my mum had, and I was just never able to engage as well in books that didn’t have at least a little bit of romance in. Maybe it’s cliché but at 23 years old and after reading since I could read, I think I know what I like.
No strong female characters
This was a major problem I had before discovering YA. I got into sci-fi and fantasy thanks to my mum but her collection of these books dated from the 80s. A lot of the books she had was very Tolkienesque and as such it was a group of men going on a quest – if I was lucky there was a token female, or a princess waiting for them (bit of a broad generalisation but hey!).
Now I know there are exceptions. Terry Brooks was pretty much my life saver with this as he consistently wrote strong female characters in his books. As someone who has been a strong feminist all their life, I just couldn’t get behind the girls sitting around while the men went off to do everything. I especially struggled when the female characters had powers and didn’t use them for no other reason than they were female (Polgara from the Belgariad series, I’m looking at you).
I really love the direction of books now where we’re starting to have strong female characters who are strong because of things other than being snarky and knowing how to fight.
Detailed depictions of rape
I would instantly put down a book if there was a detailed description of a character being raped. I work in mental health so I hear people talk about times that this has actually happened but in books I can’t handle it. I’ve read very few books where rape has been a part of – those that I have though really stuck with me.
I’m just going to say as a major TW for anyone considering reading Terry Goodkind – the second book has incredibly disturbing imagery of rape. It goes into the details of the aftermath very vividly, so much so that as I write this, I can remember every little detail despite the fact it’s been two years since I read the book. Yes, it really depicted the savagery of the army, but I could have got that without the imagery.
A bit of a lighter one after my last subject. Under no circumstances in a film, book, anything should an animal die. They’re just too precious and innocent and I can’t deal with it. I actually get nervous when animals are introduced in books just in case they die. I’m going to put a spoiler in for the third Throne of Glass book now so do scroll to the next if you haven’t read it.
Just one of the reasons I will always love Chaol is that he got Fleetfoot. I was anxious ever since that dog was introduced but Chaol went back for him, after everything, he remembered to save a dog and as such he will have my undying love.
No happy ending
Okay so I’m again being a bit cliché, but I need a happy ending. When films end badly, I am upset but books – I invest so much time into them that they need to have a happy ending in order for me to be satisfied. I do not care if the ending is the most unrealistic thing, if everyone dies and somehow the main characters survive, I still want it.
I wish this wasn’t so important to me as it would take away so much anxiety that I feel when reading books, but I’ve always been this way. My mum is the same and she taught me to check the end of books before I read them just to make sure they have a happy ending (this method saved me from reading the last two divergent books and I will sit here pretending that the story finishes with the first book). After having some books majorly spoiled this way, I try not to do this now but I occasionally glance at the last page to check the characters are alive or I make my partner read the end to check it’s happy. He now does this with all books he buys me just because he knows how much happier it makes me to go in knowing the book has a happy ending.
So yeah, those are my five instant turn offs in books. Do you agree with me? Do you have others? Share them in the comments!