Top Ten Tuesday
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you’d like to read other Top Ten Tuesday posts, or if you’d like to learn more about the meme, you can click through the link. This week’s theme is last week’s alter ego: things that will either make you DNF a book, or prevent you from picking it up altogether. So here are some of my reading dealbreakers:
If you enjoy this, that’s great. For you. I just don’t enjoy this type of writing. I can handle one or two sex scenes in a book, but the story has to be worth it, if you know what I mean. A story has to earn the right to make me read through a sex scene.
I’m at a point where I have so many books that I want to read, that I know I’ll never get through them all. So if someone whose opinion I trust (or many people who I can tell are both well-read and intentioned) tell me that a book is harmful and problematic due to poor representation or bad tropes, I will trust them. I am not one of those people who hears from every corner of the internet that a book is racist and then needs to read it for themselves. Just like if several people get food poisoning from a restaurant, you can bet I’m not going to “try it out for myself” so that I can “form my own opinion”. No thank you. Not going to bother.
The White Saviour:
In a similar vein, when I realise that a book (or a film) is using the white saviour trope, I lose interest very quickly. Now, I have not been the best in recognizing this trope in the past, but the more that it has been pointed out to me the better I get at seeing it. And I’m getting tired of seeing it. There are much more interesting stories out there.
Killz for Thrillz:
I really hate when an author kills off a character for the shock value. If you need to kill a character to make your story interesting, maybe there’s something wrong with your story. My go-to example of a murder dealbreaker? Looking at you, George R.R. Martin. Don’t set up a character as the protagonist and then kill them in the first book. I need to at least trust you to take the story in a worthwhile direction before you start killing off my babies.
The Neverending Series:
I am definitely one of those people who will not even bother starting a series if it goes on forever. Book series that have, like, ten books or more in them just feel excessive to me, and I usually get bored by book four. You can only take a story arc so far.
Jane Austen Fanfiction:
Look, I love Jane Austen. I am unashamed of the deep love I have for Pemberley and its residents. But I just cannot get into the books that are set “After Pemberley” or take someone from 2017 and inserts them magically into the regency period, or takes Elizabeth Bennet and inserts her into 2017. I’m not a purist (I am a huge fan of all of the literary webseries), but I just can’t get into this whole subgenre.
My biggest issues with whodunnits are I just never really care who…done it. Which is a problem since that’s the driving conflict of these stories.
You know which books I’m talking about. They all take place in Pennsylvania, and even though I know that I’ve read at least 3 of them, I can’t tell you what the driving conflict behind the story is. I can’t tell you anything about the stories. I feel like there could have been a buggy accident. These are the stories that my grandmother LOVES because there’s no sex, no violence, and everybody lives. Nothing really bad happens.
The Great American Novel:
I am one of those people who will stubbornly refuse to do something simply because people keep telling me to do it. I took high school English, and I have an English minor, so I have read a lot of “classic” novels that are on all of those lists of “Books You Need To Read Before You Die”. And most of them are so overrated. I’m at that point where if you can’t give me a reason to read it other than “Well, if you love to read you have to read insert title of the Great Classic Novel that’s on every English 101 syllabus here“, I’m not going to waste my time. If I can Wikipedia enough of the plot to understand the pop culture references, I’m good. I’ve read enough classics to understand their merit, and I can appreciate the book’s role in the literary canon without actually reading the book itself. I’ll be ok. Trust me.
What are you reading dealbreakers?