Rummanah Aasi
Top 10 Tuesday is a weekly feature that is created by the folks over at The Broke and The Bookish. I haven't posted a Top 10 in quite sometime, but I couldn't pass up today's topic: Bookish Pet Peeves or things that really annoy you when you read. At first I couldn't come up with a few pet peeves, but then when I thought about the books that I've read in the past my list grew exponentially. I limited to ten here for you all:

Top 10 Bookish Pet Peeves (in no particular order)

1.  Flat and boring characters- I don't want to read about characters who are perfect. I also don't want to read about characters who whine about their problems and do nothing to change their status quo. Give me someone complex and real. Someone I can relate to on an emotional level. I can't like a book if I don't like the characters. It's that simple.

2. Books that drag on and on- I know that the first 50 or 100 pages of a novel sets up the setting and characters, but the pace slows down dramatically when nothing happens until the last 100 pages or so. This also applies to series that just seem to never end and whose plot goes nowhere and characters who no longer hold my interest (I'm looking at you House of Night series).

3. Formulaic writing- Okay, I'll be honest. It took me a while to understand that Nancy Drew, The Babysitters Club, and R.L. Stine's Fear Street had a formula as a kid, but now I know better. It's not a coincidence or magical powers that authors like Jodi Picoult, James Patterson, or John Grisham churn out a book every month. If you read one, then you read them all.

4. Finding out the mystery before the characters do in the story- This is my biggest pet peeve for mysteries. I hate figuring out the criminal before the character does and then spend my time waiting for the light bulb go on in the investigator's head. I was so annoyed with this that I started skimming the ending of the mystery just to see if I was right. If I was, I'd skip the book.

5. Preachy books- I understand that some authors write with a particular purpose in mind and they use their writing to convey their message, but I don't appreciate the message being spoon feed to me. 

6. Plot holes/plot points that makes absolutely no sense- I can just picture a lot of my ardent Twilight fans chuckling when they read this. I don't care how you rationalize Reneesme's existence in Breaking Dawn, but there is no such thing as live sperm in a dead boy's body. I can suspend my disbelief but that is just pushing too far. I refuse to acknowledge her and therefore have absolutely zero interest in seeing the movie. 

7. Anticlimatic cliffhangers- I'm talking about you, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I read and devoured 6 books waiting for that face to face showdown between Harry and Voldemort and only to find a measly couple of pages and a total cop-out. What?! Don't get me started on the random characters dying in that last book. Grrr...

8. Series in which there is a recap of what happened of about 50 pages in each book before the main story happens- I understand that everyone isn't OCD when it comes to reading books in a series and they don't necessarily start at Book 1, but can you at least spend a good 5-10 pages with a decent summary instead of boring your series follower to tears with the unnecessary intro?

9. Repeated words or phrases in a book- I know we all have our favorite words or phrases that we like to use, but how many times can you use the same ones over and over again in 300 pages? I can't help but get flustered and ask the author, "Don't you own a thesaurus?"

10. Focusing on a particular item/person/clue to make readers think it's important but has absolutely no significance- I was an English major and therefore I'm always on the look out for symbolism, metaphors, analogies, etc. I can't help it, but please don't draw my attention to something and make me think it's important when it's not.   
I'm not the only one who has reading pet peeves. What are yours?
9 Responses
  1. Daisy Says:

    Haha, you're Renesme comment is too funny! I agree with you, it's just not possible. And formulaic writing is horrible, where's the creativity in that?

  2. Jenni Elyse Says:

    You make me laugh, especially your last pet peeve because one of my pet peeves on my list is symbolism. Ha! Being an English major (or at least for the last year that I was now that I'm a English Language major), I've decided that I really, really hate symbolism. I just really want the author to spell it out for me. But, I think that's because the art of subtlety in all its forms (symbolism, sarcasm, humor, etc.) is lost on me, even in real life. This have to be blatant for me to catch it because I'm a very concrete person.

  3. haha love the list! I agree with all of them. I can't believe I forgot to put some of those on my list! If you hate repeated things, never ever ever ever read "The White Queen" by Phillipa Gregory. Oh man, that book drove me crazy.

  4. Daisy: I know! I don't know how people don't get tired of reading the same thing over and over again.

    Jenni: Glad I made you laugh. :) I think you're not giving yourself enough credit. You can figure it out.

    Must Love Books: Thanks for the warning! I only read "The Other Boleyn Girl" by Gregory and that was enough for me. :)

  5. Oo you make a really good point with the last one! I think there was some famous critic who said that if there's a gun in the first act, it sure as heck better go off by the last act!

  6. danya Says:

    Breaking Dawn generally was just so bizarre, the whole Renesmee thing coupled with Jacob imprinting...*shakes head*

    With you on the preachy books, I really hate it when the author is heavy-handed with the message/symbolism.

    You thought HP and the Deathly Hallows ending was a cop-out too? I haven't encountered many readers who've thought that!

  7. Jenny Says:

    I share a lot of these same pet peeves Rummanah! I hate when I figure the mystery out before the characters, then I always get frustrated when they don't notice things I think should be obvious to them:) And flat characters ruin a book for me, I need to connect to them - complex and real is definitely what I'm looking for too!

  8. Casey: I remember that saying and it's true. There's no point of continually focusing on something or someone when there's no significance attached to it.

    Danya: Yeah, I totally thought the ending of HP DH was a cop-out. I was so mad when I finished that book.

    Jenny: Completely agree! It always the worst when it's so blatantly obvious. The only thing missing is the neon sign and big arrow!

  9. Sara Says:

    I agree with you on the books that drag on and on and on. . then in the last 50 pages they finally become interesting.

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