This weeks topic is a light hearted discussion about petty things we hate in books! I have plenty of those and had heaps of fun writing this list of bookish things that turn me into a grinch. I predominantly found my ‘issues’ were based upon certain books or inspired by certain books.
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Something that really takes me out of a book is lack of emotional connection to its characters (or main protagonist.) This largely happens with characters that lack authenticity, personalities or, rely on caricatures.
NERVE by Jeanne Ryan is a prime example of this. I felt the author was trying really too hard to make her characters sound like teenagers using cliché for example. As well as this too much time is spent telling the reader what a typical Capricorn her protagonist is (“Recklessness is not part of my personality. Shy, hard-working, loyal, all those boring Capricorn traits, that’s me.”)
4. SLANG (COLLOQUIALISM)
This might coincide with my previous hatred, but clichéd slang or popular trends seem to arise when authors are trying too hard to make their characters sound or act like teenagers. It doesn’t really appeal to me ever.
I find this in a lot of Jennifer L. Armentrout books. I do consider the fact that most books I read are by American authors, but I don’t know how much of a difference that makes.
3. BAD AUDIOBOOK NARRATORS
This one is short and simple, when the voice of a narrator doesn’t match it’s protagonist, it really grinds my gears. I give slight exceptions to audiobooks with multiple point of views, but it still aggravates me a tiny bit.
My first example is the Ready Player One audiobook whereby Will Wheaton, a 45 year old man is narrating as Wade Watts, an 18 year old boy. It just doesn’t work for me.
Another example is The Handmaids Tale audiobook read by Johanna David, a 70 year old British woman narrating as Offred, an American woman in her thirties. Don’t get me wrong, both are good speakers, just not well suited for the characters or context of their respective roles in my opinion.
2. (TOO-MUCH) EXPOSITION
This kind of fits in the with “show and don’t tell” rule of good writing. I pretty much loathe any time I feel like I’m being ‘told’ to much by a character, instead of the author attempting to illustrate something too me.
1. STUPID CHAPTER TITLES
This made it to number one because it’s certainly the most pettyish thing anyone can get grinchy about.Or maybe it’s just because the example that came to mind is a book I thoroughly dislike for more than it’s pathetic chapter titles. But nonetheless, I get real grinchy about it. That book would be Sweet Evil by Wendy Higgins. The last line of Chapter 12 was “teach me to hide my colours.” Then the title of Chapter 12 was ‘Hiding Emotions’. And look, I know it’s extremely petty, but I can’t explain the hatred I have for silly titles!