Things I Don’t Like In Books

I’ve had this blog for two years now, and I’m actually amazed that I’ve never talked about the things I love and the things I don’t like in books! I finally decided it was time to sit down and write out posts for both of those, and my post yesterday was all about the things that I love in books so it’s time to get to the things that I don’t like in books! I’m sure that I’m missing a few things, but for the most part these are the things that when I see them in books, I cringe or get mad.

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Creepy Overzealous Religion

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This is a tough one for me to explain. I’m by no means a religious person, but I have absolutely no problem with religion. That is, until it becomes an obsession and you get these characters that start to believe they are God or that God is telling them to do things. In normal circumstances God telling you that something is right or wrong for a religious character is perfectly okay, I start to have a problem with it when a character uses their religion to justify their horrible treatment of others or things like that. That’s why I have such a hard time reading Vicious because this element is included in there and I just don’t like it very much.

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Whiney or Annoying Characters

The first example that comes to me is Thomas from Fawkes, which I DNFed because the protagonist was so freaking whiney, especially in the audiobook the way he was narrated made him sound like a child. In this situation, adults would call Thomas “boy”, because he IS still a boy but every. single. time. they called him “boy” he would go off on a tangent about how “he’s not a boy, he’s a man and no one respects him”. Well clearly not with that attitude you aren’t a man! (I realize that in this example that’s probably what the author was getting at, it was just way too overblown). Things like this just irritate me when a character is just super whiney about things all the time and never shut up about it.

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Random-ass Magic as a Plot Hole Filler/Plot Twist

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Imagine this – our characters are in a life or death situation and are about 3 seconds from actually dying, then suddenly something magical happens that was never introduced before as a valid magic in the world, and all is well! It sounds dumb, and it is. I’m about to give major spoilers for Behind Her Eyes, so if you don’t want to spoil your self please move on to the next section! This magical element was used in Behind Her Eyes as the plot twist at the very end of the story and it just DID NOT work for me. It was just too convenient and magic doesn’t exist anywhere else within this book, and suddenly you’re telling me that this one character has figured out how to transfer her consciousness into someone else’s body? That’s just lazy.

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Poor Communications Skills/Withholding Information

I hate hate HATE when a situation could be easily resolved if two characters would just speak to each other about it! Whether it’s romantic or just something important that if the characters knew the whole story their actions would’ve been different, I just despise poor communication between characters, especially on something important!

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Miraculously Becomes Uber Powerful/All Knowing

Okay, so this one also shows up on my things I like in books list, but that’s because I like this if it’s done right. I hate when it’s just a surprise that the character became super powerful and they don’t have any sort of weakness whatsoever. It’s completely unrealistic! If they’re gonna be really powerful, at least give them a weakness or a reason they became powerful, you know? This also applies when a character has limited to no training and manages to defeat the bad guy who has been honing their skills their whole life. I did say that this shows up on my things I like in books list, so I’ll explain when I like this trope there!

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Women Existing Just For Men

I don’t think anyone likes when women are included as characters just to further the plot of the story or provide the men a reason to fight or whatever, but I really don’t like it. I’m so happy that a lot of fantasy these days has strong women who are included in the story because they actually have something to contribute rather than just being there to look pretty.

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Female Character Thinking She’s Ugly When She Isn’t/Doesn’t Realize She’s Pretty

This one is pretty self explanatory, but I don’t like when characters don’t realize that they’re the prettiest person in the room, or constantly talks about how ugly they think they are. I realize that not everyone loves their body and their looks, but you can always find at least one thing that you love about yourself.

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Love Triangles

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This is another one that if done right can be one of my favorite things, but I HATE when a girl strings both guys along and even though it’s clear that she’s going to end up with one over the other, she continues to bring the second guy into the picture. For example, I hate the love triangle in Twilight because Bella just goes to Jacob whenever it’s convenient for her or when Edward isn’t available. I hate it so much! (Also I can’t believe that there is now a photo of Twilight on my blog.)

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Monotonous Travel Scenes

Don’t get me wrong, I do love when characters travel from place to place but I hate when there isn’t any action going on, just we woke up and traveled some more then went to sleep and it was uneventful. It’s so boring and I tend to skip sections like that if there isn’t anything happening!

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A Breath They Didn’t Know They Were Holding

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Need I say more? Every time I see this line my eyes roll so far back into my head I can see my brain.

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Token Diverse Character

I LOVE diversity in books, but I HATE when it’s clear that an author just added in a diverse character to say that their books are diverse. Luckily, authors are including more and more true diversity recently so I feel like this is becoming less of an issue for me, but there are still books out there that have this element and it just rubs me the wrong way, especially when it’s extremely noticeable. Unfortunately, one of my favorite series has this in it which does lessen my enjoyment of the series, but I first read it quite a while ago and I’m sad to say that back then I didn’t really pay as much attention to diversity as I do now. So good for current me, shame on past me.

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What are some of the things that you don’t like in books? Keep in mind, a lot of mine are relating to fantasy as that’s my main genre!

22 thoughts on “Things I Don’t Like In Books

  1. lack of communication is pretty much my number one pet peeve when it comes to books… especially in books with multiple POVs where both characters are just going back and fourth wondering what the other is thinking

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love your list! I hate poor communication as a plot device as much as I detest instalove! 😂 I’ve also been noticing a great deal of token diversity. One of my auto buy authors used the breath they didn’t know they were holding TWICE in her recent release! 😱 I was so disappointed! I would also add an author’s heavy handed agenda to my list! I roll my eyes at their pedantic preachiness! I guess I should write my own post!!! If I do, I’ll credit you! 👍😍

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I didn’t even think about adding the heavy handed agenda thing to my post, I’ve read a few books recently that have felt that way and might explain why I’ve had so much problems finishing a book recently!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Introducing magic at the end as a twist is a wild thing to do! Switching genre right at the end – how bizarre. A good twist takes the existing rules to an unexpected path that makes sense, not ‘oh yeah there’s magic’ out of nowhere. 🙄

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  4. Yes! I have to agree with lots of these. Women existing solely for men is the worst. Every time I see ‘breath they didn’t know they were holding’, I feel a little exasperated.

    And yes about Behind Her Eyes! So many people seemed to love that book, but I just did not buy the ending AT ALL. It made very little sense and I had a lot of things to say about it in my review.

    The one thing I would add to this list is insta-love. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Insta-love is a good one! I didn’t even think about that one because I don’t mind as much when books have it, but it depends on the level of insta-love. If it’s more like insta-like or insta-lust, that makes sense because that can happen but full on I love you right away is annoying.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Several of those are definitely on my list too. I think my number one is when characters just don’t talk about something that could have easily resolved an issue. It’s just frustrating to read. I can get through the traveling sections by skipping them or get past that random act of magic because it’s potentially only one moment in time, but when I start to grow frustrated with characters by their lack of conversation then I just lose all respect for them and it affects the whole story and my enjoyment of it.

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  6. Yes to all of the above!!!! I recently read The Bluest Eye by Toni Morrison and there’s a character who isn’t just a religious zealot, but he thinks he’s smarter than God and uses it to justify horrible behavior. Plus he’s whiny. It made me so mad! I laughed when I saw the twilight picture on here because that was the first thing that came to mind for a love triangle. Great list!

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  7. Ugh the twilight Love Triangle was gag-worthy. I agree with all of these, especially the magic causing a huge plot hole. It is horrible because I just end up with so many questions but no motivation to actually go find out!
    – Emma 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Twilight was the first example that I thought of lol. I hate when I have questions about a book but there isn’t any resources to help fill in any gaps! I think that’s why I like Game of Thrones and Lord of the Rings so much, there’s so much world history to delve into!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. So many of these I’m just like “YES, I HATE THAT TOO!”, haha. My pet hate is character habits that the author repeats over and over. I read something recently where it kept saying, regarding the main character, “She pursed her lips”. By the end, it was filling me with rage every time I read it on a page.

    Liked by 1 person

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