Top Ten Book Turn-offs
I like TTT, but I am not a big fan of the negative posts. :(
1.Teen partying. Call me a goody-goody or say I was sheltered or my parents were strict, but I never attended crazy blow-outs until I went to college. Teen alcoholism is rampant, and although it's important to show reality in books, this is areality I don't want to read about since my own was so vastly different. Princesses of Iowa by M. Molly Backes made me want to hurl. It was the book that really made me studiously avoid party-heavy novels. However, there are exceptions. Speechless by Hannah Harrington is a novel all about the nasty after-effects of one party, and I loved it.
2. Smut. There are occasions when I want to read a steamy romance, but those are few and far between. When I do read one, it's for adults. I'll pass on teen smut. It's like those years when I crushed on Taylor Lautner before he was legal: I just feel dirty. Pass!
3. Religion. Let me clarify. I am not against religion in books. In fact, I wish more young adult novels expressed some kind of religion because adolescence is a natural time to question all aspects in life, including religion. That being said, I don't want to read novels that are preachy. I know who I am and what I believe. I don't mind reading about the explicit details of a religion, but not in a novel. Also, I don't like religion is also often mentioned in ya to diss, shame, or put down that religion. I am, in fact, a Christian, but I am of a particular denomination that is somewhat polarizing in its public persona. That is, a lot of people like to make very hurtful jokes or comments for a quick and cheap laugh. STOP DOING THAT TO RELIGIONS THAT AREN'T YOURS, GUYS. Miranda Kenneally's novels, particularly Stealing Parker and Things I Can't Forget are great examples of religion done right!
4. Incest. I'll admit. I'm guilty of making incest a bit of a joke. In my family, we often kid about incest being the game the whole family can play when we're hugging hello or goodbye. In reality, I think incest is horrific and awful. No, I have never read V.C. Andrews. I'm just not really interested.
5. Surprise! Long-lost or previously unknown relatives! Guys, I am SO. SICK. of this trope. STAHP PLZ. I don't care if it's an unknown family member who you discover a la that one season of Big Brother or if it's a parent thought dead like Star Wars. Find something more original because the whole "I am your father" bit is tired.
6. The virgin & the man-whore. There is a certain well-known, NYT-bestselling author whose books I recently wrote off, and it's because ALL of her female protagonists were virgins who managed to tame that elusive beast, the man-whore. Well, that's not the only reason, but it was the primary reason why I stopped enjoying her writing after about the fifth novel. They were so formulaic and recycled. Not every girl is a virgin, and not every guy is a complete playboy. Sure, authors, I know you need to be true to the characters and their stories, but if those stories all sound the same, it's not good, and I'm not interested.
7. Poor grammar. This is really directed at copy-editors and (sorry, guys) self-published authors. to the self-pubs: Have somebody read over your work BEFORE you hit that submit button. You are putting your name on something that can be huge for you. Congratulations! However, if it's not edited in any way, you'll lose readers. Do yourself a solid and find a friend, a relative, a librarian, a college English major, SOMEONE to read it over for you. If you are a copy-editor: it is literally your job to double check the grammar and spelling. I know it's tough reading through manuscript after manuscript and looking for the tiniest details, but again, that's your job. Do it well!
That's all I can think of. I'm usually fairly open-minded when it comes to books. There's very little that I'm willing to completely write off. Are there any specific turn-offs you have with books? Have a TTT? Share in the comments!