April 25: Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book – tell us all your book turn offs!
Oooooh, this is going to be a controversial topic! But guess what: I love expressing my unpopular opinions. I’m going to talk about reasons why I don’t want to read certain books. Of course, never say never. If a book receives a lot of hype, I might make an exception.
These are in no particular order:
Y’all know that I am very opinionated, especially when it comes to problematic books. What you see in this screenshot below, is something I would never, ever say:
The Black Witch is a racist, ableist and homophobic book, yet this is an actual screencap I took from Goodreads. I can’t believe that this person still wants to read this book “to see for themselves whether it is problematic”, even though a review (which is over 8.000 words long!!!) explains why this book is absolute trash. To make matters worse, this person wasn’t even interested in reading this book UNTIL she found out it was so problematic.
By the way, if an author is problematic, I won’t be interested in their books either. Of course, there are some exceptions like J.K. Rowling, but I will still be vocal about why they are problematic.
Unfortunately, almost every single book features an allo cis straight white boy. Often he is the love interest. Though I’m going to focus on them as the protagonists right now. I’m so happy the majority of the books I read feature female protagonists. Just thinking about a book with a allo cis straight white boy as the protagonists makes me roll my eyes. Especially when they are written by male authors, those books tend to be sexist and problematic. And when I don’t like the protagonist (even when we’re not supposed to), there’s a 90 percent chance I won’t like the book.
I’ve already talked about this a few weeks ago, but I think the YA fantasy genre lacks originality. I’m absolutely not looking down on the genre – it’s one of my favourite genres – but authors have got to stop using the same tropes over and over again. This might work for younger readers, but when you’ve read a number of YA fantasies, you know the drill already. The books become predictable and hard to distinguish from one another. You’ll notice this looking at the titles alone. I recently saw an amazing Tweet (though I can’t find it 😦 ) about how similar titles have become. Good luck finding one without queen, rose, kingdom, witch, blood, etc!
I can live with it when the story is diverse, e.g. a cliché F/F romance. At least the rest of the story hasn’t been done ten times already.
Call me superficial, but when a book has a very ugly cover, I’ll be hesitant to buy it. Most e-books are incredibly overpriced, so I prefer to buy physical covers.
Recently, however, it has been brought to my attention that it’s often marginalised authors who get ugly covers (e.g. Warcross by Marie Lu), which leads to them selling even fewer copies. As much as I want to put a stop to that, I’m not exactly thrilled about spending my money on book covers I don’t even like. I do, however, hope that publishers will take this into account and realise they have to treat their marginalised authors better.
This one comes with a bunch of exceptions, but generally, I don’t read romances. I’m talking about M/F romances with allo cis straight white characters. I hate it when I’m reading a synopsis and I suddenly read something along the lines of “But then [girl name] meets [boy name]. Even though they’re enemies, they feel drawn to each other” or some crap similar to that. Obviously, in a YA contemporary you might expect this, so this especially bothers me in YA fantasies. Some YA fantasies are actually YA romances set in a fantasy world. And I’m not here for the latter.
You also won’t see me pick up any Adult or New Adult romances anytime soon. The only ones I read, are the diverse ones. I’ve had some bad experiences with that genre (sexism, slut-shaming, etc.) so I’m staying clear from it when it only features allo cis straight white characters.
What are some of your bookish turn-offs?