Top Ten Tuesday #12: Book Turn-Offs
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly Top Ten list hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
Today we're listing down ten book turn-offs, you know... you are reading and then something happens to completely turn you off ,though, I'm not sure I have many of those. In the right setting with good writing I believe you can turn most events in to something, I wouldn't say enjoyable because I really don't enjoy reading about abuse, rape or any other despicable action, but maybe something you can appreciate in context. It might be a major reason for why a character turned out the way he or she did or didn't and it might be relevant for the rest of the story in some way. However, this will be hard and we'll see if I make it all the way to ten.
I read a book once that was the worst by far - a woman was cheated on by her boyfriend/fiancé/whatever he was, had a one night stand, one night turned in to two, she couldn't trust him because all men are pigs, she fell for him, he had enough of her distrust and left, she was heartbroken and "didn't realize what she had until she lost it", turns out she's pregnant, doesn't tell him, he finds out, she feels stupid, they live happily ever after. There was not a single line of original dialogue anywhere in there and I just wanted to chuck into a wall.
But the more I though about it the more I realized I had read several books with very similar plots, all of which I loved. Because they shifted the order of the events, because they broke up suddenly in just a few pages and seemingly out of the blue, because even if they share similarities these books were unpredictable where I had figured out the first book in the first few chapters.
Okay, I just ranted about it but a predictable book completely turns me off. I like a book that keeps me on my toes and even if I think I know what going to happen, it won't. Unexpected events, twists and turns, anything to not spoil the end. Okay so most YA has a happy ending sooner or later, predictable, but I still have now idea how they'll get to that point, unpredictable. I can live with that. A book I don't like gives away the plot before it has happened, not just the very end. See the difference?
I love that books can create a whole new world and I get that along with that you may need to invent new words. I loved Shadow and Bone even though it took me a while to figure out the new words and I am a Potterhead even with all the spells, plants and animals. Those books introduce a few words at a time with good explanations. What I can't stand is books where I have to flip back and forth between the included dictionary and the page where I'm reading to understand half of what's happening. I'd rather just put it down.
If I read a book with a fifteen year old protagonist I expect them to act and react as fifteen year olds (except in the fantasy world, apparently, where your everyday teenager saves the world) and with a twenty five year old main character I expect them to behave accordingly. Sadly, far to many books has young teenagers acting as adults and vice versa.
I prefer a book with an English I can understand. You know, since that's the basic principle of reading. I don't like to have to think hard about what just happened in a sentence and read between the lines too much. While I can plow through a book like that, I don't like it. Though, books I'm certain to put down are the ones on the other side of the spectra.
"He looked at her and nodded at her, showing he wanted her to come over. She said goodbye to her friends before she walked over." is one example of something that could be a bit to simple and direct for my taste. "His eyes caught hers from across of the library and he gave her a small nod, beckoning her to come over. She said goodbye to her friends and gathered her books before she made her way through the maze of people." is another way of writing the same thing, but a way that I'd like a whole lot more. It sets a different feeling and I like to have a movie rolling in my head while reading, the first example is too abrupt and clipped for that.
I made it to five which is more than I though when I started. I know most of these aren't actual events in books but rather the writing of the words but as I said before, I think you can picture pretty much any event in a way you can appreciate. One character may have to go through something horrific and descriptive to build sympathy for him/her, or for any other reason. I don't think I've ever put down a book because of a specific event in a book.