October 1, 2013

Top Ten Book Turn-offs

Top Ten Book Turn-Offs 
It's rare that I'll stop reading a book. I usually try to finish everything I start, but these are some turn-offs that will make me consider putting a book down or giving it a lower rating.

Bad audiobook narrator
Sometimes I'll start an audiobook and immediately have to turn it off because there's just something unpleasant about the narrator's voice. At this point I'll switch to the print or eBook version.

It's annoying when characters fall in love instantly without even knowing anything about each other. Part of the fun for me is reading about how relationships between characters develop over time. Give me a slow-burn romance over insta-love any day!

Cheesy dialogue

If the characters talk like they're in a soap opera, it's a turn off. I need realistic dialogue that's not too over the top or cheesy.

Obnoxious love interest

If the love interest is an obnoxious jerk, it's hard for me to understand why the main character falls for him or care what happens to them.

Slut shaming 

Female characters who judge other women's lifestyle and clothing choices and call them "sluts" are the worst. I don't like it when characters use "slut" it in a joking matter with their friends either. Just STOP. 


Stereotypes based on race, ethnicity, social class, gender, etc. = major turn off. 


Sometimes the plot is just too predictable. For some reason I'm okay with this in movies, but I have higher standards for the books I read.

Repetitive word use

Sometimes an author is particularly fond of a certain word or phrase, and it keeps popping up over and over.  I remember in one of my high school classes my friends and I kept a tally mark of every time the author used the word "dubious" in the book we were reading. If the word/phrase is repeated enough to distract from the reading experience, that's a big pet peeve of mine.

Deus ex machina

(Definition: When some new event, character, ability, or object solves a seemingly unsolvable problem in a sudden, unexpected way.) I don't notice this very often, but it's frustrating because it seems like lazy plotting on the author's behalf. All of a sudden the seemingly insurmountable problem is solved in a convenient, coincidental way.

Lack of voice 

I read a lot of books with alternating narrators, and if I can't distinguish one character's voice from another, it's difficult for me to keep reading. 

What are your book turn offs? Are your book turn offs similar to mine?


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