I enjoy most of the books I read, because I (almost) always find something to like about them. Yes, I am a perfectionist and a moody reader, but when the story is good, the plot is interesting, the characters are like-able, the world building is very well done, I can overlook tiny flaws. But there are a few things that really tick me off. They make me grit my teeth, bang my head on the wall, roll my eyes, pull my hair and raise my hands up to sky in a "Oh, God, not again!" manner. (ok, I don't actually do those things, but you know the feeling.:)) I just drop a star or two from my final rating). Well, I'd like to
complain talk about all this for a bit.
But before I do that, let me say that I am aware that there are exceptions, sometimes these things are very well done, there are books that are so good and authors who are so talented, that if I find any of these things in their works, it doesn't even matter. Also, I don't want to be mean or disrespectful to any author, I'm just stating my personal opinion about things I don't like in general. That being said, here we go:
1. The dumb, whiny heroine
We meet them mostly in YA novels, in the first book of the series.
Sometimes the heroines are so disoriented, stubborn, blind etc that they make me want to reach into the book, grab them by the shoulders and shake the hell out of them. They're wimpy, whiny and annoying, everyone figures things out before they do, they ask ridiculous questions, make stupid decisions etc.
Ok, I get it: they are young, inexperienced, scared, confused, betrayed, hurt but THEY.ARE.NOT.STUPID. Or just some pathetic crybabies! Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they all have to be tough little cookies from the very start, I understand that they have to grow and develop as characters, they can't be perfect and all that. But seriously, there must be some kind of balance! Don’t underestimate them and don’t make them the dumbest girls on the block, exaggerating with their flaws, imperfections and insecurities is so not necessary!
2. The Love Triangle
*sigh* I guess there's always been a little drama because of this subject around the blogosphere. I'll try to keep this short, but you're going to hate me anyway.;)
So... What I believe is that love triangles are annoying and as of lately, over used. (again, especially in YA novels). They kind of lost their appeal. Mostly, because they are so predictable. Just let me tell you a little story: Enters lead character A. She's a normal, nice girl with a normal life. Suddenly, she meets X. (Whoa!) He's all Mr. Tall Dark and Handsome, he's interesting, mysterious, has a troubled past and a dangerous side. They fall in love, but something bad happens and then they realize that being together is very dangerous (for themselves or for someone/everyone else). They broke apart. But hey, never fear! Here comes boy Y to the rescue! He's the always caring, always nice bff who suddenly becomes good boyfriend material (wow, when did he become so handsome?) And then there's a lot of action and drama yada yada yada and A and X find each other again, cry, hug each other, swear eternal love and get their HEA. But what about Y? Oh, he was too nice to be happy anyway!*waves hand dismissively* It's not like he ever had a real chance to get A in the first place! But he's a good guy and after he gets over the heart wrenching refusal of A, he'll find someone nice to love him back. Hey, maybe even someone we met before in the story - someone veeery important!*snort* Sounds familiar? Well, this is the kind of dynamic that annoys me to no end. Again, I know love triangles can be very well done (honestly, some of my all times favorite series have love triangles) but... Yeah, there's always a big BUT when it comes to them. *weary*
Do I really need to say more here?
I understand when A and X being instantly drawn to each other is absolutely necessary for the main plot, but sometimes it happens way too fast! (I recently started reading a book where A and X find each other and obviously fall head over heels in love on the second page. Enough said.) Not to mention what comes next: the obsessive, stalker behavior.*thud* And if I can deal with that kind of thing in YA novels, I definitely can't be ok with it in Adult Paranormal Romance. You know, when people rip their clothes off from the very first page, no matter that the guy stalked her, broke into her apartment, seems to be very dangerous and she doesn't even know his name - or anything for that matter - about him. I mean, c'mon! Really?! *shudders*
I'm not talking about the big ones (like: new girl in town, all the boys from her new school fall for her and yet she never notices; or the perpetual family issues), but those tiny ones that show up here and there just to make
you mad the story more dramatic and interesting. (X tells A under no circumstances to get out of the house because the Big Bad could be out there waiting for her, yet when he turns his back... Surprise, surprise, what does she do? Goes out and whoa! the Big Bad comes out of nowhere and grabs her! *groans* Or: when A finally musters the courage to walk up to X and talk to him/confront him/declare to him, he's talking to/kissing her enemy.) Sorry, maybe these are not the best examples, but I'm tired and I can't remember anything more specific right now. But I think you get what I mean - clichés are clichés after all!
So... that's what really bothers me in books. As I said, I understand there are ways around them and they can be exceptionally well done and good for the story, but... I'm very picky when it comes to books featuring them. And though I didn't want to give names in this post, I can't not mention a debut novel I read this summer that had none of these issues: NONE! Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. In my humble opinion, this book was very, very good and perfectly balanced! Gratton is really awesome; she could write a 400 pages book with all kinds of elements in it: love, drama, tension, paranormal, action, twists, turns, mystery, secrets; she could be very original, keep my interest from the first page to the last AND avoid all those annoying things, so she has my eternal respect and gratitude! Ok, I'll stop fangirlying now (is that a word?), but I'd send her a big virtual hug and some home made special Romanian cookies (those wouldn't be virtual; give me her address and I'll send them.LOL) just for being fabulous. *bows*
Phew! That's a lot of ramble! But I really want to know your opinion: do you have bookish pet peeves? Is there anything that usually annoys you in books and makes you avoid them? Do you share some of mine? Let me know!
And now that I got that out of my chest, I can go back to reviewing the book that got this started! :))