Tuesday, April 30, 2024

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Petty Things that Bug Me in Books

Today I'm linking up with Top Ten Tuesday hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl which is all about lists.  Since lists are one of my favorite things this is one of my favorite linkups!  Today's topic is Ten Petty Reasons to DNF (or Reduce Ratings or in my case just bug me) a book.

1.  Too Stupid To Live Behavior To Often - I once read a cozy mystery where the main character confronted the murderer on a catwalk over a vat of furniture stripper with her young nonverbal son after of course not telling anyone where she was going or who she suspected.  This was years ago and I'm still not over it.

2.  Too Quirky - This iactually happened in the book referenced above but it does happen sometimes in quite a lot of fiction.  It drives me crazy when a character is just overflowing with quirky mannerisms.  Like everyone has a few but if you only eat pancakes, refuse to do things in three, always have to turn around twice before going through a door, only wear green Converse regardless of whatever else you're wearing or where you're going, and have a pet gecko that you take everywhere with you it gets a bit much.  One or two of these is fine but it gets exhausting if a character has ALL these traits and more.

3.  When the Author Gets Something Really Wrong and It's Mentioned Multiple Times - I don't care if some historical figure was born in 1827 not 1828 or in reality somethings need to be altered a bit to fit a narrative (as long as the author notes this) but I read a book once set during World War II where the main character had a security clearance and her primary way of getting information that she had no reason to know was announcing to a character that it was fine because she had a clearance.  I spent most of the book screaming "That's not how that works!".

4.  Too Many Tangents - I'm all about the "slice of life" style of fiction where we are just following the character around but tangets that do nothing for getting to know the character or furthering the plot are not my favorite.  I do not need to know the history of the dry cleaner's in another town that you drove by once!

5.  Too Much Angst - I'm all for a little drama but when it's drama on top of drama on top of drama it gets a little bit much and I can't help but roll my eyes.

6.  Too Immature - I probably expect an unrealistic amount of a maturity for characters as we rarely behave with perfect maturity in real life.  However, when a 40 year old District Attorney is basically throwing a temper tantrum because someone didn't return their call it gets a bit hard to take the character seriously.

7.  When the Character Never Goes to Work - I get that going to work isn't very exciting but in cozies especially it annoys me if a character owns a business and is continuously running out or never going in the first place.  I don't mean I need to see every minute of work time but at least a few mentions would be nice.

8.  There's one series that I really enjoy where the main character rides around on an "adult tricycle".  I have no issue with the character doing so but it's mentioned EVERY single time she goes anywhere and every single mention distracts me from the book as I try and visualize that as well as wonder how you wouldbut when  park one as I would think they'd be enormous - espcecially the back tire part.  It's incredibly distracting.

9.  Annoying children that for whatever reason the other characters think are adorable - I quit reading a Jenny Colgan series that I had really enjoyed because I just couldn't handle the main character's niece.  That child needed to be taught boundries and given a strong talking to but all character laughed off her awful behavior as just "being strong willed".

10. The awful friend/mother/sister - I love great friendships and they can really make a book even better but every so often there's a book where the main character's best friend or biggest confidante is just awful.  It always make me wonder why they're putting up with that person and I end up cringing everytime they get pagetime.  

What things in books bug you?


  1. I totally get the too quirky thing! I get that authors tend to use this to make characters more "unique" or whatnot, but it can get really bothersome, especially when it doesn't actually add anything to the story! Same goes for when the author gets something wrong... please do your research and consult the right people when stating facts! D:

    aimee @ aimee can read

  2. Lately it has been too much angst. I need a little humor, authors!

  3. I hear ya! I have many DNF books because life is just too short to slog through a book that doesn't grab you. I read for pleasure, not to be annoyed. If I wanted annoyance I'd go back to work, hahaha

  4. OMG! So accurate. Great job with listing them.

    Anne - Books of My Heart

  5. Love your list, I noticed in one cozy mystery the girls in spite of having a business were always out sleuthing. Odd. Anyway I usually DNF when the plot is boring and there is heaps of prose and not enough dialogue. If the characters are boring that doesn't help. Now I am wondering which Jenny Colgan series!!

  6. This is a great list and I feel the same way.

  7. I feel you on all of these. The too-quirky thing is one that bugs me, too. I like a *little* bit of quirk, but if it gets too ridiculous/silly/unrealistic/zany, I'm out. A little goes a long way for me.

    Happy TTT!

  8. Yes to all of these! I will also add the eff word and worse in every sentence, and highly educated characters speaking like preteens. Ugh. 🙄