Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves

Welcome to Top Ten Tuesday!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original weekly feature created by The Broke and the Bookish and is now hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. This week’s topic is:

Bookish Pet Peeves

Here are things I don’t like centered around books.

1. Cheating – I am a romance reader and I hate cheating. The only time it works for me is in thrillers because karma is not nice in a thriller.
2. Love triangles – I don’t want to stress out about who the MC is going to pick or be uncomfortable with the choices that person makes. The third person is always hurt. 
3. Miscommunication – Just talk to each other already. 
4. Lying/keeping secrets from a significant other – The truth always comes out, so why lie? It bugs me. Unless, of course, it’s a thriller.
5. Slow pace – I don’t mind if there is a slow burn, but a slow pace kills a book for me no matter what genre.
6. Student/teacher romances – College is one thing. If it’s high school then it’s a giant NO from me. Gross. I would be beyond angry if my child was that student, so… No romanticizing it. I would include any romances with an MC who is underage and one who is an adult.
7. Emotionally abusive love interests – Relationships where the abuser is not kicked to curb or does not receive psychological help. I’ve read a few of these and they make me so mad. 
8. The haters – People who crap on romance novels, reading romance novels, and romance authors. 
9. Certain words used to describe books –“Clean” as a descriptor for a closed door romance or one without sex. I might as well include “dirty” for one with steamy sex scenes. Also, “spicy”. That word grates on me as well.
10. Third person narration – It only works if the author is skilled at writing it. Otherwise, it becomes a confusing mess. First person works so much better and allows me to connect better with characters.

53 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Bookish Pet Peeves”

  1. Yes, these are all so annoying! I especially hate the miscommunication trope, but cheating, emotional abuse, lying and love triangles are all a big no from me too. And definitely do not like romance haters!

  2. I dislike “feisty” heroines because usually the “feistiness” is communicated by having the heroine talk loudly with no filter, confront people without knowing all the facts, argue a lot, behave in an immature fashion, and get drunk (all of which, of course, the hero finds sexy rather than troubling). Plus it’s a gendered word that only seems to apply to heroines. When was the last time a hero was described as “feisty”?

    I’m not a big fan of friends-to-lovers because it seems so unrealistic to me: you’ve been friends with this person for years but you suddenly realize you find them attractive in a romantic way? Ain’t buying it.

    Another trope I really dislike is “best friend’s younger sister is forbidden,” because it’s both paternalistic and sexist. However, a skilled writer can make it work—such as Serena Bell did in her recent WALK ON THE WILDER SIDE.

    And speaking of skilled writers making problematic elements work: generally speaking, both cheating and the death of a child are hard passes for me, but one of my all-time favorite romances, Maisey Yates’s CARIDES’S FORGOTTEN WIFE, incorporates both elements into a beautifully-written and absolutely-gutting love story.

    1. Open door would have a sex scene written by the author. Closed door would allude to a sex scene without actually having the sex scene in the book. Does that make sense? It was harder to explain than I thought in my head. I liked Closed door better than “clean”.

  3. Miscommunication is a big peeve of mine as well. It just seems sometimes like if this were real life they would talk or communicate a LITTLE better haha, but so often the plot keeps things artificially miscommunicated and I’m not a fan.

  4. Big yes to miscommunication. That’s my most hated trope and I avoid it at all costs if I can. If it’s mentioned in a review, or alluded to in the synopsis – I’m out. I definitely won’t read it if I know in advance. Slow pace, too. It’s so hard for me to engage with a slow-paced story.

  5. I don’t read many romantic books so that doesn’t happen to me so often. And I don’t mind third person narration, it gives us a larger insight.

    Thanks for visiting my TTT earlier.

    1. Third person doesn’t bug me as much if it’s not a romance. It just doesn’t work well for me in romance, especially with dual POV.

  6. A big yes to especially cheating, love triangle, miscommunication,abusers and teacher/student relationships! Slow pace doesn’t tend to work for me either unless the writing is fantastic and the story itself is worth being savoured slowly.

    1. Slow pace only really seems to work for me in audiobooks. I think that’s because I can speed them up a bit!

  7. Yep yep yep… Cheating, love triangles and miscommunication are absolutely the worst! I also always cringe every time I see someone mentioning a romance is “clean”. Eugh 🙈 Great list!

  8. I agree with so many of these pet peeves. Cheating isn’t a total deal breaker but I need a lot of convincing and some really good writing to make it work. But miscommunication I hate, I’ve put down perfectly good romances because of it before. And it did feel like at one point romance went through a phase of hyping up romances with very toxic love interests. People can read what they want but it doesn’t work for me I just don’t see the appeal.

    1. Yes, there were so many with toxic love interests for a while there. Some worked with the resolutions, but others didn’t.

  9. Oooh, I’ve never thought about “clean” as opposed to “dirty” in romance, but that kind of makes sense. I just don’t know if everyone would know what open door and closed door means. I usually use “clean” and “steamy”. But you’ve got me rethinking it now. 🙂

    1. For some reason, dirty doesn’t bother me as much as clean. Not sure why. I’m glad I got you thinking about it!

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