Top Ten Book Turn-Offs

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week's Top Ten list is "Top Ten Book Turn-Offs"

Nicole's Top 5

1. When the book sends a bad message
I know, I know. I say this all the time. But it's true. Nothing turns me off a book more than when it sends a bad message to readers. If an author flippantly or poorly writes about an unhealthy behavior, the book is pretty much guaranteed to get a low rating from me.

2. When female leads behave like idiots
I feel like books are steering away from this trend but it is still something I complain about often. I HATE when females in books act nonsensically. And I don't just mean when it comes to a boy, I'm talking about life in general. A perfect example of this travesty is the Fallen series by Lauren Kate. No offense to anyone out there but Luce was a moron.

3. When lovers think they are siblings
Anyone familiar with The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare knows what I'm talking about here. But this stupid plot twist has shown up in other books too, like Starcrossed by Josephine Angelini. Of course they never are actually siblings. They just think they are. It drives me bananas.

4. Juvenility
Whether be it the characters, the plot, or the setting, if it is juvenile in nature I find myself enjoying the book less. I've had my fill of high school drama. Plus I find these books harder to relate to because that time in my life is getting father and farther away. I tend to avoid books with young MCs for this reason but it's not always a fail safe. And on the flip side, there are books with young MCs that act maturely. *sigh*

5. Girls who fall for boys that are jerks
So having this be one of my book turn-offs makes me feel a little hypocritical. Who hasn't fallen for a bad boy or someone who is obviously wrong for them at some point (if not over and over again). We feel how we feel. Nevertheless, when I see a girl fall for a boy that treats her like crap I start fuming. This won't make me stop reading a book, but it is a hurdle for me to overcome.

Ashley's Top 5 

6. Nicole's #4  Juvenility 
I agree 100% with Nicole, I am fully aware I am reading a young adult book but sometimes the very young MCs or just immature MCs drive me nuts.  I am struggling getting through Gated at the moment, the audio version seems to enhance the young voice.

7. Weak Endings
It drives me crazy when I am enjoying a book for the most part and then get to the ending at it has no resolve.  It is a huge turnoff when I have more questions about the plot after finishing the book than when I started.

8. Super cliche plot points
I do not mind some predictability but when there is a super cliche plot point or scene it just drives me crazy.  For example, a girl going out and drinking too much and of course puking on the guy she likes. *shakes fist*

9. Over-used phrases
I cannot remember at this exact moment (I did have it saved on my google reader :( ) but another blogger pointed out some super over-used phrases and now I cannot un-see the phrases.  Every time I do see the phrase in a book, I just want to face palm. (Nicole reminded me, it was Christina at A Reader of Fictions wrote about the Evil Phrase "“I released a breath I didn’t realize I was holding.”  Worth going to check out!)

10.  Absurdity
I can handle some crazy things but when things just seem too far from reality it is a huge turn off.  If you have read Taken, some parts of that story I kept saying "There is NO way that could be plausible." I had similar issues with the Boyfriend App and its mind controlling technology.

What are your top ten?


  1. Ohhhhhh overused phrases. I hate repetition and I totally agree -- Once I see them, I can't unsee them!
    I hate the sibling thing too. Even if they're NOT siblings, that just TOTALLY ruins a book for me. Incest is not a good plot twist haha.

  2. Yes, the jerky guy, we see that again and again. And unresolved, open endings drive me crazy. Just wrap it up and tell me! ~Pam

  3. Ah haha! The over used phrases one kills me! Yes, once you start to notice them you can't go back. It even extends to authors who overuse phrases particular to their own work as well. It grates my nerves when I start seeing phrases repeated in a book. Argh!

    I also hate the lovers/siblings thing. I'd be happy if that went away as a plot point.

  4. 1. Those subtle bad messages, particularly in YA or juvenile books, really irk me. Don't send the message that guys who cheat on you are worth a second chance or that bossy guys are hot. NO NO NO.


    7. Across a Star-Swept Sea did this on two levels. Weak ending for the book itself and a HORRID ending for the series.

    9. Oh look, it's me! :-p

    10. *coughs* I loved The Boyfriend App, but I thought that point was hilarious and intentionally absurd. However, I struggle with books that are absurd to the degree that you never know why anything will happen because the world is like an acid trip or something.

  5. Love this list. I would agree with number two except for most New Adult books have IDIOT female protagonists. I don't know why that is. But it's frustrating as a reader, and as an EDITOR when they won't change it.

    7. Yes, this. That's why I was upset over These Broken Stars' ending. It just didn't work for me. Wasn't strong enough.

    9. Yes to the evil sentence.


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