Paranormal Romance & Urban Fantasy discussion

General Discussion > What kills a book for you?

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message 1: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
I just gave up reading a book because I couldn't deal with the historical inaccuracies. It always makes me sad when I can't finish a book, because part of me does want to get some resolution. However, there are some things that just break the deal for me, things that I can't ignore or just suspend a little more disbelief and move past.

My deal-breakers:
1. Loads of historical inaccuracies. I can put up with a few anachronisms, but in the last book I tried to read, the character talked about touching the Sphinx at Giza's paws in 1818 or somewhere thereabouts. Being an Egyptology nerd, I threw my hands up in the air and bemoaned the author's lack of research, as the Sphinx wasn't fully excavated until 1925. Touching the Sphinx's paws in 1818 would have involved being several meters underground. Argh.

2. That Certain Type Of Heroine. We all have this type of heroine, the one that will make you throw the book against the wall. My Certain Type of Heroine is usually too beautiful, too spunky, or too passive. If a book's heroine would make Helen of Troy look like a cheap Whitechapel whore, if she can speak 15 languages and got her 6th Ph.D. by the age of 25, or if she swoons when her hero practically rapes her, I'm outta there.

3. Purple Prose. I'm a big fan of using dirtier euphemisms for love scenes, and if I run across too many "love passages," "centers," "manly members," or god forbid, her "love button," I run screaming from the pages.

What are your deal-breakers?

message 2: by Laura (new)

Laura (laurastamps) Ha! You crack me up TDF!! I have never heard "love button" before. Eew!!! But then I avoided trad romamce for years because of what I call the typical romance novel cliches. It is one of the reasons why I love PNR so much. It seems to be full of a new breed of romance writer who wasn't raised on those cliches. So here's what turns me off.

1.) Meanness in sex scenes, as well as dirty scientific language. I don't want to feel like I am back in high school biology class, yet I don't want to feel like I am in a back alley either. Give me something romantic and new.

2.) Dreamy language in a sex scene. When this happens I have to go back and reread bcause I realize I missed the entire sex scene. Ugh!

3.) Heroines who are so stubborn they end up making everyone else miserable and sometimes getting other people physically hurt or killed.

4.) Novels that build intense sexual tension and give you no relief. No relief also means closing the bedroom door when they finally get there. Don't do that to me (grin)!!!

5.) The typical trad romance novel cliches for sex scenes and body parts. "Center" is okay with me, and I use it in my own novels, but "manliness" as well as "lip nibbling/biting" (good when it is part of a kissing scene but totally irritating when it is the author's way of saying the heorine is in doubt or nervous).

6.) Too much action, as in the heroine dashing around from one fight scene to the next. If I want that I'll read urban fantasy.


message 3: by Summer (new)

Summer (summerbp) | 59 comments Heck yes! All that stuff gets on my nerves too, but my number one pet peeve?

Heroines who are so incredibly tough/stubborn/badass that they can't take a hint from anyone about anything. Case in point, read my latest review of "Be Still My Vampire Heart."

message 4: by Pamela, Moderatrix (last edited Feb 23, 2008 08:39AM) (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
Laura, I'm 100% with you on the sexual tension with no relief thing. Argh! Throw us a bone, don't fade to black! haha!

The stubborn heroines really tread the line of annoying me, too. Sometimes I like it, as it's written as an obvious character flaw, but when the heroine is obviously always right and therefore obviously always sticks to her guns, it gets on my nerves. I particularly hate it when there are no repercussions, no bad things that happen because the heroine is stubborn/tough/badass past the point of reason. [coughAnitaBlakecough]

message 5: by Laura (last edited Feb 23, 2008 09:05AM) (new)

Laura (laurastamps) TDG and Summer, as you know I totally agree with you both about aggravatingly stubborn heroines. What really gets me is when she puts other people or the hero in danger because she is soooo stubborn, and afterwards she never accepts responsibilty for her poor decisions. That was the main problem I had with Raven in Feehan's "Dark Prince." I wanted to shake her and scream "Just give it up!!!" *grin*

And it is one reason why I liked Savannah so much in "Dark Magic." She is Raven's daughter, but she realized quickly her mom hadn't taught her well on that issue, so she adjusted quickly without making the reader (or the hero) suffer for most of the book.


message 6: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (linneasinclair) | 96 comments It's funny but certain things that would ostensibly have me helicoptering a novel, I find I tolerate if the characters/writing/plot draw me in. Case in point: I don't like head-hopping but I love Nora's IN DEATH series (ya' think it might be because of Roarke?). ;-)

TSTL: Too Stupid To Live characters. This used to be a term associated with heroines but I've seen TSTL male characters so now I feel it's across the board. Also less prominent in PNR to some extent (thankfully!) but I do run across it. Generally that happens when a writer tries to force a conflict or plot point and the character goes out of character (an experienced cop or military character going in to a conflict situation without backup or unarmed when there's no salient reason--please note no salient reason--for doing so.)

Breeding An Heir To Save the Galaxy: This is just a personal pet peeve of mine. I know it doesn't bother others. But I won't read books where the plot impetus is Getting Her Pregnant. (As if that's the only thing a woman is capable of doing.)

Lasers N Loincloths: I like world building to make sense. If you have FTL starships then you're not going to have your characters living in castles with no plumbing. Yes, I realize technology varies on our own planet and IT SHOULD on any fictitious worlds. But the people who build starships will also have mastered indoor plumbing. An appropriate clothing. And they'll have weapons commensurate with that technology.

More On World Building: know the difference between a galaxy, a universe and a star system. Know everyone in the universe doesn't speak English (or whatever) but an advanced civilization engaged in interstellar commerce may well have a "universal tongue" (just as English is the official language of pilots on this planet). And there may be language varients (ie: Continental Portuguese and Brazilian Portuguese) depending on where colonists originated from. Habitable planets will have varied weather patterns. There will be different religions, cultural mores, beliefs, cuisines... you name it. Look at our planet as a template.

"Oh, GrzjhrtZzzuuy!" shouted Zyhlax Zyhlarax as she swung her brzzopeiud-sword at the vpprtycellop. : Unless you're Mel Brooks doing space opera comedy, watch "invented" words and place/people names. Noted SF author Melissa Scott talks about "the strangeness budget" in her how-to, Conceiving the Heavens. When you have a page of invented, unpronouncable, bizarre almost comical words, you lose the reader. The story becomes cartoonish. Scott says ONE invented word per page. I say, watch the dang consonants. ;-)


message 7: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments I don't think I've ever not finished a book. I always force myself to slog through to its conclusion. I'll just hate it and evicerate it afterwards. :)

Everyone has made some valid points, so I won't reiterate what's already been said. I will add that I HATE WIMPY HEROINES!!! I hate when all the chick does is whine and cry and wait to be rescued. We all lose it. We all cry on occasion. But when the main character is constantly bursting into tears at the slightest provocation, I want to slap the author. Women are not weak, fragile little flowers who need a man to rescue us all the time. Sometimes we're strong and can take care of ourselves. I'm not saying the heroine should never be rescued, but she should at least put up some kind of fight; even if she fails.

I also hate when it takes too long for anything significant to happen. I know that a good plot requires set up, but there should be some kind of action or catalyst fairly early on. Don't make me want to scream, "OH GET ON WITH IT ALREADY!!!" I need some kind of action in my books, otherwise I get bored. Bored is bad.

message 8: by Pamela, Moderatrix (last edited Feb 23, 2008 10:59AM) (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
"Oh, GrzjhrtZzzuuy!" shouted Zyhlax Zyhlarax as she swung her brzzopeiud-sword at the vpprtycellop. : Unless you're Mel Brooks doing space opera comedy, watch "invented" words and place/people names. Noted SF author Melissa Scott talks about "the strangeness budget" in her how-to, Conceiving the Heavens. When you have a page of invented, unpronouncable, bizarre almost comical words, you lose the reader. The story becomes cartoonish. Scott says ONE invented word per page. I say, watch the dang consonants. ;-)

Oh my god, how could I have forgotten this one? That drives me NUTS. Like you said, there's a saturation point for made up words, and there's also a level of explanation that the author NEEDS to include, otherwise the reader is going to be left wondering what the frak a "ornothoropod" is, and why the hell the author didn't just say "bear," or whatever.

I can't stand the random use of apostrophes in names. Sometimes the author makes up a consonant-heavy word and sticks an apostrophe in to make it exotic or futuristic (Hth'nradh, Gn'dadtha; I feel like I should be invoking C'thulhu or something), but I particularly hate it when the author takes a familiar name and tries to make it unique by adding an apostrophe and tacking on a couple of extra letters. J'honn is still John and Mh'aryy is just Mary, dammit.

Of course, this brings up a valid problem in worldbuilding. It is difficult to come up with names for people and places and things in an entirely fabricated universe. As a writer, do you cannibalize names from Earth cultures (like I often do, hehe) or do you branch out and try banging on the keyboard to see if you get something cool?

(Can you all tell that I've got a paper to write today? Ah, sweet, sweet procrastination.)

message 9: by Linnea (new)

Linnea (linneasinclair) | 96 comments Names: I use 20,001 Names For Baby (when I bought the book years back, a lady in line behind me burbled, "Oh, are you going to have a baby?" and I burbled back, "No, I'm going to have a novel.") I also use a couple of websites that list names, derivations of names and meanings of names.

For the most part, I use lesser known names for my characters. I generally don't invent them. Chasidah is a Hebrew name. I wanted a 'nickname' that had a strong, almost masculine sound: Chaz. I started with Chaz, opened the book, found Chasidah. (female protag in GABRIEL'S GHOST). Chaz's counterpart is Gabriel Ross "Sully" Sullivan. Now, this isn't an Earth/Terran based novel but I do obliquely reference a class Chaz took years back, "Literate of the Ancient Home Worlds" so it's very dimly inferred ;-) that where Chaz and Sully are now may have been colonized by people from our star system. ;-) Other humanoid character names in the book are Dorsie, Marsh and Philip. No Grzzypftyezhhgs. ;-)

In GABRIEL'S I also have aliens, like Takans and Stolorths. Ren is an alien character, as is Verno. Grevarg. All pronouncable names but odd-sounding enough (to me, anyway).

In THE DOWN HOME ZOMBIE BLUES I had a Floridian cop, Theo Petrakos, and an alien female protagonist, Jorie Mikkalah. Again, I try to stick with things people can pronounce. Now, understand I grew up outside NY City. I grew up ethnic. So surnames like Ravaschiere, Garippo, Antonides, Fiorentini and Rothfaus don't throw me. (When my grandparents came from Poland in the early 1900s, their surname was Szewczwyk.) I love ethnic names. But I realize my readers may have some issues with that. ;-) Which is why Theo Petrakos was Theo Petrakos.


message 10: by Jan (last edited Feb 23, 2008 07:51PM) (new)

Jan (jan1228) I basically agree with what everyone's said so far. And here's my take on the more noteable ones.

On The Discriminating Fangirl's deal-breakers:

1 Loads of historical inaccuracies.
If the story is enjoyable and the characters have depth, I can pretty much hold a blind eye and taste of a giant salt-lick to get me through the book

2 That Certain Type Of Heroine. We all have this type of heroine, the one that will make you throw the book against the wall.

Oh yes! For pity sake save me from the Mary Sues' of the PNR ilk.
Then there's the mirror opposite. The one's that whine about life and everything. "Oh pity me because_______." (You fill in the blank)

3 Purple Prose.
If it's suppose to be a serious sex/love scene than yes – I'll run screaming for the hills. If on the other hand the book is written in a humorous vein, than I'll bite my lip and endure it.

On Laura's deal-breakers:

4 Novels that build intense sexual tension and give you no relief. No relief also means closing the bedroom door when they finally get there. Don't do that to me (grin)!!!

Case in point, the last book I read Dead Perfect by Amanda Ashley. She kept building sexual tension and then dropped it like a hot potato between the hero and heroine though out the whole frigg'in book until the last two chapters!
As did the closing the door and fade to black scene at the end of Iron Kissed by Patricia Briggs.That really irked me to no end.


The one thing that's really on the top of the list of "That drives me crazy" is....
An author that basically tosses the characters all together, all at once, without any planning or thought. Kind of like tossing vegetables together in water calling it soup and hoping for a palatable outcome.

message 11: by Shannon (new)

Shannon  (giraffe_days) I agree with all the above - and got a good chuckle out of it too!

One of the reasons why unrelieved sexual tension is not just annoying for me but aggravating on another level: being intimate as in sex opens up a whole new level to a relationship, and the chaste-until-the-happily-ever-after-ending is not only ridiculous but I think unrealistic too. A relationship isn't in the getting-it-together stage, it's in the "together" stage. And I'm not going to believe in a couple, that they're right for each other etc., until that happens. I don't even need a graphic description. Just let me know it happens!

Ok, one of my big pet peeves:
Lengthy (or even short) tangents of introspection during sex. One or both of the characters start thinking about themselves, their nature, their ugly past, their hopes blah blah blah. There's a time and a place to understand the characters and this is not it. Very disrupting, and a bit like a bucket of cold water thrown over you. Which is, of course, a sex-killer.

On character names, my sister gave me this great book - which is fun to read as well a good reference book - called The Writer's Digest Character Naming Sourcebook (oh my! I've only just realised who the author is! The last time I went through this book, I had no idea who Sherrilyn Kenyon was! How funny!). I especially love the bits by other authors, talking about why they chose the names they did. It has lists of names from all over the world too.

message 12: by Tina (new)

Tina I have a laundry list of "issues" with romance novels. But for PNRs I just have a few that a real deal breakers for me:

1) Cheating. Not traditional infidelity but when an author has gone to the trouble of building a set of rules and laws in her paranormal world and then in book seven or eight she basically reneges. I know that some would argue that this is the author's world and she can do whatever she wants, but I would argue that she painstakingly created a world and a set of natural laws for her world that she's been busy explaining and enforcing for several books and she ought to continue to make her own laws work. We're already suspending disbelief to read the work, now we're being asked to suspend just a bit more. I can take logical organic changes, I just don't like clumsy attempts to switch gears in order to accommodate some plot point or jazzy new character.

2) Vampires. I know, I know. But really, I am getting a little tired of reading about vampires. I would think that Paranormal would have branched out and included a lot more than just vamps. But people seem to be stuck. If I pick up a new author and see that she's writing about vamps I am likely to put her back down. I really want more. I liked Richelle Mead's Succubus On Top because, while she did include vamps, they were very minor characters. Angels and Demons were her big ones and it is quite refreshing. And even though Lynn Viehl writes about vamps in her Darkyn novels, I like her incorporation of the Catholic church in there. Their persecution by the church grounds her series in reality a bit and seems a fresher take on Vampires.

3)Diversity. This is actually an issue I have with the larger romance genre. But in PNRs that take place usually in large urban areas it is glaring that there is sometimes a singular lack of diversity even amongst the most distant supporting characters.


4)That Type of Heroine. Yes. I must agree with TDF, the Anita/Buffy/Mary Sue hybrid that is too beautiful for words and too tough to be true and has the perfect response for every situation is so annoying. Just one book with that person can put off an author. Tabitha in Kenyon's Seize The Night was just That Type.

message 13: by Helen (new)

Helen Taylor (helenscotttaylor) I agree with most of the other comments. The infallible heroine is annoying, although I haven't tossed a book because of one. I also find the infallible hero just as annoying. I like to see both main characters make mistakes, doubt themselves, get scared--behave in a way I can identify with.

Totally with you on the made up names and words. I love fantasy and sci fi romance, but have a low tolerance threshold for made up words, especially names full of apostrophes.

I'll toss a book if the dialogue is some weird dialect, either real or invented, full of abbreviated words and apostrophes. I'm happy to read dialogue where the dialect effect is achieved by the rhythm of the language.

In historicals, I usually laugh off anachronisms unless there are too many. One I've seen in a couple of Regency Romances is where characters travel a few blocks in London, LOL. London is not arranged in blocks. We Brits don't use this term now and certainly didn't in Regency England.

message 14: by Theresa (new)

Theresa  (tsorrels) My deal-breakers are very similar to everyone else, but I've added a couple:

1) Aside from the infallible heroine (Anita Blake), the wimpy heroine drives me crazy. Always sitting around on their duff waiting for their man to rescue them... SHUT UP AND DO SOMETHING! Argh!

2) Repeated phrases or endearments. The biggest offender that I've read recently is "Hell's Belles" by Jackie Kessler. The heroine continually used the word "sweetie". There are so many other options for terms of affection - why stick to just that one?

3) Spelling errors (Anita Blake, again). I can get past one here or there, but when it appears that nobody bothered to push Spell-Check, it distracts me from the story.

4) Too much talking during sex (Anita Blake, AGAIN!). Need I elaborate? :)

message 15: by Cassandra (last edited Feb 26, 2008 09:46AM) (new)

Cassandra | 49 comments I've tossed three books in the past month because I just could not slog through them. The first I made it through the first chapter, but it was just boring and I didn't like the main character. I made it through the first two chapters of absolute boredom in the next book, but only because I was really, really trying to like it (my husband picked it out for me because it had a funny title). I finally skipped to the end to see if it got better, and found it became absolutely ludicrous. The third was so disjointed I think the main character must have been having a breakdown or something (or the writing was just that bad) and she was not likable enough for me to want to go through it with her.

So: boredom, bad writing, and unlikeable characters kill a book for me.

Interestingly enough, the last book I finished was written in present tense (hate it!) and had a main character that I did not like as a human being, yet the world and writing were interesting enough that I plan to read the next one.

message 16: by Melani D (new)

Melani D I am so easy when it comes to books. The main things that will get me to quit reading a book are if it just moves agonizingly slow or bad writing. Other than that, I'm easy. I'm a lazy reader. I want to be entertained, not necessarily challenged.

message 17: by Aya (new)

Aya | 5 comments No passion. I mean you can have sex scenes...but if it is not filled with intense is BLAH to me. I love foreplay and I love when a man basically worships a woman's body. THAT IS SO HOT TO ME! When the two characters just can not get enough of each other. Sometimes I read a book and it is wham bam thank you ma'am. And I am thinking 'that is it.' Suddenly the book gets tossed across the room. LOL!

message 18: by new_user (last edited Jul 29, 2008 01:42PM) (new)

new_user | 1389 comments I agree with a lot of the above, with the addition of a few things...

1) Rude heroines. They're just unlikeable. How can I root for them?

2) Overapologetic heroes. Stepping all over him, not cool.

3) The umpteenth historical woman who's a rebel in "trousers" or swinging a sword in the middle ages. Is there no other way to identify a woman as unique or strong (because apparently trousers and swords are the definition of)?

4) Too stupid to live heroines. I think someone mentioned that. I guess it's interchangeable with the stubborn heroine who fights when something else will serve her better. Not able to think through situations clearly, not particularly admirable.

5) Anachronisms in writing/dialogue. A Victorian novel or some such with a character thinking, "He is so fine." Ugh.

3)Flowery prose during sex scenes, basically just describing the traditional mechanics in a pleasant way. Yeah, that's hot. May as well have skipped the scene altogether. Because apparently it was never dirty back in the day. lol

Actually, I'd like to see other creatures too besides vampires, or at least vampires based on a new premise and more unique worlds. I always appreciate when an author has put a lot of thought into building (well) a whole new culture for their book.

message 19: by Readingallnight (new)

Readingallnight | 1 comments Mostly what kills a book for me would have to be when the author goes on and on about how fat, skinny, beautiful, ugly, miserable, etc their character is. Drives me up the wall.

message 20: by Gbina (new)

Gbina | 16 comments Lame dialogue and transparent foreshadowing. Makes me feel like I am six years old and Mommy is holding my hand and reassuring me as we navigate the dangerous isles of Walmart.

message 21: by Tricia (new)

Tricia | 39 comments My biggest book killer is repeated phrases throughout the series. Like Christine Feehans "Molten Gold." That drives me absolutely batty!

message 22: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Lol, that can get annoying, I agree. They should vary their wording. That's like English 101, but I can see how it's difficult to keep track of after writing so much.

message 23: by Claire (new)

Claire (clairecho22) | 4 comments One thing I can't stand is starting reading a book, and knowing exactly what's gonna happen...not like the Holmes books or Stephany Meyer style, but the kind:

I entered the house, as i crept up the stairs, the stairs started squeeking, bla bla bla, i entered the room at the top of the stairs. It was dark...and i see my friend hanging from the ceiling...bla bla bla... UGH!!!

message 24: by Amie (new)

Amie (amiestuart) | 44 comments Linnea loved your worldbuilding class!

I have to say that being beaten over the head with anything annoys the daylights out of me be it conflict or description.

message 25: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessartisan) | 26 comments I don't like to let a book go unfinished, so I guess am pretty forgiving by necessity.

I can handle a crap plot as long as the characters are believable - for me, the main thing that makes them so is dialog. Bad dialog = unhappy me.

message 26: by Annette (new)

Annette | 23 comments I'm debating putting down TWILIGHT -and the deal breaker for me is I'm on pg 300 and OMG nothing has happened--go to school -go home --no bite -- one lame a### kiss -- absolutely no action at all. Bella is supossedly maddly in love with this guy/vampire and he-her
and yet there isn't even a little nimble. And no fighting no wars. Just doesn't seem very vampirey to me.
sorry think this isn't my style give me a fight or a love scene PLEASE!
Another deal breaker I don't normally read vampire hunters--like to be sexy cool guys not bad guys.
although jeanne frost did a knock job

message 27: by Melissa (new)

Melissa There will be a fight scene in Twilight. There won't be much smooching though! It's definitely a "clean" YA series.

message 28: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer (jen421) | 201 comments I think that the lack of kissing etc makes it more believable. Hello?? He's a vampire!! One shouldn't fall in love with one's food source. Can you imagine falling in love with a cow, while really wanting to turn it into steaks? That's kind of what Edward is dealing with. The fact that he wants to drink her, and that its very difficult for him to be around her makes it more realistic for me.

message 29: by Amie (new)

Amie (amiestuart) | 44 comments Annette,

I couldn't finish it either, but it was the adverbs that killed it for me. =(

And if I can be so bold as to plug another vamp series I HIGHLY recommend the PC and Kristin Cast House of the Night series. Action, kissing, sex, mayhem LOL and great worldbuilding.

message 30: by Annette (last edited Aug 06, 2008 03:44PM) (new)

Annette | 23 comments don't know that series--give me an exact name-as i'm having a very blonde momment. (my teenage sons would love to point that one out) I also (Sorry) don't care for vampire hunters- I want my vamps to be a hero (of a sort-) i also really luv shapeshifters and werewolfs and I am really finding those hard to find in the romance genre ...

message 31: by Melissa (new)

Melissa I hear you on the vampire hunter thing. There are a few series out there though that I put up with because it's not all "vamps bad, me slayer."

I don't like the books where the vamp wants to quit being a vampire. I didn't like that about the Moonlight tv show either. He worked it out though. I think it was Shannon Drake that I read where the main character was the one to give the vampire his mortality back. I was pissed at the end of that book! Live forever, being strong and beautiful or get old and ugly and die. Tough choice?

message 32: by Amie (new)

Amie (amiestuart) | 44 comments vamp hunters but this is YA though I wouldn't let my 12 yo read it :)

MARKED is the first book.
Betrayed is the second.
Chosen is the third
and I think Untamed is the fourth (comes out next month).

This is the recap/review from on the first book.

In 16-year-old Zoey Redbird's world, vampyres not only exist but are also tolerated by humans. Those whom the creatures "mark" as special enter the House of Night school where they will either become vampyres themselves, or, if their body rejects the change, die. To Zoey, being marked is truly a blessing, though she's scared at first. She has never fit into the human world and has always felt she is destined for something else. Her grandmother, a descendant of the Cherokee, has always supported her emotionally, and it is she who takes the girl to her new school. But even there the teen stands apart from the others. Her mark from the Goddess Nyx is a special one, showing that her powers are very strong for one so young. At the House of Night, Zoey finds true friendship, loyalty, and romance as well as mistrust and deception. She realizes that all is not right in the vampyre world and that the problems she thought she left behind exist there as well. Readers will identify with many of the characters, especially the protagonist. The story moves quickly (a little too quickly at the end) and purposely leaves many unresolved issues. A good choice for those libraries serving fans of the occult, but be aware that the book contains some suggestive language and sex.

message 33: by Annette (last edited Aug 07, 2008 11:49AM) (new)

Annette | 23 comments Another of my pet peeves(sp) and I think I'm probably the only person I know with this problem I JUST CAN'T READ SERIES books whose main character doesn't move on. In other words(for ex) While Elijah was the main character in book one-- I want his story complete-- and a secondary--say Jacob--in book two with Elijah as secondary.
My ADHD will not let me focus on one person that long --it's why I GAVE UP on stephanie plum..and might be another reason why I DROPPED bella--I'm think she's gonna be the character that never decidees about her man either.--or gets her act together be it alive or undead. It doesn't mean this books aren't good it just means I can't read them. And if I spot a recurring character book a drop it.

message 34: by Annette (last edited Aug 07, 2008 11:53AM) (new)

Annette | 23 comments Melissa

not a jr ward or lara adrian fan ???... most of the vamps books i've read have made the bite out to be very sexy- and those books and a few others make THEIR food source the mate and join into an exclusive blood bond the by the books end.. may sound yuky from my lame words but lordy is it a goodread.. just reread the crimson series because i was so disapointed in the latest reads an darn that DANTE is one HOT VAMP!

message 35: by Annette (new)

Annette | 23 comments Amie
I'll check it out although I'm thinking I'm not cut out for YA? Twilight may be last hurrah--think I need more bang.

message 36: by Melissa (new)

Melissa Sadly (?) I own the JR Ward and the Lara Adrian books but have not read them yet. I REALLY need to pick up the books off of my bookshelf instead of the shelves at the library! I bought those series because of everyone's recommendations on this website. Guess I need to get to them!

message 37: by Kate (new)

Kate (katespofford) Jess--I'm pretty forgiving too, the only books I can remember completely giving up on were usually books forced on me in college that I tried to read and just couldn't understand (Catch-22 was one of them... but I can't even tell you how many books I've read that I finished and can't remember anything about them!). I remember trying really hard to read The Yearling when I was a kid and I could never get into it.

What would make me dislike/hate a book usually has to do with character or plot or poor writing. I just finished with Wounded by Stephen Cole (book 1 in the Wereling series) and I was really hoping to like it, but every single character other than the main couple were all cardboard characters who kept changing and turning evil. Another one I read recently, Evernight by Claudia Gray, really almost lost me in the middle (hello unreliable narrator!), but the characterization of the other characters, the setting, and the plot of the second half of the book saved it. I read the whole stupid Maximum Ride series as well as When the Wind Blows just because of a unique idea/plot. The writing was really terrible and the characterization was pretty bad too. I have The Lake House sitting at home and I have no desire to read it after The Final Warning...

message 38: by Jess (new)

Jess (jessartisan) | 26 comments Katie, you said, "I can't even tell you how many books I've read that I finished and can't remember anything about them!"

I can so relate! I'm always amazed at people who read a book and remember every nuance and detail when I'm likely to forget what it was about shortly after I finish. Several times I have gotten a third of the way (or more) through a book only to realize I've already read it. :D

message 39: by Annette (new)

Annette | 23 comments Melissa
Pick up the Lara Adrian's series first. She's my favorite.

Jael ~ *~ Syhren ~* ~ (wwwgoodreadscomprofilejael) I didn't think I had anything to add to this thread. But I recently read a book and was pissed because the bac of the books blurb did not fit the book at all. I kept reading and flipping to the blurb like HUH? It really took me out of the story. I guess thaat's the point of the blurb(to get you excited enough to read it) but it should atleast match the story.

message 41: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Lol, when the same descriptor is used again and again. I think in Lord of the Fading Lands the author consistently describes one of the secondary characters as the blue-eyed one with the cheerful smile, again and again, as if to drill it in.

message 42: by Shirley (new)

Shirley (discipleshirley) | 27 comments I don't like porn for erotica, erotic is sensual, mind bending, up lifting, Porn is put x into 0! That kills it for me a book of nothing but porn If I want porn I will buy porn.......

message 43: by Erin (new)

Erin Quinn (erin_quinn) | 45 comments I agree with you Shirley--there's a fine line between porn and erotica--not to say they both don't have a place and both have their merits. I like to feel the emotion that goes with the body parts. Have you ever read Sylvia Day? She does a great job of writing hot books that also have a story and an emotional love story. I'm a big fan.

What I hate? When there are so many body parts listed, both by graphic name and by purple prose, that I have to stop and mentally work out what position they'd have to be in to be doing what they are doing? Upside down, hanging by one toe, 12 foot long tongue, combat vest binding them together.....

message 44: by Beth (new)

Beth LOL @ Erin!!!!

I'm at work and just snorted!!!

message 45: by Lori (new)

Lori  (moderatrixlori) Erin, you are so right. I love Kressley Cole's books but there was a scene in one of them where the couple was sitting in a booth in a restaraunt, accross from each other, and he's fondling her under the table. Huh??? Does he have 4 foot arms? I just couldn't figure out how that could possibly be accomplished.

It would sure be fun to research those scenes though

message 46: by Mary (last edited Sep 04, 2008 06:04PM) (new)

Mary (booookgeeeek) | 4 comments I love this string. You guys are all so smart and observant. I found myself reading the posts and nodding my head repeatedly at what was pointed out as pet peeves (I also laughed out loud at the contortionist sex scene descriptors).

I usually don't put down books. I may shelve them and read them later, or read a bit until I get another book and then read a bit more once I am done with the better book. Generally, I know that if I have to talk myself into finishing it, it has to be pretty bad. There have been 2 in the last 2 months that I had to force myself to finish.

One had terrible plot development (Under your spell by Lois Greiman). I had to go back and re-read a lot of passages because the author would interject a plot twist that came out of nowhere and I would be completely lost. It felt like reading a book with pages missing (they weren't missing...I actually checked). At the end of the book the author had set it up for a series and I didn't even care.

The other was so dry and slow in building the action that it was hard to get into (Distant Magic by Mary Jo Putney). The book felt like a personal the author read something about the evils of slavery and decided to write a romance novel around the concept. The message was clear...slavery is bad (duh), but the story was very very secondary and that made it weak.

I also HATE TSTL characters, spineless heroines and purple prose (I don't want to see the words "turgid", "throbbing","sheath" or "dewey" in a sex scene). I agree with erotic over pornographic (hot sex scenes are great but I shouldn't feel like I need to disinfect after reading them).

message 47: by Erin (new)

Erin Quinn (erin_quinn) | 45 comments Kristina and Mary--I should know better than to read this stuff before my second cup of java. Just snorted hot coffee.

I am 100% with you on the public fondling AND the dirty hands--I hate those scenes that don't pass the "Would She Really...." test. You know, when the heroine goes into the basement to investigate a sound even though every person she's ever known has been slain in the very same house and then she says... Hello? Who's there? Oh, just a mass murderer with a 12 foot tongue, a turgid organ and dirty hands. Mind if I grope your sweet love button before I cut out your heart?

I also have an issue with the rest of them being unclean. I know historically baths weren't considered an essential part of everyday life, but I still can't get my modern brain around it. And then when they get oral... I can't help the "yuck, take a bath first" that I always want to shout. At least put them in a river or SOMETHING first!

message 48: by Pamela, Moderatrix (new)

Pamela (foxglovewitch) | 614 comments Mod
Kristina, I'm totally with you on the icky hands thing, but you've brought up another thing that bugs me. I hate it when the main characters are escaping from something, and they stop to get it on.

Oil rig about to sink? What a great time to have sex! I read a book last year where the heroine is being tracked by these evil demon things, and the vampire hero takes her to his lair. Now, evil demons. On their trail. So what do they do? Bump uglies, of course, because it's not like they have to, you know, get away from the demons. Sheesh! I don't think that's too much Earth Logic to inject into a romance. Wait until you know you're safe before you get naked, people!

message 49: by new_user (new)

new_user | 1389 comments Well, you know what they say about times of danger... lol. ;)

message 50: by Rye-Rye (new)

Rye-Rye | 2 comments ~Hi everyone, this is my first time to goodreads! I am an avid romance reader, the daughter of a romance writer. I have been reading now romances for a couple years now, but before you couldn't get me to pick up a book with out some groan or two!! I just feel that it is time to give back to authors I read!

Ok I came here to blog about what kills a romance so here it goes:
My #1 read-killer is a helpless heroine. I like the powerful, strong, leader women. Yes there has to be a balance between being over the top go-getter and prissy heroin. I also think that part of the struggle that keeps a reader wanting more is the conflict that a stubborn or willful women cant take a hint, but again thats also something that has to be balanced.
#2: I can take a historical inaccuracy and go with it, as long as the author writes consistently and well. If the plot is interesting I'm gonna get sucked in!
~talking about consistency, when an author jumps around or says one thing and then says another. It bugs me more or less.
#3: I love me a good sex scene! Who doesn't? I agree if an author builds you but doesn't give you the goods. I will stop and not go further. I am one of the types that usually always finishes a book no matter what. The words should be free flowing, natural, what the character would say. Not something that makes you think "who says that" I like raw, and domineering. It needs juice, and heart!
#4: Description, I like to be able to picture it in my head when I read, so saying that it should also flow. To much or to little makes the book go slow

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