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Book Chat > What's the biggest turn-off when you're reading a book?

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message 1: by Aiden (The Book Scourge) (last edited Oct 07, 2017 10:43PM) (new)

Aiden (The Book Scourge) | 141 comments I would say the biggest turn offs when I'm reading a book are; Cliffhanger endings. They don't piss me off, but they're annoying as hell. Couldn't the author conclude the d*mn book before they even think to start the sequel? Its like if you're watching a movie, it stops mid-way through and you have to pay $19.99 just to watch the rest of the movie, IT SUCKS. No matter how good the book is, if it ends on a cliffhanger, it never gets 5 stars from me.

The other turn off is if an author happens to share their lovely political or cause-related opinions. This one kinda speaks for itself.


message 2: by Auntie Terror (new)

Auntie Terror (auntie_terror) | 41 comments I don't mind cliffhangers if they are done well and "make sense" in view to the plotline. Although, for a first-ever publication, it's ambitious.

My biggest turn-offs are annoying main characters (which you usually don't get rid of) and a badly-chosen match of tone of narrative and content of narrative. Also, I get annoyed by authors who try to convince the reader that their character is a tough guy by using absurd amounts of swearwords instead of showing them to be so. It's boring, not convincing.


message 3: by Sha (new)

Sha 1. Character who is there only to be a love interest and has no other bearing on the plot.

2. Protagonist centric morality. Includes a special but prosecuted "smart" protagonist surrounded by people who are always wrong.

3. Excessive purple prose. If you have moved from expressiveness to "huh wtf" it's time to give it a rest.

4. Character opinions and moralities constantly shifting from X to Y to Z back to X for no reason. Consistency, people!

5. Gratuitous and lingering rape scenes.


message 4: by [deleted user] (new)

Klisjes done bad.(Meg Cabot do them well but unfortunately not everyone does)
Predictability with bad boring characters(if the characters are interesting if its interesting or not is not important.. but if they are bad..ehh)


message 5: by Andreas (new)

Andreas Aristodemou (andreasaristodemou) | 92 comments Unnecessary love triangles and cliffhangers done bad... I'm reading a book right now and one of the main characters disappeared last year and reappeared now and it's like the whole book was built on his disappearance but when we found out the reason he left it was such a turn off


⭐Anni⭐ (Book Princess) (annithebookprincess) | 619 comments Oh I agree, when a character only appears apparently out of nowhere just to be a love interest to complete a love triangle - it just makes me roll my eyes! Or when there are chapters only consisting of endless descriptions that add nothing to the plot!


message 7: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 111 comments i agree that cliffhangers are not my favorite, mostly because it seems like it's something that authors of bad books do to try to make you buy more of them. like, i already wasn't really enjoying the book and then you cliffhangered it to try to make me buy the 2nd one? nope.

other than that i have a lot of things that will turn me off a book just from the summary / before i even start it. if it's a mystery-thriller book where the summary starts with how all these ~pretty young girls~ are being ~brutally murdered~ and the ~hard-boiled detective dude~ just has to figure it out, anything that seems like it's going to have gratuitous rape in it, anything that seems like a love triangle or where the romance is going to overshadow what i consider the 'actual plot', and any story with a male protagonist that starts 'after the tragic murder of his wife and children'. oh and most things where the character is the one true chosen one, generally foretold in some kind of prophecy, has to save the entire world for some under-explained reason. basically just anything that's been done to death before. i read a lot so i try to pick things that sound different and then even if they're not very good at least it's got a new angle or something rather than just reading literally the same book over and over.


message 8: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany PSquared (tiffanypsquared) | 14 comments One of my biggest turn-offs is when the antagonist delivers a lengthy, explanatory monolog explaining his motive and execution of whatever crime he has committed. It reminds me of bad old movies.
No true "bad guy" would actually do this. I don't want the method and motive delivered to me on a silver tray like this. It's annoying and lazy.


CrazyAsACupcake When the villain is really one sided. I hate when you can tell from the beginning of the novel that the villain is going to be the villain. I prefer it when the villain starts off nice but then develops into a terrible vile person, I want to see the progression of them. Or, if they are going to be completely evil the entire way through, give a reason as to why. Don't just make them an unlikeable person.

The best villain is someone we feel sorry for, then hate ourselves for feeling sorry for them.


message 10: by Grace (new)

Grace The strong female characters that in reality are just horrible horrible people but are labeled as strong female characters because they "kick butt". If you are nasty, selfish, mean, and completely full of yourself you aren't a strong female character to me and shouldn't be referred to as one....

*cough* celaena sardothian *cough*


message 11: by CrazyAsACupcake (new)

CrazyAsACupcake I also hate when I read a book that has a supposed "strong female character", but she isn't strong at all, she's weak and needs the main guy to save her all the time. And in contemporary books, why does every main female character have to be full of anxiety? It gets boring - and that's coming from a person who suffers from anxiety. My anxiety doesn't stop me (much), so why should it be this defining characteristic in every single book, and why does she need a guy to help her conquer it.

And as soon as she meets him her anxiety disappears? It's not realistic. Either she doesn't have it or she has it, you can't have both.

As I said before I have anxiety and I'm perfectly badass (I do MMA, archery and I throw knives). If they're the main character, make them an anxiety ridden badass! Don't make them an anxiety ridden female who wallows in self-pity and has to hide behind the main (always badass, never a single flaw) male when it's supposed to be her story!


message 12: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 111 comments @CrazyAsACupcake - SAME! I also hate when she's supposed to be a ~strong female character~ but then she's literally the only woman in the books because she's Just Like One of the Guys and has no female friends or whatever. Ugh.


message 13: by Muriel (new)

Muriel (muriellara) Romance that comes out of nowhere an predictable plotlines. Also cliche phrases and metaphores (heart beats so loud that she/he thought the other person must hear it)


message 14: by Hanna (new)

Hanna The biggest turn-off is Old-English/hard-to-read writing.

The second worst thing is swearing. It's very easy to leave that out, yet, people seem to think it's necessary.


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ (sunnysbooks) | 45 comments Cliche romance lines. I hate them so much. There are soooo many different ways to say the same things. Use them!!!


message 16: by Sophie (last edited Oct 10, 2017 09:14AM) (new)

Sophie (romeowyn) | 44 comments Characters that are not people but only wooden things (= lifeless dialogues, no impact of character's personalities on the plot, etc). Predictable and overly used "plot twists". Bad, heavy writing. If your writing skills are not that great, stick to a simple style.


message 17: by L.C. (last edited Oct 09, 2017 11:40AM) (new)

L.C. Perry | 120 comments Basically, a lot of these clichés are becoming a turn off for me. That's why I try to avoid them in my own books like Gold Shadow.
One cliché that drives me CRAZY though is the fact that a major female character and a major male character can't just be friends. I tend to read books with female protagonists and whenever there are male characters with almost just as much presence as her, they have to form a romance or there has to be a love triangle if there's more than one of them. Like, why can't she have a male childhood friend who REMAINS a friend while she embarks on a relationship with another guy? Or the fact that the female can be friends with a male BUT the male or female has to be involved with someone else.
It sends the message that a guy and a girl can't be friends without looking at each other in a romantic way at least once. It's completely unrealistic.
And don't get me wrong, I love romance. But I just wish there were more male and female side characters that weren't romantically involved just to make the plot more complicated...


message 18: by Valerie (new)

Valerie Jaye (valeriejaye) | 170 comments I absolutely despise love triangles and insta-love.

The "kickass heroine" who isn't really kickass and is always looking for the help of the male love interest.

Writing that doesn't have emotion and doesn't make me feel anything for the characters.

Constant mentions of a guy's hotness.

Characters that act irrationally just for the sake of the plot.

Plot-driven books instead of character-driven. They always feel forced and fake.


message 19: by Ashley Marie (new)

Ashley Marie Spelling and grammatical errors. Don't editors exist for a reason?


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ (sunnysbooks) | 45 comments This is a common trope in New Adult that I absolutely hate. But for some reason, female New Adult authors think that when they create a love triangle, they need to make one guy look bad to get people to fall for the other love interest more.

Same thing with a man and two woman. They need to make the other woman a slutty bitch to make the female protagonist look better. It pisses me off. Those female authors try to create a “feminist” but then continue to slut shame. I mean like why you gotta do that lol?

If you need make a character look bad to make the other character look better, then you’re an author that’s just taking the easy way out instead of actually working hard to create character development.

Have any of you seen this scenario a lot? Or is it just me?


message 21: by L.C. (new)

L.C. Perry | 120 comments Belle's Book Reviews wrote: "This is a common trope in New Adult that I absolutely hate. But for some reason, female New Adult authors think that when they create a love triangle, they need to make one guy look bad to get peop..."

I think I've seen that a few times. I agree, it's messed up. Usually I see it where the rival for the love interest is also a really mean person and there's no development beyond that.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

L.C. wrote: "Basically, a lot of these clichés are becoming a turn off for me. That's why I try to avoid them in my own books like Gold Shadow.
One cliché that drives me CRAZY though is the fac..."


YES!! 200 % agree! More friendships that are AND stay platonic.


message 23: by Sana (new)

Sana | 4 comments first person pov in ya. sometimes it's ok but like most of the time it's just annoying


Sunny ✨wordslikefury✨ (sunnysbooks) | 45 comments Andrew wrote: "How a lot of YA heroines are described as "not like other girls", and that they're "not mundane but actually extraordinary". I don't mind unique characters but when those two sayings are repeated o..."

Yes I know what you mean! And the thing is, those girls who are “not like other girls” and ALWAYS the same as those girls from different books.

I only believe that statement when it’s not explicitly said in the book but SHOWN! Show me how they’re different...don’t tell me!


message 25: by Melliott (new)

Melliott (goodreadscommelliott) | 419 comments Horrible world-building. There's nothing I hate more than sloppiness when it comes to an author's concept for his or her background context. Especially if they then just make it up as they go along, to enable their characters to do whatever they want to do. Authors! Get a firm idea in mind of the entire world, think through all the permutations and anomalies, and write your book with that in mind!


message 26: by Russty (new)

Russty Ashley *Hufflepuff Kitten* wrote: "Spelling and grammatical errors. Don't editors exist for a reason?"

That, and flat out inconsistencies... One one page the character has 2 Glocks and on the next, he shoots the "bad guys" with a Glock and a Colt. Especially, when the protagonist is a super-duper black ops hero that escapes death every third page, and the author is a consistent NYTBS in the thriller / spy / counter-espionage genre.

The detailed descriptions to wardrobe, especially when it has no bearing on the plot, just merely a space filler... If it's a mood setter, or will show relevance in a couple of pages, tell me about the boots, camisoles, and pants(unless they're sagging; in that case, well, I subscribe to the General Larry Flynt(he of the 13 minutes of American Idol fame) school of thought on that matter: "Pants on the ground, pants on the ground... Lookin' like a fool with yo pants on the ground"!!!

Oh, and repeated references to smoking(not so much these days) or the persistent and ever present preparation and refilling of coffee cups... Not only because I hate coffee, but how about something else to fill the space...


message 27: by lucie (new)

lucie (arey) When a book ends with an prologue xx years later and the woman gets pregnant or the man propose to her

it's a one star down for me then


message 28: by Julia (new)

Julia (julia-labibliotecaria) | 9 comments Unless they are amazing, as in Cassandra Clare level of amazing-ness, love triangles annoy the heck out of me


message 29: by Valeria (new)

Valeria (asmilecuresanything) | 1 comments Grammar errors, need I say more?

Unnecessary love interest that has nothing to do with the plot, especially when it is a fantasy/sci-fi book. It's so cliche.


message 30: by Katherine (new)

Katherine  | 0 comments stupid cliché sayings like "oh the rumors of your beauty were true" shut the fuck up!
or dump wanna be philosophical "dark" quotes with words like "the truth can be a sharp a knife!" like duh bitch shut up!


message 31: by Sophie (new)

Sophie (romeowyn) | 44 comments Belle's Book Reviews wrote: "This is a common trope in New Adult that I absolutely hate. But for some reason, female New Adult authors think that when they create a love triangle, they need to make one guy look bad to get peop..."
I also hate when they crate strong female characters that just end up being so perfect that it's just another way of setting toxic standards for women, especially young ones. Not one of them is not classically hot (no overweight or flat-chested badass women in books. Coincidence ? I think not...) or has a real bad temper or has, god forbid, a low libido or not the same tastes in bed as her partner.


message 32: by Katherine (new)

Katherine  | 0 comments Also going back to a point some of you made i find it very annoying when the flaws of the main character are "good"ones. Theyre too brave, too bold or too determined! Like really you couldnt come up with something better?

Thridly i hate it when the special female protgonist is a tomboy with a boy best friend to show us her specialness and separate her from other girls only to have him fall in love with her, or worse discover that he loved her all allong making him fall in line with all the other characters who for whatever reason feel the same. It just makes the story a bore and very unrealistic.


Aiden (The Book Scourge) | 141 comments Devann wrote: "i agree that cliffhangers are not my favorite, mostly because it seems like it's something that authors of bad books do to try to make you buy more of them. like, i already wasn't really enjoying t..."

Yeah. Authors should realize there are better ways to entice people to get the next book. They shouldn't force them too!

I also hate prophecies. Most heroes in literature don't go out to save the world because some stupid prophecy told them to. Heroes just do it. They know what's at stake.


Aiden (The Book Scourge) | 141 comments Tiffany wrote: "One of my biggest turn-offs is when the antagonist delivers a lengthy, explanatory monolog explaining his motive and execution of whatever crime he has committed. It reminds me of bad old movies.
N..."



This is just one reason why I hate City of Bones. Valentine tells not only his backstory to Jace and Clary, he reveals his evil plan, has time for a hearty evil laugh, then he escapes. I understand there usually is a reason why the hero doesn't kill the villain, it's because of some valuable information. I get it, but
Valentine has like zero leverage here. Clary's mother is rescued as well Jace before they confront Valentine. Not to mention, he says for Jace and Clary to sit down and he doesn't restrain them or anything. They're just sitting down while Valentine reads his memoir and escapes. That's it. They every opportunity to kill or subdue Valentine and they just don't do it.


message 35: by ~Bellegirl91~ (new)

~Bellegirl91~ (bellegirl91) | 78 comments Mainly for me it's character development and structure. For example: I had a netgalley ARC for Blood Rose Rebellion by Rosalyn Eve's and ugh! I got 35-36% on my kindle and had to make it my very first dnf like ever. You can read my review for my complaints on that book and explains more of what turns me off. ESPECIALLY with weird phrases (also a few in my review) and I felt that book had NO STRUCTURE and she was trying too hard to be like other YA authors. When people compared it to Red Queen.... Uh no. No offense but whoever her publisher was, they were too nice to tell her it's not s well thought out story, it's all random and well, again, my review says it all. Plus I need to be fangirling to enjoy a book mainly and if I'm not fangirling even a little bit, I'm not liking it. Idc how "boring" it could be and might end up 2 stars, I HAVE to be fangirling and the characters have to have good development and also have a structured story.


Cassie    'The Thinker Go Go Go Go' Mis. Roben Goodfellow'\Isabelle Lightwood (cassiecrow) | 160 comments The thing that turns me off the most from a book is when the author keeps repeating themselves over and over again. An when they wont just move on with the story already. And instead chooses to repeat the same thing every five or so pages. We get the point so move on.


message 37: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 111 comments i think the thing i hate more than anything is books with a female lead where the guy she ends up with is just a total jerk to her but ~he's so dreamy~ so that apparently makes it okay?? like my tbr would probably be at least five times longer than it is if i did not aggressively click the back button every time i see a guy in a book summary described as 'handsome and mysterious' or 'attractive but aggravating' or some variation thereof. enemies to friends to lovers is a great trope if done right but 95% of the time it just means 'the guy treats the girl like shit and she lets him get away with it'


message 38: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (nannycil) | 33 comments Typos and left out letters. I read a book the other day that had so many words that were missing the first or last letter in it. I have to wonder about the proofreaders eyesight or literacy or maybe lack there of .....


message 39: by Erin (new)

Erin (erinfwong) | 89 comments One of my turn-offs doesn't really have to do with the book itself, it's just when people interrupt me when I'm reading, especially when I'm at a good part. Like I've got this good flow in my head of the scenes in the book like a movie, and then someone comes and does that thing where they either crane their neck to look at the book cover without saying anything, or push the book down, or launch into whatever they want to say without notifying me first. It's like as you're blowing the most perfect bubble and someone comes along and waves their arms and destroys your bubble.


message 40: by Cheri (new)

Cheri (nannycil) | 33 comments Erin wrote: "One of my turn-offs doesn't really have to do with the book itself, it's just when people interrupt me when I'm reading, especially when I'm at a good part. Like I've got this good flow in my head ..."

Agree with that Erin! I hate to be asked questions while I'm reading as well!


message 41: by Angieleigh (last edited Oct 11, 2017 05:10AM) (new)

Angieleigh Hanna wrote: "...The second worst thing is swearing. It's very easy to leave that out, yet, people seem to think it's necessary."

I agree! I can't stand reading a book where cussing is basically every other word. I once read about 5% of a book where they used GD almost every other word 25 times within the first ten PAGES of the book. JC was alternating every other sentence . There were a few f bombs thrown at well. I DNF'ed it and probably won't read anything else by the author.


message 42: by Katherine (new)

Katherine  | 0 comments Also I'm getting pretty tired of ravens in every YA book, there are other animals out there you know!


message 43: by Katherine (last edited Oct 11, 2017 04:53AM) (new)

Katherine  | 0 comments Erin wrote: "One of my turn-offs doesn't really have to do with the book itself, it's just when people interrupt me when I'm reading, especially when I'm at a good part. Like I've got this good flow in my head ..."

dude I feel you 100% I was reading a super teeth grinding scene in 6 of crows and my mom remembered every single thing she wanted to tell me and interrupted me in what felt like every paragraph!


message 44: by Suzi Evelyn (new)

Suzi Evelyn (suzievelyn) | 73 comments I hate it when there's a character who's only there to create a love triangle. Characters should be complex, and if that character's only purpose is to make an indecisive fool out of the MC, there can't be that much complexity to the character.

Adding onto that, I hate one-sided antagonists. Villains, in my opinion, have motives and desires that make them complex.


message 45: by Hanna (new)

Hanna Angieleigh wrote: "Hanna wrote: "...The second worst thing is swearing. It's very easy to leave that out, yet, people seem to think it's necessary."

I agree! I can't stand reading a book where cussing is basically e..."


That sounds terrible!


message 46: by [deleted user] (new)

When the first paragraph is boring, it somehow makes the whole book either bad, or boring since I wasn't pulled into the book in the beginning.


message 47: by [deleted user] (new)

Same Catarina!


message 48: by Bailey (new)

Bailey Eilers Really annoying, complainy character that doesn't realize what they have.


message 49: by CrazyAsACupcake (new)

CrazyAsACupcake The girl is always "not like the other girls", which either means she's a goth, a punk, a nerd or is just in some way "different" (and after a while "different" isn't really different anymore, as every girl seems to be "different"!)

Also they're not pretty just because they have brown hair/brown eyes. Like hello? How does hair/eye colour define how beautiful a person is?

- like in Shadow and Bone when she says she couldn't be Grisha because she's not pretty just because she's normal human size and has brown hair??? Instant turn off.


message 50: by Devann (new)

Devann (devannm) | 111 comments Agreed! I also hate this new trend where the protag is like 'oh i'm not pretty because i'm too skinny' or whatever and then proceeds to describe how attractive her ~curvy~ friend is. like ...i appreciate the effort i guess but 1. we don't live in a society that tells thin people they are unattractive even if they ARE on the verge of looking sickly 2. you don't need to put down thin girls to lift up bigger girls and 3. the "fat" girls are never like ...actually fat, they're just thin but w/ big boobs/butt so you are not drawing me in with any actual fat representation either. it's generally just a bust on all fronts.


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