10 Bookish Pet Peeves

 

Friends Who Stop Trusting Each Other

Your friendship doesn’t seem that strong if you can suddenly turn against your best friend of years because someone else informed you they “must have changed” because of some life experience.  Why don’t you go talk to them to find out yourself before jumping to hurtful conclusions?

Pretending the “Bad Boy” Is a Viable Love Interest

Let’s get this straight.  The murderous vampire is not a real love interest.  He is not worth our time.  Once he solves his issues, our protagonist can consider him.  But it’s not her job to try to save him and to suffer when she inevitably can’t.

Couples Who Break Up for No Reason

It seems that marriage is so awfully boring that almost none of our protagonists can be saddled with such a fate.  If, by some miracle, they get together before the end of the series, it is a truth universally acknowledged that they must break up over fake drama so we can have the pleasure of seeing them getting back together again before the end.

Nonsensical Politics

The Scourge, The Orphan Queen, The Lost Kingdom of Bamarre, Mr. Lemoncello’s Library Olympics, Castle of Shadows…  they all have convoluted plots based on premises that don’t make sense.  I want motives to be realistic and politics to be logical.  Otherwise I can’t be fully immersed in the world.  I’m just confused.

Random Plot Twists for the Sake of Drama

Plot twists should make sense, not come out of the blue.  They may be unexpected but readers should be able to look back and see the clues they missed.  Suddenly changing a character’s entire personality just to surprise the readers is poor writing.

Foolish Characters the Narrator Assures Us Are Super Smart

Characters can certainly be foolish or just not overly bright.  I just don’t want to be constantly informed by the narrator that someone who repeatedly does silly things is actually a genius.

Lord of the Rings Knock-Offs

Tolkien did it first and he did it best.  When I see orcs and Tolkien-esque Elves walking around in someone else’s world, I inevitably compare them and the other author inevitably loses because Tolkien’s characters don’t feel organic in someone else’s world.

Fake Medieval Language

Adding “eth” to the end of every word doesn’t make it medieval.

Everyone Ends Up in Bed Together

Some couples do decide to wait, but it seems like these characters are only portrayed when they are being ridiculed.  I’d like to see some more inclusive stories that take waiting for marriage seriously and really consider it from the perspective of the people who do it.  Especially in historical fiction.  I’m sure many people broke the rules of society, but it seems like historical characters never really think about the weight of doing so, whether it’s the potential for ruining one’s prospects (or their love’s reputation), or potentially getting pregnant.  They tend to jump into bed cavalierly as if they can’t imagine any potential negative consequences.  And yet I find it hard to believe that the average 19th-century woman wouldn’t take a little pause or at least come up with a better scheme for doing it undetected.

Anachronistic Characters

I suppose these characters are supposed to appeal to modern sensibilities, but it’s rather weird to read a series of historical characters who all talk and think like they’re from the 21st century.  How can it be that they are ALL so enlightened and forward-thinking?  Odder yet, most of them never seem to suffer any consequences for being so far ahead of their time….

What are some of your bookish pet peeves?

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78 thoughts on “10 Bookish Pet Peeves

  1. oneliteraryfairy says:

    My personal biggest pet peeve is when an author breaks up love interests in a second book just for drama or to show that there’s no such thing as happily ever after. Like I went through this stress waiting for them to get together in the first book….I don’t want to do it again. No, it does not make it more interesting.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      I know!! That’s the worst! A couple finally gets together and you want to see them being happy together, but apparently happiness is too boring to be allowed! But if any of my friends broke up as many times as fictional characters, I’d be tempted to tell them that they had to find a more stable relationship. Is the guy really your soul mate if you can’t stay together for more than a few chapters at a time??

      Like

  2. ashley says:

    The Tolkien one is one of my pet peeves too, and when people call Lord of the Rings a series or trilogy it annoys me to no end because Tolkien didn’t write it that way, it was only published as three separate volumes due to World War II paper shortages.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      I’m always pointing that out to people! I understand the book is sold in three parts and so obviously looks like a trilogy but, if you think about it, it would be a really strange trilogy. There’s no defined end to FotR, for instance–hence why Jackson moved Boromir’s death to wrap up that part of the story in a more trilogy-like way. And each book doesn’t have a well-defined quest/plot. Because it’s all the same plot! But, yes, for sure, I always try to refer to LotR as one book because it is.

      Like

  3. Step Into A Book World says:

    I love this so much! I agree with the Fake Medieval Language. It irritates me so much when I see this in a book. One of peeves is when the love interest stays away from each other to keep the other safe or so enemies won’t know their weakness. This the dumbest think ever they are pretty much putting an arrow above the love interests head. Wonderful post and glad to see I am not the only one with these Pet Peeves.

    Liked by 3 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yes! That’s another one! I can’t stand it when the hero breaks up with the other person to “keep them safe.” It never works, but, worse, you’re not really doing the other person any favors. You’re just treating them like they’re a baby and acting like you get to make all the decisions without their input!

      Like

    • Krysta says:

      Hm. I can’t remember seeing anyone do that. But I read a lot of Tolkien criticism and people are pretty obsessed with tracing Tolkien’s influences, so maybe I’m just not reading the right things? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      • ireadthatinabook says:

        I’m sure it depends on what you read. I just have a hard time being bothered about authors using Tolkien’s concepts when Tolkien himself borrowed so much from existing mythologies. However, what Tolkien of course only used bits and pieces and created a whole world out of it, I would like to see more of that from other Fantasy authors.

        Like

        • Krysta says:

          I think the difference is in how authors use their inspiration. It’s one thing to take a concept like a magic ring and incorporate it seamlessly into your own world and another thing, I think, to take someone’s magic ring and basically do the exact same thing with it. Magic rings are a general fantasy concept. A magic ring that holds all the power of an evil villain and can only be destroyed by bringing it to the place it was made is veering too close to Tolkien, probably.

          Liked by 1 person

          • ireadthatinabook says:

            Exactly! And what Tolkien had to work with was largely fragmentary concepts which he created a mythology around (I mean I really enjoyed the Poetic Edda but it is hardly coherent). But now when he has done it we have this whole ready-made fantasy concept which other authors can use. Sometimes we get excellent novels out of it but it is hardly imaginative. On the other hand I do want other authors to use pieces of the original mythologies in their work.

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  4. Samantha B says:

    There sure is a lot of truth in that post 🙂

    About number 9, I read a lot of Christian fiction and so this doesn’t happen so much. But really often the authors tend to simply ignore the actual temptation of not waiting for marriage. But one historical series that I believe portrays well the struggle in the relationships the Everstone Chronicle by Dawn Crandall (if you ever want to check it out).

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    • Krysta says:

      That’s a good point. I can see someone wanting to write a clean romance and basically ending up pretending that there’s no chemistry whatsoever! Maybe not exactly what the couple wants out of their marriage!

      Thanks for the recommendation!

      Like

  5. (Danielle) Books, Vertigo and Tea says:

    Nonsensical politics and that “foolish” character we are to believe is genius are among some of my own peeves as well. I have many, which will probably come to mind after I post a comment no doubt, but disagree about elves and orcs! When done properly, I relish in fantasy worlds consisting of both. Elves have been a part of my life since I was read fairy tales as a child and then eventually they were greatly expanded on thanks to discovering Tolkien ❤ As a fantasy gamer and reader, I can never get enough haha.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Beware Of The Reader says:

    Oh my list is long: love triangle, doormat heroine, diversity just for the sake of it, sex and sex without real plot, …

    Like

  7. Becca says:

    Great post! I laughed out loud at a couple of these because they are so true! A twist isn’t good unless you can look back and see the little hints.

    Like

  8. Ikram Reads says:

    A lot of these are the same as mine but the Love triangle makes it to the top of my list. Usually you already know who the character will choose and the other person is just a pawn to create more drama.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      You’re right! The love triangle is almost always pointless as one of the characters is usually an obviously poor choice! I don’t think I’ve ever been wrong in predicting how a love triangle would end!

      Like

  9. mander-lee says:

    Agreeing with all those who said love triangle tops their lists. It’s on top of mine and it’s usually a deal-breaker. Once I see it peeking on the horizon, I’m very much tempted to just drop the book.

    Like

  10. Jackie B @ Death by Tsundoku says:

    Hahaha!! I can relate to so much in this post!! Ugh, I cannot handle it when couples break up for no reason. I just want to watch a couple have a rough patch and make it through okay. Stop running away from all your problems! Learn from your mistakes and try to make it work! This is why so many couples struggle today; their role models are all awful.

    My bookish pet peeves? Overly complicated plots. No hook in the first 20 pages. The lack of parents in MG/YA novels. Deus ex Machina. Poorly described magic systems. Or, books where the magic system is better than the rest of the text. Because that happens.

    And my newest one, thanks to your brilliance, books which should be stand alone but were turned into series for NO GOOD REASON WHATSOEVER (aka $$$).

    Like

    • Briana | Pages Unbound says:

      It sounds kind of stupid, but I am seriously convinced one of my friends broke up because of books (or movies? or media in general) because the relationship wasn’t playing out like some kind of fairy tale. Which I think is another issue in books, which the unnecessary drama ties into-there’s such a sense that if there isn’t “tension” then it isn’t “interesting.” Like, once you actually get together and into a stable relationship, it’s too boring to be worth talking about.

      Liked by 2 people

    • Krysta says:

      Yes! I don’t want to be an alarmist and say that people blindly follow literature and do silly things because of it. However, when so many books show dysfunctional relationships and depict them as positive, that does seem like something that would affect readers because it’s not just something happening one book, but something that’s become normalized.

      “Overly complicated plots” reminds me when I stopped watching Moffat’s Doctor Who. I just saw the final episode with Capaldi as the Doctor and I asked, “Wait. Who’s that guy? Where are they? What’s with the Dalek??” and my friend said, “I don’t know.” Moffat just throws stuff together with no explanation and calls it “mysterious.” It’s not mysterious and suspenseful, just confusing and a mess!

      Haha. The lack of parents in MG/YA novels! I love when I find one with a loving parent! Surprisingly, you can still have adventures even if your parent is present in your life! Some authors have done it!

      Ah, yes, The pointless series. I feel like we’re oversaturated with series. I went to look for YA books publishing in 2018 and like 90% of them are parts of series. I haven’t read the first couple books, so I was scrolling through forever trying to find a new release I could actually read!

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  11. Reading Tounwind says:

    Great topic! I agree on a lot of these, but the one that drives me nuts is unnecessary drama. I always find when something comes out of left field and doesn’t end up helping the plot.

    Like

  12. theorangutanlibrarian says:

    Oh gosh yes! I hate when characters stop being friends over stupid things so quickly in books! hehehe you’re so right about the bad boy trope! And yes, fake drama is the worst. But gosh I *hate* dumb characters who we’re told are smart- they’re just the WORST. I’ve read whole series with characters like that and just- no- it doesn’t make sense for this certified genius who passes all the exams in the known world to be *such an idiot*. And yeah you’re right about LOTR knockoffs. hahah yes you’re right about fake Medieval knockoffs. Oh gosh yes I really struggle with anachronistic characters. Especially when a book tries really hard to be historically accurate and then gets some major things wrong to make a point :/ Amazing post!

    Like

      • theorangutanlibrarian says:

        Really great question! I think there’s lots of different reasons. I think a lot of it comes down to lazy writing (eg fake drama or the writer just going “I’ll just say the character is smart and the reader will believe me- same goes for lots of other characteristics like sweet… I’ve read so many not-sweet characters described as such). Then I guess there’s the copycat issue. My experience of anachronism is usually people wanting to create an idealised version of the past that’s slightly fantastical (either to make a point or normalise things). I dunno, just theorising!

        Like

        • Krysta says:

          I agree that sometimes it is lazy writing. Sometimes I think authors are just copying what they see in other works. And, yes, sometimes it’s because I think authors are afraid that if they don’t paint an idealized version of the past, readers either won’t sympathize with the characters or will get mad that the characters aren’t in line with our modern values and sensibilities.

          Liked by 1 person

  13. Sammie says:

    Oh my gosh, this list is everything and then some. Yes to all of it. Especially the “smart” characters doing stupid things. I’m sorry, your IQ is 160, but yeah, let’s just trust this obviously shady dude and do what he wants, because there’s no way this is going to end poorly.

    The bad boy thing really bugs me, too, and now it’s so pervasive in literature. You can’t “fix” people, so just stahp. Jeez. I knew one woman who loved a certain teen vampire book who thought it was so romantic when she was 16, despite people warning her it wasn’t, and she bounced from one abusive relationship to another, wondering why they weren’t all romantic. =/

    I don’t know if it’s just the books I’ve been choosing lately or what, but another one I’ve seen a lot is characters themselves making shady decisions for the sake of the plot. Random example of the sort of thing: Character is a coward and is afraid of the dark, but he’s all alone in the dark with no light and he hears a spooky noise from a clearly non-animal creature. Instead of running away, he plunges ahead so that he can be eaten by Dark Spooky Thing in the forest and the local villagers can find his dismembered foot the next day sort of thing. No. Who does that? I’m a coward who’s afraid of the dark, and you better believe that if I hear a spooky noise, I’m running into my house, bolting all the doors and windows, salting the premises, bathing in holy water, and plopping on the couch with a very respectable arsenal of weapons surrounding me.

    Anyway, this was a great list!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      Yes, why do characters do ridiculous things all the time just to further the plot?! I think one of the hallmarks of a good writer is being able to create drama and danger without making your character excessively dim-witted!

      And, yes!! Why do they always go off to explore to “prove” something. I’d find those characters a lot braver if they found the self-confidence to be prudent and safe instead of rushing headlong into a bad situation! No one’s going to be impressed by your bravery when you are lying mangled in the forest because you couldn’t be bothered to get back up before exploring.

      I’m really tired of the bad boys. I think the problem is that they are so pervasive in YA that they’ve become normalized. It’s not just one book, but tons of them saying “this is normal” to readers when, in fact, it’s not normal to be in an abusive relationship. And certainly not romantic!

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Shannon @ It Starts at Midnight says:

    These are FABULOUS and I agree with them SO much! Like all of them. The friend one slays me for the same reason- plus I feel like I trust friends TOO wholly sometimes, not the other way around! And the random drama that doesn’t fit characters or plot gets me every time. Totally agree about the pre-contraceptive situation- it should at LEAST be a worry, right!? Awesome post!!

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I guess it’s easy to judge characters for how they treat their friends when you as the reader know more about their friends than they do!

      Yeah, I really enjoyed watching the first season of Victoria when Victoria didn’t want to have kids and Albert was all, “You know, there’s only one to do that. Abstinence.” And both Albert and Victoria looked very upset. But at least someone acknowledged this!

      Like

  15. Marie says:

    I love this post so much, these are pet peeves I have just as well. It always bothers me how some friends change and turn against each other in the blink of an eye in books – that doesn’t seem realistic to me to turn over like that in a second? It has always bothered me. And NO to random plot twists – I hate when it just makes no sense at all ahah.

    Like

    • Krysta says:

      I know! If you’re friends with someone for ten years or your whole life or whatever, why would you suddenly not trust them based on the advice of someone you just met? But it happens all the time in books!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Krysta says:

      Yeah… If they don’t have birth control, I expect them to be a little more worried than they usually are. Of course, I suppose the average character doesn’t end up with an out of wedlock pregnancy. That might derail the plot or the romance or something.

      Like

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