For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday (TTT), I will be discussing my book turn offs. In other words, they are elements/themes/techniques that annoy me and pull me out of the story. Actually, it is sometimes so bad that I put down the book and give up on it completely. Before I rant onward, let me explain what TTT is. Top Ten Tuesday is a feature created by The Broke and the Bookish. In it, book bloggers list their top tens based on topics suggested by the site.

Let’s begin with the turn offs.


10. Info-Dumps

Oh man, when books start to have massive paragraphs (or series of paragraphs) with unnecessary information in them, I get frustrated. World building and character descriptions tend to be the reasons behind this technique. It tends to happen a lot in fantasy novels.

 9. Unnecessary Flashbacks

This happens when authors are trying to explain the relationships between characters, or the reasons for their behaviors. But, I find it distracting to be suddenly reading about younger versions of the characters for no reason. This is not David Copperfield. 

8. Too Much Love Can Kill You

Characters who have lots of love interests are also frustrating. This is particularly annoying when the character is unsure of her choice (it’s always a girl).

Why is polyamory not an option, by the way?

7. Lack of Diversity

I am noticing this a lot in contemporary fiction. Why are there no queer characters in the cute contemporary stories? Where are the people of color in fantasy? How come nobody is disabled in any of the stories? It is never openly admitted, mostly suggested or implied.

Or, characters who fit into minority groups are given small roles in the stories.

6. Romanticized Mental Illness

All the books that simplify mental illness, and reduce it to one symptom, make me upset. The same narrow-minded approach to mental illness manifests in romanticized portrayal of it. The glorification of eating disorders, or self harm, or suicide, all of it just cause rage in me.

5.  Hyper-Sexual Presentation of Characters

I’m all for positive portrayals of sexuality in stories, but the problem is the overemphasized value of sex. Like, surely a character dealing with the apocalypse has more important things to do in her life than think about how hot the zombie is. Or, how about characters who make out every other page? I am not a fan.

4. Disabled Life < Able-Bodied Life

The assumption that a life with a disability is somehow less worthy is infuriating. Some authors like to show supernatural events as a way to “cure” someone’s disability. And that is so damaging. We don’t need to be fixed, thanks.

This leads me to the following narrative.

3. White Savior Narratives

No, it’s not some white person’s narrative to realize their full potential through the suffering of people of color. How about you give your people of color characters some agency and have them be their own heroes?

2. Morality Tales

Rather common in classics are the moralistic approaches to sharing narratives. In it, anyone who deviates from the norm is presented as evil or doomed. And, I am not all about that life. Stop shaming people for not conforming or settling for some old-school notion. But, I also think it could be tempting to present this type of tales in young adult literature as well.


  1. Time Travel

This is such a turn off for me. I like messy situations and having to cope with uncomfortable things to develop as a character. It’s not fun, and I know it’s much easier to turn back time to “fix” it. But, no. It’s not for me.




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4 thoughts on “TTT: Book Turn Offs

  1. Polyamory is an option sometimes, you’re just reading the wrong books 😉

    But yeah, I too get annoyed about sex is like the end-all be-all of every character’s life in many books. Like you said, don’t they ever have anything better to worry about? Like, say, the end of the world? The people trying to kill them? I recently read a book in which a girl was kidnapped and taken captive, but she immediately noticed that her captor was so hot! -_- Or those characters who act like they’re dying if they go more than a week without sex. *rolls eyes*

    I agree a few more of these too, but keeping it short because arm pain :-/

  2. Like, surely a character dealing with the apocalypse has more important things to do in her life than think about how hot the zombie is. -> I’m trying to picture a hot zombie and my brain cannot compute. I’m going to have nightmares now.

    I agree with a lot of your points. 🙂

    1. Hahahah. Warm Bodies is kind of about a hot zombie who literally becomes human as he starts to love this girl. It’s the apocalypse in that book! *Protects you from nightmares though*

  3. So much the yes!

    Although, I am a fan of a good flashback 😉 and time travel done *well* is awesome (unfortunately, a lot of the time, it’s not done well.)

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