Monday, July 22, 2013

Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me NOT Pick Up a Book
Hosted by The Broke and the Bookish

This is based entirely on cover and has nothing do with my feelings for what's inside the paged. And
This is a LOT harder than the opposite of this topic, Things That Instantly Make Me Pick Up a Book, because I've got a lot of buzzwords and not a lot of buzzkill words.Or at least, it seemed hard at first. Then I got to thinking and realized there are a lot of things I don't like (surprise!). A lot of these topics I DO actually like, but they're not what I actively look for in my books.

1. "Grief"

I think grief can be a very powerful subject, and I adore it when books deal with it well. But i prefer not to real books that are ENTIRELY about grief. I'm a delicate marshmallow. I bawl in those commercials with the sad puppies in need of rescue and Sarah MacLachlan singing plaintively in the background. Some books are honestly too heavy for me. "Cancer" is also not a word that gets me excited to read.

2. "God"

Again, nothing wrong with God or religion being a subject that's discussed in my books (one of my favorite classics, The End of the Affair, is like ninety percent about one woman's relationship with God). But generally, religious fiction just isn't my thing.

3. "Suicide"

Again again, I've read some amazing books that deal with this subject or have suicide as an element, and its pretty powerful stuff. But... marshmallow.

4. "Addiction"

Definitely not my favorite topic to read about. It's just too much for me (and yet I love reading books about wars and murderers and assassins, go figure). I find these stories too brutal and too un-fun. I think it might bebecause I watched Less Than Zero when I was WAY too young and I've never recovered.

5. "Love at first sight"

Insta-love is the BANE OF MY EXISTENCE. If the synopsis so much as hints at these words, I just know the book will make me stabby.

6. "Steamy"

I am not opposed to steaminess. Quite the opposite, really. While I was reading Faking It, a certain scene made me have to put the book down and walk across the room a few times because whoa. But usually the books that go OUT of their way to be steamy don't have anything else going for them. Or they're basically just porn in book form. Or they are soul-crushingly misogynistic.

7. "Faeries"

Not that I'm OPPOSED to fae/faeries/fairies/fayriis/phareeys, just that that's not usually a topic I gravitate towards. I like the little pixie people type fairies, but I'm not as interested in the realms of fae as most people are.

8. "Starcrossed lovers"

This ties back a bit to insta-love. It makes me think of shallow, love-sick idiots who are determined to be in love even if it leads to the destruction of the universe. Life tip: if it's a choice between saving all of humankind or saving your fledgling relationship, please choose humanity.

9. "Soon to be a major motion picture"

It's not so much that these words turn me off, so much that they give me pause. It's like, "Ooh. Hype. I'm intimidated."

10. "Verse"

I have read approximately one verse novel that I ever liked (Out of the Dust by Karen Hesse, and I was about nine). I don't understand why the authors don't just put it all in one paragraph. Like for instance
I could go on
just as I am
but press "enter" whenever I
felt like it

Okay, that's a bit cruel. Sometimes verse novels are gorgeous and atmospheric, but I honestly feel a bit disconnected from the characters when the book is in this form. It's just not my cup of tea.

Dishonorable mentions: Animal violence, "the next Harry Potter/Twilight/Hunger Games", "light on romance", erotica, badly behaving authors, "was once fanfiction", pregnancy (most of the time), military.

What words/ topics turn you off? Do you agree or disagree with any of mine? Leave me your links if you have them, please!


  1. Great list which I have no argument over any of your choices. I especially agree with you on 5, 6, 8, and 10.

  2. But GillyB. We were instalove. Or more, I forced you into love with me. Toe-may-toe. Toe-mah-toe.

    And yes, ugh, verse.

  3. I don't think I've read very many books (if at all) featuring addiction prominently but I agree, I wouldn't enjoy it at all as it would be very brutal to get through...

    My TTT

  4. "Life tip: if it's a choice between saving all of humankind or saving your fledgling relationship, please choose humanity."


    No, but seriously I love this list and a few of them are on mine as well. Verse especially. I just can't get into it at all.

  5. I struggle with verse novels as well. There are some great epic poems out there, I just have a tough time staying focused.

  6. I love your bit about verse! I don't think I've read a book in verse yet that I've enjoyed. Great list.

  7. Bahahaha what you said about verse is spot on almost 100% of the time. I mean, I've read my fair share of great books written in verse... but I'm also read my fair share of horrible books written in verse. Sometimes it just feels like an easy way to seem "deep" or to get more pages into a book than is necessary.

    Pretty Deadly Reviews

  8. Oh man, I was laughing so hard when I got to your whole thing on verse! I haven't read very much, but I once tried to write a book in verse, it was hard. But anyways, that pick had me laughing. Also, I agree with every single thing on this list, though I don't mind a religious book here and there!

  9. I love your Verse comment. That is so true! It just seems like it is trying too hard. Look at me! I'm cool I don't use standard formatting. ummm, no.

  10. I've never read a book in verse, but I have a feeling I'd be the one person who doesn't "get" it, ya know? I do like faeries, though! Wicked Lovely and Wings are two I particularly liked. I don't like reading things that are sad, so books with suicide, grief, cancer, etc just don't appeal to me. I hate crying and I just know they'd make me cry! Also, instalove is annoying. That is all.

    Great list! Thanks for sharing such an entertaining post... I'm definitely a new follower! :)

    Litza @ She Dreams in Fiction

  11. I agree with all of them! I tend to avoid all depressing topics in books. And instalove is just so irritating and unrealistic, ugh.

    My TTT:

  12. Okay, your example of verse made me giggle. And I agree with you wholeheartedly!

    My TTT can be found here:

    Denise @ Life With No Plot

  13. I've read one verse novel in my 33 years and I will never read another. It is so not my style of reading. Drives me crazy.

    Great list!

    My TTT List

  14. What an amazing list! I agree with so many of these! Especially suicide, addiction and Inst-love ughhh I hope that dies soon though it's probably not gonna happen.

  15. This list is just so true. I hate reading about Love At First Sight because it is usually executed terribly! Check out my TTT!
    -Scott Reads It!

  16. Bahahaha, your comments on verse novels. I'm trying to learn to like them. Love & Leftovers was good. I felt like the verse actually read like verse, not like chopped up sentences - don't read Stephanie Hemphill btw.

  17. I totally get your choices, but I think I actually love most of those things. haha.
    I love weird ways to formatting, like verse. I also love knowing a book is going to be a movie, even though I totally understand the whole hype and marketing of it.
    I LOVE your steamy explanation. I love steamy, but OMG so many books DO go out of their way to be steamy instead of building a great story and then having steamy moments!!
    I love love at first sight, but I know most people don't and it's typically not executed very well. I wish books would actually capture what the phenomenon is like instead of forcing two people together the way they do.
    Great picks!
    Thanks for stopping by!

    Megan @ Love, Literature, Art, and Reason

  18. Oh, yes, down with the word "steamy"! I feel like this is a code word for "super erotic." I'm not into that, because I also agree it feels like porn in book form, and that unsettles me.

    But I can't join you on the 'say no to fairies.' I love me some fae. In just about any form. lol

  19. I think this is such an interesting interpretation of this week's Top Ten Tuesday topic! I'm complete with you on many of your choices this week - "Grief", "God" and "Verse" are all words that will ordinarily have be running in the opposite if I spot them in a book's synopsis. While there are obviously some exceptions to this rule, for the most part these are not topics or writing mediums I look for or enjoy in novels.

  20. I haven't really read any verse type books, but I can see why it would be annoying.

    I don't mind grief/suicide. In fact, sometimes I am drawn to those tough issue books. I'm weird, I know.

    Here's my TTT!

    Jess @ Such A Novel Idea

  21. LOL I just commented on someone else's TTT that Insta-love is the bane of my existence. But serious. That and love triangles. What is the appeal? I do not get it. Anything religiousy is usually on my no-no list too, especially Christian Fiction, but there are a few exceptions. It's usually when the religion is a factor of the story but it's not... agenda pushing. Then I'm okay with it.

  22. I pretty much have to agree with you on most of the above, Gillian. While I find "issues" books and stories on grief to be among some of the most well written and touching, they are far too real and emotional for my liking. I don't like to bawl when I'm reading. I dunno, maybe it's just me. As for the religious stuff, I believe what I believe and I don't need someone else's beliefs shoved down my throat. End of story.

    I don't really mind paranormal elements (vampires, werewolves, etc), my problem is that they're SO overdone these days. But if an author can do them in an anti-romantic and totally original way, well, then they have my loyalty! I don't tend to gravitate towards fairy books or angel books and I guess I don't really get it. As for verse, I do have an appreciation for it and will read it from time to time when the mood strikes. I also don't mind books-to-film so long as I see the movie first. I tend to fare much better that way.

  23. Great list Gillian. I didn't do a list this time but I didn't really have to as your list highlighted a chunk of the ones I would have pointed out.
    Religion (I'm an atheist so it wouldn't work)
    Insta-love (Hate it so much.Very few books get it right)
    Werewolves (Ick just no)
    Star-crossed lovers (Uhhh gag me)
    Addiction (it SHOULD bug me as my father has dealt with addiction since he was a teen but since I don't know him well at all,it doesn't)

  24. Oh dear, you hit the nail on the head with a lot of these: instalove, star-crossed lovers, god (I am by no means religios) and verse. Side note: I hated Out of the Dust in elementary. I couldn't even finish it.
    Great list!

  25. I'm not big on verse novels or religion in books. I'm quite religious, but I don't really want to read about it. They tend to be preachy and NO THANK YOU.

    Great list!

    My Top Ten

  26. High five on hating insta-love! Like you said, I can't stand it. It's unbelievable and does it really happen in real life?
    And I avoid books with God it in. Like you, religious books just isn't my thing.
    Great list!

    My TTT

  27. Soapbox
    "Insta-love" is not love. You can't love someone you don't know. That takes time. "Insta-attraction" maybe. "Insta-lust" perhaps. But there is no such thing as "Insta-love."
    End Soapbox.

    And steamy for the sake of steamy, or when it seems gratuitous ("this is a YA novel and I'm under the delusion that I'm required to have some hot-and-heavy stuff going on") makes me grind my teeth.

  28. Hahaha! Yes, I'm a total delicate marshmellow too! I love how you put that, and I agree a zillion times over.

    I forgot to include it on my TTT, but I also don't care for books about the Fae. They are mean and sneaky, and they seriously freak me out.

    I don't mind steamy books, but I want more than just the steam. I want to feel that connection that two characters will feel, not just the lust, but the caring and all that.

  29. Haha! Verse novels, bleh. Faeries aren't that great either, but I haven't read any of them. I just usually find their premise boring. Great list!

    My TTT

  30. I agree, 100%! Occasionally, something with faeries will surprise me in a good way, but everything else....yes. Exactly.

  31. I agree with all of these! Especially love at first sight. Ugh, that one makes me want to throw the book across the room.

  32. Hahaha, this list was fantastic. So much made me laugh, from the multiple spellings of fairy to the stabby feelings love at first sight induces. And the star-crossed lovers UGH. I love TMI but it's starting to feel that way to me. Plus, thanks for linking in there to your review of Faking It - now I have what sounds like an awesome new book to read!

    Thanks for sharing a marvelous list :)

    Sam @ Mad But Magic

    Our TTT:

  33. YES, to every single one of these, dishonorable mentions included.

  34. I agree with you on all of these! Grief, suicide, and addiction are all topics that I shy away from. I've read some great books that deal with them, but a lot of books don't deal with them in the right way, and even if they do, it's so emotionally draining to read!
    Steamy is another one for me, too. I just feel so uncomfortable reading those scenes--and I'm ashamed to read those books around anyone else, even if they have no idea what I'm reading. Plus, like you said, more often than not, the plot suffers when there's a lot of steamy action going on.
    Also, insta-love/star-crossed lovers: I hate authors falling back on insta-love or star-crossed lovers storylines, it feels so lazy to me. I much prefer romances where the issues between the characters isn't some uncontrollable outside force keeping them apart, but instead more realistic issues that people actually deal with in real relationships. Is that too much to ask for? A realistic romance?
    And all of your others: religion (often becomes too preachy for me), faeries (my least favorite supernatural creatures to read about), soon to be a major motion picture (I feel like I'm jumping on a bandwagon and hate the pressure to like it just because it's a widely popular book!), and verse (totally comes off as pretentious to me 99.9% of the time. I did really like Chasing Brooklyn, but that's the one exception for me).
    And pregnancy! I don't really know why I loathe that so much, but I can't stand reading about pregnancy--I RUN from books that mention any hint of pregnancy. Just can't do it.

  35. Mm, yes, verse. Run awaaaaaaaay! I actually don't mind suicide and grief books (not that I've read a ton), but I do steer away from addiction books. No thank you.

  36. Yesss to the grief one. I get scared and shy away. I just know that it'll be emotionally draining and sometimes I don't want a whole book full of emotional torture. And i know it'll make me so depressed.


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