Six for Sunday: Bookish Hates
Welcome back to another week of #SixForSunday
(The books in the image above contain characters I dislike, but I actually love all of the books! I hope nobody thinks that they are my bookish hates…)
The theme for his week is Bookish Hates. As I love books I found this quite a tricky one! Yet, since beginning blogging I have definitely discovered more about what I like and dislike in a book.
Here are six of my bookish hates:
- Love Triangles – of a very specific variety! I don’t mind if there is a love triangle (or pentagon, octagon, etc) where A likes B, B likes C and C likes A. I don’t even mind if there is some ambiguity where a character could potentially have a ‘spark’ with more than one person. What I hate is when there is one person, usually a girl in YA, who keeps on flip-flopping between two other characters. I get impatient with this very quickly, particularly if the character keeps on changing their mind, comparing the two or treating the other characters in an unkind or inconsistent way. Just make up your mind already!
- Whiny characters. Again, I have no problem with characters who are working through issues or have problems that they are dealing with. What I get frustrated by is a character who has every advantage and fortunate occurrence, yet still feels the need to be the victim.
- This leads me on to the Mary-Sue/ Gary Stu character. I have a lot of love for the ‘child of destiny/prophecy’ trope in fantasy and don’t mind if the main character has some incredible power that has never been seen before. However, there should also be a drawback. E.g. the magical power causes them to pass out for two days after using it, or goes out of control and takes training to be usable safely. I dislike it when a character mysteriously becomes able to do exactly the thing they need to get them out of a situation, particularly when it is a skill that might have taken others year to learn. Examples of the skill-learning arc being done well can be seen in books such as The Name of the Wind, where Kvothe takes years to improve his skills and faces consistent problems from being poor, or in the anime, Attack on Titan, where the main character Eren, repeatedly fails during basic training and, despite eventually passing, still isn’t as good as some others.
- Arguments caused by not actually talking to each other i.e. manufactured tension. Again, misunderstandings happen because we can’t read each other’s minds. However, when a major problem could be solved by the characters just taking 2 minutes to talk about it, I get frustrated. As you can probably tell, I am very much a character reader and can forgive any number of plot holes if I like the character, yet a character can make or break the story for me.
- “For no particular reason”. When events in a story fall into place ‘just so’ conveniently e.g. the characters are captured by the very person they were looking for or who can advance the story, etc, it pulls me out of that suspension of disbelief we engage whilst reading. Again, I can forgive a lot if I like the characters but I like it better when they have real obstacles to overcome, not just a world that seems to conveniently arrange itself around what they need.
- The antagonist is just…bad…for no apparent reason…he/she just is. I love villains. They are often the best and most complex characters. However, I can quickly get frustrated if the baddie is never really given any agency or backstory but is just there to thwart the hero who is clearly completely in the right. The most interesting conflicts are those where both sides actually have a point and its not completely black and white.
- Bonus, presentation one: when you buy books in a series and they are different heights. Horror! I don’t mind cover changes partway through a series, but I do hate it when they’re different heights because then they won’t be able to be kept together on my shelves (if you shelve by height you can fit more in!)
Okay, wow, once I started typing I actually came up with those six pretty fast…and I love pretty much everything I read! I have more niggles than I thought I would have, lol.
What are some of your bookish hates?
What would make you avoid a book?
What do you dislike on book covers?
Let me know in the comments!
#SixforSunday is created by Steph from A Little But a Lot.
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If you like, link your #SixforSunday posts below and I will check them out!
Thanks for reading!