Discussion Post: Bookish Pet Peeves

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January 18, 2013 by Alice in Readerland

We all have our pet peeves, and if you’re someone who reads a lot, you no doubt have your own special pet peeves that apply to books, be it love triangles, whiny characters, or cliffhangers.

You have got to be kidding me

Lately, I’ve been seeing something in YA books that’s become my most recent pet peeve. It goes a little something like this:

Boy goes to bar to do some underage drinking. Boy can’t hold his liqueur very well and gets very drunk. Girl who is a straight-laced Mary Sue drags him home and takes care of him while he’s being sick.

Now, before you say anything: I’m not saying that underage drinking doesn’t happen, because it obviously does, and I’m not saying that it’s wrong of someone to take their friend home from a bar.

But here is what I am saying: I don’t see how this scenario is putting the boy in a light that is the least bit attractive and is supposed to make me, the reader, fall for the him while he has his head in the toilet (if he makes it there). The girl and boy usually aren’t exactly friends, but aren’t really together, either. Whenever I read these books, I always wonder how the girl can look at this drunken boy and be thinking Wow, he would be perfect boyfriend material.

Grumpy Cat

   Being the hard, calloused, person that I am, if the drunken boy wasn’t my best friend or my boyfriend, I wouldn’t be a huge advocate of taking him back with me and nursing him through his drunken state. And if I did, I certainly wouldn’t find it appealing and start dating him. In fact, I’d seriously be reconsidering what our relationship was. So as I reader, I often find it hard to root for the love interest when this happens and I always wonder what this girl is doing taking care of a guy who isn’t committed to her.

Tell me, what are your personal bookish pet peeves? Leave a comment, I’d love to read it!

all ears

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41 thoughts on “Discussion Post: Bookish Pet Peeves

  1. Gabby says:

    my pet peeves are 1 when at the end of a really good book, they forget everything that happens(urgh, i hate that a lot.) and 2 villian characters that make me want to tear my hair out and scream at them. i do not like them.

  2. jessmittens says:

    I haven’t read anything like that so far but that sounds annoying. Romance situations from fiction in real life make you realise that they’re often absurd and not romantic at all.

    For me, I hate it when good characters die, and the bad characters (who I really really hate) keep living, and living well! I know it’s supposed to make their demise even better when it finally happens, and it’s pretty good writing to make the reader so worked up over a bad character but gah, I can’t take it!
    Also when the main character is a writer or an editor, but the actual writer and the editor of the story haven’t edited the book properly and there’s bad grammar. Makes no sense.

    • You sum it up perfectly in your 2nd sentence! That sounds aggravating – It’s bad enough when good characters die, but reading about the villain you hate living well would really irritate me! Oh yes, bad grammar in books gets me every time. Thanks for commenting!

  3. Oksana says:

    I haven’t read any books about the situation you described, but if I did, I wouldn’t get it either. My biggest pet peeve recently are the constant love triangles in practically every book, they just don’t work anymore!

    • The love triangles, like you said, are practically in every book; I think they’re getting way too common & that some authors are just having them in their books because it is “cool”, not because it adds anything to the plot. Thanks for commenting!

  4. Livvy @Nerdy Book Reviews says:

    Oooh dear, I haven’t read a book with this situation as of yet, but oh my god. It sounds terrible. I do not understand how this could be attractive at all, you are right.

    My pet peeve. Hmm, I can’t think of one really at the moment. I guess I have quite a few. I think one is where a couple who are in a relationship and supposedly in love and all this, then believe a random, vindictive person comes along who they have never liked and suddenly they believe every word they say and run off. I mean, how is running solving anything.

    And then all these missing/abusive parents that lead to such problems in teenagers. Is everyone’s parent so abusive?! Does nobody have a happy childhood these days…

  5. Sunny says:

    Words cannot describe how much I like this post. I was actually just thinking of ways to have a discussion post and thought of pet peeves! I haven’t read lots of those scenarios, but I have read books where the guy SO doesn’t deserve the girl. He either has a habit that is appalling or treats the girl in a way that shouldn’t be happening.

    It’s not exactly a pet peeve, but it is just worn out when they have the same parent scenario. Like the girl above me said, does anybody have a happy childhood these days? I get for the conflict if the parents are divorced, if a parent(s) is absent, if they aren’t good or have a drinking/drug problem, if they don’t accept their child or behave like a kid themselves. But it’s so refreshing to have a normal family. Even if they aren’t close, I know more people who have at least a platonic relationship with their parents than the ones I read in books.

    And while I do love love in books and conflict and love interests to sigh over, the love triangle is getting overdone as well. Sometimes I don’t want either to die or to “lose the girl.” At the same time, it also produces the whole TEAM SO-SO and TEAM SO-AND-SO. Why teams? The fictional girl is picking the fictional guy she wants to be with at the end of this series (at least, I would hope so). Girls can get pretty immature and horribly weird if they’re TOO obsessed.

    Another pet peeve of mine is cursing. I’ve been thinking about a post on this point so I probably will write it….but WHATS WITH ALL THE CURSING? Some people don’t mind it. Some people have it in their vocabulary regularly. I know someone who actually LIKES cursing in their books. Me? It ruins the whole thing. They can act “authentic” without adding the f-bomb, s-word, and so on. I would love to recommend a certain book to my younger sister, but with those profanities? No way. Man. I didn’t even think about writing that…I might reuse this last paragraph ;)

    Great post, Alice! Love it!

    • Thanks so much, I’m glad you like the post! :) While I understand that a lot of kids have major issues with their parents, I don’t want to read about them all the time! You’re right, it is so refreshing to read about a normal family! I don’t like love triangles either, they seem to be becoming “cool” & “normal” nowadays
      (which, in my opinion, they are not) instead of adding anything to the quality of the plot. I totally agree with you on the cursing! Cursing isn’t something that automatically makes a character sound real. You should definitely write the post! :)

  6. You’re pet peeve seems like it would get on my nerves too! I think the author is trying to set up some sort of bad boy scenario where the good girl takes on the bad boy. but it seems kinda stupid.

    I have a lot of pet peeves… biggest one: Insta-love! I hate it when it’s just like boom we’re in love… blah!!! I also hate books with zero ending. Where it seems like the author got bored and was like ok ‘the end’. And I hate hate hate “teen talk”.

    • I hate insta- love too! It seems ridiculous & I’d much rather see the whole romance develop with the characters falling for each other. Endings like that are really annoying, I’m often left staring at the last page going “Wait, that was it?! What?” Also, “Teen talk,”? No thank you.Thanks for commenting!

  7. Stormy says:

    I’ve actually been writing a post about my bookish pet peeves as well in my head over the past few days because I feel I have SO many. I don’t really, I mean, no more than anyone else, but they just annoy me so much.

    Biggest pet peeve? Unnecessary cliffhangers that feel like a gimmick just to make sure I buy the next book. There are some series that do cliffhangers well and it doesn’t feel out of place to me at all(the Hunger Games and Delirium both came to mind), but on the whole I HATE them so much.

    Also, book titles that are “The X’s Wife/Daughter”. I’m OK with them when it’s like “The Time-Traveler’s Wife” or the “Madman’s Daughter”, because those aren’t things you see every day, but the “Doctor’s Wife”, the “Astronaut’s Daughter”, etc. kind of titles drive my crazy.

    • You bring out a great point! There have been some cliffhangers that really do feel just like a ploy to keep you buying the next book instead of really adding to the quality of the book. I agree, “The Time-Traveler’s Wife” sounds catchy, but “The Doctor’s Wife” sounds like something I’d hear everyday. Thanks for commenting!

  8. Bella says:

    One of my pet peeves is when there is a wacky family and the teenage girl who is left to save the family business. The first few book I read using this storyline were okay, but then it kept happening over. and. over. again!
    What a fun post! :)

  9. I love this post. This scenario bothers me too, and it’s not just in YA books. Real attraction is built on trust which is earned through hardships. I don’t see much opportunity to build trust with a guy who tosses his cookies.

    My pet peeve is characters who snipe at each other for no good reason. I like conflict, but at least give the people a reason to be at odds.

    • Thank you, I’m so glad you love my post! :) I absolutely agree, conflict can be terrific in a story if written well, but characters being at odds with each other without a good reasons is just annoying. Thanks for commenting!

  10. LOL Totally agree, made me laugh! It is a pet peeve of mine when a romance is unbelievable.. or really one any girl shouldn’t be wanting but is romanticized anyway! Beautiful Disaster was that book for me!

    • I’m glad I made you laugh! :) You’ re absolutely right, for me, the only thing worse than an unbelievable romance is one a girl really shouldn’t be in or be wanting! I realize that there are a ton of situations & that rocky relationships can smooth out with work, but I’m not a fan of books that make a girl think she should put up with a lot of things she shouldn’t because it is “true love.” Thanks for commenting!

  11. I could not agree with you more. It makes it hard to hope for love with such a loser. Great post. Love all the pics.

  12. Suzanne says:

    Um, poorly written sex scenes (I won’t elaborate, I’m sure you’ve read them, too…)

    Also, this is going to start to wear on me: trilogies in which the first books end on HUMONGOUS spoilers. Good grief. Right a book that has a nice resolution, but opens the way to the next piece of the story. Massive cliffhangers are starting to annoy me, even with books that I would otherwise love. They seem lazy to me.

  13. Mandy R. says:

    I hate when series go on and on, but the writing just gets worse and worse. A lot of series could be cut in half and be a lot better instead of dragging it out, in my opinion.

  14. I haven’t come across anything like this before but I’ll certainly look out for it now! I hate words that are continuously used. It makes me hit my head on a table every single time. And I also growl in frustration! It’s a really great post! Thanks for sharing!

  15. Judith says:

    I love this topic! Though I’ve never read anything like that, I’d hate that too. I mostly have a problem with unbelievable aspects of stories: insta love, flat characters, really weird plot twists that don’t make sense. I’m currently reading Forgotten by Cat Patrick which is pretty good but the romance is just terrible! They knew each other for less than two minutes and that girl already described him as perfect and heavenly. Just… no!

  16. Laura says:

    This is such a great post!! My pet peeve is secondary characters that seem to have no life of their own and their entire plot seems to revolve around the main character!! :)

  17. I agree with your pet peeve. It’s not attractive and shouldn’t be written like it should be.
    Other pet peeves of mine are love triangles and when parents are never around in ya novels. It’s just like uggh.

  18. KateB says:

    Instalove and love triangles are my current pet-hate.

    Also, lately I’ve read a few reviews for books I wanted to read but after reading the reviews I put the books aside. These had the problem of sounding like they had interesting fast paced plots but ended up being all about the romance – nothing wrong with romance. I love love. And reading about love. But when I want just love – I’ll go to a book that’s non-apologetically romance centric.

    I feel let down when I’m expecting an adventure and all I get is romantic drama and moony eyed characters.

    • Same here, I’ve recently put several books aside after reading their reviews. It is disappointing when you think you’re going to get a book with a lot of mystery, adventure, etc. only to find that the plot is more of a love story with only a tad bit of other elements thrown in. Thanks for commenting! :)

  19. Lisa says:

    Funny! I haven’t actually read any with the situation you describe (drunk boy…), but that definitely does not sound appealing! I guess my pet peeve lately is that in so many YA novels, the main character is always a quirky girl with an off-beat hobby or interest (I’ve read a couple lately where the main girl is obsessed with old movies). It seems a bit like a lazy shortcut to me, as if the author is using it to let us know that the person is deep.

  20. DoingDewey says:

    This is probably the least original pet peeve ever, but the love triangle trend is definitely my biggest. Two people liking the main character doesn’t always bother me, but I hate it when the person who is the object of affection can’t make up their mind and strings both of the interested parties along. Great discussion post!

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