3 Bookish Pet Peeves

There are book tropes I think everyone’s tired of – i.e. the chosen one or the love triangle or the insta-love. These pet peeves I think are a little less talked about but they drive me nuts all the same.

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1. Hot people doing stuff

It torments me to no end when you open a book expecting an actual plot and all you get is 500 hundred pages mentioning how attractive each character is as they do stuff. Don’t bullshit me with your thrilling backcover synopsis. This is just hot people doing stuff. (Looking at you Paper Princess). It also bothers me when everyone in a book is good-looking and it’s a common talking point. I felt like the ACOMAF series did that quite frequently. How dull. Honestly, aside from basic descriptions, I don’t really give a flying rat’s ass what your character looks like. If describing their appearance isn’t a vehicle for some backstory, world-building or character development, I don’t want it. 

The solution? Either create characters that are physically distinctive from each other or forget appearances all together. A Daughter of Smoke and Bones is guilty of occasional gratuitous descriptions, but we also get really imaginatively vivid characters descriptions. I remember hearing the appalling description of Razgut and Izil and picturing the whole scene so clearly. It made it all the more revolting when Razgut licks Karou. Not to mention all the incredible creatures she describes throughout the book. That’s about the only time appearance matters to me.

 

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2. Instant ramen fighters

You don’t get a week of fighting lessons and then go off to war. Hunting rabbits does not a warrior make. You take karate classes at your cool private high school? Nope, still not enough. I’ve been training for fights everyday for a year and a half now, which isn’t that long of a time. If it’s taught me anything, it’s that you don’t get to open a packet of seasoning, add hot water and pop a fighter out of the microwave. It takes years. Years. And even then, that may only give you the skills to hold your own against someone of your size and stature. Forget about fighting off monsters and men strong enough to have become esteemed warriors or evil villains.

The solution? Have characters out-smart or use their own personal strengths to get out of those situations. Example: Lila Bard from ADSOM. Constantly outpowered or outnumbered. She doesn’t always win, but when she does it’s because of her cleverness and willingness to bend the rules to her advantage.

 

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3. Pseudo-intellectual teenagers

AHEMjohngreenAHEM. Really, please see any John Green love interest to see what I’m talking about. It’s lazy characterization to me. Rather than placing your character(s) in situations that reveal their intelligence or maturity, we get ridiculously cheesy descriptions and pages of bad dialogue. This often falls in step with the manic pixie dream girl and hipsters. They’re all an attempt to be different from the mainstream, but are done in such a way that they become their own cliche. Plus, when I’m reading YA, I kind of expect to see immaturity. These are coming of age stories – immaturity and believable age are important.

WHAT KINDA KID TALKS LIKE THIS. 

The solution? Stop trying so damn hard and let kids be kids. See More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera, where his characters play tag and behave entirely like teens but still have real, powerful struggles with identity, acceptance and love.

 

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Any of this stuff drive you bananas too? Or is it just me sipping on the haterade?

 

Happy Reading!

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5 thoughts on “3 Bookish Pet Peeves”

  1. YES TO ALL OF THESE THINGS!!!! Firstly, I hate everyone being hot as well. I honestly don’t care because I will form a picture in my mind usually based on their personality. Everyone being beautiful and perfect is so boring!!

    In relation to your second point, I know exactly what you mean. Like, said person can shoot a wolf and then all of a sudden be able to come out of every future fight unscathed. As you can tell, I may be thinking of one book series in particlar haha. And I love your solution using Delilah Bard as an example.

    And lastly, I think this is one of the reasons why I don’t like John Green stuff. I found The Fault in Our Stars to be pretentious because of all of the “intellectual” talk. When I was a teenager we talked about crap. And even if it was “intellectual” talk, it was more about crap than actual intellectual stuff!!

    Great post lovely!!

    1. hahahah, thank you! I totally had that same series in mind when writing this post.

      Toooootally with the John Green stuff. It just didn’t sound like real kids talking. Perks of Being a Wallflower does a pretty good job of hitting “intellectual” talk without feeling forced or cringe-y. I couldn’t even get through TFIOS after Hazel and August’s first conversation. I finished Paper Towns, but felt the same way about Margot.

      1. Perks of Being a Wallflower was wonderful and not cringe-y like TFIOS. Hahaha yeah Hazel and August’s first convo is just like…who talks like that?!?

  2. OMG YES! I love how you mentioned the last two cause it seems like they aren’t pointed out very often! I don’t like John Green books because of how he portrays teens.

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