Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature created at The Broke and the Bookish. Each week you compile a list of ten books which coincide with that week's theme. You can find everything you need to know about joining in here!
This week's theme is all about the things that make us NOT want to read a book. I did struggle with this theme a bit at first, but the more I thought about it the more I remembered just how many bookish tropes get on my nerves. So, without further ado, here are my top
A city girl starts a new life in the country... This has been done to death in contemporary - looking at you, Jenny Colgan - and while some stories can be charming, the more I see it the more it bugs me. I'm a country girl myself, I've always lived in the countryside and I love the countryside, and there's something a tad patronising about the way the country is often portrayed as this quaint, idyllic, backward place with no wifi. The countryside is just as varied as the big cities, and it'd be nice to see this reflected more in fiction.
It's hard being a white, middle-aged, middle class, able-bodied, cisgendered man, I think I'll have an affair... NOPE. Sorry fellas, but I don't care about your problems that aren't really problems. By all means give me a protagonist who fits all the afore-mentioned criteria but who is also a unique and real voice, but don't give me a man chasing a manic pixie dream girl.
Dude, where's the blurb..? I hate it when I want to know what a book is about, but all I get is a blurb so vague it might as well not be there or nothing at all. Some people like no blurb, and that's fine, but personally I want to have an idea of what a book's about before I give it my time.
Waaay too much blurb... On the other end of the scale, I'm immediately put off by a blurb that starts to feel like I'm reading an essay. I want to know what the book's about, I don't want to know the plot twist or the protagonist's love interest's grandmother's budgie's maiden name.
The Dead Girl Test... I've mentioned this before. The Dead Girl Test is a test I give every crime/thriller novel I pick up which involves the murder of women. If, at any point, the detective sees the corpse of a murdered woman and describes her as beautiful, I'm outta here. Why? Firstly, I hate the way that it implies that her death would be any less tragic if she were ugly. Secondly, I think corpses are too grim to be thought of as beautiful, especially if a person's been murdered and their body has just been found.
Three's a Crowd... Love triangles are done badly 99.9% of the time. I have no interest in them, especially after living through the dark years of YA brimming with the damn things.
Strike a Pose... This is purely personal taste, but I'm very, very rarely drawn to books that have the photograph of a person on the front. I like to imagine the characters for myself and I'm a big lover of simple, eye-catching, typographic covers.
Not Like Other Girls... In historical fiction in particular, I'm really bored of reading about heroines who are ahead of their time and are somehow better than the other women they know because they want to do something other than get married and have children. Can we stop the girl hate please?
What turns you off a book?