5 Things That Would Make Me Throw a Book Against the Wall

* Note: All these things are inspired by books I recently read, but I’m not going to specifically name any of the books because karma is a scary, scary beast. Yes, yes, I’m a cow…ard. Hur hur. Geddit, geddit? Uh, moving on…

1. Unhealthy relationships which are hailed as awesome ones.

Look, I get it. I get that no relationship is perfect. Mr. Cow and I fight quite a bit (mostly his fault, of course), but at the end of the day, we love and support each other and we make sacrifices which we don’t rub into each other’s faces, at least not unless we feel like it. But recently, this happened in a book:

Post10a

I thought this was a good conflict, because you know, sometimes people behave like dicks. What is NOT good is the fact that the MC totally fell apart because of her assholey husband, dropped everything including the Once in a Lifetime chance, and flew across the country to make up with this man-baby, and that was the happy ending. Just, no.

2. Major subplots which are never resolved.

Post10bI don’t usually mind questions that are left with vague answers, but in this case, it happened with a major subplot — I could even argue that this is the main plot because it was mentioned in the blurb — and there was no answer, not even a vague one. I still have no clue what the heck happened, which might be okay for small subplots, but not ones which are a selling point to the book. (I mean, I picked up the book because this very plotline sounded so interesting. BWARGH.)

3. Books without meaningful female characters.

Post10cBy “meaningful”, I don’t mean female characters need to be the main characters, but they do need to exist for reasons which are completely independent of their male counterparts. I’m not interested in books which delegate one-dimensional roles to the female characters, like “the wife/girlfriend/LI”. Also, can we please have more than just the ONE token female character? We do make up half the world’s population, after all.

4. Books that are obviously wish fulfillment for the author.

Post10d

These kinds of books become embarrassing to read, because I feel like I’m taking a peek into some hormonal teen’s diary. I blame the beta readers, the agent, and the various editors at the publishing house for this. I mean, really, at some point, did no one think to point out that 100 pages of sex with a wood nymph goddess thingy is kind of gratuitous?

5. Good guys are good, bad guys are bad.

Post10e

I hate black and white morality. Mostly because I feel that such simplicity insults my intelligence as a reader. Most people aren’t all good or all bad. I like complex characters, flawed MCs who do shitty stuff and antagonists who give you pause and make you think, “S/he has a point…” Give me your despicable good guys and compassionate baddies anytime.

What are your pet peeves when it comes to books?

About the author

CowOmNom
CowOmNom

Om nom nom nom! Om?

NOM.

14 Comments

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  • Have to agree with all five of your pet peeves. I have 3 more that would have me book-flinging:
    1. Gross errors resulting from lack of adequate research.
    2. Racism, sexism, or homophobia coming from the author’s value system and not stemming from the plot or social context of the story;
    3. Lack of realism in books that are not of a genre such as fantasy or sci-fi;

    May I add spelling and grammatical errors?

    • Oooh, good ones, InMyBook! I don’t mind racist, sexist, or homophobic characters if they make sense within the social context of the story, but when it’s obvious that they’re just messengers for the author’s bigotry, bwargh!

  • After I agree with the previous comments and love the Dorothy Parker quote, I come across a lot of books that simply make no sense. Fifty pages in, if I still don’t know what the book is about, it’s problematic. Then there are those books that just meander, shoot off into tangents, incorporate a lot of repetitive writing. Poor writing in whatever form it takes makes me crazy.

  • Which are some reasons to read classics instead of trying to sort through current fiction in search of a good read. With classics,the sorting has already happened.

    • I do read classics, although not as many as I should. Just like contemporary reads, I enjoy some and not others. Some still end up crashing into the wall. πŸ˜€

  • Agreeing with much of what has already been said. Also, while I’m a romance fan, I’m finding that I’m really bothered by huge flashes of sexuality at moments when they’re no friggin’ way anyone (who wants to live) is thinking about sex. For example, I recently read (and gave up on) a book where the hero and heroine, who just met, were trying to escape gunfire, but the scene was interrupted for pages at a time with paragraphs on how hot they were for each other and wanted to rip each others’ clothes off. Um…being that focused on sex when you’re dodging bullets seems like a great way to die.

  • OMG! Dat. Wuz. OARSOME!! Do moarer five thingses posts! But make sure they’re all ranty things. I like it when you bitch about schtuffs! S’funny. πŸ™‚

  • Any book which the author got bored with before finishing it. Such books generally spend 99% of their pages creating an elaborate and complex build-up that gets rapidly and easily ‘resolved’ in the last five. Often by somebody going in and simply flipping a switch, typing something on a computer keyboard, or shooting somebody.

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