Top Ten Tuesday - Top Ten Bookish Pet Peeves

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hoste by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week a new theme is given.

This week the is : BOOKISH PET PEEVES

Now I know we all have those, me included, and I will try to make this list not only about YA romantic stories/plots, because I think I could make a list just with that.

1. Elitist Readers.
People who think there is one kind of literature better than others. That look down on people who read genre literature, or young adult and children fiction, or romance novels, etc. In my opinion reading is good. Sharing is good. And it doesn't matter what kind of book you read, as long as you read and enjoy yourself, or find refuge in words. There is something comforting, reassuring, enlightening, and life-changing in words and stories and it should never matter how or where you find that comfort. This goes as well for people who look down on comic books, saying they are not "real" books. I love comics. Comics are awesome and works of art, and if you like them, good for you. (and comment and tell me which ones are your favourites because I am looking for new ones to read)

2. Obvious foreshadowing
I am so so annoyed when authors use too much foreshadowing in a book. Or when the foreshadowing reveals plot twists or events. Things like: "Little did he know, that he would never see her again" or " She would learn the meaning of all this before the night was over". Don't tell me things in advance, just tell me the story. Foreshadowing, in my opinion, can be well done only if the novel is told in a fist-person point-of-view, where the narraotor is telling things that happened to him/her in the past. Foreshadowing can then feel more like a discussion you're having with the narrator. And even then it's hard for me not to find it slightly annoying.

3. Love at fist sight.
Especially in YA books. It's not believable. At all. And it takes away the complexities of feelings that come with falling in love and the insecurities that come with it. In the same vein, characters that fall in love too fast are also not very believable. When your main characters have only known each other for a few days or weeks, they cannot suddenly think that the other person is the love of their life. It makes them look silly, immature, annoying and fake. And it feels like laziness from the author.

4. Whitewashing YA covers
This applies to YA novels that have protagonists of color. Too often the covers of these novels will show a girl or a boy that do not fit the race or ethnicity of the protagonist. Too often they will be white. Publishers have all kinds of reasons for doing this, none of them good, none of them understandable. This needs to stop.
In the same vein I wish there were more characters of color in YA fiction, especially in genre like paranormal romance, because it seems, these days, that only white people can be/fall in love with vampires or werewolves or fairies.

5. Abusive boyfriends pegged as "best boyfriends in the world"
The title says it all. I am sick and tired of all those unhealthy, abusive relationships in YA romance. It is not good, nor roamntic, when your boyfriend stalks you, or tries to tell you what to do or not to do, pushes you away to make you feel guilty, or any other kind of emotional manipulation. It is not romantic, it is not healthy, and it certainly isn't love.

6. Too many brands.
To drop brand names once in a while IF it is important to the plot, is okay. But I am really annoyed when it is done obviously to try and seem "cool" or in touch with the times. It is also highly distracting. Things like: "she way typing her paper on her Macbook Pro" instead of  "she was typing her paper on her laptop". Unless in the next sentences someone shows up to have an argument about PCs versus Macs that is part of the plot, there is just no need for it. It's like product placement in TV shows and movies.

7. Romantic plot taking over otherwise non-romantic novel
It seems like we cannot have YA books without a romantic plot line, which I have accepted even if I don't like it. But there is a difference between reading a romance novel and reading an adventure story, or a dystopian novel, etc. And when the romantic plot and conflict takes over the plot of these books, I really want to bang my head on the walls.

8. Too many hot guys in YA fiction
You know what makes me roll my eyes? when I read the back cover of a YA book to learn about the story and that inevitably the main male character is described as: mysterious, hot, handsome, dark, intriguing, gorgeous, etc. They are always the most gorgeous guys alive! How? Why? Why is this necessary? I have no idea. It's like they think I wouldn't want to read the book, if I am not absolutely certain that the male love interest will be a hottie. Just like I would never go see a movie where the actors are not handsome, right? And on top of that, they tend to make the female protagonists "plain", because they want the readers to identify with her, but of course she is almost never really plain, and even if she is, she will absolutely attract the most gorgeous boy in the school. Because that's how life works. I want plain boys, and fat girls and geeky characters that do not know how to dress and might have a few pimples, but have hearts of gold and courage coming out of their ears. Something a bit different for once.

9. Out-of-character actions to further the plot
When authors make one of their characters do something obviously out-of-character without reasonable explanation as a way to introduce a plot twist or further the plot in any way. That's just lazy or poor storytelling. Or both.

10. Unnecessary epilogues
Epilogues set a few years in the future showing what the characters have become without it having anything to do really with the main plot of the book or the series. Even more frustrating is when this epilogue wraps eveybody's lives in perfect marriages and children and sweet nuclear families with nobody single or in a same-sex relationship. And it absolutely brings nothing to the actual story, and feels more like fan service than anything else. I'm looking at you Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and possibly Mockinjay.


  1. Wonderful post and very entertaining. I heartily agree with all of these. Especially point 1. Elitism in all its forms is disgusting.

  2. @Thea
    I agree I despise elitism in any form too. And thank you!

  3. I love this list! I agree with all of them.

    #3. - I cannot agree more! Love at first sight irks me so much in novels. Especially in adult ones since they're sleeping together by that night. Whatever.

    #8. - "I want plain boys, and fat girls and geeky characters that do not know how to dress and might have a few pimples, but have hearts of gold and courage coming out of their ears."
    Yes!!! Amen to that.

    I'm partial to Asterix and Obelix comics but they might be hard to get, I don't know. (My dad collects them.)

  4. @Melee
    I LOVE Asterix & Obelix! I've read them all when I was young. They're not hard for me to get, because I'm French (Canadian), so they were right there, in my local library and/or bookstore :)

  5. @8 haha, I agree! I actually read a YA trilogy recently where the heroine ends up with the guys she describes as incredibly unnattractive haha! I think it was 'The Gathering' by Kelly Armstrong.

  6. I completely agree with your dislike of elitist readers! In terms of encouraging reading and literacy, the official stance (for librarians, anyway) is that any reading is good reading. So if all your kid wants to read is Simpsons comics or Disney magazines, then that is excellent! Anything that makes reading enjoyable will lead to the strengthening of a good reader relationship (we're all about getting people hooked young, haha). The same goes for adults too- If people want to read Mills and Boon or the latest James Patterson novel instead of Dostoevsky, then good for them :)

  7. Oh my goodness! A fellow Asterix and Obelix fan!!! I love them as well. Oh, that's nice! I think they're harder to get in the US. At least, it's progressively getting that way.

  8. MJ, may I ask, what are your favourite comics?

    I would recommend the Moomins, but I'm sure you are already familiar with them.

  9. Super awesome list! I could chat about all of your great points, but I decided to focus #8:

    I, too, am sick of the "dark, mysterious, attractive" labels that are tacked on the back covers. I mean it's not so bad if, in the book, they are good-looking, but I hate being told that up front. It gives the impression that the book is not written well enough be able to express such a thing on its own.

    I believe that it's most important that the main character (a girl, in this example) is the one who finds the boy attractive - not some vague, reading demographic. It doesn't matter what he looks like, so long as I'm connecting with the MC and I'm feeling her attraction to him. Attractive and attraction don't mean that same thing, haha.

    As a writer, I'm in the guy character school of beta males (I may be the only one who actually named my disposition, haha). Essentially, I like reading and writing male characters that are not stereotypically handsome or overly aggressive. They can still step up to the plate, but they're quirky and lovable without having to threaten or throw the girl against a wall, haha.

  10. @Lindsey
    Oh, I might check this series out, if it affers something different!

    I agree 100% with you. My brother doesn't like reading and the only thing he would read when he was younger were manga. My dad kept saying it wasn't "real" reading, etc. Now my brother only reads for school and nothing else.
    I really don't care about what people read, as long as they read. Keep up the good work!

    Yes! I read them all in French and absolutely loved them. Most of my friends were really into Tintin, but I love Astérix and Obélix best of all :)

  11. @Thea
    I haven're read a lot of Moomins, because I haven't been able to get my hands on a lot of collection, but I have loved everything I was able to read.
    My favourite these days is the seires "Fables" and "The Unwritten". "Adele Blanc-Sec" is cool too, but I don't know if it has been translated in English. When I was younf I loved "Asterix and Obelix" as well as "Sailormoon" :)

    I agree 100%. I doesn't matter to me if I feel attracted to the male charater, if the MC is interested in him, and I belive in her interest, that's what matter. But I think it comes from a school of thought that the read HAVE to identify with the MC, particularly female character in YA romance novel. That's why, I think, Bella from "Twilight" is so bland and generic, so that the reader can more easily identify with her, and the story.
    Which I think is a bit lazy anyway. Personnaly, I do not want to always read about characters that are like me.

    I'm into nice guys myself. I absolutely hate alpha males, in real life and in books. I like boys that can stand up for themselves and what they belive in, but who are generally funny and nice and sweet. None of that "masculine" nonesense. I do not like when they are agressive of oppressive or assert themselves over the female characters. You know, the white knight to the rescue and all that jazz. And I would never write one either. Not as a love interest anyway.
    So I'm totally with you on that one. Maybe I should make a post about my favourite "nice guys". Who are your favourites?

  12. I picked the name brands also. I don't care who made your shoes!!

    I also hate the abusive relationships. I praise books when they feature healthy relationships. How about the dystopians now where the girl is all happy and fine with her weird world until an irritating guy (who she later falls in love with) shows her how wrong she was.

  13. @Sara
    Yea, I a bit annoyed at those novels as well. I mean, I'm all for questioning society and all, but can't the girl figure it out on her own? Or can't she figure it out WITH the boy? It always feels a bit like the guy is coming along and saying: "look, I know you're a girl, so let me explain to you, what I know, because you are wrong and I am right. I'm sorry if this is hard for your little lady-brain. But really you should listen to ME". Blah.