Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature/meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make You NOT Pick Up a Book.
- Horror. I don’t read it. Period. I like to sleep nights.
- Zombies. I might make an exception for Warm Bodies, but generally speaking, I don’t do zombies. (See Horror.)
- Bleak. I’m not really interested in books described as “bleak.” There’s enough bleak in the real world; I don’t need it in my pleasure reading.
- Apocalypse. OK, I’ll make an exception for good post-apocalyptic fantasy, but if the book is about the end of the world, count me out. (Usually.)
- Incest. Sorry, I don’t go there, either. OK, the hint of it in Luke’s interest in Leia, before he finds out, is bearable. He drops the infatuation as soon as he finds out, anyway. And I’ve certainly come across incest in villains or hugely unsympathetic characters, and dealt with it. But between main characters? Eww! No thanks.
- Mysogyny. If the main character or the book (or the author) comes across as mysogynist, I will pass.
- Racisim. Ditto. Secondary characters can be racist or mysogynist, as can the antagonist, but if characters with whom I’m supposed to identify display these traits, or I get the sense the author is either or both, I’m outta here.
- Child abuse. Physical or sexual, this is one of my triggers. I can handle it in small doses in a book, particularly in the past, or if the child is rescued from the situation and helped (a la Mercedes Lackey’s Foundation.) I can’t handle an entire book focused on it, or long, drawn-out descriptions. (Just to be clear: my aversion doesn’t come from personal experience, just from a sense of horror that anyone would so mistreat a child.)
- Love triangle. I’ll put up with one of these if a) truly necessary to the plot and b) very well written. If extremely well done, I might even enjoy it. On the other hand, if the author stuck it in because all YA these days has to have a love triangle, or because it was an easy way to throw in some conflict and/or angst, I’ll pass.
- Dialog that begins with “As you know, . . .” This usually signals an awkward info-dump. It may not mean the book is badly written, but it’s a warning sign.
Your turn! What words or phrases will keep you from picking up a book?