Things that annoy me in books

Now with delicious, delicious gifs!

I was going to link to a bunch of examples but then I ran out of time and also I don’t think it matters all that much. This is just general stuff that annoys me, and they can be found in lots of books.1

1. Objectifying/othering/etc. descriptions of sexual acts/women doing the sexual act/women in general, usually written by a dude and in a “literary fiction” book starring another dude as the protagonist. I have written about this many times before, and it’s still true. Yuck.

2. Murder mysteries where the detective is (usually) a dude and the murdered person is a woman, and the victim has usually been brutalized/murdered in an over-the-top way. It’s not just a murder, it’s a SENSATIONAL murder. Know what I mean? It’s not enough to just have a dead person, the dead person has to have been murdered in a way that turns the dial up to 11.

This annoys me because a) there are a TON of these kind of mysteries out there now, and it’s getting boring, and b) the implication seems to be that it wouldn’t be as thrilling of a mystery if the victim were a dude murdered in a brutal way. Who cares about murdered dudes when we could slap a half-naked dead woman2 on the cover. That’ll definitely sell more books!

3. When there is a romantic element in an otherwise exciting book, and the romance makes the characters act stupid in ways that, in the world of the book itself, SHOULD have got them killed (or captured or whatever). You see this sort of thing in slasher films, for example, like when the two leads stop running from the slasher to have life-affirming sex or something and they don’t get killed. It’s like the killer decided to go on a smoke break while the leads were busy NOT RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES. I suppose it’s some sort of symbolic thing but I don’t care. If you’re escaping from a crazed madman with an ax, don’t stop in the middle to get it on! Sheesh.

4. When really old paranormal creatures have the mental equivalent of a human teenager’s mind/emotions/etc. and that somehow makes it okay for them to date human teenagers. I don’t think I’ve ever read a book that convinced me that a character’s paranormal status has delayed their emotional development enough so it’s not creepy that they’re in lust with a 16-year-old, but it’s something I would LOVE to read. Would you be cool with a teenager dating a 60-year-old human if he dressed like Justin Bieber and liked Cartoon Network? No! You’d have concerns.

Fantasy books (mostly) require not questioning everything to death in order to work, and yeah, there’s the whole romantic fantasy thing as well (Alpha Heroes and whatever).I understand that part. But it still skeeves me out when it’s not even questioned. And it doesn’t have to be skeevy! You can still have a totally hot romance and address the issues of age and experience and power and so on between the people in the relationship and it doesn’t have to be super depressing. Just look at Buffy and Angel (although yeah, it turned out depressing at the end).

Those’re just some of the things that annoy me in books! There’s more, but these are the ones that make me rant when I see them in a book somewhere.

Please note that I’m not trying to harsh on anyone’s buzz here. If you like paranormal romance slashers with naked dead women and the dudes who have sex with them talking about how their nipples looked like candy corn or whatever, that’s TOTALLY FINE. It’s just that I…don’t!3 So.

What things in books are annoying to you?


  1. I’ve actually had the majority of this post written since last December! DECEMBER 2011. I waffled on whether I should post it or not but if you’ve been reading my blog for even a little while I think you’d already know this stuff annoys me. I’ve just never put it into one place before. Ha!
  2. more like PARTS of a woman– legs, for example, with high heels attached to the feet.
  3. We all have different tastes in books, that’s what makes the world so beautiful, etc. I’m seriously not trying to offend anyone, okay?
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  1. Haha, I love those gifs. My main annoyances in books are things like prologues and endless descriptions of clothing. I am bothered by sensationalistic murders, but then I don’t read those books. :)

    • I don’t mind prologues, really, except when they’re completely in italics. WHY. I ALREADY KNOW IT’S SEPARATE FROM THE REST OF THE BOOK. I don’t need special fonts to further differentiate it! UGH.

  2. Three cheers for gifs!

    Have you read TEETH, a vampire anthology edited by Ellen Datlow and Terri Windling? Most of the authors deal specifically with the way vampirism freezes someone time, basically making them a perpetual teenager (if that’s what they were when they were turned). It’s not specifically a romance anthology, but it does have a lot of relevance to the whole idea of vampires who just can’t grow up.

  3. I’ve stopped reading crime fiction purely because of the violence against women. Not to mention the women who exist *purely* to be killed and tortured. No way. Mysteries I can do, but crime, no.

  4. Nipples like candy corn? Hhahahahaha

  5. I mean I would not date a high school person, and I am so many decades less far removed from high school than a vampire. So I don’t know why people keep doing that! It wouldn’t be any fun! Kids in high school are so EXTREME about everything.

    • I HOPE it’s because they’re mentally the same age as a high school kid so it’s kind of okay? But, like, even in the case of Buffy, Angel definitely wasn’t high-school minded and while Buffy was more mature than most of the other kids her age, she definitely wasn’t an adult. So that part’s gross! But they were equal in other ways, which makes it (almost) okay again. Yeah.

  6. The WHOLE pediaphile thing in paranormal books gross me out *coughtwilightcough*
    I stay away from crime books with male detetives/female victums. Though if you’d like, I’ll gladly recommend some murder mystery series that you may like. Just leave a note on my blog, yes?

  7. Yes! *fist bump* Number four makes me think that you’ve read Anna Dressed in Blood. :-) If a dude was to tell me that my nipples looked like candy corn, I would have to slap his ass. The protagonist would have to be really stupid not to do the same thing.

    • I have not read ADIB but I kind of think I won’t like it even IF the covers are pretty neat. I got the audiobook for free, though, sooooo. Hmmmm.

  8. I love the gifs too, especially the last one – definitely captures my feeling on the twilight-esque romances that have become so popular lately :)

    • Cannot WAIT until the Twilight-esque romances fade more into the background, at least for YA romances. I really want more sci-fi stuff, only that’s getting some weird body-related ownership stuff that’s possibly even more problematic than sexy vampires are.

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