--------------------------------------------------------------

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Book Peeves: Those Things That Annoy

I was inspired by Charlotte's recent post about those little things that ruin a book for her (and those in the comments).  I know we all have them, both the little and the big things.  So, I thought I'd talk about mine and hopefully get you to tell me about yours.  Or maybe talk about how we can make peace with our peeves and get over it (or not).  Either way, let's chat about those peeves.  (I decided against using specific book as examples, but you are welcome to use some to illustrate your issues.)

I am not surprised.
The surprise ending that doesn't surprise.
For some reason, this has become even more of an issue for me recently.  Perhaps I've read too much and nothing can surprise me anymore (not likely).  Or it could be that I spend more time near the beginning wondering just what plot twists lie ahead.  Whatever the cause, this is often one of those peeves that can ruin a book for me.  I also know that there are exceptions to this rule - sometimes I'll still enjoy a book whose ending doesn't surprise me when the characters are likable or the writing is exceptional.  But I tend to enjoy a book more when I don't see that end coming.

I can't believe it.
When an incredible plot becomes unbelievable.
This is entirely an individual thing, but when an already pretty out-there plot takes one more step, I just have to shake my head in disbelief.  Truly, it is a fine line to walk to between a plot that isn't boring and one that isn't so far-fetched it sounds like a dream sequence.  I have a pretty high tolerance for the ridiculous, especially if I'm immersed in the story, but if I'm not into the story, I don't want to start noticing how unbelievable it's becoming.

The rushed ending.
These are all so subjective!  I get frustrated when there's all this build up and all this crazy tension, and then the ending finishes in about two pages (don't get me started on those cliff-hanger series' endings either).  I want something a little bit more when I've invested all that emotion.  Sometimes all I want is just a little bit more time to recover.  Of course, this also goes the other way when there are five or six epilogues and post scripts.  Another difficult balancing act, for sure.

Image credit: NASA
Astronomical blunders.
This is one of those issues that is very individualized (like the ones in Charlotte's post).  I was an astronomy major in college, so naturally I sit up a little straighter when a story has any astronomy elements.  And yes there are definitely liberties that can and should be taken with space stories - there is so much unknown out there.  But as someone who spent four years studying the topic in great mathematical detail (which, admittedly, I've largely forgotten), I'm more particular with those details.  And usually those details are very minor and no one else would even notice them.  But, I'm sure that all of us have those little areas of specialty where the mistakes are glaring to us.  This is mine.

There are other issues, like grammar and spelling, though I tend to be very forgiving unless it's a published book with numerous problems.  But these are kind of my top four right now.  And I think often my reactions to these kinds of peeves are related to my book mood too.  Funny how so many factors go into liking or disliking a book.

Now it's your turn - what are your book peeves?

If you buy through my Amazon linkage, I will get a very small percentage

18 comments :

  1. First off, I love your pictures. I'm sure that about 90% of the time I'm looking like that first pic while reading. I'm just not surprised very often anymore. As for my pet peeves? I'm thinking of doing my own post now. I love to complain. ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks, my nieces and nephews make awesome faces :) Ooh, I'm looking forward to your post!

      Delete
  2. I agree with you, except about the astronomy thing, 'cause honestly, I wouldn't know if the author was right on or not when it comes to that subject! But, if an author does not know their subject (and I can tell), then that definitely gets to me.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wish I could tell if they know their subject - I think sometimes I'm totally oblivious to that kind of thing :)

      Delete
  3. I have recently experienced some series fatigue in YA fiction and seem to currently prefer stand-alone novels. Often, with trilogies I have found myself to loose interest in the second part. Additionally, I avoid all books with love triangles and bad writing/grammar.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I struggle with the second book in the trilogy, love triangles, and definitely grammar issues. Hopefully you'll find something to help you not feel fatigued!

      Delete
  4. I know what you mean about the overload of the unbelievable! I myself often have to swallow very hard, as it were, when pirates are introduced for no good reason.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ah, and see I love a good random pirate :)

      Delete
  5. I find that surprise endings that don't surprise upset me more in movies than in books -- enough so that I don't even want to watch most movies. I don't know why there's a difference but there is.
    I get annoyed with bad sentences -- like the author shouldn't have been allowed to keep that sentence in there without the editor catching it. Typos of course too. Endings that just set up a sequel way too much. But, honestly, my biggest reading pet peeve are Forwards. I never read them until after the book. Why should I read what this guy thinks about The Great Gatsby and have him form my impressions for me? Gah!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hm, hadn't thought about it with movies actually. I watch so few movies, and even fewer new ones. I've never been too angry at forewords either, though sometimes when they spoil the story for us, they aren't that great. Thanks for sharing!

      Delete
  6. Non-surprise endings aren't necessarily a huge issue for me, but I do LOVE it when I am surprised. However, when an amazing but far-fetched plot takes that one little step over the line into whacked-out land, it drives me CRAZY. Unless, like you said, I'm totally sucked into the storyworld.

    Great post. I think I might steal this idea for a post of my own :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Mostly I'm annoyed by those ones that purport to surprise, but don't. I hate those crazy plots sometimes too. Let me know if you do post about your peeves - I'd love to read it!

      Delete
  7. I don't necessarily mind non-surprise endings, but what really bugs is me non-surprise plots. When I know every single thing that is going to happen from start to finish. That bugs me. I can deal with a less surprising ending though so long as the journey and characters are engaging.

    I'm with you on the unbelievability one too. There have been a few dystopias recently that I couldn't get into because I just could not buy the premise AT ALL.

    I'm impressed with your astronomy knowledge. :) It bothers me when authors get their info wrong, but I have to say, I'd probably never recognize an inaccurate astronomy statement.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, I'm with you on predictable plots from beginning to end. Definitely there are quite a number of unbelievable dystopias (some that I liked anyway :) You probably have an area of expertise that I'd not notice a mistake in too!

      Delete
  8. I really hate reading books (and watching movies) that attempt to manipulate my emotions. Especially, when they trying to twist what is moral and right through the emotional manipulation.

    I can see it a mile away -- Everything is set up so that I'm supposed to feel sorry for, sympathize and rationalize with, come to accept the actions of someone doing something blatantly wrong. And yes, I can have compassion on people, but that doesn't make what they are doing RIGHT!

    I don't see it much in YA fiction, but it sure is prevalent elsewhere, and is pretty darn lame in my opinion.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ooh, yes! I'm with you on the manipulations, though I can't even think of an example now. I think it is annoying when they do try to make you think it's right, instead of just making you feel compassion or empathy or just helping you understand people better.

      Delete
  9. Yes! Rushed endings kill me! It always seems to me like the writer was behind and the editor was on them to get it done--so they did. It may be a "good" ending, but it just don't FEEL right.
    Robin McKinley did that with one of the Beauty and the Beast books (can't remember which right now...)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Exactly. I don't remember that in McKinley's Rose Daughter or Beauty, but it's entirely possible because it's been so long since I read them!

      Delete

Love it when you comment!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
Copyright © melissa of One Librarian's Book Reviews 2008-2015