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Monday, July 22, 2013

Top Ten Topics That Make Me NOT Want To Pick Up A Book

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.

This week's topic is the reverse to my Top Ten Topics That Instantly Make Me Pick Up A Book.

Top Ten Words/Topics That Will Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

Embarrassing Covers

I will freely admit it: I judge books by their covers. If I dislike a cover, it's going to take some convincing to get me to pick up the book. The worst are the covers that I deem embarrassing and would not want to be seen reading in public. True story: the sole reason that I have been putting off reading Vampire Academy is that I find the covers to the series to be quite horrid. But I vow that this will change this summer - I WILL read Vampire Academy soon!


There might be certain very, very rare circumstances where insta-love works in a story, but the vast majority of the time, I hate it for how unrealistic it seems. While the idea of love at first sight is certainly a lovely one, I don't really buy into it realistically. I would much rather read about a relationship in which the romance is slow building and tension-ridden. It's so much more exciting that way! Insta-love just seems so bland and lazy in comparison.

Paranormal Fiction

I've been a bit wary of paranormal fiction of late. To be honest, I find the bulk of it to be so cliched, it bores me. I've lost count how many times I've reread the same Twilight-style storyline, but with angels, faeries, mermaids, you name it. It takes a very original concept to break the mould of all the similar-sounding paranormal stories. Daughter of Smoke and Bone certainly managed that with its truly fresh take on Angel vs. Demon lore and it utterly won me over for that reason.

Love Triangles

While there have been a few instances in the past in which I have appreciated the complexity of a love triangle (Clockwork Princess - I'm looking at you), more often than not, I find love triangles to be unnecessary and unrealistic. I dislike it when they are included in a story purely as a means of introducing drama in the romance. And I ESPECIALLY dislike it when love triangles make one or more parties into arseholes (which they almost certainly do; Requiem - I'm looking at you). What I appreciated so much about the love triangle in Clockwork Princess is that every party involved respected every other party equally.


Okay, this might sound bad, but I can't for the life of me even humour the idea of reading nonfiction. I can't imagine a nonfiction book ever being able to hold my attention the way fictional stories do. I totally equate nonfiction with
being tedious and something that you would read for school, not for pleasure. But I realize these biases are probably causing me to miss out on some great nonfiction reads! Or so I've been told by a few bloggers (I'm still a bit sceptical). So how about it? Any nonfiction reads that you might recommend to a nonfiction-noob like me?


I do like a good romance, don't get me wrong, but when the only thing going on in the story is a romance between two characters, that's when the story loses me. I NEED something more in the plot to keep me interested and the romance CANNOT be the major focus. Of course, I speak only of speculative fiction here; I have enjoyed in the past contemporary romances like Anna and the French Kiss. But the point of speculative fiction for me is that you have something, ANYTHING of more interest than just the romance.

Novels in Verse

Like nonfiction, the main reason why I am not compelled to read a novel written in verse is that I have convinced myself that I would not like it. It is just SO far outside my comfort zone. And I worry that I would make the attempt and then I just wouldn't get it and I would feel dumb. However, I have heard very good things about Ellen Hopkins' novels in verse from Sara of Just Another Story and Ambur of Burning Impossibly Bright. They assure me that her books aren't painful to read at all and I trust their opinion. So I think I'll have to go outside my comfort zone just once to try it out.


Eeeee, I admit to not being able to handle a lot of smut in my reading because it embarrasses me so! Fifty Shades of Grey last year on a sort of dare and it was a pretty painful experience indeed (though for many a reason beyond just the presence of smut). I am young at heart and that is why I stray more towards MG/YA.
Yes, I am a grown adult of almost 25 years. And yes, I still get embarrassed and red-faced upon reading scandalous sex scenes. I read

Animal Cruelty

I just can't deal with cruelty to animals. I am extremely sensitive when it comes to that sort of thing and will actively avoid books in which I know animals are hurt or die in the story. The reason why I never seeked out I Am Legend or Marley and Me (both the books and their movie counterparts) was purely because I was made aware that the dogs die in the end. And I Just. Can't. Deal.

New Adult

I just don't get it. I don't get what all the hype is about the New Adult genre. At first I was on board; I wanted to read more stories with college-aged protagonists dealing with things a person of that age might face so that I might relate to them. But at some point I started to notice that all these new NA releases basically seemed like the same thing - some variation of good girl falls for bad boy and he opens her up to new sexual experiences. I realize that not all NA is just "YA with sex", but a lot of it seems to be and I am not interested. I did however very much enjoy The Sea of Tranquility and When You Were Here, so it's not a complete loss cause. Does anyone have any other NA reads to recommend that you think I might like?


  1. Love your list! While we may disagree on some genres you are right on with your reasons. I'm all I love smut...but yeah, toootally get your point! LOL. And I am SO on board with embarrassing covers! I didn't want to read Vampire Academy solely because of the hideous covers. I'm glad my friend talked me into them, but without her I would have missed out on a fantastic story all because of those covers---shudder...

  2. I agree with you on a good portion of your list. Cruelty to animals is definitely something that bothers me. I also don't like insta-love, paranormal romances, or books with embarrassing covers.

    Sadly, most NA is indeed the same. You've seen my reviews of Cora Carmack's books, so I won't mention them again. I'll let you know if I find any more NA that's more than "good girl meets bad boy in college and then they have lots of sex."

    I actually really enjoy non-fiction books. I haven't read any in rather a while, as I've been focused mostly on YA lately. I like political/current events books, or books that deal with issues that I feel passionately about. But I can totally see why they're not for everyone.

  3. I think you have to really hone in on your interests when it comes to non fiction. I like travel, so The Lost Girls was a great fit for me. I also like daring athletic exploits, so I found Into Thin Air fascinating.

  4. Fantastic list. Non-fiction is on my list this week too. I very nearly put love triangles and cringy covers on mine too!

  5. I think animal cruelty throws everyone off. It's sick and unnecessary. It's something I really, really can't handle.

    Pretty Deadly Reviews

  6. Agree with you about the smut books, that made my list too.

  7. I agree with all of them, except the paranormal books, love those:) The vampire academy series also has a lovely red minimalistic cover edition, they are really beautiful! The love triangle in Requiem was particularly awful, wasn't it?

    My TTT:

  8. Oh my goodness, there is so much I fully agree with here. Insta-love drives me insta-crazy and I just don't get New Adult/smut. I always have a book with me and if the cover is embarrassing, I just can't do it. Love triangles are way over-done and animal cruelty is so unnecessary and horrid that there's no way I could handle a book about it. Thanks for a great list!

    Litza @ She Dreams in Fiction

  9. Great list! And I'm glad I'm not the only one when it comes to NA, so far I'm not a fan & I don't think I'll ever be, although I do plan to give a shot to The Sea of Tranquility, since it seems different.

    Also, I'm not a big fan of non-fiction books, I just stay away, although I do loved The Monster of Florence by Douglas Preston & Mario Spezi, I was wrapped up so much in the story, and I'm hoping to read Shantaram soon, it sounds amazing.

  10. Verse novels are by far the worst. I tried one and read the whole thing but it was awful. Not my cup of tea at all.

    My TTT List

  11. Fabulous list and great explanations. I've often wondered how much control the author has over the cover image and why editions published in different countries have different covers. ~Sheri

  12. Animal cruelty, love triangles, and erotica make me uncomfortable. Great list! Check out my TTT!
    -Scott Reads It!

  13. I definitely cannot handle love triangles or insta-love either Aylee. Both have just been done to death and my patience for either element is at an all time low. I definitely can't bring myself to read nonfiction either, it's just not for me. I read for fun, and for me, that's in fiction all the way. I do love some good smut though ;-)

  14. YES! I agree with SO much of this! I actually tried to put a post together myself but couldn't think of ten at the time. LOL. I fail at memes. :P Insta-love and love triangles are probably the most off-putting for me. I've rarely been able to fully enjoy books that contain either (or both!) of those aspects. And I am quite naturally wary of all books labelled NA at the moment, too. I guess that's mostly because of my negative experiences with the few that I have tried. Perhaps it will win me over entirely in the future... Great list, Aylee! :)

  15. Great list. Definitely agree with you regarding insta-love and love triangles. They are the bane of my existence. lol I despite them. And I have never been interested in picking up a single one of the (tons) of NA books being published these days. Their summaries just do not interest me.

  16. Embarrassing covers were made for ereaders. In fact, I think that's why they were invented--we needed something to hide those bizarrely large-breasted women on the covers of our Urban Fantasy novels, etc.

    I'm totally with you on books in verse. No, no and no! I also wonder if there are publishers trolling these lists today. It might behoove them...

  17. I'm not really a smut fun either. Much of the time it sounds rather silly to read descriptions of graphic sex. I love all the euphemisms for different body parts. It sounds so cliched.

  18. Great list! Not a big non-fiction reader either!
    Kerri @ Turn the Page Reviews

  19. Oh, Aylee. You're not the only cover-judger out there, because I'm probably a bigger one than you are. And, uh, I'm not remorseful. Horrible covers always put me off, too, and I'm quite particular about book covers, too. Non-fiction is also something that would have me flinging (okay, I'm not that violent) the book back onto the shelf in no time. AND YAY. I'm not the only one who doesn't exactly squeal when I see a NA book on Goodreads! I've read a couple that made my eyes burn that the genre is a little unredeemable by now.

    Great list, hon!

  20. Nice list! I agree with a lot of these. I need to check out more New Adult, but I agree, I want more variety. So many reviews I see sound so similar it doesn't make me want to read the NA that is currently popular.

    I'm not big on insta-love, romance heavy books, or love triangles either. It can work sometimes but for the most part, I'm not interested.

    I read a lot of non-fiction when I was younger. I think the key is to find something that's a memoir as opposed to a biography. it's more personal and it can read like a novel.

  21. haha! I agree with you on so many of those! Though I do like paranormal fiction. I just read what grabs my attention. An ugly cover is a huge turn off...I figure if they didn't have enough klout to get a decent cover - whether they are pubbed or indie then that reflects very poorly on the content. Packaging is important.

  22. I avoid books with love triangles period. Insta-love also drives me crazy, and like you I hate when the romance takes over the plot. When I first heard the term NA I thought it would cover a wide variety of genres not just contemporary (a genre I rarely read) so I was so disappointed. My idea of NA would be The Bone Season by Samantha Shannon.

  23. Mhm, like you, I totally avoid embarrassing covers. If I have to, I'll hide them and read them at home.
    And I avoid books with animal cruelty like it's the plague. No thank you for those kind of books.
    Great list! :D

    My TTT

  24. I try, try, try to get past covers, but it's the first thing I see when I'm browsing. And I hate love triangles, too. Ugh!

    I like New Adult, but it is SOOOOO romance right now, and if romance heavy stories aren't for you, then I don't think New Adult is for you. I like romance, but I do hope that New Adult starts to include other genres.

  25. It's funny that we've both switched our opinions of NA since talking back in Feb. I was so opposed to it and thought I'd never read it. But it seems to be what I've been picking up lately (although I think I'm over it). I know what you mean about embarrassing covers, I don't want to be seen in public with a ridiculously tacky cover- this is why I have been loving my ereader. No one ever needs to know what I'm reading. I'm also with you on the Nonfiction thing. Who wants to read about real life- it's very rare that nonfiction is going to be happy. Generally the stories are sad and make you want to die. But that's just me.

    Thanks for the list!

  26. Love this list, Aylee! I feel like some of these things I can tolerate, but most I can agree with you. I used to be a HUGE paranormal fan (back when it was cool), but now, oh goodness, I'm SO tired of it! And embarrassing covers are the worst. I'm actually a huge romance junkie, but they have to have some substance to it. AND UGH, THE DREADED INSTA-LOVE. I think pretty much all YA book bloggers hide when they hear the word "nonfiction". Who likes nonfiction? Blegggh. Lately, I've been shying away from NA because it's getting so bland and it's the same thing over and over . Awesome post, Aylee!

  27. Non-fiction rec - Malcolm Gladwell's BLINK: The Power of Thinking without Thinking (I think that's the subtitle) it's definitely titled Blink, it's one of my favorite non-fics (and I'm like you, it's hard for me to keep myself interested) but Gladwell just has this way of writing about interesting topics and FASCINATING me at every turn. I learn things and I have fun doing it, win win win all the way around, I love him! :D

    I know what you mean about the VA covers, I don't think they are the best BUT I love the series and I think I love the spin off Bloodlines series even more - and you have to read VA first :D SO I can't wait until you do!

    Great list!

    April @ My Shelf Confessions

  28. Oh great list! Some of these I definitely agree with, some I have never thought about, and others I have to somewhat disagree. I definitely agree that a cover can make or break reading a book, as bad as that is! Romance heavy and smut? Yeah, no thanks.

    I do agree that reading in verse is definitely not my thing, but I HAVE read every Ellen Hopkins novel published (except her one adult one) and loved them so am another person who wants to assure you her books are worth the risk! (TRY ONE!) And while I didn't think about it, I do agree with the animal cruelty. It is just way too hard to read about it or even watch it for me. I mean, I can and I have (I read and watched Marley and Me), but usually would prefer not to. I watched the first season of GoT and was a horrible wreck after one episode when a wolf was murdered. (Who cares about when the people die?!)

    I'm more lenient towards paranormal stories and nonfiction, but that's about it. Everything else, I'm pretty much with you!

  29. I agree with you on pretty much every point, but on the plus side Vampire Academy has an alternative cover that dosen't have the faces.

  30. Lol, I feel the same way about nonfiction as you, Aylee. We seem to also have the same thoughts about the NA genre. As for verse novels, I recommend Lisa Schroeder as an author; I hardly read them but I've read almost all of hers.

    Oh, and shame on you for judging the VA series by their terrible covers! ;)

  31. I think you hit it on the head with 9 out of 10 for me - I don't mind non-fiction, since I do sometimes read physics books for fun, though that might just be text-book fetish.

    OMG and the covers!! I so totally hate embarrassing covers, if totally dismiss books based on them, until they get re-issued or something

  32. New adult is the new way for a book to get black listed by me. If it's considered a part of that genre I will not even give it the time of day. Like, at all. :P

    Julia @ That Hapa Chick

  33. I like verse and occasionally non fiction but I am SO with you on insta love and new adult. I just don't have any interest in new adult. I get it though. I think it's a smart marketing move targeting that demographic, it just doesn't appeal to me. When I'm in the mood for young I skip it for YA or Middle Grade.

    Great list.

  34. I avoided Marley and Me for the same reason.

  35. I'm with you on all of these. It took me so long to pick up VAMPIRE ACADEMY, mostly because I couldn't stand the cover. And while I love a few NA books, I agree that a lot of them are very similar to one another (and that's boring / frustrating). I'm hoping there will be more variety in the future, but we'll see.

    Great post!

  36. Yep, I agree with you completely on insta-love, love-triangles, non-fiction, smut, animal cruelty and NA books. I have read seriously sexy and adult paranormal reads but only a couple of the better rated series with lots of world-building and magical lore. For some reason I don't mind the covers of the VA books, well especially the first one just cause I think the girl reminds me of a young Angelina Jolie and I just always associated the pic with a kick-ass female (Lara Croft with Vampires LOL) but the other ones in the series are pretty lame. I wish I didn't judge book by their covers but the sad reality of it is that I do. GREAT list Aylee :)

  37. Oh I SO agree on animal cruelty. If I hear even a whiff of something like that, it goes on my "never not in a MILLION years will I read this" list. I agree that the Vampire Academy covers are silly, which is why I only ever bought them on e-reader :-) I hope you love them!

  38. Ok this is scary weird, but EVERYTHING you wrote about not wanting to read is as if I wrote it myself! You and I are pretty much IDENTICAL in reading tastes with the exception of paranormal fiction, I still read plenty of those.

  39. I tend to judge books by their covers and I can completely understand how animal cruelty affects you, Aylee. You have some extremely excellent points up there in this post!

    Sarika @ The Readdicts

  40. I'm entirely with you on insta-love and animal cruelty. Animal cruelty is just too hard to read about and insta-love is annoyingly unbelievable. I still hold out hope that love triangles will be done well, but I'll sometimes avoid those too.

    Non-fiction though - I love non-fiction! I'd highly recommend you pick up a book categorized as narrative non-fiction, a genre I'd describe as having plots as exciting as fiction, but with the added coolness of having actually happened. One I really liked was The Black Count, about the man on whom Dumas based The Count of Monte Cristo :)

  41. Agreed on every point! *sigh* it's like you plucked this list right from my head.