April over at Good Books and Good Wine is hosting a 15 day Book Blogger Challenge, which you can read all about here. It seems like a great idea, and I’m loving the idea of putting something random and exciting into my blog at a time when my real life makes me want to sleep rather than blog!
There are a few things that frustrate me (love triangles in particular) but there aren’t many that are a total deal breaker – what if this is the one book that does it well? I’ll tend to force my way through an issue rather than write a book off but these are the things that are most likely to wind me up.
Warning: Some ranting ahead!
I’m sorry, but I just don’t care if a character spends £17 on a bottle of nail varnish and I just can’t relate to someone who spends £500 on a pair of shoes! No one likes to follow people who constantly advertise on twitter or facebook, and a book filled with brand names isn’t really that different. I have absolutely no issue reading about rich characters who like to spend their money, this is all about the name dropping. I don’t honestly care about brands, and if the book is set in another country I’m even more likely to put it down since we might not even have those brands.
Mopey love interests
I don’t mean a love interest with a genuine reason to be sad (my girlfriend’s moving to Australia, my dog got hit by a bus, I’ve recently developed an allergy to chocolate…) who’s feeling down about a situation he can’t fix. I mean a love interest who is whiny and mopey either for no reason, or for a situation he’s not even trying to fix. Anyone else ever want to punch Angel during Buffy? Okay, no sex pretty much sucks, but other than that I see no reason for the man to be so brooding all. the. time. If you’re a vampire/werewolf/other supernatural creature that means you “can’t” have the woman you want either find a solution (be more flexible, change your partner, investigate reversing your condition) or move on! If you’re a billionaire with ‘issues’ with relationships, intimacy and regular sex either own up to that or see a professional, but please stop whining.
Characters that are unbelievable or unlikable
The most likely reason for me to DNF a book is if the characters are completely implausible or unlikable. I want realistic characters I can care about, and if I can’t connect with the characters, I’m unlikely to get past that in order to click with the rest of the book.