Top Ten Tuesday: Ten things that will make me run in the opposite direction from a book, or at least give it serious side-eye

top ten tuesday                hates

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Not all auto dealbreakers, but they give me pause.       

c.j.'s selections                         ten ten ten

"For fans of Sarah J. Maas" 

Okay, you can hate me now. First of all, I feel like her writing has gotten kind of sloppy and she just changes the romance when she gets bored with the guy. Second, even if I still loved her, this comp has lost all meaning because almost every fantasy is compared to her and Leigh Bardugo, regardless of subject matter. It's like when everything used to get compared to Twilight. 

Mysterious new boy/girl 

This isn't a total dealbreaker, but can we not with this descriptor? I automatically get Twilight vibes and that's not a good thing. Enough people have had plots centered around a neat new person. Let's get creative, k? 

I don't know why, I just can't get into sports book. Especially running. It's weird, because I love watching sports. I just immediately start yawning when a book is centered around them. Maybe it's my super unathletic self harboring jealousy from my awkward days of high school PE volleyball. 

Possessive guy characters where it's not a bad thing 

This isn't always easy to spot in the blurb, but it's a disgusting trope. Speaking of Twilight, hrm. Emotional abuse is not sexy! You can write an intense, even obsessive romance without the guy (because it's almost always a guy) being jealous, scarily over-protective, and totally opposed to his girlfriend having agency. 


Maybe this should go with sports, but I feel like it's a different category. Again, not a dealbreaker, but for some reason I just have zero interest in reading about ballet. (Though I'll set my hesitation aside if it's an author I like.) 

POC protagonists written by white people 

Again, not a dealbreaker, but I've been burned. And yeah, I'm white, so at least I'm harmed like a POC reader would be. But that doesn't mean I want to help perpetuate lazy, stereotypical writing. I'd rather check some ownvoices reviews first to make sure it's not another Black Witch. 
Love Triangles 

Not all of them. This can actually work. I've even seen the classic two-boys-obsessively-in-love-with-one-girl-and-basically-fighting-over-her trope in my real life. But too often in books it's paired with Special Snowflake MCs who make me want to barf. 
Really bad covers 

Brutal honesty time. I know this makes me a snob, but for me to pick up a book with a truly terrible cover (yeah, I know this is subjective, hush) I have to know that other people I trust really liked it. Because I know it's not fair but in my head I worry about the quality of the book in a subconscious way. 
Societies divided into groups based on arbitrary personality distinctions 

*cough* Divergent. Seriously though, you know why the Hunger Games districts worked? Because people were grouped by industry, which actually makes sense. But you're telling me that someone is a Special Snowflake because they have more than one of 4 specific traits? Harry Potter worked because the hat looked for prominent traits and values without saying, "This kid is only this one thing and other kids are NOT this thing." It's stupid and I've yet to see it work. (This might also be a good time to point out that the Myers-Briggs has little to no predictive validity. Sorry, y'all.) 
Heartwarming, inspirational, romp, or tearjerker (bonus: compared to Nicholas Sparks) 

These words will automatically make me roll my eyes. Yes, I'm a blackhearted cynical ice queen and I don't want to dive into anything that remotely sounds like a Lifetime movie. I will not be manipulated into crying! I will not be forced to digest a heavy-handed life lesson! I WILL NOT BE MADE TO SAY "AWWW." 
honorable mentions
"Not like other girls" - wtf does that even mean? 
Basically the MC and LI are the only two characters - a cringey variation on solipsism 
Westerns - never been a fan of the genre 
Christmas themed books - again with the Lifetime channel vibes and also why aren't there Halloween books? 
Bad psychology - don't even get me started 
NA that's basically all about sex - whyyyy 

Your turn!  What phrases or tropes make you want to throw a book on the fire and never look back? Metaphorically. 

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