Hi there! It’s Sabrina! In my last post, I discussed a few things that I am now actively looking for in books, and I thought today would be a good time for me to talk about the opposite: things I want to read less of. These things are neither inherently good or bad (when part of book), they are just not for me and make me more likely to dislike my reading experience. I’m also hiding most of my examples this time around, because they would mostly be spoilers, so only click to toggle button if you want to know. But please, feel free to leave your examples in the comments – especially if you know I’m interested in a book that involves one of these things!
Realistic Historical Fiction About War
I typically choose to blame high school for this, whether it’s because of that or not. I have to admit that it disturbs me that such cruelty occurred and still does occur in the real world on such a large scale. However, I had to read a lot of war books for high school, so it is easier for me to just believe that I’ve grown exhausted of them. I know when picking up a book set in a real war that I am in for an emotional draining, even if I don’t become attached to individual characters which are bound to die painful deaths. I think the difference with war set in SFF is that there is still hope that by the end of the book (or the series) the war will be over and maybe the characters will have made it through too.
Examples:The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein, let’s be honest – you don’t need me to tell you these.
I find it so frustrating to be reading a book where a significant part of the drama could be solved by a single – and oftentimes, uncomplicated – conversation. It makes me want to throw the book against the wall. In my experience, this most frequently happens to create romantic drama (whether the book is a romance or not), which can overpower all other aspects of the novel for me. For example, I’m tired of characters thinking their partner is cheating on them when they’re just having lunch with their cousin. And sometimes, it gets even worse than that: when a conversation does occur, but you as the reader can see how one character’s answers are misinterpreted by the another. It is absolutely vexing to read these conversations and not be able to scream at the characters to ask each other the right questions.
Examples:Allegiant by Veronica Roth, Crescendo by Becca Fitzpatrick, even my favourite movie, Stardust has this (but it is extremely short-lived so it’s okay).
This is pretty self explanatory. It just makes me really sad when animals, especially pets, die in books. It is devastating to lose a pet, and reading about it takes me back to my own experiences which I would rather not relive. The extra bad thing about animal death in books is that it usually happens in a way that is violent and/or cruel, because its only purpose is to cause distress or some other development in the human characters. It has got to the point where I just won’t watch movies with dogs anymore (even with doesthedogdie.com to warn me) because they are the worst perpetrators.
Examples:Radio Silence by Alice Oseman, The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness, Wonder by R.J. Palacio, literally almost every movie with a dog in it
Though I am stating the obvious: yes, cannibalism is wrong and immoral, but I am fine with reading about murder so that is not what this is about. I can read very gory things and not feel like I need to vomit. But when it comes to a human eating another human… I can’t do it. It leaves me feeling deeply unsettled for days, no matter how much I try to remember that I am reading a work of fiction. I still feel like I can’t watch the Gotham tv series again because of that one thing that happened. If you know, you know.
Examples:Daughter of the Siren Queen by Tricia Levenseller, Not Even Bones by Rebecca Schaeffer, I never finished reading Lord of the Flies by William Golding because of rumours but turns out there was no true cannibalism in it
ENDINGS WHERE NOTHING IS RESOLVED
This is a tricky one, because I don’t mind open endings – but!! If absolutely nothing is resolved, then it becomes frustrating and, dare I say it, boring. Even open endings need to have a bit of closure to them, otherwise what is the point of all of it? Quite often when reading a book, I am wondering to myself: what is going to happen? So if nothing happens, it makes me angry. Especially if it was the last book in a series! I especially remember being so worried when reading The Fault in Our Stars by John Green that it was going to end without a conclusion because of Hazel’s fascination with her favourite book.
Examples:Requiem by Lauren Oliver, The Perfectionists by Sara Shepard
What do you think?
What are some things you want to read less of? Do you have any examples that fit what I’ve listed? Please tell me if you know of books with cannibalism because I want to avoid them 99% of the time 🙂