Bookish List

Specific Things I Want To Read Less Of

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.

SIMPLE MISCOMMUNICATION

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).

ANIMAL DEATH

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

Cannibalism

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 🙂

32 thoughts on “Specific Things I Want To Read Less Of

  1. Ah, I totally get why you wouldn’t want to read about these!! The miscommunication trope is especially frustrating, so definitely don’t read The Winners Trilogy, especially its second book. Though with those books, I actually thought that the miscommunication was done right because there was a good reason for it. The pain I went through because of all the miscommunication in The Winners Trilogy HAHA.
    Oh, and animal deaths. Yeah, not fun. I didn’t really like that it showed up in Radio Silence. I don’t know if these books are on your TBR or not, but Anna K by Jenny Lee and Girls of Paper and Fire by Natasha Ngan have animal deaths.
    I haven’t read a lot of books with cannibalism (thank god), but This Mortal Coil has it. In its world, there’s a virus going around and the only way to gain immunity is to eat the flesh of the infected, so it’s pretty gross, though thankfully the cannibalism scenes only happen at the beginning and are kept to a minimum
    I hope this helps, and that you cease to encounter these in books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh dear – I have The Winners Trilogy on my shelf :’) I’ve read the first book and really enjoyed it though… so hopefully it won’t bother me too much? 😛 If you say it was done right, I trust you. But yes, I guess I am going to go through some pain reading it haha.
      Not fun at all! Yeah, me neither. In fact, I’ve actually seen the author did a Q&A where she admits she regrets putting that in the book, so… that’s something. Ooh I DNF’ed Girls of Paper and Fire, but I got to that part before I put it down. That part really was horrible! And I will remember that about Anna K too – thanks.
      Wow, I am so glad you warned me about This Mortal Coil too, because that’s been high up on my TBR for a little while now. I might still pick it up (not now because I am super not interested in hearing any more about viruses), but I’ll be prepared and hopefully able to skim when I get to that part!
      Thanks Caitlin!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I am quite done with simple miscommunication, and maybe miscommunication altogether. Sometimes, when it is done in a way of which I feel I would have done the same thing, I can completely understand. But more often than not it annoys me… I want historical fiction which isn’t about the world wars. I don’t mind it being about other ones, or about other historical times, and while world wars are so important… we could use more variety.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Oh, this is such a great post! 🥰 I agree with you on historical fiction’s focus on war (especially the second world war) – I understand why so many books revolve around it, but I would like to see other periods of history explored as well! (I recommend The Gentleman’s Guide, Nothing But Sky, Stalking Jack the Ripper for books that don’t focus on war. Also, My Lady Jane, Jackaby and Grave Mercy if you don’t mind some fantasy elements 🥰) And don’t even get me started on Miscommunication, it can get so aggravating! A bit of it might be realistic, but I hate when you can tell that it’s done simply to increase the (romantic) drama ugh 😔

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks!! Ah yeah, the second world war in particular is written about so much! I agree – I understand why it’s done, but I just don’t want to read it anymore. Ooh I love Gentleman’s Guide 🙂 I will add Nothing But Sky, Stalking Jack the Ripper + the others you mentioned to my TBR 🙂 I am all about fantasy elements, ahah.
      It is aggravating!! Yes, I totally agree.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. This is such a wonderful idea!! I might just have to do my post on this. Thanks for the inspiration!!
    I totally understand your point! Miscommunication is probably the most annoying one out of all of these. Honestly, I become wayyy too frustrated with the characters and I have to remember to chill, that it’s okay, it’s just a book. I think it’s kind of popular though because without it, the book probably won’t have a plot. Especially if it’s purely a romance book. Without the miscommunication keeping the characters running circles, there’s nothing going on. Which kind of says a lot lol
    I don’t think I’ve read any cannibalism in books? Like you, I like to read a lot of dark and murdery books, but I don’t think I’ve ever come across cannibalism. That’s kind of extreme 🙈
    I think I hate all open endings in general. I read mostly to have the book resolved, the conflict solved and everything turning out okay, or not okay. I don’t want to invest so much time in a book, and then be left with an open ending (i think reading a lot of mysteries plays a role in that; i always want the mystery to be solved). It kind of ruins the experience for me. I’d prefer if it was wrapped up and I didn’t like how it was wrapped up than for it to just be entirely open. But that’s just me 🙂

    Awesome post, Sabrina ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Rukky – I really appreciate it! I would love to see a post on this from you!
      It is very annoying. Haha, yes “it’s just a book” is something I have to remind myself of frequently too. Hmm yeah I can understand your point there.
      Oh well you are lucky in that regard! It is extreme 😐
      That’s interesting that you hate open endings altogether, but I can definitely understand your reasons behind it. And I know I would be super mad reading a mystery and then not finding out the solution to it.
      Thanks again!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Simple miscommunication is one of the worst ways to make a plot happen. It all feels so silly when all the characters need to do is and sit down and listen to each other for five minutes. It’s even worse when the characters are adults and really ought to know better.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Animal deaths, UGGHHHHH! I have read a few books, where they moved the plot forward, but more often, they are just to make me sad. Hate them. I also abhor unresolved endings and you name a final book in a trilogy, which is a prime example. How do you make me read that much, and then cop out at the end. That’s just not right.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have had the same experience, Sam! I wish, if I have to keep reading about animal deaths, more of them could actually be to move the plot forward.
      It is not right! I felt so cheated with that book in particular. And there had been novellas and everything…

      Liked by 1 person

  7. I so agree about historical fiction it just doesn’t appeal to me as much as it used too… I just feel like I’ve either read too many or they are all just similar story lines in general lol. Also SO agree w u about animal deaths too it’s just wrong and painful to read about… hard pass. Great post and happy reading 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I typically don’t read romance, so I can’t remember any miscommunication example from my books, but yeah – it’s unnecessarily frustrating. Also, as a person who’s very vocal about…um…pretty much everything 😂, I can’t even imagine keeping secrets or tiptoeing around things in a way that they become unrecognisable around my significant other.

    I guess you don’t want to read the Thirst series by Christopher Pike…there’s a pretty gruesome scene in one of the books, though I wouldn’t exactly call it a cannibalistic episode. Also, in Anna Dressed in Blood there’s a dog who dies (though it has a raison d’être).

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It sure is unnecessarily frustrating. Lol :’) I can definitely relate to that.

      If it’s just vampire stuff as the title suggests to me (I could be way off here, lol) then it should be fine.. 😐
      I could have sworn it was a cat in Anna Dressed in Blood – but, tbh, I liked that book anyway!

      Like

  9. Miscommunication, just in general, can be so frustrating! I feel like so many issues in life overall can be resolved if the parties involved would just talk to each other, so it’s even more annoying to read about in books. One of my greatest pet peeves with books that are centered around gossip is how simple everything could be resolved if everyone would sit down together and work out their differences. And to answer one of your questions…I’ve never read a book with cannibalism!

    claire @ clairefy

    Liked by 1 person

  10. I also read a lot of war-related content in high school, specifically about WWII and the Holocaust. While I enjoy those books and the real history they explore, I feel like I have had too much of it shoved down my throat and need to take a break from it. Except for All the Light We Cannot See, which is amazing. And miscommunication as a plot device to cause turmoil IRKS ME to no end. It is so easily resolved and ugh…I hate it. As well as cannibalism and animal deaths, which make me both sad and revolted. I also want to read less “chosen one” tropes. I read a lot of fantasy, so that is everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I can totally relate to feeling like war-related content was shoved down my throat, haha. I have heard so many good things about All The Light We Cannot See but I can’t bring myself to read it, if I’m honest.
      Glad someone else is just as annoyed by miscommunication as a plot device as me 😂
      Ooh I feel like I am the only one who doesn’t mind the “chosen one” trope – especially when there is a twist on it. But I probably don’t read as much of it as you, so that makes sense.

      Like

  11. ohhh this is such an interesting topic of a post. i know we’re always talking about things we LOVE seeing in books but it’s also fair to mention how many things we REALLY ARE TIRED of seeing in books

    SIMPLE MISCOMMUNICATION annoys me SO MUCH!!! i’m honestly so tired of reading about it in romance books, why can’t we just have proper, communicative relationships where couples talk about what’s on their mind jfladjlkfj SOOSOSOS ANNOYING

    cannibalism in books 🤢🤢 im so glad i never came across that because that’s a reason to drop it all together big yikes on that. i can definitely relate with the open endings. i like for things to be concluded nicely and more often than not, open ended stories just leave me with more questions and confusion. meh

    this is such a great post!! i had so much fun reading it

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks May and I agree!

      It is so annoying! Especially in romances! It’s come to the point where I am impressed by romances that feature good communication between people – the bar is so low!

      I’m glad you haven’t come across cannibalism in books, lol. The emoji you used is my exact reaction 😅
      You know, I do like things to be concluded nicely as well. I’ve always said I don’t mind open endings – as long as they’re not too open – but now that you mention the opposite – nice conclusions – that’s something that all my favourite media has in common, so maybe I’ve been wrong this whole time lol.

      Thanks again!! ❤

      Like

  12. Ahh.. I love this idea for a post because there are always things we want to see less of.
    Yes I feel like War historical fiction is the one I’ve mostly read and because in school it was done again and again. And fieldtrips were always based on the war is can become slightly hard to pick yet another war book up so I’m trying to read more varied historical fiction. And of course, I couldn’t read them back to back because they can be very emotionally draining.
    MISCOMMUNICATION is soooo frustrating but sometimes I don’t mind it when it isn’t a cheap way to get a plot point but more when there is a deep and valid reason and it is about people overcoming this issue with a rewarding outcome as miscommunication can be realistic. But those plots where they don’t know if they are cheating or a whole half the book relationship drama comes out it for a silly reason is so annoying, I am with you!!
    Ah.. animals deaths, don’t get me started!! They are the worse, I remember reading an animal death in the Eve trilogy and I think it was the last book *spoiler* but the dog died and it was so heart-breaking. I wasn’t even invested in the book but when that happened I was broken.
    I think I would like to see less possessive male love interests, I really don’t like them and they are just boring now!!
    Great post, I loved reading it!! ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh wow I can’t imagine having to read war historical fiction and then also have fieldtrips based on war. That is way too much!! I agree about them being emotionally draining.

      Yes! Miscommunication is not so bad when there is a good reason behind it and it’s not just a surface level plot point.

      Waiting until the last book to kill off an animal is torture!! I can imagine that must have been devastating.

      Ooh and I agree with you about possessive male love interests – I think I’ve read too many of them, and now more often than not, they just make me roll my eyes and take me out of the story.

      Thanks Sophie!! ❤

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I gravitate to Realistic Historical Fiction a lot, and I don’t know if that speaks to a greater issue of being morbidly fascinated with atrocities, or if I’m genuinely empathizing with what the characters and ultimately real people had to go through 😕. I 100% get why someone wouldn’t want to read the genre.
    And YES. The miscommunication trope is the woooooorst. It’s so easy and kinda cheap to use in stories, and it’s recycled to death 😩. And big nope on animal death, and HARD NOPE on cannibalism 🙅🏻‍♀️. Also, I love complaining about all of the book series these days 😅, but leaving plot-lines unresolved is infinitely worse 😬.
    Oh! Just a heads up, there are some pretty graphic scenes in Stronger, Faster, And More Beautiful if you end up reading it. There is a fictional war from what I remember, and one scene in particular that really disturbed me 😕.
    Loved this post, Sabrina 🙂!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Just as you get why someone wouldn’t want to read the genre, I totally understand why you would. There’s definitely some topics I am “morbidly fascinated” with, but empathy does factor into that too. So – it’s probably both!
      It is the worst 😂 I think everyone else in the comments agrees too, so it’s funny that the trope is so prevalent when we all hate it.
      Lol yes – hard nope to cannibalism 😅
      Thanks for the heads up about Stronger, Faster, and More Beautiful! I’ve actually got the book out from my library right now. I should be fine with the fictional war/graphic stuff, but it’s nice to be prepared for it 🙂
      Thanks Belle!

      Like

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