Bookish Discussion

Small Things That Annoy Me in Books

Small Things That Annoy Me in Books

Hello friends, Vera here! I’m fairly certain I’ve shared something like this before on here, but I had some new thoughts that I really wanted to talk about today, so here we go (again?). I brought you four things that truly annoy me in (and about) books, and I’m not sure what else to say in this intro, so let’s just dive into them. 😅

This is the last book of the series.. or is it?

This is, hands down, one of the most annoying things a publisher or an author can do, so even though this has only happened to me twice, I still wanted to include it here. Just to be clear, I’m not talking about closed series that are given new sequels or spin-offs. I’m not a Cassandra Clare fan, but she’ll do as an example: as you might know, The Mortal Instruments started out as a trilogy to which Clare added three sequels (and however many spin-offs) after the trilogy ended. The fact that the trilogy has a closed ending, as it was supposed to, makes these books exempt from this category. Similarly, years after wrapping up the trilogy, Alexandra Bracken wrote a sequel to The Darkest Minds, which is, yet again, a different thing from what I’m complaining about here.

Instead of those two cases, I’m talking about series that were supposed to end in X books, until the author changed their mind and decided to add more books to the series without first closing the original plot-line unlike Clare or Bracken did above. This is especially frustrating when the author only confirms the additional novel after the supposed “final” book is released, so fans who read the final book before this confirmation or who didn’t look up this information are left going into a book believing it to be the final novel. As a reader, it’s really frustrating to read a book you expect to give you closure just for it to leave you with more questions than you started the book with.

Sobering up takes no time at all… so now you can drive.

I know, I know, this is such a teeny-tiny thing in books… but honestly? It frustrates me to no end, because drunk driving causes a lot of accidents and I’m against the message that you can get behind the wheel after drinking. Multiple times, I’ve seen characters have multiple shots and drinks in a short amount of time, describe themselves as drunk or at least tipsy, and then get into the car after spending about 20 minutes outside, because they’ve “sobered up.” 💀 I think the worst example I’ve encountered was when the characters went to a bar together, both of them planning on drinking, but decided to go to said bar by car regardless. Maybe don’t drive if you’re both going to be drinking? 💀

Am I being harsh? I was brought up with the message that you should never drink and drive, and that you should have a designated driver if you do drive with friends somewhere where you’ll be drinking. When characters – always adults too! I don’t remember drunk driving being supported in any YA book – make the decision to drink and drive it makes me like them less.

A forced formula is followed, even though it doesn’t make sense.

If you read enough books, you’ll start to see that most books make use of the same tropes and even the same story structures, especially books that belong to a common genre. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with this, as there are only so many unique ways a story can be told and this doesn’t mean that books where you can recognize popular tropes or formulas are bad. Something that I do have an issue with is when books contain tropes and formulas that don’t seem to fit into them.

Let me share two examples. In the Twilight era, I remember feeling like a lot of the books I was reading only made use of the love triangle trope because it was popular. So many of the fantasy books I was reading could have done without that trope, for instance, because it was easy to see who the main character would end up with. Another example comes from the romance genre. I love romance, but I feel like some romance books follow the typical romance formula – which is that a big argument or break up has to happen shortly before the happy end – even though in some books it makes no sense to do this. I’m thinking of cases when, for example, a big issue is created out of something tiny, just so the argument / break up can happen. In general, I don’t dislike the typical romance formula, but I feel like some romances could do without it.

Marketing “regular” romance novels as rom-coms.

This is 1000% on publishers, I honestly don’t blame authors for this at all. What baffles me about this practice is that I feel like it’s a really counterproductive, because all it does is make readers angry because of the false advertisement which makes it unlikely that they will recommend the book. Unfortunately, this has become quite common, so these days when I see a novel marketed as a rom-com I just don’t believe it. Similarly, I think chick-lit novels aren’t as popular as they used to be a decade or so ago, so quite a lot of novels that I’d describe as chick-lit or women’s fiction are marketed as romance novels. While these two share some similarities, ultimately they are very different genres, and it can be quite a bummer to realize that the “romance” novel I was in the mood for is actually a chick lit book.

Let’s chat!

What small things annoy you in (or about) books? Do we have any in common? Or do you disagree with my thoughts?


25 thoughts on “Small Things That Annoy Me in Books

  1. Ah yes the first one did happened to me! Working with the author, there was supposed to be only 3books… until she decided to add a 4th one while writing the 3rd as it was too long 😅 added even MORE waiting time to get to the conclusion. Arg.

    Ah now that’s interesting, I didn’t noticed anything of « quicked sobered up » in my read books.. id need to pay closer attention.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. ah the first one is the worst 😭 The keeper of the lost cities series falls under the category – the author just keeps dragging it on and on, I don’t even know if it will ever end 😂😂 Great post, really enjoyed it💖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Yessss Vera. One of my pet peeves is when authors ( or pubs) put out a book, sees it does very well, and makes it a multipart series. IE SJM and JAA. Six or more books seems way too long and I feel like the author will lose interest while writing it.

    I also need the term “romcom” to be retired by the industry. Not everything has to be quirky or funny! Not everyone has that skill!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true! I think even characterization-wise, it’s difficult to keep delivering, so a lot of the times I see authors resort to petty relationship drama or the characters will start to act out of character after a while. :/

      True.. so many contemporary romance novels get called a romcom and then only a few are actual romcoms.


  4. Making a book a series after the fact honestly makes me less likely to continue with it – I’m good with how the first one ended! Even if there’s not a ton of closure it’s not the end of the world for me. But that’s also on me because I do have a tendency to lose interest in a series after four or five books.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. It is hard to believe drunk driving is shown in books. My family have always been very firm on it and it is really dangerous so it is actually really sad to see.
    I am certainly tired of certain formulas in books too– in fantasy the ‘i was only keeping it a secret to protect you’ one I find quite frustrating and like you said the final fight in romances. So annoying. I sometimes just dread it happening, not that they are all bad but it is soo predictable at this point!!
    I definitely think romance and contemporary books should have better labels instead of all being grouped together. Because when you expect something and it doesn’t deliver, you are always going to be disappointed even when not necessarily the book’s fault.
    I loved reading this– it is nice to share little annoyances!! 🤣

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Same – drunk driving has always been something my family was always very much against. “Keeping a secret to protect you” is such a bad trope, you’re absolutely right! True about genres / labels – it feels counterproductive to not label books correctly because when people are disappointed, they won’t recommend it to others. :/
      Thank you!!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. I agree with the drunk driving and the forced formula. Drunk driving didn’t really register for me for a while since drinking isn’t a huge culture here, but it makes me annoyed once I understand what or why is it prohibited. And forced formula! Not all romance needs a second love interest, or miscommunication and breaking up in the third act!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I actually never noticed the sobering up one but definitely believe it happens! I think when you really care about something you notice these things. Like a friend who loves horses told me she is annoyed at home long people ride for in fantasy novels and historical books, because horses realistically couldn’t go for that long or far. But THANK YOU for mentioning the romcom one! That annoys me so much. Romance is a great genre. Label them as romances. If there’s not funny too, they’re not a romcom -.- Simple as that.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree about noticing things when you pay attention / care. Haha, the horse-riding one is such a good example! One of my friends has been riding a horse for ages and she always complains when people ride horses incorrectly in films. You’d think it’d be easy to label romance vs. rom-coms because yes, the difference is as simple as you said, but publishers still don’t do it right. :/

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This is a really great post idea! 💕

    I don’t mind spin-offs, but I’m not sure how to feel about authors that add more books to series that have been finished for a long time – without them being considered extra’s/spinoffs. I think e.g. Shatter Me did this and now the series is 6 books long 😅 I have to admit that I don’t really mind this if it’s a series I love, but even that makes me nervous that the new books won’t live up to the original ones 😱

    I also don’t like when books are mismarketed, as it can be so disappointing when you expect one thing but get something completely different 😔 This has happened to me with books marketed as way more lighthearted than they actually were!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! 💕

      I think I used to be excited for new additions, but then after being disappointed – cough cough like with His Fair Assassins – I’m now very wary of additions like these.

      True! I feel like, as much as I love graphic design covers they make it easy for books to look cutesy and lighthearted… but when you pick them up they turn out to be more angsty or they feature really difficult topics.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. So I actually hate all versions of continuing book series after ending them. There are some exceptions, as there are to every rule, but for the most part, if you say you’re ending a series, just end it. I usually hate the continuations, because they take away any resolution we were given. And that frustrates me! Maybe I’m too big of a fan of the “happily ever after” but if you’re leaving your characters in a good pace at the end of a series, please don’t add more books just to torture your characters more!

    Also, I totally agree about the mismarketing of romances vs. rom-coms vs. chick lit. They all have the same covers, and even similar synopses, so it can be really hard to figure out if the focus will be on self growth, romance or a mix of the two when trying to find a book in the romance genre!

    You’re definitely not alone in being annoyed with these seemingly small, but hugely irritating aspects of books!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Honestly, I’ll have to agree with you. Off the top of my head, I couldn’t name a series where a book or books that were later added to it lived up to the original. (Spin-offs are different, though.) I definitely agree with what you said – when a series has a really good, solidly written ending I don’t want the author to mess with that, haha. Last year, I read a sequel that was added to a series years after the series was finished. At first, I was pleased to see the author continue the story because the original ending felt a bit fairy-tale like and wasn’t super-realistic. So it was cool to see the author dive deep into what happens after that ending and I was excited to see where she was taking the story. However, as the book progressed, I had to realize that she didn’t really have a better idea to end the series on, so the new ending felt rushed and wonky as well. 😦

      Liked by 1 person

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