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