10 Things I Hate In Books

Hey everyone! Today’s post is inspired by my friend Cody (@my_bibliophilic_life) and Kayla from Books and Lala. About two months ago, Cody asked me to share my anti-buzzwords AKA my bookish turn offs on Instagram Stories. I posted a quick list of my top 5 turn offs, but after watching Kayla’s video I decided to turn that list into a blog post where I give y’all examples of books I hated or rated low because they had these elements and highlight any exceptions.

This list doesn’t necessarily mean that I’ll never read books with these elements. However, I won’t be rushing to add them to my TBR. If this is a bit too negative for you, don’t worry. I have a follow-up coming soon. I hope you enjoy!

1. Fae/Faerie

Maybe a fae story with black and brown characters will convince me to reconsider, but for now, I firmly believe fae stories are not for me. I didn’t like The Cruel Prince and A Court of Thorns and Roses. However, I loved Lady Midnight by Cassandra Clare. I hated that the faery subplot took over the series in the later books, but The Dark Artifices is one of my all-time favorites.

2. Love Triangles

I’ll chuck a book back on the shelf if there’s signs of a love triangle, but that didn’t make me abandon The Hunger Games, Stephanie Plum series, The Wrath and the Dawn or Twilight (#teamjacob). Wish that had been the case for Throne of Glass and The Kiss Of Deception. I bailed after the first books because of the love triangle.

3. Ocean (mermaids, sirens, & pirates, oh my)

I didn’t pick up To Kill A Kingdom, Sea Witch, or Seafire last year because I don’t like books about merpeople, pirates, sirens, or books set at sea. A Gathering of Shadows had a piracy subplot that I disliked (I also don’t like Schwab’s writing so I’m not sure if that played a role), but I had so much fun reading Daughter of the Pirate King.

4. Space

I realized recently that I don’t like books set in space. Red Rising? meh. Aurora Rising? Underwhelming. Maybe I don’t like books with “rising” in the title? Who knows? Point is, I don’t get excited like other people. Books I did enjoy? Illuminae by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman (love the unique storytelling and Aiden) and The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy #1 by Douglas Adams (it’s weird and funny).

5. Time travel

Time travel is MESSY. And messy means that I can’t turn my brain off to enjoy the experience because I’m trying to make sense of it all. It’s the reason why I DNF’d A Wrinkle in Time and why I wasn’t a big fan of Avengers: Endgame. I can’t tell you the book I actually liked for this trope because it’s kind of spoilery, but there’s an exception.

6. Vikings

I really don’t like books or movies about vikings. I don’t know why. The only books I liked were Norse Mythology and Sky in the Deep. And I liked them for entirely different reasons.

7. Quirky characters

Please don’t hate me for this one, but people rarely use quirky to describe black women. It’s a word that feels exclusive to white women. I wasn’t fond of Hazel from Josh and Hazel’s Guide to Not Dating. Her brand of quirky was slightly intrusive. However, I loved Stella in The Kiss Quotient.

8. Historical fiction

I don’t like historical fiction or books set around a war. I’ll only pick up books in this genre if I’m doing a challenge. However, I loved The Song of Achilles and The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo. I think the writing and characters made me overlook the time period.

9. Whimsical/excessively flowery writing

I don’t have data to back me up on this, but I think these two things are connected.

You: *describes a book as whimsical*
What I hear: “flowery writing with very little plot.”

I like beautiful writing but I don’t like excessive metaphors or overly descriptive books because it’s distracting. I DNF’d The Night Circus, rated Caraval low, and struggle with Roshani Chokshi’s books because of this. A common thing I normally say reading books like this is, “what does this even mean?” I really enjoyed Strange the Dreamer though.

10. Other things I hate in books, but this post is already too long so I’m going to cheat and list them

✘ Road trip books (American Gods by Neil Gaiman)
✘ Flawless characters – looking at you Delilah Bard
✘ This one is kind of weird, but blurbs that say “for fans of…” or “if you love…” It’s unappealing to me because the comparison is normally authors whose writing I don’t like or books I hate
✘ Books with a plot builds up to a big showdown but it’s underwhelming (Breaking Dawn)
✘ famous celebrity (singer, actor, athlete, etc.) comes to a small town because of some career mishap and falls in love with the small town love interest

Whew. That was kind of long and I honestly could keep going 🙈, but I’mma let y’all breath. Lol. What are some things you hate in books? Let me know in the comments! Thanks so much for reading!

24 thoughts on “10 Things I Hate In Books

  1. I agree with a few of these. I absolutely do not like pirate books. The exception being any scene with Sturmhound/Nikolai in the Grishaverse. I’m currently in the middle of Darkdawn and Part II so far there’s a pirate, they are all out at sea and trying to stop the storms. I don’t caaaare. I’m just like, why can’t they get on the ship and then a chapter later they hit land???

    I’m with you on the plotless flowery writing books. Meh. I do like historical fiction a little bit more now as long as the setting is not WWI/WWII. I think I lean toward historical fiction fantasy as well as 1920s-1970s era depictions (like Evelyn Hugo).

    This was such a fun post! I think knowing what you dislike in books helps to be more selective about book buying choices and in the end, you save both your time and money.


    1. Oh God I hated that portion of Darkdawn. Felt like a different book entirely. Really dragged out that journey when it could’ve happened in two chapters.

      Knowing what I like has helped tremendously this year. I’ve saved so much money and if I’m ever interested in these books I can always use my library.


  2. Oooh I love this post!!! I’m so over books with fae/faeries in them (although like you, I enjoyed TDA because I felt it was a little more unique to the previous books I read & I guess it didn’t overtake the whole plot)

    I’m SO glad the love triangle trend is now over because even just a few years ago, it felt like EVERY book had one 😂 I also agree with you about the excessively flowery writing – unless it’s essential for the world building, JUST GET ON WITH IT!!! 🙈

    💛 Ngoc

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pirate books are def not my MO either, and I think Viking inspired books are interesting, I just haven’t found anything I’m like obsessed with! The last bullet point is every Hallmark movie ever so I’m so down with that, but I’d scream if I had to read it

    Liked by 2 people

  4. I think the only books I’d avoid are ones I can’t get into. I’ve definitely dnf’ed a lot of books that were over hyped – the cruel prince, for one – but I don’t judge the entire trope for that. Where you have exceptions to the 9 points you enjoyed, I have exceptions I didn’t 😉 And on that 10th point about the ‘for the fans of’ and nonsense, as an author I hate that too, but the publisher insists on. For example, there’s if you love the Sookie Stackhouse and for fans of ‘supernatural’ on one of my books… my first thought was – what if people never heard of those or disliked them? that’d put readers off and they didn’t even get to the first page yet. So that’s one of the points I definitely agree with, but can assure it’s a purely marketing tool from the publisher, not the author.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I haven’t written off the entire fae trope because I’m always willing to give a book a chance even if it has an element I don’t love.

      “if you love…” is a great marketing tool to find the right audience, but definitely impacts whether readers pick up a book or not.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wow, that was a LOOOONG list 😀 There are a lot of things I don’t like in books, but I’m not as picky as you are. Ahah

    I think the one and only thing I really dislike are love triangles, or just any love geometry in general. Can’t they just decide who loves who and move on?! It’s irritating!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. 😂😂😂 sometimes i give into the hype and read popular books with these things because I always think they’re going to be the exception. Lol.

      Love triangles are so irritating! Especially when they’re unbalanced and the book is kind of bias towards one character.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Oooh this is really interesting. Some of the things you mentioned are my absolute favourites 😅 like space, the ocean/pirates/mermaids and whimsical writing. However, I also haaate love triangles and flawless characters (although Lila is one of my favourites 🙈). I’m really indifferent to fae/faeries too, not on that hype train 😂 I kinda have a mixed relationship with historical, like it really intimidates me but if it’s written well I could find it interesting? I’m glad to see you loved The Illuminae Files and Evelyn Hugo even though they featured things you didn’t like!!


    1. I think what I don’t about space settings is that sometimes I want to know what’s going on on earth or what happened to the people on earth. Lol @ the flawless characters. There’s always an exception to the rule!


  7. #3 hurt me on a personal level lol I love anything with the ocean, specifically underwater. I’m not too crazy about pirates and will avoid them entirely if I can but anything set underwater or with an aquatic society, I’m sold! but I feel you on pretty much everything else on this list~

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Time Travel is usually a GIANT red flag for me. Although I enjoyed Avenger’s Endgame on an emotional level, the second I realized where the plot was going I went “Oh no….” It’s mostly a turn off because my brain immediately starts analyzing things and hangs up on logic. I really enjoyed NBC’S Timeless a few years ago because it was silly fun, but at the same time I was going “If the bad guys have already gone to the past to change something….then it’s technically already happened and you’re too late to stop it…”

    I’m also on the anti-love triangle train! Especially when the girl is in love with a perfectly good boy, but then the sexy dangerous one comes along, and it becomes how on earth could you just settle for the “regular” guy??


  9. This is such a fun post, Merline! I dislike a lot of these sometimes too! I sadly see them executed so poorly at times. I LOVE books that revolve around the ocean, but … there are equally as many that I loathe. Haha. Love triangles are typically a no for me, but there have been a few books where I didn’t mind it. I adore Illuminae and Hitchhiker’s Guide too!


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