Monday, 12 May 2014

My Bookish Pet Peeves! | #1

Everybody has silly little things that drives them crazy when it comes to books or reading. It's just natural to have things that annoy you. And I agree, there are so many dreadful acts performed in YA novels, so many that sometimes it makes my heart hurt. I must warn you, I have a long list. It's either because I'm a complete crazy lady or because YA authors seem to overuse these tropes.

So today I've compiled a list of things in YA novels that irk me!

  • Absent parent syndrome. Oh, don't tell me, you parents are on vacation for six months in the bahamas? Working so much they're never home? Died in a car accident? 
  • A supposedly 'normal' girl who somehow attracts alot of male attention and has countless guys falling at her feet.
  • Weird character names.
  • Similar looking characters. Girls with red hair and really cute freckles? Boys with blonde hair, blue eyes and crooked smiles?
  • Supposedly 'cute' but actually ridiculous nicknames. 
  • Self destructive characters. Constantly throwing themselves in the face of danger thinking they're being brave when they're just being plain stupid. (You know who I'm talking about.)
  • Slut-shaming and just overall judging of other people. Alot of teenage female protagonists in particular think they know every other girl they see based on what they are wearing and proceed to call them a 'skank', 'slut', or 'hoe'. It's disgusting!
  • Silly descriptions. Coffee-coloured skin? How much cream is in the coffee? 
  • Main characters without any admirable traits. In particular main characters that are snobby, and arrogant and rude but still seem to have people of the other gender falling at their feet or trying to be their friend. I think it sends a particularly bad message to young people and giving them the impression that they can be rude to people and still have people wanting to be their friend.
  • Continuous bad decisions. I know that as humans, we all make bad decisions every once and a while but alot of main characters seem to be making the same bad decisions again and again without learning. Books are about character develop, therefore the characters need to be developed instead of remaining the same throughout the entire story.
  • Black and white morality. No hero is completely good in the same way that no villain is completely bad, and it irks me when authors try to sell it that way. 
  • Controlling, protective and abusive behaviour being seen as 'romantic'.
  • Love triangles that are pointless because there is clearly a 'really good' or 'really bad' choice.
  • INSTA-LOVE. You can't possibly be in love with a guy you met two days ago. 

  • Excessive descriptions about pointless things. I really don't care if you can't decide if the wall is chartreuse or the same shade of green as the top you wore at summer camp three years ago when you played volleyball with the really cute guy who had a freckle above his eyebrow and had a three legged dog.
  • Constantly describing characters as 'hot'. 
  • AND OF COURSE, the unavoidable line. "I let out a breath I didn't know I was holding." Is there some kind of agreement between YA authors? Do they all conspire to include a breath holding line in their books? 
  • Text speak. Apparently all teenagers are incapable of texting or tweeting in full sentences and with punctuation. I understand that sometimes we shorten words but.. 2 mnE abbrv mk me wnt 2 vom. 
  • Multiple POV flops. I can understand the want to write a story in dual POV, but if I can't distinguish the character's voices or if there really is no need for it to be told this way then it really is a waste.
  • Problems that seem to solve themselves or completely disappear. Alot of YA endings seem to be a little bit too convenient. Like, problem, problem, problem, happily ever after!
  • A personal vendetta caused by the loss of a loved one.
  • Girl lives in a tiny, middle of nowhere town, and can't wait to leave.
  • Boy is a player but girl comes along and he completely changes his ways because he wants to be with her forever.
  • Series that should really be standalones or companion novels. Too many stories are dragged out unnecessarily.
  • Siblings or relatives that die as a plot device.
  • Characters freezing into place or being 'too shocked to move' when the situation really doesn't warrant it.
  • Books that are much longer than they need to be.
  • Surprise sequels (sometimes)

Let me know, do you share any of these pet peeves? Am I absolutely nuts? What are some of the things in YA that irritate you? 


  1. These are great Maddie!
    I agree with so many of these especially the plot and language ones. If I ever ‘let out a breath I didn’t know I was holding’ I’d be worried what was going on with my lungs.

    Thanks for the great post!

    1. Hahahh, I'd be worried too! Thank you so much, you don't know how much it truly means!

  2. You've picked some really great bookish pet peeves. Every YA novel has at least one point that you've mentioned. Great post! -Andie

  3. Yes, yes, YES! I totally agree with you on all these things!

    My BIGGEST bookish peeves on your list, are, 'normal' girls attracting heaps of attention from guys - WE KNOW SHE'S PRETTY, EVERYONE ELSE THINKS SHE'S PRETTY EXCEPT HERSELF - I hate that so much *shakes head*; the boy player one *throws up* oh, YEAH, I COMPLETELY believe that he's fallen in love with her 5 SECONDS FLAT...NOT (I also hate that with most books involving the boy player, the 'wants to spend the rest of his days with' girl is normally a complete innocent and has cotton wool for brains *headdesks*); Insta-love, urghh, it seems to be happening heaps more in books these days; and OMG, missing parent syndrome, anyone? I HATE IT SO MUCH GRUUUGHHHGHGHGH *pulls out hair* I sometimes think authors forget to think over what would actually happen in real life, and instead click their computer keys to together to create something that sounds completely fake.

    Reading this list made my day! I've come across plenty of your book peeves before in books, and it's fabulous that we share some of the same annoyances x)

    Love your blog design BTW! I love how the pink isn't to much but just looks lovely and fresh and springy :)

    1. I'm so glad you agree with me on so many of these things! I feel like I'm just extra picky sometimes! You're so kind and sweet! Thank you so much! :)

      Maddie @ The Girly Geek

    2. I am possibly the pickiest bookworm in HISTORY, so you have nothing to worry about, haha :) There are very few books in the world that haven't faced the wrath of Ella The Slightly Mad Book Hatteress! ;)


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