Question: What Are Your Character or Plot Pet Peeves?

Posted March 28, 2012 by Carmel in / 14 Comments

Julie's Question - Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks
by Yummy Men and Kick Ass Chicks & A Buckeye Girl Reads

Where do I start? LOL But I agree with Julie, the more books that I read the pickier I seem to become!

I strongly dislike characters who don’t act their own age. Most of the books I read have heroines that are in their late 20’s or early 30’s but when the protagonist acts like she’s 16 it drives me crazy. There’s a reason why I limit the amount of Young Adult novels that I read. I just can’t connect with the characters so I turn to Urban Fantasy. There’s nothing that I find more frustrating than an immature, whiny, ditzy heroine who needs to grow up! A juvenile character can ruin an entire book for me.

I also have a love/hate relationship with love triangles. I agree that they have their place in fiction but it’s when they become the main focus of the plot that I begin to get irritated. More often than not, the relationship complications become all consuming and the main focus of the book turns into an afterthought only to resurface near the end of the novel. When this happens I usually end up feeling lost and struggle to figure out what the actual point of the book was. In my opinion, the main plot line should always be clear and the love triangle should be an added bonus to help add depth to the characters, not steal the show.

Finally, the new trend of ending a book practically in mid-sentence in Young Adult books really pushes my buttons and is one of the main reasons why I’ve cut back on reading this genre. I’m not sure if this is a new version of the cliff hanger ending but I hate it. Novels that do this feel unfinished and I receive little to no satisfaction from them. The ending is an important aspect of a novel and when I find myself double checking my eBook to make sure that all of the pages downloaded properly something is wrong.

What about you?

What Are Your Character or Plot Pet Peeves?

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I review Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance books with a focus all things werewolf. Based out of Ottawa, Canada

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14 responses to “Question: What Are Your Character or Plot Pet Peeves?

  1. I agree with all you mention, and another one is when it´s just too perfect, when both the Hero and the heroine is flawless, they just can´t do anything wrong (and be sure to drop some expensive designer lables when you´re at it *snort*)
    I can go for a fairytale where the heroine is getting drowned in excess but not when it´s forced down my throat how perfect the couple is *shudders* It just rubs me the wrong way.
    //Linda

  2. @Linda Yes!! That’s one of mine as well. I limited my answer to 3 items because otherwise my question post would have turned into a rant. LOL

  3. Totally agree with all those point, maybe that’s why I can never rate YA very high, because they have juvenile or “perfect” characters.
    I also can’t deal with insta-love. It happens a lot of PNR, but at least in PNR people don’t fall in love. They’re attracted but they follow a process falling in love, but in YA, it’s “oh he’s so good looking” so I think I’m in love. When this goes together with love triangles I just want to smack someone. or throw the book across the room (which is hard when I read on Kindle).

    Oh, another one is when females insist on throwing themselves into danger. Yeah yeah they should be “independent” and don’t need saving all the time, but when they clearly don’t have the ability to protect themselves (and they sometimes admit it), they still insist on going into danger. When they can’t protect themselves, they just make the situation more dangerous for everyone. It’s a thin line between being smart and admitting things you can’t handle and being too stupid to live. A lot of females cross this line.

    Sorry for the rant, but great topic!

    Ning @ Reading by Kindle Fire

  4. great list of pet peaves. I tire of the love triangle too – who in real life puts up with that crap?

    What I am really yearning for is a series that can hold its own. I am bored with the trilogy thing.

    And finally, I want a YA book with a kick butt boy. The nearest thing I have found is The Chronicles of Nick. The adult version kick butt guy is Kevin Hearnes Iron Druid Chronicles; the series rocks. See that series, more than three books and it works!. 🙂

    Jen

  5. I don’t like it when “adult” scenes last for much of the book or when they are oddly placed. There was a book by Christine Feehan which I found interesting – until the romance lay wayed it. I was getting on fine with the character (a bit too much like Buffy, though, but it didn’t bother me too much) and I didn’t mind the Carpathian character. In fact, I kind of found the whole concept of that series to be interesting at the time because I was going through a paranormal romance stage and this was before my interest in PR was ruined by YA and badly written paranormal romance books. However, the adult scenes in the book seemed to take up half of it and it also made you forget the plot. Unfortunately for Christine Feehan, it was the first book that I read by her and although I had a few other of her books, it sadly put me off reading any more of them and they were passed on.

    A more recent book had an adult scene in a very, very weird place in the book and it just through me out of the story. If it hadn’t had been for that, then the book would have been a five star because the rest of the book was excellent.

    So yes, baldy placed or romance that is too drawn out puts me off reading it.

    Relationship arguments between characters that go on too long in a book is very bad because the author just seems to do it to pad it out. I was reading Rogue by Rachel Vincent recently and there is an argument between the main character and her boyfriend that goes on for absolutely ages. It’s not put me off from reading the next book because I find the concept of werecats interesting and I managed to pick up the rest of the series quite cheaply (and with all the financial problems around at the moment, I have another motivation to get through the series…so I will continue with it. However, my disappointment with some of the author’s writing means that I probably won’t read any other series by her.)

    Although I don’t mind YA books in particular – I quite enjoy them when the characters are well balanced – Kelley Armstrong’s Darkest Powers series and her new YA one comes to mind – I do find that coming across a well written YA book, particularly in relation to the characterisation very difficult to find. It’s not me, either, because I have read Buffy the Vampire Slayer books (which could probably be considered to be YA, in some respects) and I can relate to the characters in that. So the problem with YA is probably a more recent one. I have also come across the weird short or incomplete sentence thing in Jennifer Lyn Barnes’ work and yes it is irritating, and the author needs to work on fleshing out her characters to that they have some substance and not just names in a story.

    Simplicity of plot? When I first started reading adult fiction properly, I found that the books I read tended to be well crafted in relation to characters, world-building and plot. These days I find that there is a tendency for authors to skimp on the world-building and have simple plots and very flat characters and it is even something which experianced authors do – the simple world building and plot does not always relate to the length of the book either – for a 250 – 300 page book then I expect a simple plot focused on a couple of characters that may or may not have a lot of world-building in it. For longer books, I expect the plot to be more complex and for books that exceed 500 pages, then I also expect a lot of world-building as well. Good characterisation, a decent plot and world-building are what makes good books and I find it harder to find them.

  6. I tried to answer this question over Julie’s blog, but I think it came out all wrong, so I’ll give it another shot.
    When the writing is excellent, an author can take me into any scenario that I hate in a book, but with the magic of her pen can make love it, and make forget that I don’t like that kind of a plot.
    My point, I only have pet peeves when the author fails to capture my heart with her story.
    I hope I making sense.

  7. Great answers. Cliffhanger endings are not cool. When I read a story, I want. . .a story. A complete one. A few loose threads left to be woven into the next book is fine, but there has to be some sort of story arc. Even TV shows can manage that. Not having some for of resolution in a book is unacceptable.

    🙂

  8. Characters that are too dumb to live. I mean a character that is just doing something to add to the length of the storyline but has no real purpose and is completely reckless and idiotic.

    Also I got super annoyed with importance on the size certain appendages within the Highlander series. So much so that I had to stop reading them. I was like UGH!! I get it you like big ones!

    Okay so TMI! Anyways…