Oh, those little things that drive every bookworm crazy! I know we all have them, so I’ve decided to talk about mine a little, because I find this kind of discussions fascinating, God knows why. 😂
These are about the stories themselves, as I’m not that easily annoyed by covers or formats at the moment, thankfully. Also, these pet peeves are mostly found in YA novels and in contemporaries. Fantasy usually deals perfectly with some of the ones I’m going to mention, because there are mostly different centuries and worlds where you just can’t apply today’s moral code.
Let’s begin, shall we?
1. “I’m not like the other girls”, says the bitchy hypersensitive heroine.
Ummm… Excuse you? Don’t you have two legs, two hands, two eyes, hair, like the other girls? How are you not like them? Why are you SO special? Because you play hard to get? ‘Cause your insecurities and undeveloped mind don’t let you solve your problems in a healthy way? Or have you had to deal with some really nasty things in the past? Breaking news, honey: everyone does that at some point in their lives.
2. The stereotypical mean girl.
Keyword: stereotypical. You know her. She wears make-up, has a loser of a boyfriend, usually a football player. Sometimes she can’t be on her own. She bitches about EVERYTHING and has a problem with the main female protagonist. Only with her. Why can’t she be smart and beautiful and even kind sometimes? Why? Make-up doesn’t make you a bad girl, just like hanging out (not dating) with more than one guy doesn’t make you a slut.
3. The bad boy that gets to do everything he wants to/ with a girl and that is allowed to be an abusive jerk because he’s equipped with a sad childhood and a six-pack.
Being hot doesn’t mean you’re a keeper. Being an asshole doesn’t mean you like a girl. Books (and writers) should stop romanticising abusive relationships. After having read many novels that swim in these waters, I still don’t think that being disrespectful to someone who is being genuinely nice and kind to you is sexy or attractive. Just like I don’t think that rough experiences give you the right to step on the people that want the best for you. You’re not your past. You have no excuses. Stop victimizing yourself.
I often find myself thinking that the female characters that fall for this behaviour are simply stupid.
Remember that young girls read these books and, sadly, they end up looking for this type of character in real people to love and to “fix” and, in the end, to get heartbroken by, if not worse.
How about romanticizing healthy romantic relationships instead? 🙂
4. Love triangles.
To me, love triangles are a source of unnecessary tension and anger. Why add another love interest to a story when you already know who is gonna get the girl, because that was the plan all along?
Many problems would be solved if only the protagonist(s) asked the right questions. I get that writers use miscommunication for intrigue and tension, but there are times when it is completely useless and it becomes SO annoying and tiring and unrealistic.
Since when is it okay to betray someone’s trust? It doesn’t matter that both parties are unhappy in that relationship, the right thing to do is talk about it and break up before hooking up with others. Moreover, why are you in a relationship with someone you don’t love anymore or with someone that doesn’t make you happy anymore? Because that would be the logic explanaition for which you fell for someone so hard that you forgot about your lover.
Being in a romantic relationship does come with expectations and responsabilities, despite the fact that people like to fool themselves with the contrary.
7. The 16-17 year old that is the only person who can save the world.
How come you are more qualified and wise than an adult who actually lived and gained experiences and you can do everything on your own?
8. The female protagonist that is loved by EVERYONE, but that thinks she is inferior to everybody.
You ought not to be adored by every single person you encounter, in the first place. It is boring for the story. And no one buys the part where you say that you’re neither beautiful nor sexy, but you still have all the male characters at your feet.
“Loving” someone due to their looks is not actually love. It’s attraction. Which, again, is not love. Don’t mix them.
I prefer slow-burning romance and for a good reason: it shows you why the characters fall in love with each other. Isn’t it great when we see two people in love even after their flaws lay naked on the table? The answer is yes, it is.
10. Pushing away people for their own protection when everything goes bananas.
It’s like a rule now: things go wrong and the protagonist decides that it would be better to lie to their loved ones in order to protect them than to tell them what’s going on them so they can prepare for what’s coming. Pointless, as almost every time this happens, the loved ones discover the truth. Only it happens in violent, ugly, hurting ways. Nice job, protagonist.
There you have them, my top 10 bookish pet peeves. I know I’m not the only one when it comes to them and I probably have more, but why annoy myself for longer than necessary, right? 😂
On another note, I hope you don’t settle for these and spend your money wisely, on pieces of fiction from which you can learn something that’ll help you improve yourself. These pet peeves are common and this is because we make them so, by buying and buying and buying them over and over again, leading publishers to believe that they are the future.
Also, needed, but not really needed disclaimer: not every book that has concepts from above is a piece of trash. Many great books have got pet peeves, but they don’t represent major parts of the books or the books themselves.
That being said, go back to your reading and have a nice day! 🙂