Today I spoke to an admin who mentioned she was reading some shitty new adult book and when I told her I had tried it but flounced because it was full of things that tick me off, she asked me what exactly were my pet peeves. I told her a few and then moved on to booking her boss's business trip, but I figured, huh, good idea for a post.
*All examples given below are made up by me. Any resemblance to a published book is purely coincidental and just goes to prove how cliched and over used these are.
In no particular order, I give you...
MY PET PEEVES
Let's start with the descriptive narrative.
Sounds innocent enough. Every author, good or bad, should be able to do a simple description of, well, anything.
This breaks down in to two categories that really annoy me:
- First, the woman who is over descriptive of herself.
ex: I ran my fingers through my lush, long, ebony hair. My almond orbs stared from beneath my layered dark bangs and my bee-stung lips curved up in a crooked smile.
What ever happened to the good ol' days where the details were in the plot and story line and the reader was intelligent enough to come up with a picture of the character in their own mind. All that description did was tell me the author has a 90% chance of being a moron and this book has a 95% chance of me flouncing.
- The second part of the descriptive peeve would be the abundance of demigods currently on the planet and coming soon to a book near you.
ex: His jaw was chiseled to perfection and his arms sculpted as if by a master. A god among men who made women stop and stare.
Or for lack of demigods, we have the statue that more male lead characters are compared to than any other:
I know. Be still my heart!!!
PS I did just see this in person earlier this month on my Italian vacation and um, dude's hands are totally not in proportion. Sorry, but Michelangelo gots some 'splainin' to do! I'm just sayin'!!!
****The next peeve for me would be what I call the Name Droppers Syndrome. This would also include the sub genres of Girls' Night Out and my BFF is richer than your BFF.
ex: I couldn't afford to go to the grocery store, but I put on my Louboutin's and hopped in my Aston Martin to go to the club with my girls. They had a separate floor for live music and an awesome band was playing a cover of Kings of Leon. My roommate could be a pain but since she had daddy's credit card she started a tab and said all the drinks were on her tonight. My cell phone chimed with Jay Z's 99 problems and I pushed ignore.
Y'all feelin' me? Yeah.
****And now... What's in a name? This includes nicknames, ridiculous and hard to pronounce names and just plain stupid ones.
ex: Most people call me Cee but my real name is Cecindar and I'm named after some obscure person you will never know and it's pronounced like Sesthar and it's super hard to say so don't even try. Just be cool and call me CeeCee or C or stupid girl. Whatever.
At this time, I'd like to take a moment to tell authors that you're not being cute. Giving your character a hard name or something not normal only pulls me out of the story. Every time I read the name for the next 300 and some pages I'm going to cringe. It's also not cute to name your characters stupid cutesy overused names either. Can I just get a Jennifer that is not constantly called Jen or Jeni, with an "i" and maybe a Tom, Dick or Harry? Jebus!
****That brings me to editing and grammar. Yeah. Your beta is not an actual editor. Your editor you found online before publishing yourself and making yourself an Amazon best-selling author is not a real editor either. Your book was not purchased by a publisher for a reason. (Ok, a ton of reasons)
I think it's safe to go without an example here. You all know this is self-explanatory.
****It's the little plot trick that no one likes. The misunderstanding. 99% of the time, we see it coming a mile away.
ex: I don't know why Luke left town without saying goodbye. I woke up at Jeremy's house in his bed after mistakenly thinking it was Whitney's room. Whitney walked out wearing Luke's shirt and told me he was gone.
- hand and hand with the misunderstanding is the Build Me Up Buttercup play. You know, the huge build up with the even bigger let down. Admit it, you've scratched your head and said these words, "Really? That's it? I read it for nothing!"
****This brings us to the Madonna complex. Or, LIKE A VIRGIN. Heyyy. Touched for the very first tiiiime. Like a vir ir ir ir gin... sorry, what was I saying? Oh yeah. What is up with so many virgins in literature? I'm not peeving on the virgs. I'm just saying do they all have to have the best sex ever their first time out? And does it always have to be with someone hung like a horse? And could there be less thrusting, clenching and wet words? Is that possible?
ex: I. Can't. Even.
****My anger really comes out hulk smash style when the character refuses to stand up for her self. We'll call it the No, But Really, Plague. This is where the author spends a few chapters convincing us all how smart and tough and super awesome our lead character is, only to have them do something totally stupid... for the rest of the book.
ex: You can't tell me what to do. You're not the boss of me. I'm super girl and my cape is totally hot. I don't need your protection. I'm just going to get really drunk and walk down this dark street by myself even though there is someone stalking me and has already broken in to my house. Twice. Last week. And I'm going there now because they are not going to make me live in fear. Even if my cell phone is dead and for some reason my power isn't working.
I'm going to go ahead and include the Family is a Biatch peeve here as well. I hate it when a character bends over and over again to their family. Mean and drunk parent. Crazy ass sister. Broke ass lying brother. Over bearing sneaky father. BFF who did you a small favor one time and now you owe them your bag of favors for life. Whatever is needed to make the reader hate someone besides the author, erm, I mean, main character. It never works and it only pisses me off. (See above anger gifs).
Why can't they just stand up for themselves?
****I'd like to take a minute. Just sit right there and I'll tell y'all how I became the Prince of a town called Bel Air. What I mean is, you're reading a story and a few chapters in, weird things start happening. Like, all of a sudden the dangerous and grungy hot dude is everywhere you are. And he owns every business and his family is somehow all up in your bizniz and coincidentally he has the same Friday night class as you and does his laundry on Saturdays at the same coin-o-rama because he owns that, too.
What happened to the normal dude I was starting to like?
****To finish off this post of pet-peeves-off-the-top-of-my-head, I'm going to mention Three Stooges-itis. This is an author's attempt at cheezy over the top physical humor that always (hear me? ALWAYS) fails.
ex: I tried to pull my purse from the back of my chair where it was twisted up in my jacket before my phone stopped ringing. I yanked it so hard that I knocked myself down and landed face first in the hot god's lap. Something long and hard and pressed against my cheek.
Not a pet peeve but worth honorable mention:
Above all of these. One thing that makes my heart hurt. Makes my brain hurt. Makes my faith in humanity hurt. Makes.My.Belief.In.Girl.Power.Hurt is the Over-hyped 5 star review.
Ladies. Women. Girls. What in the ever loving fuck are you thinking giving four and five stars to these, for lack of a better word, books? Why are you typing things like OMGz He's so fucking hot and I love him. I wish he'd beat me too? Or other incredibly stupid and just... just... inconceivable, nay, incomprehensible, unexplainably dumb... I just. I just can't. There are not words to make you see. You are dead to me. Dead. We cannot be friends. Like ever. Don't follow me on twitter. Don't stalk my tumblr. Don't try friending me on GR. I've blocked you from life. I'm considering changing my online gender because I do not want to accidentally be associated with you "women" when news and media discuss how a coughBestSellingcough book is doing amongst our demographic. I'm ashamed. I'm crushed. I'm... I'm... I'm hurt.
And that concludes our pet peeve post. Please take your complimentary gift with you: