Thursday, May 09, 2013

Book Girls Don’t Cry… They Vent on Pet Peeves

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Inspired by Book Buzzers, Book Girls Don’t Cry is a weekly feature where we each discuss/vent/advise on the chosen weekly bookish topic. Don’t miss Jenni on Mondays, and Amy on Saturdays:

Bookish Pet Peeves!

We are talking pet peeves today! I’m sure you will all have some to share as well and this is my favorite thing to discuss in books so gimme all you got in the comments, loves! I’ve grown to have very many pet peeves through the years so I will just list the ones that are the most annoying for me.

Oh hell to the no (and really who doesn’t have this as a pet peeve by now?)! What more can I even say about it? Insta-love sucks. An instant attraction is ok, insta-lust is fine, but those relationships that go from zero to “I will die without you” end-all kind of love in 60 seconds never do it for me. I need to believe in the connection they have, or at least understand why they love each other so damn much! “Oh his pecks are so big, I WILL LOVE HIM FOREVER” eeeh, no.

“Teenage” Slang Gone Wrong
Another pet peeve of mine is when authors try to bring their characters to life by trying too hard to make them sound like teenagers. Using way too many swear words, or stuff like “yo” “ whassup” and “dude” splattered all over. Obviously slang is common among teenagers, but don’t overdo it. The most recent example of this occurred in Period 8. Blah! But hey, at least they’re trying to make them sound authentic, unlike my next pet peeve:

Non Contracted Dialogue
This is one that I feel is not very common or doesn’t seem to bother many others, but I can’t stand it when, during dialogue (inner dialogue included), words are not contracted. Have you ever spoken like: “I do not want to leave. I am waiting until she calls.” People–especially teenagers–don’t talk like this. It annoys me so hard for some reason. Most often than not I have to DNF these. It’s just not natural speech for humans! When it’s a very literary read with a rich prose or even a historical novel,  I’m (sometimes) ok with this style of writing, but otherwise–if it’s just another YA paranormal–then I will use the book to make smores.

How many different versions of Twilight have YOU come across since the original? Twi-like books are all the rage, it seems. You would not believe the amount of times  I have re-met Edward Cullen! That kid gets around! It’s not just Twilight, though, look at Hunger Games look-alikes, or how this New Adult genre is already filled to the brim with “broken lovers with dark pasts” plots. It seems like when something is popular, everyone is trying to get a chance to milk the cow until it’s dry instead of using actual imagination and some creativity to write a good book! Give me some originality!!

Speaks for itself!

You will see 2 missing common pet peeves from this list: love triangles and cliffhangers. I actually don’t mind either when they’re not done lamely. Triangles, in a lot of cases, are boring but I simply don’t pay much attention to them; I don’t loathe them as much as others, I just don’t particularly like them. However, they can be done very well in other cases, like in Cynthia Hand’s Unearthly series. As for cliffhangers, I find they often give me that final exciting shock that makes the book memorable and, well, shocking. So while I will still want to hurl the book for making me wait to find out what happens, I secretly love the thrill. BUT, like everything in life, it has to be done for the right reasons; gimmicky cliffhangers are a bore.

Your turn! πŸ˜€
What are some of your pet-peeves?

Also, don’t forget to leave suggestions for future topics you’d like to see! πŸ™‚

You know you love me!
Xoxo, Book Girl!
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Canadian blogger, wife, mother, coffee lover, and sarcastic at heart! She has had a love for all things bookish since before Amazon and eReaders existed *le gasp*. You can also find her organizing tours and other fun things at Xpresso Book Tours.

Latest posts by Giselle (see all)

43 Responses to “Book Girls Don’t Cry… They Vent on Pet Peeves”

  1. Mary @ BookSwarm

    YES!! Working every day with teens, I know how they speak (I lust for the “I’m silently correcting your grammar” button because of it. I’d wear it every day.) but it just doesn’t work so well in dialogue. It just doesn’t seem to flow.

    Right now, the two most common slang words (besides all the cursing –gah!) are “Brrra” (I’m assuming this is what “bro” morphed into. Very weird.) and “ratchet” (which has replaced “ghetto” for some inexplicable reason.). Neither of those would make any sense in a book. A lot of slang because it’s so fluid, ever-changing and/or regional is completely unusable/unreadable in written dialogue because it would jar the reader out of the story.

  2. bookittyblog

    Love this post! And wow, the evil sentence! I’ve noticed it before and it kind of bother me because I’ve seen it in other books but never paid too much attention to it. Until now. I will be on the look out for it. I think one of my pet peeves right now is the New Adult genre. I feel like I’m reading the same book over and and over again. I’m just going to stay away from them for a while.

  3. Savannah Bookswithbite

    LOL! I just saw the evil sentence. And yes, I caught myself doing it too. Usually under some kinds of stress moment. Like when my autistic son bolted from me and ran across the street! Yeah, I totally was holding my breathe and didn’t release it till I saw that Ben was okay. Still, that sentence does come up ALOT!

    My biggest pet peeve in a book is insta-love and complicated love triangles. They give me so much anxiety! I hate it when a girl is bouncing between two guys! It’s like really chick? Pick a guy and stop being a well…you know what I mean.

  4. Dani

    Oh this list is to die for! I have noticed all of these when I’m reading. Insta-love and Love Triangles are the worse of the bunch in my opinion.

  5. Jenni @ Alluring Reads

    I totally agree with all of these (though love triangles is one that would have definitely been on my list because there are just not that many in real life and they are in EVERY freaking book!) The non contracted dialogue is definitely annoying and makes me picture a robot in my head when the character speaks LOL And Insta-Love is just wrong. So wrong. This is coming from someone who doesn’t believe in the whole love at first sight thing. Great post biatch!

  6. Amy

    OMG the not contracted words drives me crazy too!! Dialogue in general drives me crazy when it seems so not like how real people talk. Insta-love makes me all stabby!! GAH!! The evil sentence!! *slams head on desk* Fantastic post love!!

    • Giselle

      I thought I was the only one with the non contracted word issues I never see anyone complain about it! It was actually a small issue I had with If You Stay. She didn’t do it in actual dialogue much so it wasn’t a huge factor but it did distract me a little. I find it’s most often self published books who have them maybe they don’t realize yet or their editor should be fired? haha

      *Releases the breath I didn’t know I was holding*

  7. Jenea Whittington

    I think the teenage slang is one of the things that just bothers me the most. I have a 19 year old, and I haven’t heard any of her friends or her say half the things they supposedly say in the books. As for, love triangles and cliffhanger, they really don’t bother me all that much. The evil sentence, how great is that! Love it. πŸ™‚ Great post…

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

  8. Molli

    Your pet peeves are some of mine, actually! I was laughing aloud at your Edward Cullen comment. Wonder if Bella knows how many other girls he’s with? I swear he’s in EVERY paranormal book these days!

    I don’t mind a GOOD love triangle, either. And there’s a difference between an open ending, and a cruel cliffhanger. *shakes fist at cliffhangers*

    The weird language gets to me, too! I mean… I know *I* don’t talk like that, and I’m an adult, so I definitely don’t think teens are out there all formal speaking.

  9. J. Anne Huss

    Virgins. I hate the virgins, even though I just wrote one, I still hate them. And even more than virgins, is the new adult virgin. Please. I can handle a YA virgin because that’s sorta sweet. But new adult virgins just make me wanna puke.

    Add in the fact that no one ever noticed said virgin until college when Washboard-Abs McHottie decided she was the only girl for him, and I give you green vomit.

    I mostly keep this hatred tucked away in my reviews, but since you asked…

  10. Christianna Marks

    I love what you had to say about the dialogue! That’s such a good point! I totally get what you’re saying but I’ve never had someone explain it in a way that makes sense!

  11. Alexa Y.

    The evil sentence made me laugh. But the one item on your list that I COMPLETELY agree with is the words that aren’t contracted in dialogue (unless it suits the atmosphere or style of the story). Because SERIOUSLY nobody talks like that in real life.

  12. Siiri

    I agree with everything. Absolutely everything. Which is werid. It shows that a lot of us are irritated by the same things (as can be seen from the comments). A good example of doing something new is Wendy Higgins. She actually wrote a post about it saying that um.. Becca Fitzpatrick and Lauren Kate got ahead of her in the publishing world and took the worldwide market by storm with their angel books. She was afraid to put her book out there, but I think she did a great job putting a new spin on the angels’ theme so people don’t see it as a copycat, but rather something refreshing. I kinda hate love triangles for the fact that someone always loses. + they’re annoying. Most of the time at least. Ahhh, I want to comment on everything you wrote, but then this comment would be so long it’d take you days to read it so I’ll just stop here and say that I love the points you made and they were wonderfully explained.

    • Giselle

      Why is it weird that you agree with me? *gasp*

      Angel books-GAH! I haven’t read Sweet Evil but angel books in general annoy me lol. I just don’t like them >.< But yes you can take something overdone and give it a little something new–you just gotta write for the right reasons and not only because it's hot at the moment.

  13. Kristin@BloodSweatandBooks

    One of my biggest pet peeves is look alikes. I’m reading a book atm that screams I ripped off The Hunger Games. I don’t even really know why I’m continuing reading it but I guess I want to see the amazing book everyone else does. I also really hate cover changes or oo the use of the same stock photo on dozens of covers without even bothering to alter it.

  14. Megan Hand

    Okay, LOL, I LOVE this post! Insta-love is an Insta-BLECK for me. Turns me OFF, exactly as you said. Love stories have to be believable, and to be believable they have to have HISTORY. No way around that. Also, I cracked up when you put non-contracted dialogue. You’re right, it’s very rare. But I can tell you one example where this drove me ABSOLUTELY INSANE. Abbi Gline’s first edition of Breathe. This book many have changed, because I’ve reread Vincent Boys and she did a hell of a rewrite with that book, but Breathe was exactly that. Everyone talked like: “No we did not do that yesterday.” “You are right. We did not do that yesterday.” The characters felt like robots, and I really had to overlook it to get through the book. The woman has grown, that’s for sure. And HAHAHA about the evil sentence. How true is that!

    I’d say one of my biggest pet peeves is dialogue that is not believable. Dialogue is the meat, the flesh, the sustenance of a novel. If we can’t believe what the characters are saying and how they are interacting with one another, then the novel flatlines for me. Another would be the (…) Evil Ellipses. I read a book once where they used them for EVERY DIALOGUE. It was awful. I made a comment in my review how I felt like the author crippled the dialogue to the point where I felt like I had to put the sentences in wheel chairs. Ugh.

    GREAT POST!! πŸ™‚

    • Giselle

      Blah! I’m glad Abbi changed it or I was about to remove her from my TBR list haha. It was a problem I had with If You Stay by Courtney Cole too though that one was less in dialogue (it’s always the worst in actual dialogue) and more in inner dialogue/narration I guess. It still jarred me every time I read it and that’s just distracting. But I agree aside from them sounding like robots any non believable or over the top dialogue–anything that doesn’t sound natural for people who are talking–drives me up the walls! Baha @ Evil Ellipses! I find sometimes they can work well to bring the tone of the conversation or sentence to life but like anything there’s a limit.

  15. Christina

    First, thanks for the pageviews, Giselle! I got like five comments on my Evil Sentence post this morning and I was like wtf is happening.

    Also, as I was reading Teenage Slang Gone Wrong, I was all “I’m going to comment on Period 8,” but OF COURSE you were talking about that. September Girls did that too, but thankfully I didn’t have a review copy of that one. *pats self on back*

    I’m not sure if I notice the lack of contractions. I can’t think of a book that did that off the top of my head, but I must have read some.

    Preach on the originality, sistah!

    I’m with you on love triangles and cliffhangers. If they’re good, I’m all for it, even though they’re often stupid.

  16. Sara @ Forever 17 Books

    LOL That evil sentence. It sticks out like a sore thumb because it is everywhere! One of my pet peeves deals with stereotypes. Why does the cheerleader always have to be bitchy? And most likely blonde? I was a cheerleader and though I am blonde, I was most definitely not bitchy or even hugely popular. Our squad had an array of different girls from different high school groups. *sigh* I’m always disappointed when a cheerleader in a novel ends up uber bitchy. I also am sick of missing parents. Gimme parents like in Lola and the Boy Next Door. It makes a world of difference. πŸ™‚

  17. kit

    The slang thing is difficult to get right I think, and I find it jarring if it’s too obvious – I’d rather see less of it, not least because it can be quite dating too. Characters whose speech doesn’t sound natural also really aggravates me.

  18. Melissas Eclectic Bookshelf

    I so agree with you…too much sland or too formal usage really disturbs me as well. If the dialogue is unnatural I DNF too!

    PS “I will use the book to make smores” <——-This is too funny!! πŸ™‚

  19. Melanie

    My main two pet peeves is instant love and star crossed love. It’s getting WAY too old and clichΓ© that I usually lower my rating just becuase of those two issues. A recent example of teenage language that was way off was Shadows by Paula Weston, they just KEPT swearing and swearing until I just because slightly irritated, but of course, I loved that book in the end because of its originality.

    Stunning post there, Giselle! And that is one evil sentence! >,<

  20. malvoliosStockings

    I think the thing I hate the most is YA author’s thing for making girls weak. You know, the type of girls who blame everything that goes wrong on themselves, have zero confidence, or will do anything stupid as long as a guy is pretending to like them. I love YA but there are just too many female protagonists that I can’t really respect. I mean come on! Is it that hard to write a character with a backbone and who doesn’t always think with her vagina? Seriously!

    The other thing I hate is when a books have a villain/hero who comes across as childlike. I mean imagine if Sherlock Holmes was ridiculously childlike and threw tantrums and the likes. It just wouldn’t work would it? If a book is going to have a sophisticated plot, then I think the characters need to be a little sophisticated as well. Is that asking too much?

    This last thing isn’t a pet peeve so much as something I just don’t understand. I don’t get that whole extremely stereotypical popular vs. unpopular thing. My year in school didn’t have a popular crowd or cliques or what you would call real bulling. We had those preppy kids but no one really cared about them. And no one was ever confined to one group; such as the drama kids, the athletes, the cheerleaders. We were all mixed in together. We even had a fat cheerleader. So I can’t relate to that stuff at all. That whole queen bee and all star jock thing is completely foreign to me. Like vampires seem more real to me than a queen bees does. So I probably shouldn’t really look down on it. I’ve been told the whole popular vs. unpopular thing is in fact real, but I HAVE TO look down on it because it seems so fake to me. Blah. I can’t be the only one who is annoyed by it.

  21. Jasprit

    Lookalikes and insta love are definitely a huge pet peeve of mine too. I think lookalikes is what put me off the paranomal genre in the first place, the similarities were just hugely annoying! And the evil sentence link is so hilarious, I never realised how over used that sentence was. I actually don’t mind cliffhangers either, especially when they have me eager to get my hands on the next post. I’m really enjoying these Book Girls Don’t Cry they Vent posts. I can’t wait to see what you have in store for us next! πŸ™‚

  22. russell1200

    In Southern Lit, I think the equivalent of releasing the unknown breath is the “dog barking in the distance”, but I just laugh. I think some authors now just sneak it in as a wink-and-nod gesture.

  23. Candace

    Great post! I agree with everything you said though some I haven’t noticed much. I tend to say I hats love triangles and cliffhangers but its true, sometimes they do work very well! So its not fair to say I hats them. At least not all the time.

  24. Nereyda @Mostly YA Book Obsessed

    The evil sentence! Ah, I hate that. The not knowing you’re the one screaming drives me nuts too. All of the ones you mentioned are pet peeves of mine too. The biggest one I have right now though is the man-whore falling in love with the naΓ―ve virgin girl. I’m so sick of it! The unnecessary dark past that is so popular in NA gets on my nerves too.

  25. Lauren Elizabeth

    Oh how I love this post. ALL of these annoy the ever loving crap out of me. Especially insta-love and badly done slang. It’s excruciating to read someone butcher slang, thinking they’re being really young and edgy, but just failing miserably. Haha, I hadn’t read Christina’s post about the dreaded sentence, but that is now a new pet peeve of mine. Great post, thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚

  26. Wendy

    That evil sentence is SO true!! Kind of going along with the look-alikes, is the fact that so many NA novels seem to be having worse and worse tragic pasts. It’s like oh, this has been done before, so let me make this even MORE terrible. Those poor characters.

    Insta-love. My number 1 biggest pet peeve of all time!! I need to believe in the relationship and their feelings to get invested in their story. Seeing someone across the room and knowing that they are the “one” they want to be with forever and ever? No. Just… no.

  27. Dragana Mitrovic

    I hate insta-love with passion also.
    And I do hate teenage slang gone wrong too. The worst case I read is Undeadly by Michele Vail.
    Non contracted dialogue does not bother me. Although it stops me sometimes from connecting to the characters because they sound cold and un-natural.
    I don’t mind look alikes, if they are written well and have some original twist.
    Also I did not notice evil sentence at all until Christina wrote about it. Now it haunts me. (Thank you very much. :p)

    My other pet peeves are:
    – Love triangles if they drag too much. I don’t mind if there is intense add on to the romance, but if she is undecided between two guys for the whole series, it’s annoying. I want to yell at her and shake her: CHOOSE!
    – I hate it when in ya books heroine goes to do something complicated that she knows nothing about alone. Like in Rules of Disappearing or Doomed, where they go to solve the case without contacting police. Those people trained to do that, why not ask for help? Those everyone-is-against-me conspiracy-theories are annoying.
    – I am also getting a little bit peeved about all tragic-past drama in contemporaries. I want to read more about regular people!

  28. tonyalee @ lilybloombooks

    I agree with you on the insta love. As for the slang- I don’t like “made up” slang or curse words. Like in Across the Universe, for example.

    I don’t mind love triangles. Sometimes I feel there are almost necessary.

    Grea topic πŸ™‚

  29. Megan K.

    Me + this post = insta-love (in this context, I don’t think it’s a pet peeve. ;P)

    I have no idea why this has become so popular in fiction nowadays. You’re right: instant attraction is fine – it’s normal, in fact – but to look at a person and think “I love him. I’m going to marry him. We’re going to live happily ever after.” is different levels of sick and retarded. I’m sorry, but can anyone honestly tell me that they felt/thought that when they saw someone they’d just met? Answer: NO.

    “Teenage” Slang Gone Wrong
    Luckily for me, I haven’t come across many books like this, though I can probably understand how annoying it is. Being a teen myself, I know for a fact that not everything we think about is sex (looking right atcha, September Girls). And we don’t swear in every sentence. And we don’t use “yo” or “dawg” or “whassup” all the damn time. Seriously. We’re not brainless. Our vocab isn’t made up entirely of those kind of words.

    Non Contracted Dialogue
    I’m glad I’m not alone about this! It sounds infinitely weird when someone in a book talks like that. It’s creepy, too. O_O

    I’d REALLY appreciate it if authors tried to incorporate some originality and creativity into their characters, because they are one of the most important aspects of the book. And yes, the Twilight and Hunger Games trend is getting old. :/

    The Evil Sentence
    Read this post a couple of days ago, and while it doesn’t bother me that much, I have to admit that I’ve seen an increase of it in the past few books I’ve been reading. Again: authors, please incorporate some originality and creativity into your writing. Thank you.

    BRILLIANT post, Giselle! <3

  30. Michelle

    Love this post!!! I HATE when characters talk w/out contractions!!!! It drives me nuts! And bad Teen Talk is the worst!! In The Lonely Hearts Club the one character says “what to the evs” ….is that not the WORST try at teen talk you’ve ever heard???

    PS- Evil Sentence… hahaha love it!! So true. My evil sentence or phrase for a while was “He waved his hand dismissively”. Why is that in every book? Do people really wave their hands dismissively a lot in real life??

  31. Micheline D

    OMG YES the contracted words thing can really drive me crazy too – if it’s a historical I can sometimes wrap my head around it and somewhat let it go…but if it’s modern – hell no! Insta-love is another one I can’t stand one bit, my last encounter with it was awhile back though (thank jeebus) Teenage slang gone wrong is a good one, especially when authors use ‘chat speak’ like LOL or LMAO o.O

    OMG that evil sentence is EVERYWHERES >.< but for me the WORST culprit has to be the look-alikes. If I read one more HP rip off, I might just scream!

    Awesome post babe!