Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Bookish Turn-Offs {Top Ten Tuesday}

Hosted by The Broke & The Bookish

Hi guys, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday! Last week was all about what makes me pick up a book, and this week I go the opposite route and discuss what makes me NOT want to pick up a book. Basically, what are some of my bookish turn-offs?

Horrible, ugly covers

Okay, I know I shouldn’t judge a book by its’ cover. But… I still do. The chances of me picking up a book with an ugly-ass cover are close to zero. Unless the book has amazing reviews or if I’m just looking for a quick, fun new adult read (which to be fair, have mostly horrible covers)


I’m a slow burn girl. I don’t believe in instalove and it is super annoying to read about. This is pretty much always an immediate no from me.

Love triangles

If done well, love triangles can still be okay. But 95% of the time, love triangles are just annoying and unrealistic and I just don’t care.

Love cures all

Often used in stories with mentally ill characters. No. Falling in love or being loved does not magically cure an illness. Just don’t.

Open endings

I’m sorry, but I don’t read a book to have it end on an open ending. I need answers and I need to have them by the end of the story.

Protagonists whose entire life centers only around a love interest

Ugh. This is why I hated Bella. I’m a big hopeless romantic myself, BUT there is more to life than romance. And I need more from the books I read as well. Sure, let the protagonist fall in love. But don’t let that be the only thing to define them.

Abusive love interests

Seriously, who even thinks abusive love interests are romantic? If they do you wrong, let them go. Don’t chase after them like a love sick puppy. I just can’t read about this. I can’t.

Whitewashing and heteronormativity

We live in an incredibly diverse world. So this diversity should be present in every book as well. A story with only white characters is not ok. A story where every single person is straight and paired off with the next available straight person is not ok.

Slut-shaming or virgin-shaming

Can we just not? Enjoying sex does not make you a slut and not having sex does not make you a prude. Let books have some sex positivity and none of this “I’m not like those other girls” or girl-on-girl hating.

Plot drags on because of lack of communication

Nothing is more frustrating than a problem that only exists because characters don’t communicate. Sure, it can happen. But it’s frustrating and stupid and I don’t want to waste time on reading about it.

what are some of your bookish turn-offs? Do we have any in common?


  1. Bad covers, instalove and the dreaded triangle lol- those are all no-no’s for me too. Although I still get stuck w/ the love triangles, seems like, since they’re everywhere, in YA anyway. Open endings or no resolution can seriously irritate me too! And I think lack of communucation might be my biggest pet peeve- all the secret keeping or not speaking up. Ugh that gets old!

    1. Ah yes, love triangles – almost everyone hates them and still they are everywhere! Same with the lack of communication – it’s so annoying and still it gets used soo much.

  2. Ugh I hate protagonist who are shoved up their love interest’s ass! Kill me! And ugly covers bother me so much!

    1. Yes, protagonists definitely need a life and personality outside of their love interest!

  3. Ugly covers and love triangles made my list this week too. I also agree with you open endings. Unless I know it’s part of a series and so I might get the answers I need in a future book, I’m not interested in a book that leaves me hanging and wondering. Great list!

    1. Yes, exactly! I don’t mind an open ending when I know there is more still coming, but when it’s really the end and I still don’t have all the answers… it’s so frustrating!

  4. Bad covers was on my list too 🙂 I forgot to put it but love cures all is a huge turn off as well as obnoxious communication issues. Great list!!

    1. Thanks! Bad covers definitely are a major turn-off, even if they could hide a really great story…

  5. I agree with every single one of these! I think bad covers is probably the worst, because it might be hiding a really great story, and I’ll never know.
    My TTT for this week.

    1. Yes that’s definitely so true! We could miss out on some really great stories, and on the other hand be suckered into reading a terrible one just because of a cover…

  6. Lack of communication is a big thing for me – it’s part of the reason I don’t read a lot of romance novels. I can just tell from the blurb that if the two people just actually talked, the whole situation could be solved pretty easily!

    Definitely agree on ugly covers!

    1. Lack of communication does seem to be a pretty popular trope in romance novels, and it’s so annoying because there are so many better ways to tell a story!

  7. Instalove ugggggggh. I understand it more in historically set novels where men and women would have fewer chances to interact privately, but in today’s world? No. Get out of here with that noise.

    1. Yes, exactly! In some instances, like historical fiction, instalove can still be understandable, but mostly, it’s just plain annoying.

  8. I agree with so many of these. Love cure alls piss me off. And abusive relationships that are glorified just bother me so much! Ugh. And using lack of communication as a plot device is just… so antagonizing!!!

    1. Yes, they are all such annoying and frustrating tropes!

  9. Nothing makes me crazier than when the main couple can’t get past whatever because they refused to say, “Hey, wait. You upset me. This is not okay.”

    As much as I would like to feel otherwise, I agree about ugly book covers. What’s inside the book is more important, but something pretty, interesting, or alluring is definitely more likely to make you stop and pick that book up off the shelf.

    1. Yes, exactly! Nothing more frustrating than reading about an issue that could be solved easily with simple communication! And yes, I don’t want to judge books by their covers, but I also can’t deny that I still do anyway 🙂

  10. I agree with all of these – particularly about girls getting grief over their sexual lives. We live in an age where people should be free to do what they want without so much judgement – and I hate how girls are depicted as either prudes or sluts. Where is middle ground? Also Instant love or Love cures all…. these are definite ways to make me hate a book!

    1. That’s so true! There really doesn’t seem to be a middle ground when it comes to depicting girls’ sexual lives and most people atually fall in that middle ground. And instalove or love cures all are some of the most annoying tropes out there.

  11. Oh god, I hate open endings! I like everything wrapped up tight, and maybe even with a little bow on top. lol! I definitely should have had that one on my list. I agree with the insta-love, love cures all and love triangles too. I’m a huge fan of romances but those kind drive me crazy. Great list!!

    1. Ah I’m happy I’m not the only one who doesn’t like open endings! Definitely prefer everything nicely wrapped up as well 🙂 And yes! I love romances too, but not romances with any of those tropes!

  12. Oh yea, several of those make my list as well. I love the Loki gif. That is how I look when I run across one of those endings… or the abrupt ones. UGH! LOL

    1. Haha, yes I saw the Loki gif and I just related to it too much not to use it 😉

  13. I agree on a lot of these, triangles, instalove, slut shaming is annoying also, ugh opening endings grr. Great list!
    I also hate women who keep pregnancy a secret for years.

    1. Thanks! And yes, I hadn’t though about that yet, but the secret pregnancy trope is definitely SUPER annoying as well!

  14. Oooh we agree on so many. But I can’t believe I forgot virgin and slut shaming! That makes me so angry. I haaaate the, “What kind of girl do you think I am??” or “I’m not that kind of girl!” lines. Liiiiiike you’re not better than anyone else because you don’t want to have sex on the first date. Let people live their lives, man! Great list.

    P.S. Love the Hades gif at the end. (:

    1. Yes, exactly! Let people live their lives, their sex lives are so not for us to judge. Haha, yes, Hades sums everything up pretty well 🙂

  15. Agreed with every single one of these and I love your choice of gifs!! 😛 I hate the “She’s wasn’t like other girls” trope..It’s so annoying and insulting to all women! Also I agree that when done well, triangle love can be good but it rarely gets done well! And I get put off by ugly covers too..I know that seems kinda shallow or materialistic but i’m sorry I just don’t pick up an ugly looking book unless I KNOW it has an awesome story and everything! Great post Lindsey 🙂 😀

    1. Haha thanks! Gif selection is one of my fave parts of writing a post – though it also takes the longest 😉
      Yes, the “Not like other girls” trope is so frustrating! And there are times when a love triangle can be good, but they are few and far between 🙂
      And I’m probably shallow too, but the cover is the first thing that draws me to a book, so if that doesn’t work then I probably won’t pick it up. UNLESS, as you said, I know it will be amazing and have heard a ton of great reviews.

  16. Omg yes yes yes to every single point on this list. You make a good point with the open ending books too. Sometimes I enjoy it but when it just ends abruptly and it’s a standalone book…ugh!! The rest is bang on.

    1. Yes, exactly! Open endings don’t bother me when it’s a series and I know there will be more coming, but when it’s a standalone? I need ANSWERS 😉

  17. Love triangles be gone (unless well done, which on occasion I have found); and ugly covers and abusive love? NOPENOPENOPE! Also, plots dragging? Ugh. That’s a no. PS: Love the Veronica .gif!

    1. There are indeed some love triangles done well… but a love triangle that is the sole plot point and unrealistic can be gone indeed 😉
      Haha, I can never say no to a Veronica GIF because I’m just a marshmallow forever 🙂

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