Top Ten Tuesday – My Top 10 Biggest Book Turn Offs

top ten tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Top Ten Things That Will Make Me Instantly NOT Want To Read A Book.  I actually struggled with this topic because there aren’t too many things that will guarantee I won’t even attempt to read a book.  There are a few though so here’s my list.  

My Top Ten Biggest Book Turn Offs


1. CHILD ABUSE – I just can’t bring myself to read a book if I know in advance that a child will be abused.

2. ANIMAL CRUELTY – Same thing here. If I’ve heard there is animal cruelty, I’m going to pass.  I just finished reading The Female of the Species this past weekend and I wish I had known up front about the scene with the puppies so that I could have skipped over it.  Thankfully it was a small scene and it wasn’t graphic, but it still broke my heart.

3.  HORROR – I don’t do horror. At all.  Not movies or TV shows and especially not books. I enjoy a good mystery or psychological thriller, but no thanks to all of the super scary and gory stuff.  I read as an escape and being terrified is not an escape for me.

4. BIOGRAPHIES – Sometimes I’ll make an exception, but typically biographies not for me because I find them such a dry read.  I do enjoy autobiographies though because I do like hearing about someone’s life in their own words.

5.  WOMAN NEEDS A LOVE INTEREST TO FEEL COMPLETE –  I don’t know if this is classified as Chick Lit or  if it’s something else altogether, but the turn off for me are those books where the main character is so obsessed with either the man she is involved with or she’s focused on nothing but finding her next big romance.  Life is just horribly incomplete because she’s not involved with someone romantically.  Or maybe she even starts out as a strong, independent female character but then she suddenly turns into a puddle of goo because she thinks she has met Mr. Right.  Those kinds of stories just drive me crazy.

 6. GRATUITOUS, GRAPHIC SEX – I’m not a prude by any means and don’t mind the occasional sex scene in books that I’m reading, but I find it a turn off if every few chapters my characters are going at it like bunnies, especially if it adds nothing to the plot and is actually in the way of the plot advancing.

7. LOVE TRIANGLES – Sometimes I’ll make an exception if there’s an unusual twist when it comes to the love triangle, but for the most part, I just find these so cliche and unrealistic.

 8. TOO MUCH DESCRIPTION / TOO LITTLE ACTION – Although I do love gorgeous descriptions in novels, I know that if a novel is more description than it is action, I’m going to end up bored.  I recently experienced this with The Bone Witch, which I found to be filled with endless beautiful descriptions of the clothing the witches wore, but felt like the book was predominantly description and that not much of anything actually happened.

9. MAIN CHARACTER IS TOO PERFECT – I like characters that are messy and flawed and who make mistakes. If they’re too perfect, I just can’t relate to them and so lose interest.

10.  UGLY  COVERS – I feel horrible for even putting this one on here, but just as I have been known to want to read a book simply because it happens to have a gorgeous cover, I confess that I have also been known to shun a book altogether if it has what I consider to be hideous cover.  I know, I know! I shouldn’t be judging books by their covers.  *goes and sits in the corner*

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Question:  What are some of your biggest book turn offs? Do we have any in common?

26 replies
  1. Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog
    Grace @ Rebel Mommy Book Blog says:

    Ugly covers for sure!! Unless someone tells me it is a good book I will totally pass it by. I am with you on gratuitous sex scenes. I didn’t think of it but animal cruelty is so hard to read I avoid it. Not a big horror fan here either. Great list!

  2. Lori
    Lori says:

    I agree with so many of these! I can’t read anything with child abuse or neglect since having kids and animal cruelty breaks my heart too. Great list!

  3. Greg
    Greg says:

    Totally agree about horror. I also like the psychological thrillers but horror- no thanks. I don’t like to read about abuse or real life horrors like that either. Biographies aren’t usually my thing anymore. And some cover design or art choices I just don’t get. 🙂

  4. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    With you on all the points. And I totally judge books by their covers & by their titles. Also prefer autobiographies to biographies.

  5. Angela
    Angela says:

    OMG, if a book has an ugly cover, I don’t even bother seeing what it’s about! I also find love triangles totally unrealistic, and I HATE perfect characters!

  6. Lisa
    Lisa says:

    Ugly covers. This is why self-publishing often fails, in my opinion. You know by the look and feel–never embossed covers, for example–that it’s self-published.

  7. Jordan
    Jordan says:

    Absolutely agree with animal cruelty – I may somehow be able handle violence and gore in general(to an extent), but as soon as animals are involved, I just can’t handle it. That scene completely broke my heart, as well. I am also completely with you on the “woman needing a love interest to feel complete.” It frustrates me way too much. Perfect main characters and ugly covers are also total turn-offs! I’m actually finding I agree with just about all of your choices! Great post. 🙂

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, I’m so glad I haven’t come across many books that contain animal cruelty because I really can’t take it at all.

  8. Olivia
    Olivia says:

    I’m not a huge fan of love triangles either but I’d still consider reading the book. Also don’t like biographies! Great list 🙂

  9. Kelly @ Here's to Happy Endings
    Kelly @ Here's to Happy Endings says:

    Child abuse and animal cruelty are too major things that turn me off a book, too – including constant sex scenes. This is why I find myself avoiding most new adult books – the few that I’ve read have constant sex going on and after a while I just have to skip over those chapters because I’m so sick of reading them. Also, ugly covers definitely make me not want to read a book – I feel shallow saying that, but I’m not lying! Such a great list!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Yes, that’s exactly what bothers me. It’s not that there’s sex in the book, it’s more that there seems to be little else going on besides all of that sex.

  10. Geybie's Book Blog
    Geybie's Book Blog says:

    Child abuse and Animal cruelty are some of the things that are a deal breaker for me. It will instantly take me awal from the book. I cant stand them if they are featured in a book.

    Awesome list, Suzanne. 😁👍🏻

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Glad I’m not the only one who gets really annoyed by the women who just have to have a love interest to feel complete. Drives me insane!

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