TOP TEN BOOK TURN-OFFS
For me these are book, non-negotiables. Many of them will make me cease and desist reading immediately. Some may lead to ranty blog posts or reviews on GoodReads. Though I usually list books in no particular order I'm listing these literary crimes from least to greatest offense.
10. Historical Fiction--I make an exception for roaring 20's themed historicals but otherwise, not so much for me.
9. Unreliable Narrators--if I can't trust a narrator then I can't emotionally invest in his story, which is a deal breaker for me.
8. Large blocks of backstory/telly narrative. For me a story is about relationships between characters, which is best shared through dialogue. I am unlikely to fully invest otherwise and tend to skim pages that lack conversation
7. Loose ends. Especially at the end of a series I've invested several books' worth of time and money in. If you can't wrap up the loose ends in a series, you've got no business writing a series to begin with.
6. Narrative Moral Judgments. Particularly when you're writing for children or teens. Keep your morals out of the narrative. I'm not much of a fan of being preached to as an adult, but I sure as hell wasn't as a teenager. And on a related note...
5. Blatantly politicized fiction targeted toward young readers. I think the longer people can go without thinking about and understanding politics the better they will be. Let kids be kids--don't try to suck them into ulterior motivated nonsense. That's what adulthood is for.
4. Use of the n-word and all it's little friends. Hate is hate, whether that hate is authentic or not.
3. Careless presentation of risk-taking behavior in books targeted toward teens. Let your adult characters in an adult novel skip the condom whenever they want, but if you're writing for kids, I feel like there's an ethical obligation to do what you can to model responsible behavior in characters with whom you expect young, impressionable readers to identify.
2. Inauthentic Presentation of Mental Health and/or Substance Abuse Disorders and Treatment. Not all therapists are terrible and not all treatment centers are shady and corrupt. And honestly, I'm tired of literature geared toward kids that will make them wary of seeking help when they need it. Don't make me sic NAMI on your ass. I'm not kidding.
1. Uneducated or misinformed representations of people with disabilities. And if you use the word handicapped you can expect to get a history lesson and an earful from me.
So, yeah. This is one I'm pretty opinionated about. What are your literary deal-breakers? And what do you think of mine? Let's debate this!