Bookish Pet Peeves
Bookish Pet Peeves
Every bookworm has pet peeves. Some of the most egregious are writing in books, dog earring pages, leaving books on their faces, and worst of all: spoilers on the internet! But what about those irritating plot elements that drive readers bonkers?
When characters have issues that could be solved in five minutes if they would just talk to each other, but the author drags out the plot for another 200 pages anyway, that’s annoying. Try Angela Flournoy’s novel The Turner House to avoid this faux-pas. Cha-Cha Turner has been seeing a ghost his whole life, and instead of hiding this aspect of his life, he reaches out to his siblings—all twelve of them. Family meetings keep the siblings from struggling due to lack of communication.
Isn’t it just frustrating when a love triangle interferes with the whole plot? Why can’t the character just pick who they love or get on with life?! In Laura Esquivel’s classic Like Water for Chocolate, Tita finds the man she loves, but they cannot marry—and he weds Tita’s sister to stay near Tita. Rather than a love triangle, readers get thwarted lovers who try to make it work from a distance.
Ever notice how the thriller genre is so popular right now that authors are trying to outdo each other in their attempts to keep readers engaged? One tactic, a big plot twist at the last second, has some readers peeved. If we look back, Patricia Highsmith’s novel The Talented Mr. Ripley keeps you guessing the whole way through while insidious Tom Ripley ingratiates himself with playboy Dickie Greenleaf—and with no unearned twists to make things “more interesting.” If you enjoy spy thrillers, you can’t go wrong with one of John Le Carré’s earlier novels, Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, in which George Smiley is assigned to uncover the identity of the double agent operating in the highest levels of British Intelligence.