Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Book Dealbreakers

Well thank you, interwebs, for inspiring two blog posts this week!

Today, Book Riot did a What Are Your Book Dealbreakers post. Here's the list:

1. Casual treatment of sexual assault or rape. (This is the one I encountered yesterday).
2. Books that ignore the existence of LGBTQ relationships.
3. Books that characterize any LGBTQ characters as inherently untrustworthy/up-to-no-good.
4. Books with female characters who cry at the drop of a hat, especially if the author is male.
5. Inappropriate treatment of the issue of suicide.
6. When a plotline fails to make logistical sense.
7. Minor but basic factual errors, especially in nonfiction.
8. Books that repeatedly substitute obscure words for standard ones (“orb” for “eye,” “tresses/locks/mane” for “hair,” “tome” for “book).
9. Sudden romance: when two characters who have no chemistry and who have not appeared to be developing feelings for each other suddenly announce that they are in love.
10. Excessively prolonged romantic tension: when you know two characters are meant to be together and they should know it too but they refuse to do anything about it.
11. When a book ignores basic known facts about the world for the sake of a plot.
12. Oversimplification of mental illness.

Interesting. I've never come across something as a standard dealbreaker. I've only given up on one book, ever, and that was Zelda by Nancy Milford. But I was young, and uninterested, and didn't understand the significance of the woman I was discovering. It wasn't because of any of these things.

Incest? Sure! Rape? It's probably part of the story, so I'm not going to stop reading because I don't like it. Plot logic fails? Happens all the time. Mental illness and LGBT issues? Good luck liking the way those issues are portrayed, if it happens. Obscure words? SIGN ME UP. Dickens makes up the best stuff.

I'm just going to say it: I think having a dealbreaker for books is weird.

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