sprite writes
broodings from the burrow

April 30, 2024

ten reasons i’ll bail on or give one star to a book
posted by soe 1:49 am

This week’s Top Ten Tuesday from That Artsy Reader Girl invites us to share the (petty) reasons we’ve lowered the rating or just failed to finish a book.

I will be honest. I start and fail to finish books all the time. The first few chapters aren’t great. (I rarely bother to enter those into Goodreads at all.) It’s in a bag I don’t pick up for three months. The book is overdue to the library. It’s just not the right fit for my mood, but is otherwise perfectly fine. Goodreads lists my currently reading total as 50 (and my “on-hiatus” tally as nearly 100) for these reasons and more. Probably maybe I’ll get back around to them.

These are not the books I’m talking about today. Today we’re talking about the books that lure me past page 50. That trick me into finishing them or that are so bad that I want people to know I could not bring myself to finish them.

Let’s look at why that might be:

  1. It didn’t seem like it would have a sad ending and then it had a sad ending. Number one reason something gets one star from me on Goodreads. (Spoiler alert.)
  2. I hate the main character. Number one reason I won’t finish a book after investing actual time in it.
  3. Appallingly bad writing, but an interesting enough story idea that I wanted to know what happens (but then didn’t think the ending was done well).
  4. A mystery where I know who does it before I even know what’s been done. (Sometimes, stories are told where you get the narrative from the perpetrator’s point of view as well as the detective. I don’t usually love those, but they are not my complaints here.)
  5. Ridiculously conventional gender roles. (See, often, romances.)
  6. There is no mystery in a mystery novel. (Like, what is this even?)
  7. The author doesn’t know how to end the book.
  8. A mystery where my solution is better than the author’s.
  9. Nonfiction where the author is a pompous ass. (On rare occasion, also true in fiction.)
  10. A romance where I don’t care if the couple ends up together or not.

How about you? What drives you bat-shit crazy about a book?

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