Top Ten Tuesday: Ten things that turn me off in a book

Happy Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s topic is actually ten books I decided to DNF too quickly, but since I’m not sure that I’ve even DNFed ten books total in my entire life, I decided to turn the tables and do my own topic: ten things that turn me off in a book. (AKA things that make me want to DNF.)

1. Cheating in any form. I don’t care if you’ve known each other forever. I don’t care if you’re in a loveless marriage. I don’t care if it was an accident or you were drunk or you’re fated to be together. I hate cheating.

2. Purposeful misunderstandings. I hate this trope. I hate, hate, hate it. You know how two people can be having a normal conversation and one of them will be like “yeah I’m going to visit my mom for the weekend, see you soon!” and the other one is like “what the actual heck I can’t believe he just broke up with me!” I also hate when the characters flat-out refuse to communicate.

3. Slut shaming. Honestly, there’s enough of this in real life and it doesn’t need to spill over into fiction. The only time it works for me is when it’s only brought up to be tackled later in the book. It has to be addressed in a positive way that educates young, impressionable readers that it’s not appropriate and that it’s not cool to tear people down.

4. Rape and sexual assault. I mean, I know it’s not supposed to make me happy or anything, but I really hate it when this is used as a plot device. I hate when it’s used to make a girl seem “damaged” or prove that the villain is a bad guy. Be more creative than that.

5. A slow, meandering plot without character development. The plot doesn’t always have to be heart-pounding. But if it’s slow and there’s not even character development happening, what’s the point?

6. When everyone knows what’s best for the main character except for the main character. This is super common in new adult romances when the two sides of the love triangle try to convince the main character that they know better than her what she needs in her life. It happens to a lesser extent in YA, often with the parents insisting upon sending a child away for their health or safety when nothing’s really wrong.

7. Continuity problems. Please, please employ an editor to at least glance through your work. Your book can be amazing but if Christmas happens twice in the same year or a character’s defining characteristic suddenly disappears without explanation, it becomes hard to take a book seriously.

8. Grammar mistakes or editing gone wrong. This kind of goes along with #7. I’ve gotten books before (both ARCs and final copies) that still have notes from the editor in them. All I have to say is YIKES.

9. Factual inaccuracies. There are fantasy novels, there’s suspension of disbelief, and then there’s blatant lying. Unless you’re rewriting history (and that’s a main point of your book!) it’s probably best to do research and find out what actually happened at the event you want to discuss.

10. Not like other girls. Please excuse me for a moment while I quote Meghan Trainor.

First you gonna say you ain’t runnin’ game
Thinkin’ I’m believing every word
Call me beautiful, so original
Telling me I’m not like other girls
I was in my zone before you came along
Now I’m thinking maybe you should go

There’s nothing cute or funny about this cliche. It assumes that the love interest is more desirable than other women because she doesn’t actually act like a woman, that a woman is somehow inherently undesirable. It pits women against each other and turns dating into a competition. No thanks.

What are your dealbreakers?

Cover reveal: Seaside Sweets by Melissa Chambers

I am so excited to participate in the cover reveal for Melissa Chambers’ new book, Seaside Sweets (Love Along Hwy 30A #1). I’m a big fan of her young adult books (The Summer Before Forever and Falling For Forever) and I can’t wait to read her upcoming adult series! Seaside Sweets releases on June 19, 2018. Check out the summery cover below! I was already planning to read this one, but it looks like it’ll be perfect for my summer reading challenge!

Seaside Sweets is book one in the Love Along Highway 30A series, which features beautiful beach communities, a circle of unique and amazing friends, and romances that will have you cheering on the couples and fanning yourself from the heat. All books are standalone and can be enjoyed in or out of order.

After her crappy ex runs up her credit card, clears her bank account, and gets her fired, Seanna Perry makes her escape to the quaint beach town of Seaside, Florida. The houses are pastel, the ocean air heaven, and the men hot as the Gulf Coast sun … one in particular. But while paying the price, literally, for the last man she trusted with her heart, she’s not interested in any sort of beach romance, or so she keeps reminding herself.

Living in the idyllic coastal paradise of the 30A area hasn’t eased Blake Evans’ guilt over what went down three years ago. He can’t stop blaming himself, and certainly none of his wonderful friends can ever find out what happened. Blake’s done a good job of keeping romantic feelings toward any woman at bay, and he needs to keep it that way. But when Seanna begins to show him how to live again, he finds himself struggling to keep his guard up.

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Maya Forbes has never had a one-night-stand. With her irresponsible but brilliant sister filling the role of flighty one, Maya must live sensibly and dutifully. But when she meets a gorgeous redneck from Panama City Beach who makes her head whirl, she must quit thinking idiotic thoughts about upending her life after one week of mind-altering sex, especially with her dream promotion waiting for her back home.

Bo Harrison has lived his entire life in a tourist town where the women he meets are typically gone in a week. After a long-term relationship that left him mentally drained, he didn’t mind the easy, week-long romances for a while. But watching his best friend fall in love has him thinking along those lines, especially when he meets a woman unlike any he’s ever dated—smart, sexy, independent. The catch? She leaves in one week, of course.

With Shayla Harrison’s dangerous ex leaving rehab and headed her way, she needs to find a safe house and fast. When tall, dark, and ridiculously handsome Chase O’Neil offers a secure place to stay in beautiful Seagrove Beach for dirt cheap, she and her wallet can’t refuse. Romance is the last thing she wants, but the safety and warmth she feels with Chase are impossible to ignore.

Chase is the life of the party. He makes everyone laugh—whatever it takes to hide a soul-deep pain he can’t fix. He’s been living in romance purgatory since his son died and his marriage ended six years ago. When he meets the mysterious and intriguing Shayla, the emotional wall he’s worked so hard to build starts to crumble. She makes him want all the things he knows he can’t have, including her love.

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Melissa Chambers writes contemporary novels for young, new, and actual adults. A Nashville native, she spends her days working in the music industry and her nights tapping away at her keyboard. While she’s slightly obsessed with alt rock, she leaves the guitar playing to her husband and kid. She never misses a chance to play a tennis match, listen to an audiobook, or eat a bowl of ice cream. (Rocky road, please!) She serves as president for the Music City Romance Writers and is the author of The Summer Before Forever and Falling for Forever (Entangled Teen).