Lose Time Chatting: Do You Have “Deal Breakers” in Books?

January 17, 2014 discussion, Lose Time Chatting 26

Lose Time Chatting

There isn’t much I won’t read. I was discussing this with Cass last weekend, and we were coming up with topics few and far between. I’m not that picky of a reader was the conclusion… however there are few topics that I stay away from if its openly in the synopsis or advertised as such.

Cancer… My heart just can’t handle it. I’m a crier at books. Even if its HAPPY I’m bawling, and I do like sad books but if I outwardly know, I tend to stay away from them. That’s why I haven’t read A Fault In Our Stars… !

Parent’s Dying … Another one I just can’t handle. It’s just TOO heartbreaking for me. And I mean if it’s the main plot of the book, it being about the grief. If I know it happens during the book, I’m also less likely. I have read books like this obviously but they really, really get to me.

Mermaids… I have nothing against mermaids, they just don’t overly interest me. I’ve read books with them having started and not realized but I tend to stay away from them because I don’t find that concept very entertaining.

Aliens .. Another one I just don’t find interesting. I know everyone keeps telling me to read the Lux series but they just seem weird to me!

Christian Fiction … I’m not entirely opposed to it, and I have read books that I have come to find out are Christian Fiction but I generally don’t find an interest in it. I’m not an overly religious person so I can’t often relate, so that’s probably the main reason.

But the one thing that will completely turn me away from a book… throw it through the air type of deal breaker is…

Animal Abuse.

Not [excuse me] fucking necessary. I’m read a book earlier this week, that I went back and forth over if I would finish because of it. I did finish it because it was a review book but that one thing caused it to drop to a very unsatisfactory rating for me. It’s disgusting. When it’s used just to fill pages, as a “plot point”, I hate it. There are a ton of other ways to make a character a bad person and kicking or killing an animal is not one of them. I’m extremely sensitive towards animals, and no matter if I personally enjoy a certain one in my company or not, it’s appalling to use the harm of an animal as an unnecessary story line. Does anyone want to read about a dog getting beat to death? In a paranormal young adult book? I’m going to go with… No. I did go on about this in my review a bit as well but it really worked me up… and I want to know if anyone else feels the same way…

Do you have any deal breakers for books? Is there something that completely turns you away no matter what? I’m really interested to know! Talk to me 🙂


26 Responses to “Lose Time Chatting: Do You Have “Deal Breakers” in Books?”

    • Lauren

      I like a good cry in books but there are certain topics that just shatter me. I know alot of amazing books are “cry” books but… the make me feel too sad even after I’m done!!

  1. Asti (A Bookish Heart)

    Oooh you know what, I find this very interesting. When I see animal abuse, I automatically think no as well. I mean, those stupid commercials with the sad songs and abused animals kill me whenever they’re on TV. And if I thought a book was about animal abuse going into it, I would probably avoid it. That being said, I’m currently rereading one of my favorite series ever, Chaos Walking by Patrick Ness, and as I’m rereading the book I’m realizing that there is animal abuse in it. At the very beginning of the story the main character is hanging out with his dog and he hits him on the butt for no reason and is very rude to him. And yet… I didn’t stop reading. It bothered me when it happened, but for some reason my brain said it was okay because I know their relationship is going to change as the story goes on. Eventually he’ll learn to appreciate that dog and love him, instead of thinking he is some stupid animal that he doesn’t want.

    Of course, I couldn’t have known that would happen the first time I read the series. So why did I keep reading? I don’t know, it was so long ago. But yeah, I was actually thinking about this a couple of days ago because I was reading that book and thinking wow, I didn’t remember it was so violent, and yet it is. Does that make sense? Is it bad that I continue to read and love the story even though it includes that?

    Just a thinker.

    Aside from that, I think I’d be willing to give most books a chance if I were convinced to. I mean, there are obvious topics I avoid. I too am not a fan of any kind of religious fiction. No vampires or werewolves, please. If the book looks like it’s revolving around a romance, I’ll probably turn it away (I need SOMETHING more). I think that’s it? >.>
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    • Lauren

      OMG, Asti! Those commercials! I know exactly what you mean! I hate them… they are just SOOOO sad.

      That’s so interesting about Chaos Walking! It’s definitely not bad that you continued to read it, everyone has different things that bother them to the core. I also think that reading tastes/bothers can change over time, so maybe the first time you read it, it didn’t affect you the same way? Hmm… that is definitely a thinker!!!

      One of my favorite things about your reviews is that you don’t love romance! I LOVE romance, but I always gravitate towards books that have it… I have added a lot of books you’ve reviewed to my TBR because you enjoyed them so much. But if I was looking at them on my own…. no way. THe Bone Season for instance, and Patrick Ness 😛 Although who knows when I will ever get them! I also like that you don’t love vampires and werewolves! I love them as well but I just enjoy knowing that everyone has different tastes. it intrigues me actually how much someone can like something and than others, not.

      Thanks for the lovely comment Asti 😀

  2. Christy

    I tend to stay away from Christian fiction books to. Abortion is also a HUGE no no for me too.

    I’ve only read a few mermaids books but they didn’t excite me that much so I don’t really pick those up anymore.

    The only alien books that I have read is the Lux series and it’s amazing! It’s not really what you would expect when you think of aliens. You should definitely give it a try 🙂

    • Lauren

      Oh Christy, everyone says that!!! I actually just noticed the other day that it is on my libraries overdrive system so I might check out the first book and see what the hype is about… I might try JLA’s Covenant series first though, get addicted to her writing like everyone is, and then test it out 😛

  3. Christy

    I tend to stay away from Christian fiction books too. Abortion is also a HUGE no no for me, I just can’t handle it at all.

    I’ve only read a few mermaids books but they didn’t excite me that much so I don’t really pick those up anymore.

    The only alien books that I have read is the Lux series and it’s amazing! It’s not really what you would expect when you think of aliens. You should definitely give it a try 🙂

    • Lauren

      OH! That’s one that would steer me off as well. I can’t say I have ever read any with it in there but it would turn me off I think. I don’t like when things are done for shock factor alone.

  4. Rebecca @ The Library Canary

    I completely agree with animal abuse. It’s so unnecessary. It’s a huge reason why I didn’t continue on with the Ashes series by Ilsa J. Bick. It wasn’t exactly animal abuse, but there was a very graphic scene where a dog got eaten by a zombie. And by graphic, I mean I almost threw up and I just couldn’t take it. If I hear a book has animal abuse in it, I will definitely avoid it.

    Speaking of zombies…I hate zombie books. I won’t read them. Zombies are just gross, stupid, and not entertaining to me at all. I hate when books kinda trick you though. When you read the synopsis and it doesn’t sound like zombies and then you start reading and you’re like “uh…what?” I am however, going to break my rule to read Alice in Zombieland. Because everyone raves and I’ve heard that even if you’re not a fan of zombies you will like that series.
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    • Lauren

      Oh, that’s awful. I would have thrown up… *shudders*. I’m glad you warned me so I can cross that off the list!

      ZOMBIES! Frig, I can’t believe I forgot zombies! I hate them. I did really Dearly Departed, which I loved surprisingly but mostly everything else I dislike. I agree, that a lot of books trick you into thinking they aren’t zombies and then they are.

      I want to read Alice in Zombieland too. Betty raves about it so much, I feel like I need to give it a try!!

  5. Jessi @ Auntie Spinelli Reads

    I like a book that can get to me enough to make me cry. In fact, I give higher ratings to the ones that can, because it means I was 100% invested in what I was reading. I like alien books if they’re done right (aka uniquely – not little green men), but I don’t do religion either. If a book is too preachy I can’t stomach it. I would read a book with mermaids, but most of the ones I have already read weren’t that impressive. Parents dying is a problem for me because it strikes to close to home.
    Animal Abuse: YES! Not necessary at all!! There’s been at least 3 books that I either DNFed or absolutely hated because a cat was murdered. Origin by Jessica Khoury? Couldn’t finish it. I wanted to burn the book, actually. The first book of the Sookie Stackhouse series too. I walked out on the movie The Collector because of the scene with the cat and acid! I just can’t do it. I have too big of a soft spot for cats. I’m not as big of a dog fan, but I still think it would bother me if there was dog murder in a book. Thankfully I haven’t come across that yet. For some reason it’s more popular to kill of cats =/

    Some deal breakers for me:
    Zombies – I have yet to find one zombie book I like
    Historical – I despise anything historical and it bores me to tears
    Instalove – if the romance is too soon and too cheesy, I probably won’t read it or finish it
    Cat killing – instant DNF!
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    • Lauren

      That’s so true Jessi, a good cry book DOES deserve a higher rating. I do like to cry in books, like Code Name Verity was one of my favorites and I cried SOOO hard reading that but there is just certain topics that I can’t even focus I cry so hard lol.

      OMG, it would kill me if there was specificly cat abuse 🙁 I adore cats (more than dogs, and I still hate that too) so I’d probably be sick. I’m glad I know about Origin.. won’t read that now. And honestly, I can’t even remember about the first book of Sookie Stackhouse! I did read it… but my attention wained the first book and I solely read it on the train to work, so maybe I was not paying attention? I can’t beleieve I missed that! And OMG. Acid? That’s horrific… I will never watch that now. Im not a huge dog fan, but I do love them… well it’s hard to explain lol, I sincerely have a huge soft spot for animals so I just don’t like it at all. Random off topic story… a lost my mind at work, crying and everything, the other week at work because they used an old fashioned non-live mousetrap and a little baby was trapped in there squealing and suffering. And I don’t even like mice lol. I think it’s terrible that it’s more popular to kill off cats 🙁 Ugh… they are the superior animal IMO lol.

      YES! Zombies! I can’t believe I forgot that one! Rebecca mentioned below and I completely forgot. They are disgusting, I’m just really not into zombie culture.

      I totally know what you mean about historical. I have this love/hate relationship with it. Several years ago, I died over historical…. just ate it right up, then the last year a bit, I couldn’t stand it and wouldn’t even second glance. Now I’ve purchased/read at least 10 books in the last month that are historicals… it’s so weird lol. Maybe me “hating” it played in my favor??
      Instalove… it’s not a dealbreaker for me, but I find it cheesy and hard to take seriously. totally get how that’s a dealbreaker!!!

      Thanks for the awesome comment Jessi, and for warning me about Origin!! I’m going to remove that from my tbr now!!

  6. Rachel

    I try to avoid fiction that relies heavily on religion (mainly Christianity) because it goes against my own beliefs and I’m not interested in that topic anyways. At least not on a fictional level. I also don’t like books that are heavily centered around family. Without getting in too deep, my parents have been divorced my entire life and I’m not in contact with half of my family, so those kinds of books are VERY difficult for me to relate to. I’m good enough at putting myself in others’ shoes, but it’s an experience I never ever had and can’t even imagine, so I try to stay away from those kinds of books as well. Otherwise, that’s about it! There are other things that don’t really interest me (dragons, magic, etc), but I wouldn’t say they’re total deal breakers.
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    • Lauren

      I agree that it’s really hard to read a book if you can’t relate to it at all. It’s one of the main reasons I don’t read christian fiction, I just can’t relate to it at all, and often don’t understand a lot of the concepts.

      I enjoy that you don’t read a lot of magic! I get a lot of my contemporary recs from you 🙂 I asked my parents for Mockingbirds for Christmas because you had it! And a ton of others!!

  7. Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity

    Okayyyy. I could seriously go on a rage here about animal cruelty. I mean, it’s bad enough that it happens in REAL LIFE (damn it), I certainly do not want to read about it. And I don’t care if the author is trying to make a point. Like you said, that point could have definitely been made in a different way. And if they said they were raising awareness … I don’t know. I probably still wouldn’t read the book.
    Besides the fact that its not pleasurable to read about … at all (AT ALL). It’s mentally scarring. I remember when I was about 12, I picked up a book (in the junior section) about a girl who lives on a farm. I was all excited because it had a horsey on the front (yes, I was one of those little girls, haha). And then about 50 pages through, there was an obscene animal cruelty scene. I cannot even explain it, especially since I know you don’t want to read about it. Here I am, seven years later and I STILL remember it, and am still appalled. Like, I know that animal cruelty is a commonplace occurrence. I am an animal activist for that reason. But I really don’t want the imagery of it seared into my brain. So, if a book is all: yeah, we’re gonna kill some animals and hurt them – no, no. Even the animal killing in the Grisha books are off for me. I have to try and pretend they aren’t in there. They upset me.
    Anyway – essay comment here. Sorry >.<
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    • Lauren

      EXACTLY! I hate to read about it real life, so to think that someone creates a story about it is just AWFUL to me. Ugh. Wow, see, that’s terrible that it was in a book when you were young. I never forget that stuff either, I remember stories of real animal abuse from when I was like a child. Yuck… yuck. I just read Shadow and Bone and when it got to the part with the stag, I BAWLED. I didn’t really mind it that much because it fit with the story (much more than the current read book) and there was such remorse and sadness surrounding it. But, if it was continuous I would have had to stop. Sooo soo sad. I loved your essay comment 🙂 It’s my favorite thing about discussion posts!!!

  8. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads

    Great post Lauren! The only one that jumps to mind for me is teacher/student relationships, especially if it’s a high school teacher! That’s a serious ick factor for me. And I COMPLETELY agree with you on the animal abuse — not freakin’ necessary!!!!!

    Ummmm…. Second Chance Summer kinda has TWO of your deal breakers in it. BUT you must read it anyways because it’s so beautiful and it’s MORGAN MATSON. I promise to hold your hand and give you virtual hugs the whole way!!!!
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    • Lauren

      I remember that you don’t like student/teacher relationships from … gosh, I can’t even remember the name of the book now. It was crap anyways lol.

      I know SCS has my two deal breakers 😛 I’m prepared for this, haha. It just is supposed to be SOOO good that I have decided I will be reading it (hence why it was on my list bahaha). I WILL NEED YOU TO HOLD MY HAND THOUGH haha. Expect lots of tweets 🙂

  9. Alexa

    I don’t have a lot of deal breakers in books. Usually I will only stop reading a book because it isn’t interesting me not because of a deal breaker. There was one book that I can remember stopping because the physical abuse that took place was so out of the blue and unnecessary I had to stop. The main male character all of a sudden half way through the book just lashed out and beat the crap out of the female he was in love with and there was no reason for it. The reason after a few more pages was never explained and it was just really random and uncalled for. I’m not saying had there been a reason that I would have liked him beating her up but there was just no justification for the act. I don’t mind couples when they get a little rough in BDSM books but this wasn’t that type of book.
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    • Lauren

      Wow, that is very random.. I’d have to stop that as well. I don’t mind BDSM either, although I never read those books because they don’t particularly interest me. Thanks for stopping in Alexa 🙂

  10. Charlotte @ Thoughts and Pens

    *High five* I also avoided reading TFIOS due to the fact that it’s a very sad book. I am still mustering the courage to read it. Maybe anytime this year.

    And I am quite sad about you not being interested with mermaids. If truth be told, they are my favorite paranormal creatures. However, it is very surprising that I’ve only read one mermaid in my life which was The Little Mermaid. I love the creatures so much that I find myself being so picky when it comes to mermaid books.

    I understand you about animal cruelty. I am also an animal lover so I have zero tolerance for books that covers such topic. In addition, I also have zero tolerance for books that are just racist in nature.

    Lovely discussion, Lauren!
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    • Lauren

      YES! Thankfully there is YOU who is avoiding TFIOS. I felt so alone!! I say I will get to reading it, but I’m not ever sure. It’s in my collection but… I will have to be in a very, certain mood to read it I think. I wasn’t always like this honestly but ever since I read My Sister’s Keeper, I hope to never experience a cry as deep as that. So sad.

      Wow, I love that you love mermaids so much. I DO love The Little Mermaid, but I guess I just haven’t read any that have thrilled me as much. I did also like this old movie called Splash with Tom Hanks. Actually, I guess I do like mermaids but in TV form 😛 I do want to try the Of Poseidon books though because they have quite a few good reviews.

      Fellow animal lovers unite 🙂 I think it’s just unnecessary in books, and yes to the racism as well. Not. Interested 🙂

      Thanks so much for stopping in and the wonderful comment Charlotte 🙂

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