Strangers, you know I love to rant and complain about books. It’s one of my favorite hobbies. And I’m a book blogger, so it’s not sad. And so, when I saw this tag on BookTube, I had to do it. This tag is all about the things in and about books that make you go “nope.” Truly, it doesn’t need more explanation than that. So, let’s just begin, shall we?
- NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go “NOPE” in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.
Lord of Shadows by Cassandra Clare. If you’ve finished this book, YOU KNOW WHY. Roses will never be the same to be again.
- NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and that drives you crazy.
Eadlyn Shreave from the final two Selection books by Kiera Cass. Look, I never had a hate-on for America Singer. Sure, sometimes she does some dumb shit or makes me roll my eyes, but I never hated her. But Eadlyn. I can’t even believe this girl is the child of Maxon and America. Maxon is such a Soft™ and America at least genuinely cares about people and wants to help. Eadlyn is just selfish and whiny. And she didn’t hide the fact that she was a brat. And then she’d have the audacity to wonder why her people didn’t like her? Deluded piece of shit.
- NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.
The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater. When I first got into The Raven Cycle, I was obsessed with Stiefvater. And so, naturally, I bought all of her books. And then they sat on my shelf for like a year and a half. One day, I finally picked up Shiver. And it was so bad and cringy. It’s basically Twilight, but too boring to make fun of. And the girl (literally cannot remember her name, that’s how little of an impression she made on me) falls in love with Sam while he’s a wolf? What kind of weird shit— GRACE! HER NAME WAS GRACE!— is that? I don’t know why all these authors have beastiality kinks, but I want none of it.
- NOPE. Popular Pairing: A ship you don’t support.
Kady and Ezra from Illuminae by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff. Before I began to loathe this series with the fire of a thousand suns, I enjoyed this book all right. But I never shipped Kady and Ezra. They have no chemistry whatsoever. They start the story fresh off a break up and by the end are back together because… scary space battle? Nothing has changed. They’ll still wind up having whatever issues there were that broke them up in the first place. It was literally just so the book could have a Happy Ending™. It’s just two boring characters getting back into a boring relationship for no reason. Break Up 2 is just around the corner.
- NOPE. Plot Twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.
Mal being the Firebird in the Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo. It gave him more importance than he deserved and made us sit through a death fake-out we didn’t care about. Also, it started playing with fate in a weird way, and I don’t like fate plotlines. The Firebird and the Sun Summoner just happened to be childhood best friends? Give me a break.
- NOPE. Protagonist Action/Decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE.
Clary Fairchild in City of Lost Souls by Cassandra Clare. It’s in the last third of the book, when Jace decides the only way to stop Sebastian is to turn himself in to the Silent Brothers and be killed (he and Sebastian are connected by a bond). Clary screams to Sebastian for help and so, of course, Jace is unable to follow through. And look, I know why she did it. I get it. I also know Cassie never intended for Jace to die. But it was so illogical and basically helped set in motion the rest of the series. I wanted to punch her in the face for this.
- NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.
Mass-market romance. Everyone knows those books bad. Why would I waste time reading something I already know is going to suck and filled with misogyny? No, thank you.
- NOPE. Book Format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying.
I don’t really hate any format of book. I mean, a book is a book. But I will say I prefer physical books to ePubs.
- NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.
The Strong Female Character™. Somewhere along the line, when we said we wanted strong female characters, writers decided that meant we wanted girls who could fight really well. And that’s all well and good, except they don’t develop the character beyond that. By “strong,” we didn’t mean physically strong. We meant well-written and compelling. We meant a character who doesn’t just sit back and let things happen to them. An active character with strengths and weaknesses that make her her. Otherwise, why should we care?
- NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed that you simply refuse to read.
The Hating Game by Sally Thorne. Everybody I’ve seen who’s read this loves it. But it just sounds so catty and cliché. The two main characters compete for a promotion and they despise each other, so you know they’re going to wind up falling in love. In general, chick lit is not my thing, but this one sounds especially annoying. I don’t like romantic comedies and I won’t like this.
- NOPE. Cliché/Pet Peeve: A cliché or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.
“She let out the breath she didn’t know she was holding.” “The world went black.” You know, those phrases that are in Every YA Book Ever™? It was fine the first couple times, but I’ve heard it ad nauseum. Please, make it stop!
- NOPE. Love Interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one or a character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.
Kieran from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. Kieran is a rat. He is selfish and manipulative and doesn’t care about what Mark wants. He literally throws Mark under the bus when he sees him getting close to Cristina. He wanted to take away Mark’s choice on whether or not he wanted to rejoin the Wild Hunt. He forces Mark to have a sex dream about him, which, while not quite rape, is still gross and non-consensual (especially given Mark still thought about Cristina in the dream, so we can tell whom he prefers). He doesn’t respect Mark’s wishes, never giving him the space or time he asks for. And we know their relationship involved screaming fights that never got resolved because they devolved into sex. That’s straight up unhealthy. He doesn’t deserve Mark and he sure as fuck doesn’t deserve Cristina.
- NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed and made you say NOPE.
After by Anna Todd. I have never read this book, but I’m a huge fan of snarksquad.com. They’ve been doing a humorous chapter-by-chapter summary of the book and… wow. Fifty Shades of Grey is awful and abusive, but at least it had something to it even if it didn’t get that something right. This has literally nothing. The characters are awful, the romance is abusive, and the plot does not exist. The writing is mediocre and Todd not only uses, but abuses the “not like other girls” trope. It’s a pointless story born out of a pointless piece of fanfiction. And that’s an insult to fanfiction.
- NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.
I really love villains as characters, so this is tough for me. Because I don’t want to pick one I like, even if I still wouldn’t want to know them. I want one I just plain do not like. I guess maybe President Snow from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins? He’s supposed to be really clever and intimidating, but he’s too much of a distant figure. We get hints he’s taunting and specifically targeting Katniss, but they only have two conversations. And then we find out he’s dying anyway. He’s a completely non-threatening villain, the social and economic system a bigger villain than anything. An absent villain can work, being a terrifying presence over everything. But Snow is too involved for that. He’s somewhere in between and it doesn’t really work for me.
- NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.
Nehemia Ytger from the Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas. I didn’t have strong feelings toward Nehemia, but she was a symbol of hope and change for her home country. She also gave off the air that she really could get shit done. But then she was killed off to further the storyline of the white savior. And then there’s the fact that, not only did she know she was going to die, but she orchestrated it and chose the one killer who tortures his victims to death. That has got to be one of the worst ways to go. And, while she may not have been my favorite character, she certainly would’ve made a far better and more effective protagonist than Aelin Galafianakis.
- NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading from and have decided to quit.
Jennifer Niven. I have read two books of hers. Well, I’ve read a book and a half. And both are problematic as hell and use disorders and unconventionally attractive body types to make her romances quirky. It’s incredibly disrespectful. And, even if all this wasn’t true, her books are just average anyway. Hard pass.
As you can (hopefully) see, I tried to pick answers I hadn’t used before or try to be too obvious with things (example: Dolores Umbridge? Way too obvious for NOPE. Villain). But, all in all, I still had a lot of good things to complain about. Yes. I’m glad I did this.
What about you, Strangers? Got any answers for any of these questions? Let me know in the comments!
Hasta luego, Extraños!