Saturday, August 1, 2015

What Makes Me A Peevish Reader

I'm fairly easy going, especially if the story is well told but there are a few things that set me off.

The eagles in any tale of Middle Earth. They appear out of nowhere to save the day at so many critical moments, with NO rhyme or wonders why these lovely creatures didn't just solve everything, with no need for Fellowship or Journeys or pretty much anything else. I bet they could have gotten rid of Sauron if anyone had just asked them....There are so many memes on this one - I know I'm not alone.

I'm not too fond of characters acting like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde (unless of course I was reading that novel by Robert Louis Stevenson) just because it makes the plot work. Sweet on this page, a harpy on the next page, back to thanks, unless you can give me some logical juicy motivation for the mood swings.

Not exactly a peeve, but if the author gets too formulaic, I'll eventually give up on their books or series and move on. (Unless of course the formula is one I dearly love!) But for example, there was a terrific suspense author years ago whose heroines were always named Mary (and this wasn't a series about a heroine named Mary) and whose heroes began uttering pretty much the same dialog from book to book as they moved through scenes I swore I'd read before. OK, I'm not buying the next one!

But the one plot device that will cause me to stop reading and mark the book as DNF (Did Not Finish) is when the entire plot revolves around two people not talking to each other about some simple thing which, if they'd only trusted each other, picked up the phone, written a note....SOMETHING, conflict resolved. But no, we have to trudge on through many many pages of artificially sustained conflict. Talk to each other, characters!

Oh, and closely related to that one, I have next to NO patience for heroines who for YEARS hide the child that they conceived with the one great love of their life and then somehow Fate brings them all back together again. It just makes me too sad/mad to think of all the years the father and the child missed out on, based on whatever whim the heroine had about not letting the guy know. Obviously my peeve occurs when the hero is a standup good guy and she could have easily told him. He wasn't some evil dude, an abuser or marooned on Mars on a covert black op. I get that the authors supply the mothers with some justification for why they kept the secret but I usually can't buy it and I'm just ticked off. So I avoid those as I'm not the target audience.

(And although there is a baby in Magic of the Nile, the mother tries to notify the father as soon as she's aware she's pregnant but there were a lot of communication challenges in 1550 BCE! SPOILER: And he meets his son at about six months old, not years later...)

OOH, can I squeeze in one more??? Springing a cliffhanger ending on me! I LOATHE those.

OK, rant over, have a nice day!


  1. Seekrit bebies. I'm with you on that one. And I could go on for hours re: LOTR fails.

    1. Luckily Aragorn and Eomer were there to distract me from the eagles.....