Top Ten Words/Topics/Phrases That Will Instantly Make Me Not Pick Up A Book!


Top Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Words/Phrases That Make Me NOT Pick Up A Book

A few months ago we talked about words/topics/phrases that will instantly make us PICK UP A BOOK and now we are flipping the switch! I’m a pretty open reader so this one was a lot harder because there isn’t much that I run from and I’m always down for trying something new! HOWEVER, I can’t WAIT until the week where we do “book turn-offs” (things we encounter in books that turn us off — not necessarily a topic or word/phrase we can dismiss before we read)…I’ve got ton of those!


This sends me running every time because if you can’t get more creative than THAT to market your book to me…I don’t want to read it. Also, there’s the chance that it is just regurgitated Twilight. Now don’t get me wrong, I read Twilight and enjoyed them enough but I don’t want more. You could pretty much put in any sort of popular book…”the next Hunger Games” or “the next Gone Girl.” I want the next something new so you are telling me that either 1) it’s NOT or 2) you are too lazy to find another way to sell me.


I don’t know…just never have been interested in them. Slobbery, furry dog wolf things? ICK. I don’t know why I’m just not into them.  I mean, zombie and aliens are much more gross but they interest me…


I like adult literature and “chick lit” but anytime in the summary it says “menopause” I’m out. I’m an adult but I’m in denial I’m getting old. Menopause, no thanks.


I don’t mind WATCHING a good political thriller on tv or in the movies but I’m just not at all into reading them. Much more fun for me when its a visual thing. But I see this on a book and I’m running!


Yeah not for me. Just not into that. If I see “erotica” as well I will go running. And no, I’m not a prude lol.


I don’t know why out of all the paranormal creatures out there that I’m so not into fairies (or werewolves as I stated above) but for some reason I just have no interest in fairs. (CHALLENGE TO YOU: Recommend me your favorite book featuring fairies to prove my fear wrong)


I love reading about adult problems since I am (begrudgingly) an adult but if I willingly know that the main focus of the novel is divorce I’m probably not going to pick it up unless I’ve heard AMAZING things about it. If I’ve never heard of it and I see it in the summary I’m OUT. I just got married…I don’t want to read about divorce. My parents were divorced..I have my own baggage lol


OK OK OK. HEAR ME OUT. I like the idea of New Adult. I do. I just haven’t been into what is self proclaimed New Adult. I’m seeing a lot of themes I don’t like in the NA subset of books (I know I’m generalizing) so as of RIGHT NOW seeing “New Adult”  makes me kind of shy away from books. Which is SAD because I like the idea of it. I really hope more books will will come out so we can have variety in NA so this will be a non-issue for me. NA seems too narrowly focused right now on “sexy YA”. (CHALLENGE: Recommend me a New Adult book that will blow my mind and make me more open.)


If I see that from the start the novel is about somebody who cuts I’m likely not to pick it up. If it shows up in a novel I won’t put it down but, for some reason, when I see it on the summary I just am not really interested.


I don’t mind the bad boy thing but when it is glorifying dangerous/abusive guys..I just tend to not want to pick it up. I’m not saying that kind of story isn’t valid or needed but it’s just something I’m not inclined to pick up unless I’m told otherwise by people I trust.

So tell me…do any of these topics/words/phrases turn you off when you are looking for a prospective book to read? Tell me a few of YOUR topics/words/phrases that make you not touch a book with a ten foot pole? ALSO, please feel free to give me a rec for a book that will make me get over my hangups!

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. I totally agree about the New Adult thing….that whole sub-genre just scares me!!! And Werewolves….I am so sick of them, every time I start to love a book the author throws in a crazy, psycho werewolf……ANNOYING!!! And I definitely agree about cutting, there is something sooo… putting about it. Great list!!!
    My TTT

  2. I don’t like books about divorce either.. or anything that is sad and just depressing. I read for fun so that is what I am looking for.

    My Top Ten Words

  3. Great list as usual, Jamie! I also included werewolves, anything trying to make vampires/werewolf/human relationship sexy (a la Twilight), and Fairies (and what’s up with the spelling “faery” that I’ve been seeing?) on my list! I didn’t think about cutting because I’ve never really experienced it in any book I’m interested in, but the thought makes me cringe!

  4. I’m definitely not into werewolves or anything like Twilight. I hate books about dogs- THEY ALWAYS END UP DYING! And then I cry.

    • Shannon says:

      Oh my gosh. I’m the same. I didn’t put that on my list, but I am totally the same. I won’t read animals memoirs anymore because you know how it will end.

  5. If I’m honest I’ve not been blown away by New Adult yet. Great list!

  6. I’m with you about “New Adult.” Love the idea, HATE the execution.

  7. Oh my gosh, I totally forgot about fairies, that’s how little I read about them. My last fairy read was years ago, and it was a reread of a book I read years before that, and that was Holly Black’s Modern Fairy Tales. I loved those, but they are literally the only book about fae that I’ve ever enjoyed.

    Also totally with you on New Adult. Barf. It has potential to be a very useful category but right now it’s just smut sprinkled in with sexual assault and purity pedestals. Not for me at all.

  8. Check out Alex Bledsoe’s WISP OF A THING. First fairie book I loved.

  9. Okay, have you read the Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr? I really like those and they are fairy books! I mean the middle one isn’t great, but the rest are really cool!

  10. Shannon says:

    Great list! We have some similarities. 🙂 I totally agree with your assessment of NA. I would really like it to branch out from “Sexy YA” or as I like to call it “50 Shades Lite”. Fairy books are hard because I think they are inherently cheesy. I’ve liked a few, but none enough to recommend to you to change your mind.

  11. Ok I get you about the Fae books, I can’t really think of any awesome ones, but I was a bit shocked that you don’t like werewolves. I LOVE them and shifters of any type.
    I have some recommendations for you and these are by really fabulous writers, so if you try one out, stick with it – I promise you will love them.
    1. The Lupi series by Eileen Wilks – I dare you to hate this. 😛
    2. The Psy-Changling series by Nalini Singh – About all different types of shifters, humans and a psychic race.
    3. Mercy Thompson series by Patricia Briggs – Mercy is a coyote shifter, but grew up with werewolves.

  12. I’m with you on fairies; most books I’ve thought about just don’t sound great. The one exception for me was The Treachery of Beautiful Things by Ruth Frances Long. It was fantastic! And it’s more of a fantasy in the Midsummer Night’s Dream vein, so “classic” fairies if you will. I really enjoyed the fairy tale and whimsical feel of the story and I thought the characters were great.

  13. I’m pretty grossed out just by reading the word ‘menopause’ itself :)) there’s actually a book who put it in the summary? Yack.
    Dangerous is ok for me…. As long as it refers to the boy/male being a bad/naughty/player and things like that, not the abusive one.

  14. I totally forgot about fairies on my list…I just don’t see the appeal. Werewolves I’m kind of okay with, but angels are another no go for me.

  15. Oh my goodness, great list! I almost put a “The next…” on my post, but didn’t. I also absolutely agree with New Adult. I just don’t get it! I do like faeries, though… always have since I was a little girl. Maybe that’s the difference? I’m quite fond of Wicked Lovely by Melissa Marr and Wings by Aprilynne Pike was pretty good, too. But I can see how someone might not like them. To each their own, right?

    Litza @ She Dreams in Fiction

  16. If you want a bit different ‘fairy’ story, I would recommend the ‘Bones of Faerie’ trilogy by Janni Lee Simner. They’re a set in a dystopian world where there was a war between humans and faeries and both sides were left pretty devasted. There’s no ‘beautiful winged creatures ‘or ‘benevolent garden lovers’ or anything, the faeries are much more closely related to their traditional versions. It didn’t really feel like I was reading a book about faeries because there wasn’t much of the cheesy stuff that’s in a lot of them.

    • Sounds interesting – I’ll have to check that out!

    • This is the series I was going to recommend. BEAUTIFUL. I actually have yet to read the last one that just came out, but I love them. Also, I just recently fell in love with Holly Black, but haven’t gotten to her Fairy series yet–certain I’ll love them, because she is awesome.

  17. I’ve started to notice books about Fairies bother me also! Not enough to put in my Top Ten list this week, but it definitely bothers me! I haven’t read any NA books, but apparently Figid by J Lynn / JLA is apparently really good!

    Tyler @ The Reading Pile

  18. “the next…” and “new adult” are also on my list. I actually added “mysterious boys”, but that’s just the same as “dangerous”. Argh, I hate that..

  19. I just don’t get the “new adult” genre.

  20. I love your list! I’ve only read one NA book, I think, being “Easy”. It was nice but I’m not going to be reading tonnes of it.
    Definitely agree with “dangerous” – I have no desire to read books like that.
    I can’t say I’ve ever really read a fairy book that I liked. The Iron King was okay, but not good enough that I want to read the rest of the series.

  21. I am so, so with you on werewolves. EXCEPT Andrea Cremer’s Nightshade. I haven’t read book two or three or any of her other books, but I absolutely loved Nightshade.

    Oh, and fairies. Okay, I’m with you on most of this stuff, except I don’t read many adult novels that aren’t sexy romance so the divorce/menopause thing isn’t usually an issue since it never comes up. NA as a label doesn’t really scare me away – but I usually don’t ever read them unless people are going apeshit over a book and they’re doing it for a long time. Like Easy, which I ended up loving. I haven’t read any others.

    This comment is all over the place and clearly I need to go back to sleep.

  22. BDSM and adultery are mine. Yep, not big selling points for me.

  23. Totally agree on the erotica! You know how I feel about my kissing books…. hahaha but I like some things left to the imagination. I don’t need 10 pages of hardcore descriptive material about whose hands or other body parts are doing what! I second you on DIVORCE!

  24. I absolutely love the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa. So I would recommend trying that one.

    I agree with political thrillers, menopause and divorce, none of those are things I’d really want to read.. lol

  25. I agree with pretty much all of these. Especially New Adult! I am not opposed to the maturity being portrayed in NA, BUT I have a problem when that’s ALL there is. I need some variety here!

  26. Great list!! I agree with you on several of them, but I just read my first New Adult book and LOVED it. Easy by Tammara Webber was a definite 5 stars for me.

    Here is my TTT:

  27. I think that marketing any book as “The Next…” is always a mistake. A book should be able to stand on its own merit without having to rely on comparisons to other popular novels in order to garner attention and success. Plus, because I most often have a distaste for these sort of flavour-of-the-month type of novels (i.e. Fifty Shades of Grey) this sort of comparison is more often a hindrance than a help in terms of appealing to my sensibilities.

  28. “Next Twilight” made my list too! I have to say that it was a smart move to put that tag line on books RIGHT AFTER the series ended because so many people were in a Twilight induced hang over and just wanted more… but seriously though, we need to move on from the Twilight craze! Great list!

  29. Ginger @ GReads! says:

    I agree about the “Dangerous” one. I have issues with books who glorify male leads in this way. Sorry, but being a badass abuser (whether that be verbally, emotionally, or physically) is a HUGE turn off for me. It frightens me a bit when I see other readers who are fans of those characters. Yikes.

  30. Oh yeah, I should have included fairies. I love paranormal books, but fairies freak me out. They are sooo coniving and yech, I just don’t like them.

  31. I totally agree with the “Fairies” one…I just don’t know why, but any book with Fairies in it just doesn’t make me want to pick it up! Great TTT, Jamie!
    My TTT:
    ~Becca xo

  32. I am totally with you on the New Adult genre. It has such potential, but I have yet to see it realized. In fact, the only books I’ve read that I think come close are Megan McCafferty’s Jessica Darling series, which was published way before “New Adult” was even a thing. I agree about faeries too. I read Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series, and I just did not get the appeal.

  33. Oh man, “the next Harry Potter” or “the next Twilight” instantly makes me not pick up the book, too! And “Dangerous” is even worse — sorry, but abuse is not cool and shouldn’t be glorified in any way, shape, or form.

  34. I totally agree with your explanation of New Adult mainly focusing on “sexy YA”. I’m definitely hoping for some more books to come out in that genre that don’t have that focus.
    Also, I agree about divorce. I would definitely find it hard to enjoy books that had that focus, as my parents are divorced as well. I want to read something a bit more happier! Gah!

    Really good choices Jamie. <3

  35. New Adult is another topic that would have me running as well.

  36. I’ve never been a big fan of werevolves but The Wolves of Mercy Falls trilogy by Maggie Stiefvater is EXCELLENT. And regarding fairies, never been big on them either, but The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa is really good. You should try both! 😀

  37. Yes, I so agree with this list! And you have beautiful word art 🙂

    Here’s my TTT!

    Jess @ Such A Novel Idea

  38. Ha ha menopause!!! Love it. I honestly don’t think I’ve run across a book dealing with that subject, I guess I’m just not looking for them. And divorce, I agree. I know lots of people want to read about heavy subjects, maybe so they’ll feel better about their own lives, but I’m not one of them:)

    Here’s my Top Ten.

  39. Danielle Nguyen says:

    I understand why you don’t get into fae books – a lot of them are way too fluffy and make me want to barf. HOWEVER. There are a few really great series out there that are darker that I think you might like. Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series is adult, but so so good. Also, if you like high fantasy I’d check out Juliet Marillier’s Sevenwaters series. Good luck!

  40. I also don’t understand the NA hype and considering I’ve only read one in that genre I think the other summaries I’ve read have not interested me in the least. How funny, werewolves also seem to be my least favorite paranormal type race. 🙂

  41. Can’t stand werewolves. That made my super-short list (the first time I couldn’t make a whole ten!).

    New Adult: VAIN by Amelie Fisher or Fight or Flight by Jamie Canosa – I don’t think sex is in either book although there is swoony tension. Both are contemps with issues. Both are among my favorite books. I think the reason the NA category is so widely seen as “sexed-up” is because those are the books people buy like crazy and have the half-naked people on the cover. There are a ton of great ones out there, trust me.

  42. I’m totally with you on the fairy thing! I just don’t see the appeal. Every time I see that word (even if it’s spelled differently, like faerie or fae) I can’t help but think of tiny little pixie things. (And Supernatural, when Dean tells Sam to fight the fairies…but moving on.)
    I also agree with you on the “Next Twilight” because Twilight makes me think of angsty, staring, sparkling vampires and stupid, unnecessary love triangles. I’ve never read the books but have had people explain them to me… The explanations were more than enough. I want something new, something that doesn’t need a previous book tagging along behind it to make it sell. So yeah.
    One thing that turns me off is the mentioning of more than one love interest, too. Like I read a summary for a book recently where (if my memory serves me right) there were four guys mentioned in the span of one four-sentence paragraph. That was a major kill for me, which sucks because the plot seemed fantastic. We’ll see if I actually read it, but who knows?

  43. I have to agree – I am not one for Fairies, or Menopause. That’s pretty funny. I hadn’t even thought about that. But yeah, I think it’s more about women being at a certain time in their lives, that I can’t relate to. Maybe one day, but just not right now.

    My TTT

  44. I avoid fairies like the plague, too, BUT only because I’ve read the Artemis Fowl series by Eoin Colfer. I know you’re not into Harry Potter, but it’s like the reason I avoid reading about wizards – I’ve already read something I consider excellent, so it draws comparisons. I loved the Artemis Fowl books so much that I’ve never enjoyed another depiction of fairies, and now I avoid them.

    Also, I totally get where you’re coming from with the werewolves. Never appealed to me at all.

  45. Every time I see cutting, I get nauseous. I feel uncomfortable about reading about cutting because it hits a little too close to home. Not that I have ever tried cutting but I’ve been through a period where a friend was cutting and that was really hard on me. And yeah, it’s just not in my interest to relive that all over again.

  46. Great list. I’m with you on the Twilight, werewolves and fairies thing. Totally overdone at this point and I had barely any interest to begin with. Political thrillers are some of my favorites, though.

  47. Werewolves and fairies would have definitely been on my list! Been there, tried that, did not enjoy them!
    I’m also so sad with what NA is stereotyped as now. We need more of FANGIRL. More characters in college NOT oversexed. Just regular old college-aged kids being college-aged kids.

  48. I JUST wrote a ranty discussion post about “the next….” NO, publishers. No one wants to see that slapped on a book. Let the book stand on its own!

    New Adult. *sighs* I think there ARE some out there that are defying the current stereotype, but they’re flying under the radar. I’ve heard of a couple NA fairy/paranormal, and I know JL Bryan (I think?) has written a NA time travel. Julie Cross’s Tempest is pretty frakkin’ amazing, and it’s college age characters/time travel. I’d consider it NA BEFORE NA was really a thing. I sobbed so much reading it but LOVED IT.

    Molli | Once Upon a Prologue

  49. I haven’t read too many NA books yet, but I do agree that the ones I’ve read seem to fall into the near-erotic category (which made my list of things I don’t like). I also agree about Political Thrillers. But, I still like vampires, werewolves and faeries!

    You can find my TTT here.

  50. The whole “Next Twilight” thing sends me running too. And I agree, it isn’t just about Twilight, and I didn’t mind Twilight when I read it. But give me something new!

    Also, New Adult as a genre just confuses me right now. I would assume that if you are looking for more adult books, you would read… adult? So I haven’t really looked into much of the NA genre.

    Nice list!

  51. Okay, I have two recommendations. For werewolves I think you could try Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes. Very different from the others! Jen Lynn is a scientist who has studied pack animals and the dynamic between the “pack” in this story really stuck out to me! Also, as for faery books my all time favorites are Holly Black’s and Melissa Marr’s. Both series are a little darker which is not usually something I love but the storytelling is just so incredible!

  52. I don’t know if you’d exactly consider them fairies, but definitely check out the NEED series by Carrie Jones.

  53. Great post! I agree with every single one of them, especially werewolves, fairies and twilight. I would have to add vampires and fantasy to the list!

  54. New Adult is totally code for Sexy YA- you summed that up perfectly! I also hope the genre develops more. So far all the YA novels I’ve read are about an abused girl who learns to love again through her relationship with a man with a six-pack and tattoos (but secretly he’s a stright-A student and vulnerable)

  55. I feel the same way about New Adult! I feel about cancer books that you do about divorce.

  56. I’m not a fan of fairy books either. That is one genre that a friend would have to highly recommend a book for me to read. I’m not into the NA books too. I do like werewolf books though. The Mercy Thompson series is my favorite. Great list.

  57. I absolutely love New Adult. I can’t help it! But a non-sexed up NA rec is Slammed by Colleen Hoover. Or maybe it’s considered more of an Mature YA, which is just really NA right? Oh man, this is confusing… Lol.

    Great list. :]

  58. ROFL! I love this list..’the new twilight”eeeps..hides..

  59. GASP! No fairies or werewolves?! OY! For fairies, have you read Carrie Jones’s Need series or Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely series? I’d recommend those two! As for werewolves…they’re one of my favorites! How could you not?! One of my favorite trilogies, though simple books, features werewolves–The Wereling trilogy by Stephen Cole. I don’t read a whole lot of books with cutting (it’s a dark, tough subject, and those aren’t my favorite), I’m wondering if you’ve read WILLOW by Julia Hoban? If not, you should give it a try! Great list!

  60. I haven’t read basically any fairy stories, but I did recently read and love Holly Black’s Tithe. It’s a very unusual interpretation of fairy-lore and is essentially a retelling of Tam Lin, which was awesome.
    I love the public outing that the whole “the next..” comparison is getting – I have it on my list as well. It’s overused and frankly pretty annoying. I also have similar feelings about the “New Adult” label and the “dangerous” guy. I love that you included some more unusual answers here. Very interesting list!

  61. I feel the same way about NA right now too! The idea is wonderful but the actual execution is somewhat questionable….

  62. Most fairy books! Urgh. I liked Maggie Stiefvater’s though.

  63. I agree with you on pretty much everything here, especially werewolves. I’ve only read one NA book that I’ve found enjoyable and that was ‘The Sea of Tranquility’ by Katja Millay, if you haven’t check it out I definitely recommend it! The other ones I’ve read are just waaay too smutty for my liking – I’m not against sex in book (even YA books) but does it have to be in every other chapter? :/

  64. “The Next twilight” thing! TOTALLY bugs me that people always hold that as some kind of standard or something to compare new things to. I hate it. I don’t think I’ve actually read any fairy books… I guess that would mean I avoid it too! hadn’t really noticed until now, haha!

    Okay, so there are some NA books that I LOVE but there is definitely a big chunk of them that seem to me like just a bunch of NA plot points/themes all meshed together. I don’t like that. Hmm one NA that I really loved because I thought the MC was really strong and I loved her was Easy by Tammara Webber. Check it out!

  65. Bahahahaha cracking up over here over your inclusion of menopause. TO FUNNY. XD

  66. “The New Twilight” definitely has me rolling my eyes and not wanting to pick a book. Usually, it ends up being one of two things: Twilight with werewolves/fairies/octopi/whatever, or something so different you can’t see how they are linked.
    And I completely get what you mean about NA. I don’t really fall for the sexy YA either, but I’m hopeful some authors will soon join and write about other subjects for NA, too!

  67. I too am a person who avoids fairy books! I just don’t particularly find them interesting or intriguing or worth reading about. People have been telling me that I ought to at least give the Kagawa Fey books a try, but I’m still rather wary of them :p

  68. I am super late but I am HERE.

    Okay, so The Next Twilight is definitely a no. I put this whole comparison marketing thing on my list as well. Stand on your own feet, book. Or pages. Whatever, you know what I mean.

    Ewwww, menopause? BLEH. I’ve not seen that but ugh no.

    Political thriller = big no.

    BDSM = most definitely. I’ll read some romance and might even be willing to read some erotica, but BDSM is just not hot to me at all.

    Favorite book with fairies: War for the Oaks by Emma Bull!

    Ha, I also put divorce in there. Mostly I am just not into old people problems yet.

    Oooh, cutting intimidates me too, but Drowning Instinct is one of the best ever, even though it also does student/teacher relationships, which I am also generally running away from.

    Lol to the dangerous guys. Bleh. Mysterious too. GET OUT.