Top Ten Tuesday is a feature from The Broke And The Bookish. This week, we discuss the things that instantly make us not want to read a book …
- Romance between slave character and slaver character. I’m sure this can be done well, but most of the time it tends to be shit and I can’t bring myself to take a chance on these kinds of stories.
- LGBTQ+ best friend as a minor character, with the straight protagonist trying to “come to terms” with their friend’s identity.
- Any back cover that uses the adjectives “mysterious,” “intense,” “beautiful,” or “handsome” (or synonyms thereof). Could the inevitable and inevitably irresistible romantic attraction between the protagonist and the character these adjectives are applied to be more obvious? (See also: amatonormativity.)
- Rape as a plot device. Anyone who thinks this is fine can go to hell.
- Any other situation in which an Othered group (POC, women, Indigenous people, disabled people, LGBTQIA+ people, religious minorities) suffer so the protagonist (typically but not necessarily a straight white cis able-bodied neurotypical man) can “become a better person” and, eventually, become the hero/saviour, as, of course, this protagonist was destined to do.
- Rape as a plot device. I will stop reading the book so fast and possibly chuck it across the room.
- Also slut shaming. Nope.
- Token POC/minority character who dies or is sacrificed to the more execrable elements. Nope.
- “The new boy” who turns out to be the love interest. Over that.