Bookish Pet Peeves


Do certain elements in books ever bother you? I’m not talking about bad writing or stupid MC’s. I’m talking about the little things…The little things that drive you crazy. Here’s some of my pet peeves.  (Please note that these are silly pet peeves and they never actually keep me from liking a book)

Lack of showers:
This is probably a silly pet peeve, but nevertheless it irks me. You know when a MC is rudely awakened by her friend and they’re all like ‘Let’s go do IMPORTANT THINGS!’ and you know the love interest will be there, but the MC throws on those clothes from yesterday and leaves….Who does that? I know it might seem trivial to write about showers, but I like hygiene. It’s a very nice trait. All the MC would have to say is ‘I must shower!’ then cut to leaving…

Kissing in the morning:
This is one that I don’t encounter as often with YA but it happens often in adult books (and in movies). You know the characters wake up and have a passionate kiss? EWWWW! Morning breathe! Ugh. *shudder*  This is something I have never been able to ignore. I can never think ‘Aww they love each other…’ all I can think is EWWW brush your teeth! Pop some mints!

No appetite:
Sigh…this one drives me crazy! I like to eat. I really, really do. Unless something completely gross happens while I’m eating or I’m sick, I don’t lose my appetite. So, it kills me when MC’s are starving and someone says something mean to them and they lose their appetite. If I’m hungry, I’m going to eat! If you’re mean to me I’ll just go eat somewhere else. It just doesn’t seem logical to me.

Annoying BFF’s:
Obnoxious, meddlesome best friends. I don’t like them.

Flowers that magically bloom out of season:
I love flowers and gardening! I have a decent amount of knowledge on the subject so it irks me when irises are blooming in July and cherry trees in autumn.

Inconsistent/confusing timelines:
I haven’t come across this problem in awhile but I really dislike it when I do. You know when it’s Saturday when the chapter ends, then the next chapter is two weeks later but they refer to things like they were yesterday…and maybe even say yesterday? I hate that.

Well, those are some things that bug me. What bugs you?



  1. ComaCalm says:

    The shower thing bugs me! Tiny plot holes bug me too. I’ve just read a book where a father and daughter have just arrived a house and the daughter announce that she knows it’s residents are vampires (don’t ask). Her father didn’t know she knew about Vampires before. But then later they ahve an argument about why she came in the first place and she tells him it’s because she ‘begged, pleaded and threatened to run away and get turned into a Vampire if her didn’t let her come with’. Er… but he didn’t know she knew before they arrived.. You know? Right?

    ComaCalm’s Corner

  2. I LOVE this. I agree on all of these! Especially the hunger thing. How do you go from being ravenous to completely not hungry, just because someone said something a little troubling? I have never had that happen, and I’ve heard plenty of troubling things.

    I would add “accidentally falling asleep” to the list. Like, the characters are having a deep conversation and all of a sudden it’s the next morning. Or they were engaged in some sort of tension-filled activity and then it’s the next morning. Or they are engaged in amorous activity, and suddenly they wake up.

    I understand being fatigued and falling asleep when you are trying to stay awake. People fall asleep in books while on watch around the campfire — I get that. What I’m talking about is always something like they managed to fall asleep in a public place, or somewhere they’re not supposed to be, or at a crucial moment, and I’m sorry, but who does that? If you are so nervous about being discovered, maybe you should move if you’re feeling drowsy. If you are frantically researching The Bad Guy on his own computer in the middle of the night, maybe you should drink some coffee beforehand.

    And unless you are seriously narcoleptic, who falls asleep while kissing? I mean, maybe if this was some seriously exhausting marathon kissing, but even so. In my experience, there comes a point where the activity ceases and you actively must calm down in order to sleep.

    I also have this same problem with movies. 

    Ah…I feel better. Thanks for the ranting outlet :-)
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  3. Lol!! Love this!! Totally the hunger thing!! The only time I lose my appetite is if something like super major that would cause an ulcer because of the stress level, or if I was sick. Also the shower thing too! I like hygiene too and so should the characters in books. 😉
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  4. This made me laugh so much! Especially the one about food. I’m with you on that. If there is yummy food on the table and I’m hungry it has to be something pretty damn big for me not to want to eat it. I think this pet peeve of characters not eating is why every story I write my characters have a small obsession with food. And I love stories that show the joy of food, such as The Scorpio Races and the November Cakes. Mmm…now I’m hungry. 

  5. Oh my goodness! I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who has some of these grievances! I notice the lack of shower thing A LOT! I would never walk out of my house, unless it was an emergency, without showering and looking normal.

    Hahaha at the food thing! Eat and then be sad! Yeah! 😛

    Thanks for posting these. I’m giving you a virtual high-five!
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  6. Yes yes yes! Especially the hunger one.

    Another one that kind of goes hand-in-hand with the no showering: nobody ever brushes their hair or puts on make-up. They’re all just naturally gorgeous, I guess. Even with rats nests on top of their heads. I get that the author can’t put every little piece of minutiae into a book but if you’re going to take time to say that the MC is getting dressed anyway, mention him/her running a brush through their hair.
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  7. LOVE this list! Really, I agree with all of your points. Especially the shower thing. It seems like the MCs in the books I read either seem to not care about hygiene, like you said, or they shower way too often – like, multiple times a day. Very weird. And the appetite thing, too – I never ever lose my appetite :p Great idea for a post! :)
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  8. Oh gosh, I am SOOOO with you on the morning kissing! I want to step in and at least hand them those silly “Wisp” things that kind of brush your teeth and have mouthwash in them because WHO DOES THAT? I love my husband quite a bit…but morning kisses are on the cheek until the teeth have been brushed.

    Also, even if they don’t have the magically disappearing appetite (which is thoroughly annoying), how often do you see characters eat a decent meal?! I mean, seriously, you can’t do all the crazy stuff on an empty stomach and I think LUNCH is an important meal.
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  9. Amber Hughes says:

    I love all of these! Especially the “morning kiss” & the “no appetite” . I’m a big eater myself (LOL) and I just can’t imagine not being able to eat unless I was really sick. And the kissing thing, yes! That has always bugged me too!

  10. The lack of hygiene particularly bothers me if I’m reading a historical romance novel… then I just start thinking about how incredibly gross they must be and it kind of ruins the smexy times.

    And I hate the lack of appetite thing! I get it’s supposed to show how delicate/thin/whatever the main character is, but it’s just not realistic. Someone says mean things to you? Go eat a pint of Ben & Jerry’s and cry a little, what’s wrong with the mc doing that? That’s realistic! Oh, but wait, then she couldn’t be a size nothing…
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  11. Annoying BFF’s and no appetite drive me crazy in books! I love books that actually reference food (Silver Phoenix + The Scorpio Races). And I’m definitely with you on the shower thing – the least the author can do is reference it vaguely, or else I’m stuck thinking the MC never showers…and that’s a bit gross. 

    Awesome post! :)
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  12. The timeline thing bothers me so much!
    P.S. I nominated you for a blogger award
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  13. hahaha love this! The timeline thing is completely annoying and now that you bring it up, book characters do have questionable hygiene don’t they?

    Awesome list.
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  14. Omg kissing In the morning,I hate that too. Especially in movies!

  15. Agreed with all, except the kissing in the morning one, because I have been guilty of that… whoops.
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  16. This is a great post and you definitely nailed some of my biggest pet peeves.
    I always freak out when characters kiss in the morning because like you said…massive morning breathe. I see this more in movies and on t.v. than in books. I loved the shower thing. I reminded me of a super hero saying “I must get my costume.” It gave me a funny image in my head. I also have to add that I’m getting tired of characters “worrying their bottom lips” and never wearing any make-up. Sorry, but how many girls do you know are willing to go to a party without any make-up and can snag the hottest guy in the room like that?
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  17. Oh, so many peeves! These are great ones, Lori. 

    I think my biggest one of late would be unnecessary elements — just things that don’t fit well with the story in general and have no bearing on the plot or don’t move things forward. NOT wordiness or being overly descriptive — I don’t mind that.
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  18. Great list, a lot of these are things that bug me too. I especially hate inconsistent time lines. Thanks for sharing this list, great post!
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  19. loool!! I love this post, this made me laugh so much!! Yep, all those missing showers and .. the morning breath! *giggles* 

    But, yeah what ticks me most are annoying BFF’s.. why can’t they be easy going and just good friends? Why do they need to be so annoying?? For whatever reason timeline issues do not bother me so much, unless it’s super obvious! 
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  20. Ha! This is SO great. I’m always the type of person who thinks about hygiene things. Like two characters are on an adventure that’s lasted days and then they get all smoochy… my first thought is “ew! You haven’t showered.” And I’m so behind you on the whole losing your appetite thing. I’ll admit I HAVE lost my appetite when someone says something to me or something bad happens, but it only happens once in a blue moon. And then in like 20 minutes I’m ready to chow down!
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  21. YES to the food one!!! I’m not a girl who loses her appetite when she stresses. I tend to overeat. I’ve never seen that in YA. lol But another pet peeve is when the author makes a big deal about these girls eating tons, then talk about how skinny they are. I’m like, all right. Pick one. So really, just food in general annoys me. haha
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  22. I thought I was the only one bugged about the first two on your list. Unless I’m just going grocery shopping or something, I need to take a shower before I go do something fun. And if I was going to see a guy I liked?! Oh my gosh, I would FREAK OUT if I hadn’t showered and done my hair or something. That makes me feel shallow, but hygiene is important to me as well.

    I was actually reading a book the other day and the MC and her love interest were about to kiss for the first time. All I could think about was, you were just eating all kinds of sugary food and I can only imagine how that’s going to taste. The kissing in the morning thing really grosses me out b/c I’d want to be minty fresh.

    Sorry about the rambling. It’s nice to know I’m not alone!
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  23. Some of these really made me giggle.  For me it’s eye color.  I think it started with the HP books to movie translation.  GREEN eyes people!  I mean how many times does it say that Harry has his mother’s eyes.  And Voldemort will always be scary, but he would have been more so if they had given him RED contacts.  I’ve encountered some books where the characters eye color is all of a sudden changed.  It’s like a buzzer goes off in my head and I’m like “eghn WRONG” and quickly flip back trying to find the page where it talks about a characters eyes.  It interrupts my reading and is so not cool.
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  24. I agree with the no showering. In YA books I also wonder about the lack of homework. I always had a ton in high school, but you never hear of it in books unless it’s an excuse to get together with someone, and then they never actually do any work. And in adult books no one ever seems to work.
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  25. On your list the annoying BFF’s is annoying to me.  

  26. This post is genius! The morning breath thing kills me too!!  I can’t think of any that you did not already list.  Love it!!! 
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  27. Hahaha, very good points. Lack of bladder and/or BO seems to be universal in the fictional world! Unless, of course, there’s sexing to be done. Which you’d think would then require another shower…

    Annoying BFFs are a turn-off for me as well, especially if the BFF is pointedly more insipid, shallow, or just plain ridiculous than the heroine. Those always strike me as “by comparison” characters, there to mostly to make the heroine look better. And prove she’s sociable.

    On a related note, my biggest pet peeve? Jealous/vengeful exes and backstabbing female friends. You can give me the best reason in the world for why the jealous ex should be the big bad, or why this friend HAD to turn on her BFF, and I will still glare holes into the book, because women screwing over other women is way, way to common. At least in the stuff I read.

    Also, when a character just out of the blue in their narration starts addressing the reader, like “Now, you may not think that was a bad thing to say, but as I spoke to Jacob…” No. Do not want. My fourth wall needs to be shatterproof!
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  28. I have to respectfully disagree with you on the appetite one – that used to happen to me all the time when I was  teen.
    But your last one is great!  Ever read a book where it is clearly Friday and then for some reason they are in school the NEXT day and it is Wednesday or something weird like that?  Or when they are taking a class that is so unrealistic – Seniors in Algebra I or Freshman in Calculus?
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  29. Most of those I haven’t really noticed except the inconsistent timeline. But this reminded me of shows or movies when everyone has perfect makeup on first thing in the morning. I hate that!
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  30. I love this post. It made me think of a lot of new subjects on what authors write and don’t write in their stories. The showers made me laugh, as trivial as it may seem, authors probably don’t write as much about hygiene unless it is really relevant to the story, otherwise, it probably takes up a lot of unnecessary room, and would most likely be edited out. And I am totally with you on the food bit. I love to eat too, and find it odd that food isn’t acknowledged as much in stories, as it is a part of everyday life. I am also with you on confusing timelines. As you stated before, I also can’t stand that authors write like a whole book, and towards the end, it’s still the same day. lol. Looking forward to more of your bookish pet peeves.
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  31. I must say, little things like this really bug me. One thing I don’t like much is stories that have a MC, but then introduce all these other MC’s that are around all the time, I struggle very much keeping up with 9 or so different characters who are around ALL THE TIME.

    Fabulous post! I love to read other’s opinions <3
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  32. I love this! I’m in agreement with everything you just said! I think about the morning breath one ALL THE TIME! I mean seriously! If you can’t make it out of bed to brush, at least take a drink of water or something. LOL I like my food too. Not much can deter me from eating. Great post!
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  33. I agree with you on all of these!
    It’s funny how in books/movies no one ever has to use the bathroom, not to shower, brush their teeth or anything else, lol! Days go by, and the characters are trapped in the woods/island, no one is saying they’re hungry? or has to use the bathroom? If it was me, I’d be complaining and moaning within the first 10mins, lol! It really is annoying! 
    Awesome post :)

  34. Agreed about several of these!  Particularly the morning kisses thing.  I’ve read a few books where that was dealt with realistically, but I’ve read way more where the issue is ignored completely.

    And the appetite thing!  Yes!  Everyone loses their appetite left and right.  If I lost my appetite that much, I’d never have to do Weight Watchers ever again, LOL.

    Possibly my biggest pet peeve is the “I’ve loved you all my life,” or “I loved you before I met you,” line.  Um, no.  No you didn’t.  You didn’t know them.  Ergo, impossible.  Drives me crazy.
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  35. This post made me LAUGH! Because I am seriously the same way! I think these things while I am reading! When you wake up and are all full on making out, I personally want to spit. (I do not just randomly spit, just sayin) 
    BUT that is so Gross!! Brush your mouth first!!! LOL Even in movies it drives me crazy.
    Me and the hubby agree on this. Esp in movies, where people are running for their lives, days have passed and they are kissing and “other” Sorry. I seen no shower, or tooth brush action. LOL eww is right.

    Great post Lori. This made my day!!
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  36. Haha, the hygiene points definitely bug me too! The morning kisses are just gross, I wouldn’t wanna be doing that ugh. And everyone stays clean and smelling fresh, especially when they’ve been running for their lives. Uh huh, lol.
    I notice it a lot more with dystopian novels, when characters are outdoors or running for their lives a lot. And maybe being a girl I question the girls’, ahem, monthly needs, like, what do they do!? It’s just something I wonder lmao. It’s those little things that can distract me haha. Love this post!
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  37. Oh my goodness, food is a good thing! I love it too.
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  38. The kisses in the morning thing bugs me too. Ewww! I also hate it when characters are always just ready to fly out the door at a moment’s notice. Like really, who can ever just do that?
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  39. I agree with all of the above except for the appetite thing because my stomach is actually pretty sensitive sometimes so I know what it’s like to be hungry but not be able to even look at food. The shower thing is probably the one that bugs me the most! That one is dead-on, lol.

    One of my peeves is when the narrative changes in the middle of the chapter and then a character says something “out of character” and then you’re like “wait, who’s head am I in?” and then you have to go back to figure out where the hell you got lost. Yeah, THAT bugs the crap out of me, lol. I can really only handle two, maybe three POV in one book…and it needs to be done so it’s not confusing. Frankly, I don’t need to know what the villain’s neighbor’s cousin’s dog is thinking!

    ♥Isalys / Book Soulmates
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  40. Monica Nelson says:

    What a funny post! Agree with this list totally. Not that I really want to read/hear about characters using the restroom but I’m always wondering when they have to go (especially in action/exciting scenes) how they excuse themselves for a private moment.

  41. One of the things that blew me away when I read Twilight was how much time was spent on Bella doing mundane things like brushing her teeth, washing her hair, shaving, cooking food, washing dishes. At first I thought, ‘Huh?’ But then it was kind of refreshing. Maybe part of the series’ success is that everyone can so identify with her need for ‘human minutes’.


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