September 19, 2023

Novel Lives

Book Publicity, Reviews, Author Interviews, and Discussion Posts by Susan Crosby

Things I Need Less Of In Books

Things I Want To See Less Of In Books

Over at Kristin Kraves Books, I saw her Things I Want to See More of in Books (linked) book tag and thought I’d give it a while, except do the opposite. But I wanted to give her credit because that’s where I saw the post and because she’s brilliant and should be followed. Will this be brutal? Maybe but if I’m going, to be honest… Just call me Special Agent Sunshine- Assignment: Reading! Here are my things I want to see less of in books, book tag.



This is absolutely number one on the list. And it has nothing to do with my romance trigger. It is just ruining the whole Adult and Young Adult Fantasy genre. For those who like it, that’s great, but can we get some without it.?And for those that don’t like it? I’m sure you can agree that finding fantasy at least balanced in the romance element is hard to find as money in my bank account. For those who need balance? Here are a few upcoming and recently released reads with that balance.



Champion of Fate By Kendare Blake is Coming Out In September


Katy Rose Pool Kicks Off New YA Fantasy Duology With Garden Of The Cursed- Released June 20th


I think this one speaks for itself. Keep the original stories coming! I’m getting tired of all the retells. Some have been excellent, don’t get me wrong. But some aren’t just retold, but multiple retells. There are so many retells of Sleeping Beauty at this point that I think I am her. I don’t think there is a reason for me to give examples here; just original books, please!

Authors Forcing Themselves Into Trends

Look. This might sound mean, but it is really a compliment. I absolutely adored so many (mostly thriller) authors until they started forcing themselves into trends that didn’t work for them. For instance, the locked room/and then there was one trend. The book that started the trend? The Guest List by Lisa Foley sucked as it is. Now everyone is copying it. And don’t get me wrong, there have been some absolute bangers. Daisy Darker, by Alice Feeney, comes to mind. Ruth Ware fell deep down this trend. I LOVED Turn of the Key. One By One, just no (all reviews linked).

This isn’t the only trend, either. Romantacy (from above) and retells are two more trends that need to be kicked to the curb. I blame Spicytok for the whole Romantacy vibe.

Forced Romance

I hope you didn’t expect to see romance only once on this list. Again this isn’t even about my trigger. It is about it being poorly executed. You want to have a slow-burn romance or even an instant attraction? Fine, whatever. But if it doesn’t make sense in the plot or is instaromance or whatever… just don’t. I think publishers force this because they think it sells. And maybe it does when executed correctly. But when it’s just forced into a book that didn’t need it or have it originally? It is an epic fail.

False Marketing

Ok. This is ultimately a thriller thing. I’m so sick and tired of literary fiction/chick-lit (is that still a term? Oh well) being marketed as thrillers. When there is too much family or emotional drama, it loses the thriller aspect. If there isn’t enough… thriller… then, well, duh. And don’t promise me a blood bath if there isn’t going to be a fucking blood bath. If I am reading and get halfway through a thriller (ok, this isn’t an absolute, but you get the point) and no one is dead?

ReadingCan there be some drama and emotion? Well duh. Of course. But it should still be the genre it is marketed as.

Books That Start Slow

Ok. Maybe this is just a me thing, but I’m tired of saying… as I was reading it,  it started slow, but then it kicked into gear at the <add number> percent mark. Now there are some slow-roll books, and they are executed well. I’m not talking about that kind of structure. I’m talking about poorly executed pacing. Period.


That is my list of things I’d like to see less of in books. Do you agree? Disagree? What would you add?

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