Sappy deaths make me roll my eyes. Cheesy dialogue makes me cringe. Love triangles make me snort. Predictable plot twists make me shake my head. Long story short–bad books upset me.
And I don’t mean they just upset me–I mean they REALLY upset me. I can probably rant about a book for days if I really didn’t like it, and if my friends are lucky, they’ll only have to endure 10 minutes of my rant. I think it’s a result of my overly practical outlook on life that causes me to critique every single book that I pick up and wonder why everyone else isn’t as picky as I am, and the boiling anger that I often feel when I encounter cliches in books surprises even me at times.
But come on: hot shirtless guys, damsels-in-distress, one-dimensional villains, melodramatic deaths, predictable plots, stereotypes, porno sex, sensationalistic plot twists–I mean, what is this? Every other book that I open up nowadays seem to contain at least one of these sinful tropes.
Especially the cliche of the strong heroine becoming weak in the face of love. I’m sorry, but as a girl who’s not that hung up on dating, I can definitely say not all girls are that weak-willed when it comes to hot guys, and certainly don’t change character halfway through the book.
For example, the heroine in The Throne of Glass is a prime example of an asinine female. The premise of Celaena as a badass assassin in this book was really exciting to me at first, but then the author completely forgets that she’s supposed to be baddass. Seriously, this girl precedes to preen in the mirror, whine about how cold or sleepy she is, flirt with guys, and show no sense of maturity or urgency whatsoever. I mean, is her life not on the line if she loses this tournament?!
And it’s really this sort of cliche heroine that authors utilize in their books–the object of lust with no sense of identity or maturity.
Then what’s an example of a good heroine you ask? Well people write off The Hunger Games as overrated, but I read this series way before the hype blew up, and I liked how Katniss was portrayed in this book. She’s someone who’s aware that she’s in a war, that there’s always the chance that she won’t get a happy ending, and in that, she actually holds her own and makes her own decisions regardless of how many pretty boys are wooing her.
Now my friends joke all the time about how upset I become by cliche books. “It’s just a book,” they say. “Enjoy the cheesiness for what it is.” But HOGWASH! My rants are fueled not by anger, but righteous fury! The kind that superheroes feel whenever they see a giant squish-monster destroying their city. Therefore, aren’t I, someone who loves and cherishes books, entitled to be furious when I see authors besmirching the good name of literature?
And what I think makes me truly angry is the fact that authors would opt to borrow cliches from other stories, mash them all together, and pawn it off as their own with a new painted cover. I mean, from what I hear of the publishing business, it’s a long and difficult road to get a book out there; so why, WHY IN THE NAME OF MONKEY BALLS don’t authors put in the effort that’s worth the struggle they went through to get published?
People envy J.K Rowling for how intricately she wrote Harry Potter, but Harry Potter wasn’t conceived overnight. The fact that it took J.K. Rowling twelve freaking attempts to find a publisher suggests to me that there was a lot of revision involved, and her success wasnt attributed to just her imagination, but also her pride to create something original and great. From the intimate touches of emotion, the fresh moments of humor, the great expositional pacing, everything about Harry Potter is deliberately placed, and that’s not something you can perfect without revision a thousand times over.
Therefore, when authors just fall back on the cheap option of incorporating cliches and sensationalistic tropes to pander to the general public, that’s a choice that makes me angry: because a bad book isn’t the product of a talentless writer; it’s the product of a cop-out.
Let me know what you think in the comments below. Are you an angry reader as I am? Do you boil whenever you come across cliches in books?
People might think I’m being a negative nancy who can’t enjoy life as it comes, and I guess that’s true. But reading and writing are things that I take very seriously, and it’s quite difficult for me to restrain my wrath whenever I see someone not take their work to the fullest potential.
I should go lie down and take a chill pill at this point:) Thanks for sticking with me thus far into the rant, and shout out to all my new subscribers! Nearly fifteen people subscribed while I was gone for the last two weeks, and I don’t know why, but I ain’t complaining. Cheers to you all, and until next time!