What Can Make a Book Bad

I use Grammarly’s online plagiarism checker because it saves me time I can use to do fun things instead, like color or create world peace!

Today I’d like to talk about all of the things I’ve noticed through the books I’ve read that really make me dislike them for one reason or another. Some can easily be fixed and others take a little more to completely alter. Let’s get started!

1. The book cover. I know, I know. We’re all taught not to judge a book by its cover. Honestly, it happens sometimes, or at least a beautiful cover never hurts. Sometimes an attractive or interesting cover will be what makes me pick up a book and flip it over so I’ll be able to read the summary. If the cover has nothing to do with the story or looks too cheesy, maybe I won’t go for it. Sometimes I’d rather have something simplistic to look at than a cover I don’t find appealing. I also don’t like it when a cover is too childish or adult for the audience it’s been written toward. This might be one of the harder things about a book to fix because everyone has different tastes and it’s impossible to please all of us readers!

2. No character development. If the book I’m reading is the start of a series, it gets a little pass on this one because I know the characters will have more time to change and grow. But if I’m reading through a novel filled with flat characters, I’m not going to be a happy person. I want someone that I can relate to, someone who has flaws and interests and needs to learn. If I’m not reading a book that’s going to give me that, I’m not going to be too invested in the characters. What’s the point in reading if I don’t care about what’ll happen to the people in that story?

3. Grammar. This is one of the easiest mistakes for writers to make and it’s also one of the easiest to fix up! It’s always good to have a basic knowledge of spelling and grammar but if you ever find yourself wondering how your writing might read to others or if you’re spelling something correctly, you can always use a website to check all of that for you. For something like that, I’d recommend Grammarly. It takes seconds to copy and paste whatever you’ve written onto the site. Not only does it check for grammar, it also detects plagiarism, which is great if you’ve done some research for your book or if you’ve written a paper and you aren’t sure about those citations. Because I’m sure that we’ve all been there! It saves you the heartache of publishing something filled with mistakes and unchecked for plagiarism (nobody wants to read that!) It saves me and readers like me from reading something that should have been double-checked.

4. Bad or unhealthy romance. This is something that has come up a lot recently especially in young adult lit because almost every book has a romantic aspect of it. At times, these relationships are wonderful and give every reader too many feels, especially when the book or series is over! Other times, the romance can just seem forced, or . . well, creepy. Think carefully about your characters and how they’re interacting with each other, if you want me to love the love interest. If I wouldn’t be surprised that he turns out to be a bad guy just because of how he acts around ladies and he’s really supposed to be the hero then something’s wrong there. Same goes for the girls. Women can be weird in relationships, too, unfortunately.

5. A plot that drags. This is especially true for a series. What might be a great idea for one book can turn sour if that plot if stretched into a trilogy. It’s even worse if there’s only one book and you’re flipping through the pages to see how many more you have left until the end. Some good editing could take those boring parts right out of there and set a good pace for the story that’ll leave readers craving more or falling apart because there isn’t more to read. Then, maybe, those bonus scenes will come in handy, to stave off starving fangirls.


3 thoughts on “What Can Make a Book Bad

  1. I know what you mean about book covers. I am always drawn to pretty or unique ones. Or even simple ones that have an edge to them. But book covers that don’t appeal always deter readers, even if we try to not let it. Prettiness is eye catching! And when there are hundreds of books surrounding you, the pretty ones are going to stand out.
    Not caring about the characters in the story is the biggest downfall in reading. If you don’t care about what happens to the characters; you aren’t invested. And will probably forget the book in a few days or weeks. Which is sad. But amazing when you manage to find a book with characters that you really care about.
    Grammar is uber important. I don’t come across too many grammar mistakes, but I found one in a very popular book yesterday, and was so surprised! I guess it wasn’t really a grammar mistake, but the character referred to another female character as ‘him’. I was pretty shocked that no one had picked that up when editing it.
    Creepy love interests and dragging plots are always bad. We need healthy romance with guys that aren’t stalkers or abusers or any of those other things that authors seem to think are attractive at the moment. And dragging plots are awful. When you feel as if reading is a job, the book is a lost cause!


    1. I’m glad you understand about book covers! The pretty ones will inevitably stand out, even to people who try not to judge. 😀

      Usually in books if there are one or two grammatical errors I can overlook it, but recently I read a published book that had so many it was impossible not to notice! I was really shocked no one had caught on to any of those things while editing!


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