the NOPE tag

This was originally created by A Booktube Book. By the way, guys, I will link reviews for all of these books within the answers, in case you want to check out extended thoughts. Some are longer than others.

Also, I was saltier than the dead sea while writing this?? so uh please don’t hate me

1. NOPE. Ending: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy.

Maybe the ending of More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera. (Vague spoilers, of course. And I still need to edit this review more.) I really loved this book, and I think if the ending had been hopeful or offered a hopeful future, I would’ve given it five stars and a spot on my favorite-books-of-all-time shelf. But the ending is really so needlessly tragic.

We already got that being gay sucks!! But how is it good to end in tragedy after all that? It sucks. The last 400 pages have shown us that. Isn’t it more productive to end in hope for the future? Maybe give the queer kids reading this book something to look for? Why is it deeper to end in sadness?

I honestly just got annoyed at how much this felt like Queers Die For the Straight Eye. Maybe I just didn’t get it, but I really don’t understand the point of the ending. What’s the message? What’s the moral in this outright tragedy? Clearly many loved the ending. But frankly, I hated the ending. After 350-some pages of angst over why you shouldn’t change yourself, why should the protagonist forget everything about who he is?

2. NOPE. Protagonist: A main character you dislike and drives you crazy.

This isn’t a protagonist, but I am in a Ranty mood today and I want to talk about a character that a lot of people love and I kinda hate?? Well. I like him as a villain. But as a character he rlly grosses me out.

EDIT: I forgot to type this????????

I fucking hate Kavinsky from the Raven Cycle. I love him as a villain, think he’s wonderfully complex and interesting. I’ll be honest, a redemption arc for him wouldn’t even bother me much, though I have to say it doesn’t interest me at all. But shipping him with Ronan is really… ugh?? some of the shit he does to Ronan really struck me as implied sexual assault. There’s a scene where he drugs Ronan and then touches his tattoo, which is used as symbolism for intimacy earlier in the book, and man, that’s not something I really want for a ship.

3. NOPE. Series: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE. after you’ve invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore.

Okay, two things. First of all I’m going to mention a series ending I just despise, and then I’m going to talk tropes. The series ending in question? Allegiant. I just hate this book so much and I’ll never stop being bitter about it. I don’t even care about the character deaths – I’m bitter about how shitty this book is. The weird love triangle? The nonsensical plot twists? The destruction of Tobias, formerly one of the Only Men I Trust? Whatever. It’s terrible and I hate it.

Related to trash series endings: I generally tend to hate those “villain suddenly dies in the last book because Narrative Punishment” endings. It doesn’t make me hate the series or anything, it just feels way too neat and tidy for my tastes. This is for a couple reasons. I’m a redemption arc person, first of all – honestly I think characters can pretty much come past anything and I love when they do.

Second of all, I think it bothers me how many of the characters who die (rather than being redeemed) were clearly manipulated or abused and became what they are as a result of what they’ve been through. With characters like that, I almost feel like killing them just leaves a bad taste?? There have been a couple times where I was genuinely shocked by characters surviving a series just because they’ve been through some shit.

For examples of books that DIDN’T do this and it made me really fucking happy!! Some of the characters that survived Six of Crows shocked me just because I thought they were earmarked for death from the first page. Yet another reason why that book means the world. Also, a couple characters that survived the Raven Cycle genuinely shocked me. (I can’t believe Adam Parrish managed to survive both Bury Your Gays and Bury Your Abusive Survivors what a fucking ICON)

4. NOPE. Popular pairing: A “ship” you don’t support.

I’m trying to vary my answers and I already talked about Shitty Men later in this post, so let me just talk about some others. Any ships with weird relationship dynamics where one character has all the power and the other one doesn’t. For a great example, I’m going with Elias and Laia from An Ember In The Ashes. I’m sorry, but this relationship feels so imbalanced and unhealthy?? There’s a scene in this book where the male romantic lead pretends that he’s been raping the female romantic lead. It’s so… it’s not actually abusive, Elias is kind of a fuckboy but he’s not an emotional abuser. this just makes me so uncomfortable personally?

I’m also not a fan of ships that cause female characters to lose their personalities. A good example is Captain Swan from Once Upon A Time 🙂 and also that one ship from The Fifth Wave. They just kinda gross me out because I feel like Cassie’s entire arc revolves around Evan. So not a fan.

5. NOPE. Plot twist: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or didn’t like.

Allegedly by Tiffany D. Jackson. Holy god, the ending of this book make me so fucking bitter. Because this book is a masterpiece. Every bit of it is horrifying, every bit of it is tense, every bit of it broke my heart into a million different pieces.

And then that ending happens. And it flops so much. And I’m so bitter about it. Why the fuck would you end your powerful, important, brilliant book with this cheap and idiotic twist?

6. NOPE. Protagonist action/decision: A character decision that made you shake your head NOPE.

Every single decision made by every single YA thriller character. Lmao. I’m excluding YA suspense there, and honestly, I think the main distinction between YA thrillers and YA suspense at this point is “how stupid are the characters?” Tune in next week for me of me roasting the YA thriller genre and telling you to read YA suspense instead!! And being bitter that some people like to pretend it’s the same genre when it’s rlly not!!

7. NOPE. Genre: A genre you will never read.

I guess New Adult? I just don’t care for some of the love interests in this genre. They bother me. We’ll talk more about this later.

I’m not putting in all New Adult, though – just the overly romancey kind really bothers me. For example, I’m trying to read all the books written by Elliot Wake (you might know him as Leah Raedar) and I think I’m going to read It Ends With Us by Colleen Hoover just because of the subject matter. I’ve also enjoyed a few lgbt+ new adult books – for example, anything by J.C. Lillis gets my wholehearted support.

8. NOPE. Book format: Book formatting you hate and avoid buying until it comes out in a different edition

I guess weird sizes?? I don’t love weird size books. There’s short US paperback, normal US paperbacks, normal US hardcovers, and tall US hardcovers. WHY DO Y’ALL HAVE OTHER TYPES OF BOOK SIZES. Have I told you about how I have the super big US hardcover of Crooked Kingdom but the tiny short UK paperback of Six of Crows? I want to delete my blog because of that just let me die

9. NOPE. Trope: A trope that makes you go NOPE.

Haha. HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

emotionally abusive bad boys!! Y’all have got to stop romanticizing this amount of shitty men!!

And before you come at me, there is a huge fucking difference between Morally Ambiguous Interesting Male Characters and Waddup I’m Jared I’m 19 And I Treat Women Like Shit. and there’s a big difference between “they’re both terrible and then they fall in love after some massive character development” and “they fall in love because the girl is turned on by really weird power dynamics.” Some of the men y’all romanticize in books are Literally Actually Abusive. Like. The actual men are abusive. THEY ARE ABUSIVE

and I’m not going to get on you for liking morally ambiguous characters trust me I am the fucking QUEEN of those super morally ambiguous male characters. Good example: I love Kaz Brekker. You know why he’s morally ambiguous? Because he tore someone’s eye out. You know what he didn’t do? Manipulate, physically intimidate, and emotionally abuse Inej for the entire book!! Excuse me!! Not the same thing!! Their relationship isn’t unhealthy. They don’t depend on each other, they both keep their lives and their moral codes, they just love each other. that’s GOOD. you know what isn’t good?? the amount of “I DEPEND on him I’d die for him but he’s always angry at me” romances out here

I GET that it’s fiction and y’all want to escape but can you please… say in your reviews that the Men are Shitty?? jesus i’m so bitter about the amount of books with Really Shitty Men that I’ve been recommended over the years I don’t understand the appeal!! of men who treat you like crap but it’s “hot” no!! heslyingtoyougirl.jpg leave his emotionally abusive ass and find yourself a non-abusive male character to date!! he can be as morally ambiguous as y’all want just don’t make him a Literal Abuser??

bye I’m really bitter about this??

10. NOPE. Recommendation: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you simply refuse to read.

All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven I read a full spoiler review of this and not to tell y’all what to read or judge you – i’m sure there are great parts of that book – but this… romanticizes suicide lol

11. NOPE. Cliche/pet peeve: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you roll your eyes.

I guess we’re going for things that just make me sign in annoyance, not things that make me legitimately bitter. Instalove or any dynamic where we know the characters will end up together in the end. This is just so weird and boring and annoying. I LIVE for relationships I don’t see coming until I’m already invested in both characters. Hence my absolute love for multiple-pov romances.

Since I’ve been bitter enough here, let’s list GOOD examples of ships that snuck up on me and I genuinely did not anticipate:

  • that one ship and you ALL know which one from The Raven Cycle
  • every ship from Six of Crows other than Nina / Matthias, but especially the Cute  Pure Ones
  • THAT ONE SHIP FROM NOW I RISE this isn’t even multiple POV but MAN THIS SHIP KILLED ME it takes so long to figure out they’re falling for each other and it kills me I love them and would die for them, personally, at this very moment

12. NOPE. Love interest: The love interest that’s not worthy of being one. A character you don’t think should have been a viable love interest.

Unpopular opinion, I think, but maybe Nik Malikova from Gemina? I don’t hate his character towards the end – I just don’t like that he basically harasses Hanna until they form a relationship. It’s a yikes beginning. But I really shipped them towards the end, so I feel like I really can’t be too bitter about this??

Also, another random Gemina opinion: Ella Malikova is a beautiful angel and she deserves a girlfriend. (I’ll happily take the role. Just saying.)

13. NOPE. Book: A book that shouldn’t have existed that made you say NOPE.

I’ve mentioned a ton, but to add another one – Kids of Appetite by David Arnold. This book literally juts exemplifies every issue I have with the YA contemporary genre and I’m bitter even thinking about it.

Are you ready for my controversial theory? No one actually liked this. You all read this, were confused, and then gave it a five on the general principle because you thought you didn’t get it. You know why you didn’t get it? Because there is nothing here. These characters are not based off actual personalities, they’re based off idiosyncrasies. They’re interesting because they’re different, in some way, from “regular” teenagers. These. are. not. characters. They. are. props. Damn it, characters don’t have to be “unique” for me to care about them. Honest to god, this angers me so much. This is lazy. It’s lazy writing meant to look deep.

And what bothers me even more is the handling of trauma and mental illness. Because the Quirks that are being used in substitute of personality aren’t even quirks – they’re mental illnesses or differences. That is so fucking tiring. Mental illness is not a character trait. It’s not a character trait, it’s not, it’s not, and I am so fucking tired of authors pretending it is out of pure laziness.

14. NOPE. Villain: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you run in the opposite direction.

I already did My Boy Kavinsky so I’m actually going with a character from Game of Thrones who I just really hate?? Littlefinger. I really can’t get over the fact that this dude is a pedophile. I know she doesn’t look it, but Sansa is thirteen at the beginning of this show. This dude is also just super creepy and weird and sinister. I do like how the actor does his role – he’s appropriately terrifying – but man, I’m haunted at night by the fact that some people romanticize this dude. And ship him with Sansa. Okay, that’s the really weird part. The fact that people love him as a villain doesn’t bother me at all, although I have to admit I don’t even really appreciate him as a villain because he grosses me out so much.

15. NOPE. Death: A character death that still haunts you.

That one terrible fucking death from the Thousandth Floor by Katharine McGee. Not to rant, but why can’t y’all stop killing every single lesbian/bi girl in literature. Not to be weird but We Get It, You Hate Gay People And Don’t Want To Give Them Happy Endings.

This book is also kind of super racist?? I mean literally 3/5 of the characters are these rlly uncomfortable stereotypes I’m generally not a fan

16. NOPE. Author: An author you had a bad experience reading for and have decided to quit.

Ellen Hopkins. Can I just put my reviews here. I can feel her disdain for lgbt+ people driving through her pages and it makes me super uncomfortable.

Comment below if you have any similar opinions to me!!


34 thoughts on “the NOPE tag

  1. This entire blog post is just gold and made me laugh and nod my head so much at my computer screen that I probably look like an idiot and there are so many specific things I want to comment on (like how amazing Ella is) but let’s just talk about

    ONE.

    GODDAMN.

    THING.

    “Have I told you about how I have the super big US hardcover of Crooked Kingdom but the tiny short UK paperback of Six of Crows?”

    MY SKIN IS CRAWLING, ELISE

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OKAY FIRST OF ALL THANK YOU I WAS RLLY PROUD OF THIS ONE

      second of all yes Ella is a fucking queen and I love her

      AND ALSO: IT’S THE WORST. I’m seriously considering buying a second copy of both, which I normally wouldn’t do… but come on, favorite book.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you!! And I’m so glad I’m not the only person who’s really bitter about her books. Impulse was definitely the worst – it might be my least favorite book I’ve ever read??

      AND YES THAT SHIP MAKES ME WANT TO DELETE I legit saw someone say that Kavinsky was better than Adam a week ago it made me Want 2 Die

      Like

    1. THANK YOU AND I LOVE HER TOO. And yeah I’m really passionate about the need for male characters to be morally ambiguous but not abusive, I get so annoyed sometimes about this :/ Kaz and Inej are still the top tier of YA couples, they’re actually tied w one other ship for my favorite of all time :’)

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love how you mentioned the raven cycle like three times

    and also I HATE that intimidating alpha male trope with a passion. abusive relationships should NOT be romanticized, and whenever I see that in books– particularly some NA romances– I feel like burning that book at the stake

    Like

  3. LOL this tag is hilarious!!! i’m for sure doing this next week for tag tuesday! (and i definitely didn’t stalk your blog to find it…of course not…hahahahahahahahah)

    Liked by 1 person

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