Amber’s Rambles (#2) – Book Blurb and Summary Turn Offs

~Amber’s Rambles!~

Hey guys. It’s time for Amber’s Rambles, a weekly feature in which I ramble about various book related topics. You’re all free to chime in and ramble with me or tell me your own thoughts on the subject (I wish you would!). This week’s topic is book blurb and summary turn offs.


The first book blurb/summary turn off I have is the dreaded question summary. You all know this kind, the summary that asks the blatantly obvious question you know will be yes in the book.


For (fake) example:
“Will Sally and Joe get together?”
“Can their love get them through this?”
“Will/Can Keegan save the world?”
“Does Johnny love Allison?”
“Is Malcolm the key to the puzzle?”
“Is Lily really a vampire/werewolf/angel/mermaid?”


From what I can predict the answer is usually a resounding yes, but still it has to be asked. I don’t like questions in summaries because the answer is almost always yes. It is inevitable. I’m immediately turned off because of this. 


For an example from a book I have, “But can two people from such different worlds be together despite the odds stacked against them?”.
This Is What Happy Looks Like by Jennifer E. Smith  


Now this isn’t to say I don’t like any questions asked in book summaries and blurbs, I do. I just like open ended questions. There are of course exceptions for this, I’m sure.


I like the other question asked before in This Is What Happy Looks Like’s book blurb/summary though which is “If fate sent you an email, would you answer”? 


Other examples are:
“What if you only had one day to live?
What would you do? Who would you kiss?
And how far would you go
to save your own life?”
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver


I like engaging questions that mean something to the plot more than “yes, this will happen”. Questions that make you think about what you would do if you were in the same situation.


I like questions like “Who would have guessed that four minutes could change everything?” from The Statistical Probability of Love At First Sight by Jennifer E. Smith because that’s a question people can relate to, I can relate to.


I don’t like questions like


“Could the boy from her past be the love of her future?”
Lola and the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins




” Can Anna find love in the City of Lights?”
Anna and The French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins


because given the title of both these books, the answer is a resounding “yes”. It’s basically a rhetorical question. 


I like the question in the summary for Paper Towns by John Green “Who is the real Margo?” because there is something to that question. Who is the Margo in the book? Who is the real one? Do the main characters actually really know Margo? What is she hiding? I can appreciate that question.

My second book blurb/summary turn off has to do with relationships, love triangles to be exact. If the main character has to choose between the “nice guy” and the “not so nice guy”, it’s annoying to me. 😦 Love triangles are always so complicated and messy and just don’t intrigue me at all. I normally have a set character I want the main character to be with. If a book blurb/summary mentions there being a love triangle, odds are I probably won’t read it.


Well, i’m really not that turned by too many things in summaries or blurbs so that’s a good thing. These are my only two turn offs, that I know of right now.

 What do you guys think? Do you have any summary/blurb turns offs? Will you refuse to read a book if it has a summary or blurb aspect you don’t like? Let me know.

About Amber (YA Indulgences)

Amber is a 20-something woman who enjoys reading, writing, listening to music and taking walks. She has a book blog called YA Indulgences . She is still trying to figure out what she's doing with her life, but she's confident that time will tell. In the meantime she's heading towards the goal of becoming a renowned blogger. View all posts by Amber (YA Indulgences)

7 responses to “Amber’s Rambles (#2) – Book Blurb and Summary Turn Offs

  • Reviews from a Bookworm

    Great post! These are two things they really irritate me too. Love triangles are such an overused trope, I am so sick of seeing them. If the blurb of the book gives away the fact it has a love triangle in it, it usually stops me from picking the book up.


    • Amber (YA Indulgences)

      Thanks! On the bright side, I couldn’t think of any others. I like sort of vague summaries or like small excerpts on the back. Yeah, I hate books where they’re like “Oh Samantha is dating Michael, but when (a blast from the past/old flame/new love interest* shows up, she has to figure out who she really loves. That’s a double bullet. Thanks for stopping by.


  • Rachel

    I agree about the obvious question thing. 🙂 But I think what turns me off is when the little snippet of editorial review on the book is completely meaningless and tells you nothing about the book. The ones that include juicy adjectives make you salivate with anticipation….but that tell you more about the reviewer’s ability to write than about the book.


    • Amber (YA Indulgences)

      That’s true. I’d rather have a bit of detail about what the book is about. I don’t want to hear “this breathtaking, emotional read will enrich readers minds with it’s delightful writing that flows exquisitely”. 🙂 I mean, that’s nice and all but…you know. Thanks for stopping by.


  • The Sunday Post (#7) and Stacking The Shelves (#2) | Young Adult Indulgences

    […] shared my Book Blurb/Summary Turn-Offs for Amber’s Rambles […]


  • Becky (Blogs of a Bookaholic)

    This is a really interesting post! I definitely have blurb turn offs but I’ve never thought about the question thing before. I actually really like questions in blurbs for the most part, but like you I can find them irritating if the question is really obvious. You make a great point. 🙂

    My book blurb tuns offs…. a) cliches, there are so many books, especially in YA that seem to think it’s a good idea to put in as most cliches in as possible. b) blurbs that give too much of the story away, because why would I bother reading the book? c) blurbs that use words like ‘mysterious hot boy’ and ‘intense smouldering eyes’. It frustrated me when people try and sell book purely though the love interest. Finally d) if you like The Hunger Games/Harry Potter/Twilight you’ll like this book…. grrrrrr.


    • Amber (YA Indulgences)

      Thank you! 🙂

      I do like some questions, but more open ended questions though, you know? Not like questions where you know the answer is a simple yes or no for the character. That’s no fun, for me at least.

      Cliches, yes, I don’t want to hear about how the girl with the perfect boyfriend suddenly meets the mysterious, tall, dark, handsome, slightly dangerous stranger and now has to decide whether to break up with her boyfriend, stay away from the guy or become friends with him. Just, no. 🙂

      Yes! I don’t like blurbs with words like “mysterious”, “Hot” or “intense” either. Gah. I need more than a love interest to keep me interested in a book. Well…not always, but I don’t like the drama it can cause.

      Oh gosh! I just remembered another one! “This book is great for fans of John Green/Rainbow Rowell” Like no, please stop. I don’t care. They compare them and then the books always end up disappointing. 😦

      I don’t mind some book comparisons, for instance, the book I’m reading now, “Falling Into Place” by Amy Zhang is similar to “If I Stay” by Gayle Forman with it’s nonlinear story tellling and theme of choice. I don’t like generalized comparisons, especially with authors. Gosh. Thank you for stopping by and the great comment!

      Liked by 1 person

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