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.