Monday Mumbling – Personal Bias

I know we always say reviewing is subjective, and it is. Some people love first person POV, others detest it. As an author you have to accept that not everyone will love your work, in fact some will hate it with the passion of a thousand firy suns. Such is life. No, I’m not here to whine about a bad review. LOL That will come in August after my next releases. (I kid, I kid)

But as a reader, I was wondering if there are some things you just can’t get past. I’m not talking poor grammar or a style you dislike, or even something so large as cheating (which I know for many is a big bugaboo), but sometimes it can be little things.

I was just reading something and I realized for that for most people, something that TOTALLY bugged me and made me dislike two secondary characters most people probably think is  normal and even sweet.

What was this heinous crime these two characters committed you ask? Oh. My. God. They actually expected the men in question (two guys, both with female best friends) to call and tell them when they would be arriving home from a long weekend destination two hours away. Oh the horror, you say. They were actually worried about their friends (if a bit extreme) who were home later than expected.  It really annoyed me to no end!

The one guy was 30 years old. She knew where he was, but he didn’t phone her to say “I’m leaving now” so she was thoroughly pissed off at him. The other was 20, and granted he went with friend and came home with someone else, but the whole reason he WENT to the destination was to hook up with the 30 year old, the best friend facilitated said hook-up, the guy he was with was a well-known business owner in their town, not a stranger, so why would you be freaking out that he hadn’t called to tell you he was with the guy? Was that not the whole point? The guy he went with knew where he was as he’d dropped off his bag at the man’s house.

I’ve realized this is a personal thing for me and no reflection on the author or the story. LOTS of people do have others who expect them to call when they get home or ask others to call them when they arrive somewhere. But it’s just not the way my family/life works. Most of the time I can be gone on vacation and back and my parents don’t even know if I left or not. (Living far away helps I suppose.) I figure if the police come to your door, something bad happened, if not, I’m fine. Me not phoning is only going to get your knickers in a twist and I am a grown-up, I don’t have to report in. (cue inner-teenager)

So that’s character behaviour. The other is actual events that take place. In this case, the weekend away was to participate in what could be explained a weekend gay rave. The party moves around the region and has a theme. This theme was rain, so they were in a big warehouse where they had rain coming down so everyone was soaking wet (how it didn’t water down the booze I’m not sure). But rather than find it particularly sexy and erotic, I kept thinking “that has got to feel gross”. Nothing is worse to me than the feeling of wet clothes, especially jeans, which both guys were wearing. Then they leave and he goes “get in the car”. Ugh. Aren’t you soaking wet? The car seats are going to be wet and sitting there in cold wet jeans has got to be disgusting. What about your shoes? How did you GET those tight wet jeans off the guy?

This picture makes me shudder. Ugh. Gross. Okay, and hot.

Sigh. See how my own personal feelings totally ruined the mood? I’m sure other people will love it and I think I like the concept, but from a distance, if I went to a party and that was my option? Eeek. I don’t think I could stay. I’d be so grossed out by the feel of wet clothes I’d have to leave. Sigh.

So there dear reader is my foibles. Are there certain things in a book that you hate personally you just can’t ignore? I know Jen’s not big on food play.

How about as an author? Can you write something you dislike personally? I suppose I could write someone nasty if that was their role, but it would never occur to me to have a scene with wet clothing because when my brain says “insert something sexy here”, that would be the LAST thing I think about.

When I do a review, I try not to let things like this affect my grade too much, because I know it’s me, not the book. But it is subjective and I can’t give a book an A rating if I’m thinking “OMG, I hated the way she acted”. Most of the time, it’s purely my own experience that puts me there, NOT the author’s intent or ability. Sorry authors. ;-)

So tell me your “issues”.

15 thoughts on “Monday Mumbling – Personal Bias

  1. Cole says:

    LOL you know? If I read that scene with the wet jeans, I wouldn’t like it either, but probably because I’d be thinking, man this would be so much better if it made everything totally awkward. I love awkward sex, well awkward funny sex. That would have been a perfect opportunity!

    I’m really open about everything. I suppose some things do rub me the wrong way but I’m usually pretty good at understanding when it is my own bias, like you. I do have a problem with reviewers (be they regular readers to “proper” reviewers) who very obviously have biases and not only rate, but slander accordingly. That just pisses me off. There is no call for hateful behavior.

    As far as sex acts go, I don’t have many things I don’t care for much. I like almost all BDSM but I don’t like fisting. I guess… I just don’t get it! I HATE seeing pictures of fisting. It’s always like this ooey gooey white alien arm sticking out of a giant gaping ass. *shiver*

    • Tam says:

      Good lord, thank you for that image at 7 in the morning. LOL I don’t mind fisting in books, but I avoid pictures/videos. Yeah, not so sexy.

      I do know it’s my issues, but it’s hard for me to set it aside but I don’t mark down the book solely because of that. I know some people do and that’s just silly. Not significantly because I know part of a books grade is your pleasure in the book and if you found it unpleasurable for some reason, I suppose that counts, but you have to be fair and say why then so people can judge whether they would feel the same. It’s why I wish more people who give one and two star ratings would say why. It would help sometimes if I knew what bothered others to know if it’s the same issue I had. But maybe people don’t want to say negative thing so they jut leave a star.

  2. I do the same thing–travel, and tell people where I’ve gone later. I also feel like I’m an adult and shouldn’t need to be held accountable for where I am at any given moment, and the calling thing seems bizarre to me. But I guess if these people call each other every time they go somewhere and then suddenly they don’t, I could see the change in behavior confusing the friend. (I’m really not a phone-talker, so I’m just guessing here.)

    I can’t think of a single fiction-incident that would pull me out of a story like that. I guess as long as it’s in character and well written, I’ll buy it!

    • Tam says:

      That’s how I feel. I’m able to take care of myself. Once a couple of years ago we went on vacation and when we got back my neighbour gave me hell for not telling him we were out of town. Excuse me? I basically told him I don’t have to tell him anything. He said “Fine, I won’t worry then.” Please don’t. I can’t stand him anyway.

      It’s not often it happens, but I do find every now and then something will crop up and just make me stew while reading and kind of ruin it for me. Or maybe I’m not invested enough in the story that it bugs me more. If I’m loving it, something might not bother me as much as if I’m in the middle of the road.

  3. Chris says:

    I think I’d be annoyed about that “mad you didn’t check in” situation, too. It seems controlling to me.

    Heh, you’re probably aware of my anti-stalker bias. And I have an anti-cliffhanger bias, too. I’m sure I have others that I’m just not remembering at the moment…

    • Tam says:

      At least with the stalker/cliff hanger you can USUALLY find out in other reviews before you buy. Annoying friend doesn’t often come up. LOL Unless it’s extreme then Jen is usually good for pointing that out as we both find it super annoying.

      I try to remember that not everyone thinks like me, but when the reaction seems out of proportion (in my mind – because as Jordan points out if they ALWAYS call and then don’t I suppose it could freak you out), I find it hard to just let it go.

      However wet clothes? Eeeek. Ick. No, just no. :-) Gives me the heebie jeebies just thinking about it. LOL

  4. eyrereads says:

    Unsafe sex completely distracts me from a story. I can’t let go of the the real-life “What if” when that happens.

    Since I’m from the American South, it really bugs me when authors get the dialects and idioms from the area wrong.

    When it comes to things characters do, food during sex doesn’t bother me if it’s something like syrup, chocolate, etc.; however, I read a m/f story once that had olives in the woman’s hoo-ha. Umm, no. Gross. That put me off olives for a long time.

    Names can bother me. If the character has the name of a relative or student with whom I’ve had a tough time, it’s hard to get into the story. Not long ago, a character oddly had the same first and last name as my cousins kid. I couldn’t get through the sex scenes. If the guy had a different name, I wouldn’t have had a problem.

    Then, there are the ridiculous names and/or nicknames. Remember the book with the guy called Poot? No. Not sexy. I just finished an m/f story with a guy called Bud. Once again, not sexy. I kept hearing the kids from the Cosby Show saying, “Buuud.”

    • Tam says:

      I have been known to scream at characters “Wrap it up damn it, wrap it up!” They never listen. :-) Depending on the type of story I can live with it. Some fall in more of the “Penthouse fantasy” vein so I know it’s not meant to be realistic. But I still notice.

      Oh lord. Thankfully I’ve never liked olives. LOL I read an m/f fantasy historical once set in ancient Mayan times where they filled her hoo ha with berries and then … made jam I suppose. I know that it VERY bad and probably leads to yeast infection and was so not sexy, or even porny, it was just gross.

      It’s you Southerner’s and your nicknames. Hillbillies maybe. ;-) I can’t get into a guy named Booger or Poot. It’s just weird. JL Merrow told me there is a character with her Dad’s name, first and last and she just can’t read that book. LOL The image of her Dad having gay sex would be just too much. I agree, I don’t want to think of my Dad that way. I’ve not come across any others that rub too close for me.

  5. Jenre says:

    Yeah the food thing *shudders*. Every time it happens I go ‘oh no, not food sex. Yuck’.

    I can totally see where you are coming from with the rain thing. Let’s face it, I’m not keen on anything too messy or sticky, lol!

    I’ve never done the check in thing either. My Mum never really kept tabs on me and as long as I was home when I said I was going to be, it didn’t matter. Hub and I are like ‘yeah, I’ll be back when you see me’ whenever we’re out. The only exception being if a train is severely delayed or if he misses his train home from work and won’t be back in time for dinner. Then it’s just courtesy to send a text – otherwise I’ll put his dinner in the bin, or the cats :). We have this couple who we are friendly with, who text each other all the time. For example we were with the guy at the pub , which is ten minutes from his house, and he texted his wife to say he was setting off from the pub to come home! Ridiculous.

    • Tam says:

      You never know, he could have been kidnapped in that 10 min. period. LOL I agree, there are some common courtesies, but in general, I don’t expect anyone to check if I made it home.

      I knew you didn’t like food sex much (or at all). I don’t mind it in general, but the one thing that kind of creeps me out is honey. It is just soooooo sticky, I can imagine the feel of it, especially on a hairy male body and it gives me the shudders. Ick. But things like whipped cream or chocolate I’m okay with as long as it doesn’t turn into a messy food fight type situation. I dislike that.

  6. Blit says:

    I can think of two and they’re both ecological :)
    Those “romantic” shower scenes, especially where the author makes a point of saying they were in there until the water ran cold. That’s too long! You are wasting water!
    And, this idea that big, studly guy proves his studliness by driving the biggest, gas-hoggiest SUV ever made. You know, from his house to his office. Why can’t a stud drive a hybrid? Or engineer some awesome car that runs on banana peels or something?

    • Tam says:

      I’m always thinking “my hot water doesn’t last that long”.

      Werewolves tend to drive studly cars, you’d think they wouldn’t need it. I remember in that one Amber Kell book the mate drove a Smart Car or some little hybrid and it drove the alpha lion crazy. I don’t get people who live in the city and drive a Hummer. Hello? If you live in the Colorado mountains, fine, but we are flat city that is not under imminent threat of attack from evil forces.

    • ingrid2009 says:

      This bugs me too but for a totally different reason: my hot water never runs out.

  7. K. Z. Snow says:

    How much little annoyances can influence my enjoyment of a book really depends on how well the book is written overall. If a work exhibits true originality and craftsmanship, I’m not inclined to nitpick.

    However . . . if the premise is derivative and/or the prose is a mess, a sort of chain reaction begins. Pretty soon everything about the story is bugging me! :)

    • Tam says:

      I think that’s true. When you are completely enamoured with a story for whatever reason, you are more inclined to let the little annoyances slide, otherwise even if the story is okay, they jump out at you more and your brain focuses on them enough to kind of ruin the whole overall experience.

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