{Discussion} Do Predictable Books Bother You?

January 29, 2016 Uncategorized 17

Today I want to have a chat with you about something that I curious about. I feel like I might be in the minority with this one. So I am just going to come right out and say it. Get your tomatoes and stones ready for throwing.

Predictable books generally do not bother me. 

There is a huge caveat to that statement. It should say, Predictable books generally do not bother me…if they are done well.

Yesterday, I put up a review of Anatomy of a Player by Cindi Madsen (review here) and I really enjoyed the book. I thought it was cute, the romance was fun and the characters had great chemistry. But the story was predictable. And while I was writing my review, I found myself warning people of that. And then I thought, but you know what? That didn’t bother me at all when I was reading. So why was I warning people that the story was predictable? Because I have noticed in the review community that seems to be something that really detracts readers and reviewers from enjoying books. So then I started thinking that I was just the odd one out.

Which caused me to start thinking about why predictable books didn’t bother me like they bothered other reviewers. And this is what I came up with. Primarily when I am reading contemporary romances, I go into the book with some expectations. The characters I like are going to end up together and it is going to be a cute ending (kind of. Or a cute journey. Or they will be cute together Something fun and cute.) Now this is not all the time, if the summary seems particularly dark and agnsty, obviously I don’t go in expecting banter and butterflies. But if it seems like a typically new adult, or young adult contemporary romance, I expect some element of cute or sweet or sassy romance. And in fact, sometimes I am disappointed if that doesn’t happen. I want that aspect of predictability in my story. I think that is why I don’t mind so much when a book is chugging along like I expected it to. Because that is what I wanted and that is what will make me as a reader feel satisfied.

Now that doesn’t mean that I don’t like a good book that can throw me for a loop. I really do! I love it when an author can keep me on my toes and keep me guessing, it just doesn’t happen as much in the contemporary romance genre. And I have come to expect that. In fantasy, in paranormal, in thrillers I crave the unpredictable, but when I turn for a straight up rom com or romance, I want it to be what I want it to be. Does that make me totally weird?

And that also doesn’t mean that I like all romances. I don’t. Not at all. Just making a book with the characters ending up together is not enough for me. I need the writing to be good, I need the plot to be interesting and I need the characters to be well developed and likable. But if the book has all of those things, a little predictability in the plot or romance doesn’t bother me at all.

So you guys tell me. Am I totally weird for this (and I am ok if that is the case! I like what I like. haha) Or do some of you like predictable books too? 

Tell me, Do Predictable Books Bother You? Why? or why not? 

Michelle @ Book Briefs

17 Responses to “{Discussion} Do Predictable Books Bother You?”

  1. Mara @ Mara Was Here

    No worries, I’m pretty sure I’m on the same boat as you! I also like predicting scenes while reading, and 80% of the time I always get them right, so I don’t really mind predictable stories unless, like you said, they were done well.

    I agree that most contemporary romance books are somewhat predictable, so I just wish for the writing to at least be good so it wouldn’t bother me much. This has happened to me for Anna And The French Kiss. It’s literally a predictable book, but since the romance and the writing blew me off to cry and ship Anna and St. Clair together, I totally forgot about how predictable the story was. >.<

    Great post, Michelle!

  2. Aj @ Read All The Things!

    Interesting post. I don’t think you’re weird, but predictable books do bother me. I wonder why I’m reading if I already know what’s going to happen. I actually avoid genres (such as romance) where the plots are predictable. I like to be kept on my toes.

  3. LilyElement

    I’m fine with them if they’re done well. If they’re not, I typically don’t enjoy it. I tend to like the ones the author makes a bit unique instead of just the same old same old if you get what I mean.

  4. ShootingStarsMag

    Great discussion! I don’t mind predictable books sometimes either, and you’re right, when it comes to contemporary romances, they are almost always predictable in some way and that’s fine. You go in expecting that. It’s like a Hallmark film. My mom loves them but it’s good things – a bad thing or twist – and then good stuff and the couple gets together. Some formula, over and over, but people love them!

  5. Eva @ All Books Considered

    Predictable books don’t necessarily bother me just for being predictable, depending on the genre. That is, if a book is supposed to be a thriller or mystery, I don’t want to figure the book out in the first 20%. But we all know if a book is romance, there will be a HEA. We expect (and maybe crave) that HEA. That doesn’t bother me. I am turned off lately by books that are supposed to have a big twist, be heart stopping and/or thrilling and are instead totally predictable and easy to figure out. Great discussion!!

  6. Angel @Angel Reads

    I am like you, I don’t mind predictable books. If everything about the book is pretictable that is when I really don’t like it, but if it’s little things here and there, or the plot is pretty pretictable – I don’t mind.

    thanks for the post.

  7. Ashley @ Ashleyz Wonderland

    Interesting topic. I never really thought about it but I can see both sides. Like you, when I read a romance, I expect there to be cute, happy, lovey-dovey stuff with hopefully and HEA. However, I don’t want it to feel like I’m reading the same book over and over. I need different, something that makes it stand out from the rest.

  8. Sam

    Oooh, I like this question. I often hear people complain when a book/movie/show is predictable. However, I often find comfort in the predictability. I read for entertainment and release. Sometimes, I just want to know what I am getting into, and at the end, get what I was looking for. I am a total HEA girl. I will seek out these books. I think I am ok with this, because I can be won over by great characters, and can be most fulfilled by a character driven story, vs a plot driven story. BUT, if your plot is weak, and your characters are flat, I will DNF.

  9. Laura Thomas

    I enjoy a predictable book, if, as you mention, it is done well. That’s why I like to reread books I’ve enjoyed sometimes. I can relax, and just enjoy the characters:)

  10. Karen Blue

    I guess it depends. I am usually the VERY last person to figure something out, so if I saw it coming then it was predictable. I will probably mention it in my review, but it won’t detract from my rating. If it is something anyone can guess then it probably will effect my rating. Like you, if I still enjoyed the story then I don’t let it affect my rating.

  11. Lisa Mandina (Lisa Loves Literature)

    This is a great discussion post! Predictable doesn’t bother me. As long as the story is a good one, and the characters are interesting, then that is all that matters. My big pet peeve is the whole not liking love triangles, and refusing to read a book because of it. I can’t think of very many books, even classics, where there isn’t a love triangle of some sort. So when people won’t even give a book that I think was spectacular a chance because of that, then I get irritated. Great post!

  12. jazmen

    Predictable books can definitely be a bother when everything about it is predictable. I think in essence a lot stories have some of the same core themes but it’s the characters, the twists–that keep it different. So, in that regard it wouldn’t bother me. But if the story is a carbon copy of another book, count me out. Great post!

  13. Jacklin Updegraft

    I’m like you predictable books do not bother me at all, if they are done right. Nor do spoilers for certain books. I look at it more of yes it’s predictable but it’s the way they get there that I don’t know and I like seeing their relationship develop. So no I typically don’t mind, if the story is there, if the book is predictable!

  14. Joann Downie

    Unfortunately I do not like predictable books per se, I just finished (trudged) through the end of Border Wedding, as I could predict (and it did) see what was going to happen. It doesn’t feel like a good read to me.

  15. Olivia Roach

    It’s funny because sometimes a book being predictable bothers me a whole lot to the point where I dislike the book – but then in the case of Cinder by Marissa Meyer it is predictable and yet I love it. Probably because in that case, the journey of how they get to that ending is more important than the end itself. So I don’t think I do mind predictable endings, as long as the journey there is worthwhile.

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