Sometimes I’m Not Thankful: The Nope Book Tag

Happy Thanksgiving, American friends! Happy Thursday, global friends! Today, I saw a sad Tweet a British man shared about his son, who got up at 6:00AM every day, walked 45 minutes to work, and was often sent home because there were already too many people there. He was pointing out an injustice, but everyone told him be glad his son had a nice dad, that his son wasn’t homeless, etc. I think we’re allowed to honor our feelings, even if others have a worse situation that we do. Their sorrows do not mean we cannot have our own. There are times I’m not thankful, so today, I’m doing “The Nope Book Tag,” which I discovered at The Writer Side of Life, owned by Kim. I’m sticking to my 2018 books, blog hopping, and recommendations.

#1: A book ending that made you go NOPE either in denial, rage, or simply because the ending was crappy. I choose Excellent Women by Barbara Pym. Did she somehow transition to volunteer secretary?

#2: A main character you nope and who drives you crazy. Amy Haimerl in her own memoir. She’s not a character, but she’s definitely burying her head in the sand about her culpability in gentrification of Detroit.

#3: A series that turned out to be one huge pile of NOPE after you invested all of that time and energy on it, or a series you gave up on because it wasn’t worth it anymore. I haven’t 100% given up on it, but I sure don’t rush back to the Dark Ones series by Katie MacAlister. I’ve read several of them. I’m just worn out on female narrators who probably refer to their vaginas as no-no places.

#4: Nope! A relationship you don’t support. Anyone Joan Fontaine wants to marry. She got married repeatedly and then wrote a lousy memoir. I’m trying so hard to forget it and keep her in my head as Mrs. de Winter instead.

#5: A plot twist you didn’t see coming or noped. Plot twist! The only reason Summer is fat in Pigs Don’t Fly is because her mother stuffed her full of fattening treats so “only a pervert would love her.” The twist is supposed to be that her mother never loved her.

#6: Protagonist action/decision that made you shake your head nope. When Shasta and Ulyssa decide to take another job from a mob boss and head to Mexico on a cruise in Fat Bodyguards. Stay in Virginia, ladies!

#7: A nope genre you will never read. I’m just not into middle grade books. I barely make it through young adult lit, but have been reading it lately because the genre is create new fat protagonists, which helps me on my reading quest.

#8: Book formatting you hate and nope until it comes out in a different edition. Basically, when authors try to send me one e-format that they’ve put through a website to make it another format, and it’s all just janky. If you want a review, you need to have the file formats I work with.

#9: A trope that makes you go nope. I’m reading like my life depends on it to find fat women who do NOT become happy through dating or dieting.

#10: A book recommendation that is constantly hyped and pushed at you that you nope. Sorry folks, I’m still not reading Harry Potter. Don’t at me.

#11: A cliche or writing pet peeve that always makes you nope your eyes. Since I’m reading more young adult lit this year, I find myself rolling my eyes that the whole point of a story is to get that first kiss. There are many people who yearn for non-relationship events in high school.

#12: The nope-ty love interest that’s not worthy of being one. The summer boyfriend in Jaimy Gordon’s She Drove Without Stopping. He had money but played the starving artist, was a cheat, barely attentive. Why is the narrator like a light switch with this guy?

#13: A scary villain/antagonist you would hate to cross and would make you nope in the opposite direction. The mean ol’ mother in Like Water for Chocolate should just be sucked up with a vacuum cleaner and left in there with the dust and toe nail clippings.

#14: A character death to which you still say nope. Lincoln in Topdog/Underdog. And because I was the stage manager of the play, I had to watch him get shot over and over and over again.

#15: NOPE! An author you had a bad experience reading and have decided to quit. Lindsay Faith Rech. I wish I could say, “Not even once.” But I read Losing It and noped so hard I’m still mad.

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27 comments

  1. I am not thankful for people who disguise kindness to you as a means to take advantage of you later. This would be many people I could name but will not. I have been given homes, food, my bills paid only to be worked like a horse later on repeatedly. It never measured up. Then I wasn’t allowed to have my own money or buy things for myself and kids. So I would hide it. This is a terrible life I never want again.

  2. This is a great meme! And you’ve given some terrific examples, too. There are definitely plenty of ‘Nope’ books, series, tropes, and so on that we all run into as we read. Your wit in discussing them made this post especially well-written.

  3. Happy Thanksgiving Melanie! What an interesting meme, I also enjoyed that you included your reasoning behind those ‘nope’ examples rather than just stated their titles. 🙂
    I guess my two cents would be that I am grateful I don’t have to finish reading or watching what is clearly not my thing. I suffered through ‘compulsory reading lists’ enough at school and am so happy to just say ‘nope, moving on’ now. 🙂 Great idea, I may feature this meme on my blog as well! 🙂

    • There have been a few books I just couldn’t finish this year, including one just recently that I will review next week. It circled around an important topic, but rather than developing the plot or characters, the author’s style went surreal and like it was trying to teach me something.

    • I tend to get a lot of books from used stores, so they vary in age and topic. Some were considered “Very Important Books” when they were published, but are now oldies. I don’t tend to read anything terribly new unless it is part of my quest to find books that represent fat women with dignity.

  4. I nope books all the time, but could never reason it out as you have. My one ‘famous’ nope would be Lord of the Flies which I was made to read at school, and in general, any book with gratuitous descriptions of violence. Hope you enjoyed Thanksgiving. An American made me pumpkin pie once, it was wonderful.

    • Thanks for the compliment, Bill! It’s interesting to me that even as a boy you knew what gratuitous violence is. I know I didn’t, and read whatever I was told to. These days, when I don’t finish a book I have good reasons I can explain. If I can’t explain why I’m not into a book, I keep reading it in case I’m just in a funny mood.

  5. This tag is the best Thanksgiving post ever. Why? Because we also need to be thankful for the things we can let go! We are conditioned from a young age to appreciate everything and not walk away from things. A critical mind is something which must be learned and trained. I love celebrating all the NOPE moments! How liberating!

    My nope author? George R. R. Martin. I just don’t get it. Plus, he is not the sort of human I can get behind. NOPE.

    Also. Those gifs? They slay.

      • His writing almost offends me, honestly. Now, I’ve only read A Game of Thrones and approximately 50 pages of A Clash of Kings. Martin’s writing leaves me feeling like he doesn’t respect his characters or the reader. The tone is very self-serving to the author. I also don’t feel like he is invested in the story or the characters which leaves me detached. And, this is the same feeling I get listening to him speak publically. He comes across as arrogant, uncaring about his fans, and indifferent to all responsibility related to his works. I struggle to respect him after all these experiences.

        I know I’m in the minority on this. But this feeling is *so strong* I cannot ignore it.

        • You know, I’ve heard that he’s not a great person to meet, but I haven’t read any of his work because I’ve heard it’s really violent and rapey. I’m not about either of those. I mean, yes, his series is supposed to be medieval-ish, but if you’re creating your own world, why do women still have to be assaulted? It starts to sound gratuitous. Again, just observations based on what I’ve heard about him and his work, not based on actually reading or meeting him.

  6. This was fun to read! I laughed at being sucked up in the vacuum and being left with the dust and toe nail clippings. 🙂

    I try to be careful about sympathizing with people’s problems, rather than tell them how good they have it compared to others – I totally agree with you about that. But when my *kids* go on and on about how hard they have it, I can’t help myself!

    • Whatever is happening with your kids is likely the biggest thing happening to them at the moment. However, if they talk about their friends negatively, or mention their friends are having a hard time with something, then it might be good to foster empathy. I’m not sure telling them they have it good makes them appreciate what they do have–at least, that never worked for me when I was young.

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