1. First and foremost: An all-male cast of characters. This is also why I’m not too keen on westerns and war movies: Not enough women in them. Might it be something to do with having three sisters and no brothers; and going to an all-girls school from age six to seventeen? I definitely prefer the company of women.
But I did read and enjoy Stalky & Co by Rudyard Kipling so maybe schoolboys aren’t quite ‘men’ and so don’t repel in the same way.
2. A shopaholic protagonist. (You know what series I’m talking about.)
3. Minute descriptions of any kind of child abuse.
4. Details about genocide, and graphically violent scenes especially that of torture, unless they are in murder mysteries.
5. Cats who solve mysteries. (You know the series I mean.)
6. Books about a school for wizards, unless it’s A Wizard of Earthsea. (Actually, I had to read all seven Harry Potter books for my job, and I’m still bitter about those hours I’ll never get back.)
7. Verbosity. (I prefer abridged Charles Dickens.)
8. Preachy religious content.
9. Latin American magic realism.
10. Every interesting or likeable character being killed off. (You know what series I’m referring to.)