No one likes a bad book.

Bombarded by bad grammar?

Stalked by spelling errors?

Pummeled by plot mistakes?

Are bad books getting you down?

Have no fear, the Bad Book Bingo Game is here!

Turn that frown upside down and make reading those bad books fun again! Get excited over finding a stereotypical character! Rejoice when then pops up instead of than! You just got a BINGO. That bad book that was haunting you…is now your way of winning the game.

Read on my book addicts…read on.

Bad Book Bingo

How to Play:

  1. When you find one of these “issues” within a book, mark it down
  2. If you mark off a verticle row of FIVE–BINGO, if you mark off a horizontal row of five–BINGO! Even a diagonal row of five will get you BINGO!
  3. If you get BINGO you can come back and let us know in comments. But, you don’t have to. You can post about it on your blog if you want. I’ll include a blank numbered area that you can copy and paste and fill in the book that landed you the bingo.

Explanation of Bingo Items:

  1. Affect vs. Effect – using the words wrong
  2. Cliché – Finding a fictional cliche within a story. Common clichés include: The creepy haunted house in the woods, the evil guy isn’t actually dead, the heroine ignores the “stay put” warning and follows hero outside (anything you’ve seen over and over again).
  3. POV Confusion – Often called Head Hopping when you do not know who’s POV the writer is using.
  4. Tell Me Writing – Show Me vs. Tell Me is often a sign of bad vs. good writing. Tell Me writing is where the author just info dumps instead of showing the reader the needed information.
  5. Dropped Plot – Did something get missed when crafting the tale?
  6. Boring – think this one is obvious
  7. Bad Cover – Ooh someone needs to have a professional look at that
  8. Stereotypical Character – The Mysterious Tribal person, the Gay Best Friend, the semi-urban talking but mostly white black best friend etc.
  9. Spelling Error – it is what it is and this can include dessert vs. desert
  10. Adverb Abuse – Yeah this one will probably be marked off first…it happens a lot to the best of us because people love using adverbs. Adverbs should be used with caution in writing and can be the sign of a book that needs editing, this comes back to the show vs. tell idea, writers quickly describe something away with use of adverbs instead of focusing on details.
  11. Love Triangle Just Because – Love triangles can be fun but when the author introduces another love interest “just because” they’ve written them in to cause tension alone. The plot device has to make sense.
  12. Adjective Abuse – Just like adverb abuse, the ridiculously, overabundant, abusive use of adjectives can make a reader feel exhaustingly run-down and glum as she/he digests the bad, lazy and often sloppy book.
  13. Mirror Character Description – The character stares at herself in the mirror and describes her luscious blond locks and her pale skin with bright blue eyes and perfectly formed lips…you get the picture.
  14. Missing or Dead Parents – Often in YA novels and ALL Disney movies, the parents are just not there, so the young adult character acts like an adult character with little supervision.
  15. Black Mailing Bad Guy – If you don’t do this…I’ll END THE WORLD!! In a lot of books you’ll see this, they threaten to kill the parents, blow up the school or something else random and the main character does EVERYTHING the bad guy wants.
  16. Tense Changes – You see this a lot the tense shifts within the sentence. While you are reading the book, you don’t know if the sentence you read is happening now or then. You caught that?
  17. SAT Words – The author’s main character is a high-school educated military man, do you think he would say: “Stop gasconading!” Nope.
  18. The Chosen One – A typical cliché in fantasy fiction, this is an overused plot device where the main character is the “only one” that can save the world.
  19. Than vs. Then – Wrong usage of than and then.
  20. Alot – Alot is not a word, but it used all the time.
  21. Evil Twin – Another cliché – authors will use an evil twin to explain certain unexplainable plot lines.
  22. Rewritten Twilight, Hunger Games Etc. – You’ve read this book before! Her name is Yolanda instead of Bella and his name is Liam instead of Edward.
  23. It’s vs. Its – Wrong usage of it’s and its
  24. Odd Word Usage – I notice this a lot, a strange word that you thought you knew the meaning of, but doesn’t sit well in the book. When you look it up, you’re right, it doesn’t fit in that sentence.
  25. The Virgin – The romance heroine virgin, she’s the OLDEST virgin in her small town, how has she remained a virgin until she was forty?? She’s saving herself for menopause.

I hope you enjoy the game! A lot of us, as reviewers, can easily say “I did not like that book,” but have a hard time with giving reasons behind our dislike. We know we don’t like it, we know the writing was sloppy, but sometimes it’s hard to say why. Our brains pick up on the dropped plot or the spelling errors, but as you are reading you just want to be within the story. I hope this little game helps with realizing what issues arose in the book…because I think when writing a bad review giving specific examples makes it easier for people to digest.  And maybe, just maybe, learn from those examples. That is my grand altruistic plan. Okay, fine – I just thought this would be funny.


If you want to post to your blog you are welcome to grab the Bingo card and share. Here is the text to copy and paste:

  1. Affect vs. Effect _____________________________
  2. Cliché  _____________________________
  3. POV Confusion _____________________________
  4. Tell Me Writing _____________________________
  5. Dropped Plot _____________________________
  6. Boring _____________________________
  7. Bad Cover _____________________________
  8. Stereotypical Character _____________________________
  9. Spelling Error _____________________________
  10. Adverb Abuse _____________________________
  11. Love Triangle Just Because __________________________
  12. Adjective Abuse _____________________________
  13. Mirror Character Description _________________________
  14. Missing or Dead Parents _____________________________
  15. Black Mailing Bad Guy _____________________________
  16. Tense Changes _____________________________
  17. SAT Words _____________________________
  18. The Chosen One _____________________________
  19. Than vs. Then _____________________________
  20. Alot _____________________________
  21. Evil Twin _____________________________
  22. Rewritten Twilight, Hunger Games Etc __________________
  23. It’s vs. Its _____________________________
  24. Odd Word Usage _____________________________
  25. The Virgin _____________________________