Anything dark or whimsical/fantastical or quirky catches my eye. I'm a sucker for legend/fairy tale retellings or anything to do with mythology. I love zombies and vampires (really all undead are awesome) even though both are flooding the market at the moment. Dystopias always draw me in, but I'm careful to evaluate if I would like it because there are so many. I'm drawn in by anything horror. The darker, creepier, scarier, gorier the better. If someone says "that was the scariest book ever," I have to read it to see if it lives up to the hype. I love reading about serial killers and the darker part of humanity. Taboo subjects spark my interest immediately because I'm curious about the thought processes and inner workings of people involved in those things. I love books about the circus or circus performers. I love books with music as the focus as well because it gives a wonderful opportunity to nerd out. Strong female protagonists are a plus for me. Alternative histories when done well are fascinating, of course including steampunk. Settings in Europe or Asia really draw me in.
Two dimensional characters are a huge deal breaker for me. I'm hating love triangles a lot right now, mostly because almost every teen book has to have one because of Twilight and the Hunger Games. It's lazy writing to tell you just how special the protagonist is and it's frankly annoying now that it's gotten so widespread. Romance in general seems to dominate the teen genre and it would be nice if it stayed in the background sometimes in favor of real story telling. Romance where characters are instantly in love like Romeo and Juliet are also pretty tiresome. Deus ex machina isn't an aspect I want in my stories outside of those with actual gods. Abusive, overly aggressive male characters are a huge turnoff for me. Men who victimize women or who are just assholes in general don't deserve to be male leads and glorified to say that abuse is sexy. Female characters who are weak and simpering are also annoying. Stilted and awkward writing can also make me put down a book really fast.
So how about you guys? What are your deal breakers and buzz words?