Friday, April 4, 2014

Book Blogger Hop: April 4th - 10th — What Makes A Book Good or Bad?

Book Blogger Hop

Welcome everyone to another post of Book Blogger Hop (hosted by Coffee Addicted Writer). Each week there will be a new topic submit by a blogger and everyone can join in with their answers. You should join us! It's quite fun!

This Week's Topic/Question

To you, what qualifies a book as good or bad? Are some books objectively better than others, or is it purely a matter of opinion? (submitted by Zeb @ Zebulous Reading )

My Answer:

Oh, okay. Zeb's throwing out the big guns with this question. I prefer not black or white, but all the beautiful shades of grey that fall somewhere in the middle. Just like no one two people see the world the same; no two people read the same book the same way.

If you belong to a book group, or have ever debated a book with another person, you know this is true. You can read the same words as someone else and if you're both asked to explain what you read, your summaries can be light years apart.

All that said, I think it's a matter of opinion. For me, it's hard to narrow down what makes a good book good and a bad book bad. It can be a lot of things:

Good Books
  • Getting Lost in The Story: Good books are the ones you just completely fall into. I love the feeling whole world goes silent, and then it's just me and the story.
  • Surprise!: I love when books surprise me. When it goes off into a direction that is unexpected I have no idea where it's going, but I can't wait to see what happens next. 
  • Cliffhangers: I love cliffhangers done right. Instead of being annoyed or feeling cheated, my jaw drops or I'm grinning like a fool because the ending -- or lack there off -- was just that awesome. Followed by shaking my fist at the heavens because the next book doesn't come out until next the year... or longer. 
  • Great Writing/Storytelling: This one is a little obvious, but I love when the writing is so good you can read about a subject you know nothing about and it doesn't even effect your enjoyment. Case in point -- Ready Player One by Ernie Cline. This book is completely about 1980s nostalgia which I don't remember since I spent the early 80s as an infant. But does it matter? Not at all; the writing and the story is so good I just go with the flow. I can even say it's my favorite stand alone book and I still don't know what half of it is talking about! :) 
Bad Books
  • Whiny Heroines: For obvious reasons, this occurs most for me when reading YA. I hate author just goes a little too far with teen angst and the protagonist just whines and whines and whines (*cough cough* Bella Swan from the Twilight series by Stephanie Meyer). I want to shoot myself. When I encounter whiny heroines in Urban Fantasy or Paranormal books, my blood really starts boiling. The last thing I want is someone who's supposed to save the world to be all apprehensive about it. 
  • Turning A Very Unfortunate Corner: It's the authors choice to change gears and have the story head in another direction. But they stray a little to far it's and it's like your reading a completely new story with characters you love stuck in a plot that sucks (*cough cough* Allegiant by Veronica Roth).
  • The Book Cover Tempts Me; The Writing Does Not: Never judge a book by it's cover. Seriously. A gorgeous cover can over promise something fierce!
  • Slow Beginnings: Sometimes a slow beginning is not the worst. Especially if it's slow and does not offer me intriguing little nuggets of the goodies to come. Usually by Chapter 3, if I'm not digging it ... that's a wrap. 
  • The Author "Tells", not "Shows": I don't like it when an author tells me how a character feels. I want the character to tell me. I want texture, scents, smells, etc -- but from their character's POV, not the author's voice over narrative. That gets boring like a teacher giving a lecture; I want to be in the story with the characters experiencing what they are. (*cough cough* Never Let Me Go by Kazuo Ishiguro)
  • When Series End Badly: THIS IS THE ABSOLUTE WORST! Getting invested in a series usually amounts a few years of dedication to the story/characters and longing to get to the next book/the end. The last thing you want to do is open the very last book and get to the very last page -- and feel like drop kicking it into a trash bin and dousing it in lighter fluid. (*cough cough* The Southern Vampire/Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris)  Sound extreme? Well maybe you haven't been that disappointed yet; I hope it never happens to you.

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