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Friday, August 21, 2009

Books that Rock Your Socks

Next to writing and spending time with my family, my favorite hobby is reading. Each time I settle down with a book in my hands, I’m also a reviewer, whether I’m asked for my opinion or not. Like all readers, I either like the book or I don’t.

So, I’m in the process of reviewing a book—or trying to review a book—and I’m struggling with it. Mega wattage style! If I hadn’t promised to read this book and give my opinion on it, I would have set it aside within the first ten pages I’m so bored. Seriously, braining myself with it would be less painful. (Keta, if you’re reading this, NO it is not your book, so no need to worry!) But it’s gotten me to thinking…what makes a book rock my socks? This author is popular, well known, well-respected and NY published, so she’s got clout in the writing industry. Unfortunately, I’m less than impressed. I’ve read many e-book authors that are much better writers in my opinion.

However, it has me pondering what makes a book good? Certainly, the genre has something to do with it, whether it’s romance, horror, murder-mystery, etc. But even so, some romance authors are better than other romance authors. So, what is it that makes a book good and what are the characteristics of a good book? What is it about a book that keeps me turning the page?

For me the author that is able to touch my emotions and make me feel empathy for and with the characters, those tend to be the ones I’m drawn to over and over again. If a book makes me cry, I’ve been touched by an amazing author that dragged emotion from me, which is not an easy task. Clean, easy to follow writing that flows so smoothly, it’s like a tributary feeding straight into my brain, something that takes little brain power to process, but is so entertaining it’s hard to set it aside. Also, I prefer books that push the limits, the boundaries between morally right and wrong, maybe even pitch a little on the side of taboo. But paranormal romance is my favorite, so it’s easy to stray to those sides with that genre. And I love the romance genre in particular because it’s an escape from reality. If I want reality, I’ll turn on the news and immerse myself in the horror of daily life.

Now, your turn…What is it about a book that rocks your socks?

7 Moonbeams (comments):

Molly Daniels said...

I'm with you; I want to be emotionally invested in the characters, and to CARE about seeing them work through the conflict.

(shaking violently) You're not reading mine, are you???

Sheila Deeth said...

I'm with you too. I've got to care about the characters. I've got to be curious about their situation or dilemma (I love ethical dilemmas). And I've got to trust the author. I don't like books that feel too artificial, or where the author seems to be manipulating characters and events, and me.

Gracen Miller said...

rofl No, I'm not reading yours either, Molly! *hugs you* But I can give you a review if you're interested.

Gracen Miller said...

I agree with you too, Sheila. I don't like it when the characters seem manipulated into doing something that's out of character.

Thanks for your comments, ladies!

Anonymous said...

I'd be thrilled to learn what a friend thinks! No one's told me yet except complete strangers:)


Gracen Miller said...

Molly/Kenzie, I sent you an e-mail.

Carrie said...

Hey, maybe we can get a critique circle going....

Yes, I agree, I like it better when I can be emotionally invested with the characters and the plot has to make sense.

Nice blog topic!