Notice I didn’t title this post “What Makes a Good Read?”
I’ve read plenty of good books.
I mean page-turning, cliff-hanging, nail-biting, eye-burning books. The kind that keeps you up at night. You think of it for a while after you put it down. It distracts you from school or work. It lingers at the back of your mind like a virus that you can’t get rid of.
It’s love, in a weird way.
It’s book love.
But what make you love that book? The age old question is this: how do you write the next bestseller? The next series that brings millions of readers?
As the title of my blog implies, I’m still searching for an answer. But I want to share my thoughts on what makes a book great. Perhaps, you’ll share the same thoughts. Maybe you have something else to add/argue. Please do so in the comments below. However, before doing that, check this out.
I’m reading Divergent by Veronica Roth. That’s the book that inspired this post. For a long time, I was reading good books. This was quite a refreshment. I can count on my two hands how many great series/books I’ve read. Here they are (please keep in mind, this is just for me):
- The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins
- The Inheritance Cycle by Christopher Paolini
- The Twilight Saga by Stephanie Meyer
- The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
- Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
- Percy Jackson and the Olympians Series by Rick Riodan
Divergent is very capable of making the list. There are some other honorable mentions, which I liked. One of these is Serephina by Rachel Hartman. The next installment is in 2015 (so long to wait!). I can’t put it in the category above because I wasn’t hooked with it. I thought it was a good read and I plan on reading the sequel, however. Perhaps, it will land on the list after that. For now though, this is my list.
Now, what’s in common with the books above? Upon pondering this, I discovered the following:
- They were all unique. What I mean by this is that Ender’s Game was a step ahead of its time. The Hunger Games was the first post-apocolyptic series that was so successful that I can recall. The Twilight Saga was the first (and best!) paranormal romance that I’ve read.
- They consisted of meaningful characters. Katniss is unforgettable as well as Eragon. These characters remain in our hearts. In the end, most people care more about the characters than the actual plot. At least I do. We invest hours into these characters’ emotions and their situations. In the end, I care most about how my favorite characters ended up.
- Their writing style was captivating. Let’s admit one thing to ourselves: some people are better at telling stories than others. Some have one amazing story to tell (one hit wonder), while others have dozens. Some have that natural gift of portraying scenery and emotions. Others might have a great story but poor execution. Just because you have a story doesn’t make you an author. You must be able to write it well, too. This fast may seem simple, but it’s true. Some people weave their words in a way that excites. That’s what I strive to do.
What makes a book great to you in one sentence?
A great book, to me, is a book that keeps me hooked and doesn’t let me go.
To add to the statement above, great books wrench my heart, make it pound, and bring tears to my eyes at their end.
While we try to figure it all out, let’s try to find our way to completing our Quest for Publishment.
Until next time,