What makes you fall in love with a book?
Recently, someone mentioned how I’ve got a really unique reading taste, because I rarely stick to genres and read and enjoy a bunch of different stuff. And it’s true, I have a pretty versatile reading taste. So that got me thinking – what makes me love a book?
Like I mentioned, I do enjoy a lot of different books. I read both YA and Adult, and occasionally, I will pick up a Middle-Grade novel. And while I love Fantasy the most, I also read and love Literary Fiction, Contemporary Fiction, the occasional Sci-Fi and Romance too. And people are always surprised by my reading tastes. So it begs the question:
What do all the books I love have in common?
I have spoken previously about my buzz words (that was a long time ago, so it might need updating). And there are definitely plot points, or devices or tropes that will most definitely make me want to pick up a book, and that will almost always work for me. Those things are intricate magic systems, or sibling relationships, or tight-knit friend groups or complicate families or the trope of all tropes – the hate-to-love romance. But while these things make me excited for a book or make me root for it, they’re not necessarily a fail-proof system to deciding if I liked a book or not.
So what is?
So recently I read Cala by Laura Legge. And while I thought it was incredibly well written, while I think it explored its themes really well and that it was in fact, a great debut – it was still only a 3.5 star read for me, despite me thinking it’s fantastic. And I’ve come to the conclusion that I have a hard time enjoying books if I don’t connect to the characters.
I have to love the characters to love a book
This is something I’ve discovered about my reading – I cannot possibly love a book without loving the characters and having an actual connection with them. I can appreciate the writing, I can have fun with a plot, but if I want to really find a new favorite – I have to be really invested in the characters and I have to really be rooting for them.
Which is why my reading is so versatile
It doesn’t matter much if a book is a Fantasy or a Literary Fiction or a Romance because what I look for in books is a connection with the characters. Which is why I can forgive poor pacing, or plot holes as long as I can be obsessed with the characters. And this translates into the fact that every single one of my favorite books is really character driven.
And this is something that has been developing for a while
I don’t think my reading has always been like this. I used to read a lot of crime fiction and I use to read more “conceptual” literary fiction. But in recent years, all my favorite books have been ones that made me fall in love with their characters.
So that’s what makes me fall in love with a book! I would love to hear from you – what do you look for in books? What’s the thread that ties your favorite books together? Is it a genre, is it beautiful writing, is it the plot? I would love to know, so sound off in the comments below!
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