Every reader reads things differently. Just as there are different types of books, people gain different perspectives from the books they read. It’s as they say, nobody ever reads the same book.
But what makes a book TRULY great? Is it the timeless classics such as Jane Austen and Charles Dickens? Or the mass market paperbacks found at the grocery store checkout? To each their own, but there are some qualities that I use to determine if a book is beyond amazing or simply mediocre. (Sorry folks, I hate John Green.)
Tone: how it is written is usually the first thing that traps me. A good book will paint a picture for me. A bad book will sound ridiculous.
Launguage: how they use launguage. I dislike “purple prose” immensely unless it is fluffy enough to contain a meaning that I can personally glean something from. It should flow like water. Not be choppy or disconnected.
Relatable Characters: This is another big one for me. I love internal conflict. I love being able to draw characteristics from the characters in a story and relate to it. I love humanized characters.
Plot: Must flow evenly. A beginning, middle, climax and end. Even if that ending is a cliffhanger.
This is a small list compared to all the things I determine to make or break a novel but it’s the important ones. I’m sure, given time, I could come up with 100 reasons I prefer Twilight to The Fault in Our Stars (which are both badly written) but alas, I can elaborate later if need be.
I am of the opinion that there is nothing like a truly terrible book. Even 50 Shades of Grey. Oh yes. I hated it. It was one of the most awful reads ever. But somebody out there likes it and it did get non-readers reading. (Seriously, a reviewer on Amazon said Tess of D’Ubervilles should have been written in more modern time….) I think cotton candy reads (such as Twilight) are great. They take very little brain work to read.
I like to believe I am a well rounded reader. I’ve read everything from Juvenile Fiction to erotica (though unwillingly with the later.) I can’t STAND Dickens and have only read Pride and Prejudice by Austen. Chick Lit and Historical Fiction are my guilty pleasure reads.
Readers shouldn’t hate on the fact that people read certain things. I think it’s GREAT that they’re reading. Even if it’s something I myself didn’t enjoy. That being said, to each their own. I usually try to read something to get an opinion about it vs outright hating it. 🙂
I’m still making my way through IQ84 which is slow going thanks to my work week. It’s pretty intense and intricate. Happy Reading folks!