What I Look For In Books

Everyone has their own criteria while reading. What makes a book your favorite? What do you love reading? Today, I wanted to talk about some of the things that make my inner fangirl squeal with happiness when I read. I have five main things I look for in a book, and for each one I’ll be giving one example of a book. 

1. Plot: This one, I think, is a no-brainer. No matter how amazing everything else is, I do need a plot. I love plot twists and turns, especially in my fantasy books. The only time when I’m okay with there being less of a plot is if the book is marketed as a coming-of-age story, in which that case I know that not a lot will be happening.

For example, Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo has an AMAZING plot. Of course it also has a bunch of other qualities, but the plot has so many twists and turns…

2. Writing: Writing is so so so important for me. It’s what pulls me in, makes me feel as if I am part of the story. It sets the atmosphere. Good writing can also make up for a slower moving story—not if the book itself has a bad plot—but if the author is trying to make you feel something using words, then I can overlook the plot for the beautiful writing.

Example: The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern. Don’t get me wrong, I loved everything about this book, but the writing is what I think made it shine. 

3. Characters: Characters, are, for me what make or break the story. In the end, its all about the characters. A book may have an amazing unique plot with gorgeous prose, but if the characters are ANNOYING and I can’t connect with them…well. I’ll enjoy the book to some extent but after one point the characters have to be well-written and not flat. I don’t care if they’re evil, or good, I just want characters that make sense. Ones that you can understand.

Example: The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater. I think this one is obvious, haha. 🙂

4. Romance: I don’t need Romance in a book. In fact, sometimes the romance gets so annoying and angsty that I just don’t want it. But, if there is romance, there are a few things I want:

  • Please, no love triangle. I cannot tolerate them. The only love triangle I like is the one in The Infernal Devices, but that is seriously one in billions.
  • I don’t like the overused perfect guy in YA. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of my favorite books have this trope and it CAN be written well but after one point it becomes annoying. Blue eyes, sarcastic smile, dark past. I like it, but I’d rather something more unique.
  • Absolutely no instalove. Out of all the things I listed, this is what I hate the most. I can tolerate the others, but I can NOT tolerate instalove. The book I’m reading WILL receive a lower rating if there is instalove.
  • A nicely written, deep, partially angsty relationship is what I look for. Too much angst is bad, but I do like it when things are hard for the protagonists because it makes them coming together even better. 🙂

Example: The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh. Everything about this book is beautiful, but the romance is even more beautiful. Its lush and well developed, and I love the relationship between the characters.

And finally,
5. Deepness/Moral, or rather, if the book makes me think. The thing that makes a book a favorite for me is if it makes me think. If, in my free time, or any time, I am thinking of the characters and the plot and all the ways it made my heart hurt. I like it when books make me think. I love it actually. And it plays such an important role for me.

For example, I rate books five stars not that rarely. However, only a few of those are my favorites because although I may have thought a book is amazing, if I don’t think about it after I’ve read it, it doesn’t deserve that name.

Example book: The Strange and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender. Not only is this book beautifully written, but it made me think so much. Even today, a year and a half after I read it, I think of it with admiration. ❤️ 

Of course there are other things that I put into consideration while reading a book, such as humor, but these are the main ones.

And that’s it for this post! What does a book have to have for it to be a favorite of yours? 

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6 thoughts on “What I Look For In Books

  1. Writing is really important to me as well, but I think the element I look for the most nowadays is whether or not it makes me think. A book that doesn’t make me think just feels so shallow to me, no matter how amazing the characters are or how unexpected the plot twists might be. Love this discussion! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Pingback: Sunday Post | Jully 17, 2016

  3. Pingback: July: My Month in Review | Wrap Up & Highlights | AloofBooks

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