Readers' Favorite

May 4, 2014

Two Cents Discussion: What Makes a Book Your Favorite

What does a book lover love besides reading books? Talking about books. To allow us to talk a bit more about books, each week at Girl Who Reads there will be a discussion topic and everyone is welcomed to throw in their "two cents". You can do that by leaving a comment or if you are also a blogger and think your readers would want to get in on the discussion, you can post your response on your blog and link to it below. Let's get to this week's topic

What makes a book your favorite?

I'm always being asked what is my favorite book. It is so terribly difficult to narrow it down to one. Even when I limit myself to favorite book this year it is still difficult. However, when I really think about it my favorite books all have something in common. A book becomes a favorite when I'm so connected to the characters that I think of them as friends.

I have mentioned before that I will be forgiving of a weakish plot if I fall in love with the characters.

I have to be able to identify with the characters... feel something for them. It doesn't mean the character(s) is just like me. Often, the character has qualities I admire. Usually it is someone I want to be friends with or perhaps be like. Other times it is someone that I come to care about in a protective sense (I read a lot of books where the characters have an illness or are in extreme danger).

A good story line that pulls at my heartstrings combined with characters that I love is guaranteed to become a favorite of mine.

Next week's topic: Does a love story have to contain sex scenes to be a good romance novel?

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  1. I'm with you. It's all about the characters. A book can have an exciting plot and great settings but if I don't love the characters it doesn't grab me.

  2. Yes, I need to fall in love with one of the characters. When I say this I think about Pat Conroy and his books. He is so out there that you can't help but be emotionally pulled in. He tells it like it is with such honesty and candor. Also another example, Nelson Demille (Up Country) it's not my typical read but he has a way of making you emtionally attached to his characters. He has the writing power to do this. It's a beautiful thing!

  3. The characters definitely needs to make an emotional connection. I finished a book recently where the main character made bad decisions, yet I couldn't help feeling sad for him.

  4. Absolutely agree - the characters are what run the show in all my fave books. I can forgive everything else if the characters jump out of the pages at you. I am particularly fond of characters that are damaged or flawed also :-)

  5. I like characters with chutzpah. I certainly don't want them to be exactly like people I know. But I also want a silky plot , not a clunky one. The books I like best are a satisfying symphony of plot and character.

  6. That's how I know a book is one of my favorites, when the characters are like friends and I care about what is going on in their fictional world.

    1. I have found myself on more than one occasion thinking "who was that that had [whatever]?" then remembering it was a fictional character.