What do you like in a book?

The Literature Forum is where you can talk about your favourite books, authors and short stories. Please direct all Artemis Fowl/Eoin Colfer related discussion to the appropriate forum though!
User avatar
Ihdreniel
Ruler of the People
Posts: 3257
Joined: Sun Apr 02, 2006 5:38 pm
Real First Name: Hannah
Location: The House of Crazy
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Postby Ihdreniel » Thu Nov 02, 2006 11:42 pm

Holly Short wrote:I despise most "teen/chick-flick books" as my friends classed them. I can't stand them. Mad

Same here... though I guess I do have some exceptions. I like Jaclyn Moriarty's books The Year of Secret Assignments and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, and those could probably be considered "chick-flick" novels. But they're hilarious. Laughing
"eeeep!" says the insane chibling.
And then. . .

It attacks.

Image Image Image
Co-President of the Obnoxious Teenager Club
"Quantity > quality! Remember that."
~ Voldy


(P.S. Ze opéra ghost wants 'is paycheck.)

Sydney Fowl
Centaur
Posts: 942
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:30 pm
Location: In Cittagazze! (it 'tis in another universe)
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Postby Sydney Fowl » Fri Nov 03, 2006 12:12 am

There are three things I look for in a good book:

1. Characters- The first and foremost thing I look for in a book is good, solid characters. I like characters who have personality, not your bland over cliched character. For some reason, I am fascinated by the crime genre. Artemis Fowl got me hooked on the idea of the bad guy being the good guy. I like characters with friends, enemies, allies, pet peeves, hobbies, pasts and futures, sarcasm, humor, drama. A good balanced character.

2. Plot- I place plot as the second most important thing, because without good characters the plot does not matter. I like plots that start with a slow, but catchy beginning. Books that can hook you with out starting out with a very action-y beginning. An author who can pull that off is really a good one. I really can not stand constant action. I mean, don't these guys ever sleep/eat/chat/stare at the wall? But that really is not a good plot for the whole book.

3. "Extras"- Extras? What do I mean by that? By "extras" I mean all the little things. May it be classic one liners (Artemis Fowl) to memorable ending twists (Crisis by Robin Cook). There are things besides characters and plot that authors need. Maybe they put in some symbolism (ASoUS) or an odd but addicting alternate universe(Pendragon), or maybe they through in some different style with illustrations (Abarat). The extras are really the icing on the cake.
“We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”-Chuck Palahniuk

Frost
Centaur
Posts: 954
Joined: Tue Apr 18, 2006 4:43 pm
Location: Outside your window
Status: Offline

Postby Frost » Fri Nov 03, 2006 9:53 pm

Abarat rules! I love it so much. Again, anything weird enough to capture attention and make you say 'wha?' but with some touch with reality is a great way to go. Everyone please keep an eye out for my book which I hope to get on shelves soon. It is called 'Beyond Dreams'. Fantasy. But right now I am still editing it because I have too many characters. lol.

MASTER I
Council Member
Posts: 2220
Joined: Fri Jun 30, 2006 2:49 pm
Location: Florence, before Savonarola arrives.
Status: Offline

Postby MASTER I » Tue Nov 07, 2006 2:15 pm

Ihdreniel wrote:
Holly Short wrote:I despise most "teen/chick-flick books" as my friends classed them. I can't stand them. Mad

Same here... though I guess I do have some exceptions. I like Jaclyn Moriarty's books The Year of Secret Assignments and The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie, and those could probably be considered "chick-flick" novels. But they're hilarious. Laughing


Same here. But The Betrayal of Bindy Mackenzie? Funny and witty. Never failed to let me down. Great story, that one. Jaclyn Moriarty isn't a bad author. I don't like Mary-Kate Ashley/Sweet Valley High either.
"My tongue will tell the anger of my heart or else my heart concealing it will break and rather than it shall, I will be free even to the uttermost, as I please, in words."

"Talk not to me: I will go sit and weep
Till I can find occasion of revenge."

artefo
Elf
Posts: 661
Joined: Wed Oct 11, 2006 9:11 am
Location: somewhere around the world
Status: Offline

Postby artefo » Wed Nov 08, 2006 9:25 am

I like sci fic/fantasy/action books and probally mystery and suspense too. Espically those books with all sorts of gadgets in them. Also i think it is good to have some humour in the books.

Romance stories? I don't like them too much. They're ok, but i hate those like princess stories and all the other books where almost every page, it talks about having a crush and love. Maybe once in a few chapters are good enough.

Sydney Fowl
Centaur
Posts: 942
Joined: Mon Jun 26, 2006 9:30 pm
Location: In Cittagazze! (it 'tis in another universe)
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Postby Sydney Fowl » Wed Nov 08, 2006 5:10 pm

Another thing you need is chemistry (not JUST romantic). Maybe contrasting character personalities, ore even physical appearance. It is important that characters work well with each other, in the sense that they are not so different that they can't be in the same story, but not so much of the same it seems like they are clones.
“We all die. The goal isn't to live forever, the goal is to create something that will.”-Chuck Palahniuk

User avatar
evil pixie
Sprite
Posts: 243
Joined: Fri Aug 22, 2008 10:14 pm
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby evil pixie » Tue Oct 21, 2008 1:15 am

I tend to like fiction, but I'll read non-fiction, too.
1. It has to be a good story that won't make you bored
2. It's got to have some humour
3. Action-packed
4. Surprises
5. Not too girly (really, like the meg cabot books, no offence, I don't like them)
6. preferrebly a teeny bit romance, not too much or it'll get mushy.

I'm picky, aren't I?
I like the word evil. Scramble it a little, and you get vile and live. Good on the other hand, is just a command to go do.-Jodi Picoult, The Tenth Circle

A monkey glances up and sees a banana, and that's as far as he looks. A visionary looks up and sees the moon.-Victor Vigney

---98% of teenagers do or have tried smoking pot. If you're one of the 2% who hasn't, copy & paste this in your signature.---

User avatar
IzzyTehMuse
Applied Phlebotinum
Applied Phlebotinum
Posts: 2184
Joined: Mon Sep 22, 2008 12:09 am
Location: The Untempered Schism
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby IzzyTehMuse » Tue Oct 21, 2008 6:02 am

evil pixie wrote:I tend to like fiction, but I'll read non-fiction, too.
1. It has to be a good story that won't make you bored
2. It's got to have some humour
3. Action-packed
4. Surprises
5. Not too girly (really, like the meg cabot books, no offence, I don't like them)
6. preferrebly a teeny bit romance, not too much or it'll get mushy.

I'm picky, aren't I?



Are you sure you aren't me?
Are you quite sure?
That's my list! Aaand, I would add NO SUES OR STUS! I get really annoyed...

I'm such a picky reader. I feel sorry for those who ask that I critique their writing.
"Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all of those things—trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones[." - Puddleglum, The Silver Chair

"I have had to believe a great deal in God because I have lost my belief in men." -Elias, Noli Me Tangere

"The price of freedom is learning to coexist with that which you hate." -- My
cousin.
Image
*rapes* I love you, Izzy. :P

Witty name here
Atlantean
Posts: 196
Joined: Mon Oct 06, 2008 1:25 pm
Location: Mostly Harmless
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby Witty name here » Thu Oct 30, 2008 7:48 pm

IzzyTehMuse wrote:Are you sure you aren't me?
Are you quite sure?
That's my list! Aaand, I would add NO SUES OR STUS! I get really annoyed...

I'm such a picky reader. I feel sorry for those who ask that I critique their writing.

Oh, same here! Well, the romance isn't a must, but if there's a well done romance, it's a plus. Like the romance in Airman - perfect. It's realistic, not gushy, has a little bit of awkwardness to it and is a side element, not a core element.

Humour is probably the most important factor to me; give me a book, and it may have thousands and upon thousands of good qualities, but if it hasn't got any humour, I won't enjoy it. It's impossible for me to like a book without humour, and it must be humour I like. Chicklit, my hate genre, is claimed to be a very humourous genre, but I HATE it. There's humour in them, yes, but not good, clever humour. It's humour that any preppy girl can come up with, in my opinion. Sorry chicklit readers if I'm being blunt here, I mean no offence, but that's how I feel. It's due to respect of chicklit readers that I'm not continuing ranting about chicklit - I really consider it to be floral-patterned bedsheet.
What kind of humour do I like then? Well, I like most humour styles, but there are styles that I prefer. For instance: Terry Pratchett, Douglas Adams, Eoin Colfer (duh), The Simpsons (not a book, but it's a style of humour), British humour (like Rowan Atkinson and Monty Python), etc.

What else? I end up reading a lot of fantasy and science fiction. I guess it's because I like reading about the different worlds and planets, and if used right, they can be great tools for humour.

I'm a librarian's nightmare. I'm hard to give recommendations to, and if they give any to me, I've usually already read it.
"In the beginning the Universe was created.
This has made a lot of people very angry and has been widely regarded as a bad move."
- The Restaurant at the End of the Universe - Douglas Adams.

User avatar
BkkprGirl
Kid with the Typewriter
Kid with the Typewriter
Posts: 1231
Joined: Sun Aug 19, 2007 5:37 pm
Location: If I'm online, then I'm by a computer. Somewhere.
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby BkkprGirl » Wed Nov 12, 2008 10:50 pm

I think, in my case that'd be more easily answered by saying what I don't like in a book:

1) Fluff. (n) (FLUHF)- Any story whose meaning is pointless and could be learned simply by living one's life. Commonly filled with broken nails and teenage love. Synonym: The Clique Books, TTFN. HONESTLY. Why read a book about stuff that happens in everyday life?

2) Cliches. Kind of self explanatory. Not that I absolutely hate them or anything, but it's better when it's something new instead. If you take an old cliche in a new way, or make it into something funny, then I can live with it.

3) Sappiness. Which kind of goes under Fluff, but I hate it so much that it deserves its own category. The Twilight Series is about as far as I'll go into a book dedicated to romance, and even then I didn't read the last book, just a plot synopsis. Which I hated, and made me glad that I'd decided not to read it. The other ones were OK though.

4) Cliff hanger endings, or endings that leave a person unsatisfied. I dunno, maybe it's just my love of fairy tales, but I enjoy endings that make me, if not smile, then at least have a sense of closure and end with something meaningful.


Things I like:

1) Creativity. That goes without saying. My two favorite authors are Neil Gaiman and Clive Barker. I love stories that are eye-opening and refreshingly new and interesting. Don't give me a two hundred page Romantic Comedy (guy meets girl. Guy makes girl angry or vice versa. Guy and girl overcome their differences and get back together. Puh-lease. ).

2) Interesting plots. I live for the classic Neil Gaiman twist: Check out his story Forbidden Brides of the Faceless Slaves in the Secret House in the Night of Dread Desire, and you'll know what I mean. In fact, go ahead and read his entire short story book Fragile Things while you're at it.

3) Likeable characters. Maybe you love them, maybe you love to hate them, but they've got to be interesting. One of the things I disliked about Bella Swann (among others).

4) A slight bit of romance. Yeah, I know two of my cardinal sins have to do with romance, but I do enjoy a tiny bit of it if it isn't overdone. I don't usually like books that are completely centered around a boyfriend and a girlfriend. There's much, much more to a story that you could do with that. But when it's cute yet slight, un-sappy and completely without fluff, then that's good. Sometimes. When it works.


5) I like elements of fantasy. Like I said: Why read a book whose plot is probably going to roughly translate into your real life? Fantasy, or more accurately fiction of the unrealistic kind, gives you a chance to expereince something you'd never normally be able to.

Yeah. That's pretty much it.
Last edited by BkkprGirl on Sat Jan 31, 2009 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Image
"Stories are the only thing worth dying for."
~The Unwritten

User avatar
Magerine2
Atlantean
Posts: 151
Joined: Sat Nov 29, 2008 1:11 am
Real First Name: Maggie
Location: Fowl Manor
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby Magerine2 » Fri Jan 30, 2009 12:39 am

I like lovable characters. If you hate the characters, then the book ain't that great. The characters can't be perfect, but they have to be good at something. Even if it's just making you laugh.

The plot. I like it when it twists and turns a couple times, gives you something unexpected that makes you say "Whoa!" It has to at least have a plot. Yes, I'm talking to you, Stephenie Meyer.

Humor. It can't be dead serious all the time, 'cause I want something to laugh at. Like, comic relief characters, like Mulch. Everybody likes Mulch. Why? He makes you laugh. His personality is funny.

Uh... that's it. Btw, fantasy/humors rule!!! :loveeyes:
I do believe in Fowls! I do! I do!

THERE ARE TOO MANY AMAZING ARTEMIS FOWL QUOTES TO FIT ON THIS PAGE. SORRY FOR THE INCONVENIENCE.
... Well that just sucks.

"One more step and it'll be your last. No hugs!" ~Major John Casey: NSA Assassin -Chuck

User avatar
Griffar
Commander
Posts: 1165
Joined: Thu Jan 29, 2009 10:53 am
Real First Name: Alex
AFC Fan Fiction Name: Griffar
Location: sleeping. wait is that possible?
Gender: Male
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby Griffar » Sun Feb 01, 2009 10:33 am

I like fantasy that could actually happen like in AF apart from the fairies the idea of a criminal masterminds is absolutly plausable. I also like books with a sense of Adventure. I love writing about Books with sports and adventure intertwined. I get alot of ideas from other writers but then it is hard to write with out copying their storyline.
Image

I know you love one hundreds and thousands


Your Tears don't fall, they crash aroud me

Her conscience calls, the guilty to come home

gotta love Bullet For My Valentine

User avatar
Rocket Axxonu
Centaur
Posts: 829
Joined: Mon Jan 24, 2011 8:16 am
AFC Fan Fiction Name: Axxonu
Location: United States
Gender: Female
Status: Offline

Re: What do you like in a book?

Postby Rocket Axxonu » Mon Jul 06, 2015 10:07 pm

I agree with what people have said about characters and plot. If I don't care for a character, then it's hard for me to be interested in the story. However, in many cases I would put a heavier emphasis on personal preference when it comes to defining what makes a character or a plot 'interesting.' There are books that are very famous and widely loved that I found tedious, simply because there's something about the characters or the plot that I personally just don't find engaging, but not because they're bad.

A good example is Wuthering Heights; while I loved Jane Eyre, which I think was written by the author's sister and was from the same time period, I could barely pay attention, particularly toward the end. The reason wasn't that the characters weren't interesting, it was just that I couldn't respect the characters and so they weren't engaging to me. (So I couldn't care about them, what they were doing, or what their children were doing.) Brave New World is another one I'd just as soon skipped, and Romeo and Juliet wasn't my favorite of Shakespeare's plays.

But, even if I don't personally care for a book, I like to look for both it's weaknesses and strengths as objectively as I can, and see if I can take away something useful. Part of writing a meaningful review to a book, I think, is differentiating between quality and your own tastes and opinions, though that can be hard a lot of the time. X3



But, anyway, for my own preferences. I guess I find I tend to like books aimed at teens/tweens. There's two reasons for this; one, I can trust them to be a lot cleaner (books heavy on swearing and sex really turn me off, and I avoid them if at all possible—I read Brad Thor's Blacklist a while back, and there were aspects of the plot that were really fascinating, but overall, I sort of wish I hadn't picked it up), and two, I've found as I've gotten older that I'm really attracted to books that appear simple on the surface, but are actually far more complex when you dig a little deeper.

Animorphs and Harry Potter are both very good examples of this, and Artemis Fowl, too. They're books that kids can enjoy, but they also deal with quite complex themes behind the scenes, and sometimes don't even directly address those themes, which opens up topics for discussion and debate. Harry Potter in particular has the appearance on the surface of being a fun kid's series (especially at the beginning), but the characters are rich and complex and develop over time, and the plot is so intricately woven over the course of those seven books that many of the things that happened in books six and seven were foreshadowed as early as in books one and two. I just love how books that appear simple have such a capacity to surprise you.




On the romance question—when I get really into a particular pairing, that's all I'll pay attention to in a series, but strangely, for the most part, I'm not a big fan of romance in general. A romance has to be built up in particular way for me to be interested in it. There are quite a few types of romances I don't like (romances that involve a guy who's a player are one, where he who goes out with girls all the time but never takes any of them seriously, then ends up falling for a girl and is suddenly transformed—I feel like these kinds of stories are misleading, because real life almost never works that way—probably part of why Mansfield Park is one of my favorite books), but I often have a negative reaction to those romances where there is any initial attraction based on looks. (That is, when the main character, upon first meeting the love interest, is like, 'Wow, he's so good looking.' ...Which pretty much eliminates ninety percent of the romances out there, because that's probably the most realistic portrayal of most romances.) I tend to prefer romances where the relationship starts out entirely platonic, but an authentic friendship is built up over time, and then it slowly turns to romance.

But, I can still very much enjoy series where there is that initial attraction in the romance; rather, it's just that the romance won't be a part of the series I'm particularly interested in. (Twilight is a good example. I'm going to take the unpopular side and say that I really liked the series, and Bella is probably one of the only fictional characters I've ever really related to [chronic introvert who avoids social events like the plague, among other things], but the romance was the one element of the series I didn't really like. I like romances that build very slowly, and they just got together too quickly for me to have time to grow to like it. But I will give Stephanie Meyer some credit—though I don't like the Bella/Edward romance, there are aspects about the relationships in the books that I find interesting. For instance, one of Edward's main strengths is that he's willing to sacrifice his own interests in favor of those he cares about, but there are many points of the story where this strength becomes a serious flaw, and is one of the most problematic aspects of Bella and Edward's relationship. He becomes so obsessed with 'sacrificing himself' in favor of Bella's 'own good' that he acts incredibly selfishly, which is one of the central conflicts of the books. Often in the process of trying to protect her, Edward attempts to get Bella to violate her own conscience, and has no conception for how important her own integrity and loyalty to those she cares about are to her. (In fact, Jacob Black, the main romantic rival of the story, is actually shown to understand Bella better than Edward does at many points. That's another thing I always appreciate in romances, having an authentic rival, who could be something the main character might fall for, as opposed to some rich jerk who there would never in a million years ever be a possibility.)

I guess that's something else I like to see in books, where strengths are shown in certain contexts to actually become weaknesses. I like to see elements that seem to demonstrate a deeper understanding of the complexity of relationships, and go beyond the usual clichés. My favorite though is probably when what seems to be a cliché (friendship/family is important, lying is bad, etc.) are ultimately validated, but shown in a much more subtle and complex light.



Wow, this is actually a really hard question to answer. There's so much to say. XD (I just narrowed down to a couple of topics. To be honest, my reactions to books aren't always consistent, and there are some things I'm in the mood to see one day that a week later I'm put off by. But the above are some general thoughts I seem to have carried for an extended length of time.)
“After all, absolutely no one can help but suspect a criminal, liar, and manipulator of committing crimes, lying, and manipulating. And of course, no one is more aware of that simple fact than Artemis Fowl.”

Opal sets into motion her most diabolical scheme yet, to frame Artemis and turn his closest friends against him. Only this time she has a new calculating partner who knows Artemis better than he knows himself. [Post TAC]

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8336552/1/Noble-Heart ...Shameless self-advertising, guys! C;

(And if you're really bored: http://axxonu.deviantart.com/gallery/28912232/Artemis-Fowl AF fanart. ;J)


Return to “Literature”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests

Artemis Fowl Confidential Fan Forum : Disclaimer
cron

Login  •  Register