What I Like in a Book
by Moriah McCormick
RTW Note: In lieu of an author interview, we have an avid reader who's willing to share her opinion of what makes a great book, and what makes a DNF (did not finish).
I love reading!!! It’s an escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. Reading takes me away to lands I want to see, time periods I would love to visit, and lets me meet new and interesting characters. I love to read a book that pulls me in and makes me feel like I’m actually right there with the characters, experiencing every thought and emotion they are going through.
There are certain things in a book that make it a great read for me, such as the characters, rules of the story world, and attention to detail. I know, I know... pretty vague, huh. Don’t worry, I’ll give you more details.
I have always liked a strong heroine, but unfortunately I’ve read quit a few books in which the author had a hard time separating a strong independent woman with a rude bitch. On the same note, I love my heroes to be strong alpha males. Unfortunately sometimes this seems to be interpreted into an arrogant bossy jack-ass that won’t take into account anyone else’s thoughts, feelings, or ideas. I read books to fantasize, I love fiction and I don’t really care that people say it’s shallow, but I want my heroine to be beautiful and I want my hero to be strong and hot, hot, hot! Like I said I read to fantasize.
All books have their own story rules. This one is harder for me to explain but I’ll try. Down Home Ever lovin’ Mule Blues by Jacquie Rogers is a western/fantasy. In her world, the rule is that animals can communicate with each other but not with humans. If, in the middle of her book, Socrates (the mule) up and starts talking to Brody (the main character), that would be a clear violation of her story world rules (thank goodness this didn’t happen).
Detail, detail, detail! There are so many different elements that go into writing a book but if the author doesn’t pay attention to the little things, an excellent book can be ruined for me. Example, if someone is shooting a six-shooter, that means the gun only has six bullets and after six shots it needs to be reloaded. If the story takes place in Montana, there should be no saguaro cacti. People in Medieval England didn’t eat potatoes. I’m not a stickler for accuracy but sloppy errors take me right out of the story.
Another bit of information that for some reason gets overlooked is military details. In the Navy there are no sergeants. So many people seem to think that all the branches of the military have the same ranking system but let me tell you that’s a no-no that could cause a lot of embarrassment.
Reading is my escape, my way of maintaining what little sanity I have left after a long day with my bunch of wonderful (loud) boys. My idea of heaven is to curl up on the sofa and read a book that sweeps me away with smart, strong, funny characters, where the rules of the story stay the same from start to finish so I can play along, and where the details never interfere with my imagination.
Authors please, keep me involved your story.
I'd like to hear from other readers. What do you love? What trips you up?