So I recently got contacted by someone, and I decided to make my answer into a post. Unfortunately, the reason I won’t be responding to any author requests until after my exams is because I won’t be making an email account for my blog until after my exams! So if I don’t respond to your message (even when it’s not an author request), I will reply, once I make an email 🙂
Anyway, here’s what the email says…
I just wanted to tell I really enjoy your blog.
Quick question. As a reader, what makes a book engaging? Or in other words what makes you keep reading? I ask this because I’m a new writer of historical fiction and I’m finishing my novel. And frankly, I need a reader’s point of view on this matter so I don’t mess up.
Anyway. Thanks for your reviews. I’ve learned a lot.
Thank you for contacting me, I’m glad you enjoy my reviews and find them helpful 🙂
To begin with, I read books for pleasure and entertainment, so my ideal book would be a pleasure to read, and would entertain me. My musts for favourite books are:
- an interesting and entertaining plot that keeps me guessing – I am curious to find out what happens at the end
- at least one relatable or likeable character – I care about the character(s) so want to know what happens to them
- a well-portrayed and explored setting – I like the setting and enjoy reading about things happening it
- good writing – writing doesn’t become a barrier to enjoying the book – I’ve read books where the plot is amazing but the writing really brings it down, unfortunately… as well as that, good writing makes the story flow a lot better, and as a result makes it a lot more engaging
- originality to it that makes it stand out against other books with the same genre – books like the Orphan Queen I simply could not get through because it reminded me so much of Throne of Glass (trust me I didn’t even get through the first chapter)
Let’s take one of my most favourite books, The Mysterious Benedict Society, as an example.
- an interesting and entertaining plot that keeps me guessing ✓
- at least
one relatable(didn’t really have any to be honest, but the amount of likeable characters makes up for it) and likeable character (all of the Mysterious Benedict Society – Sticky, Constance, Kate and Reynie!!) ✓
- a well-portrayed and explored setting (the Institute) ✓
- good writing ✓
- originality to it that makes it stand out against other books with the same genre (I’d say the entire plot and book has such a unique concept and I love it!) ✓
A bonus that I loved was it was hilarious and really gripping (as a result). Even after the third re-read I’m immersed in it and it’s just fantastic and I love the whole book and series to pieces!
Now trust me, I know that hitting the favourites bar is hard! I, as a writer myself, am still struggling to produce a manuscript that I am proud of. #thestruggleisreal. But this is what I look for in an engaging book 🙂
If you have any questions you want to ask me, be sure to leave them in the comments and I’ll respond to them there, or make a post about them! 🙂
What makes one of your favourite books a favourite?