In December I featured a guest post from Fantasia Reviews called What Makes a Good Book? You guys liked it so much that I thought it would be fun to take it one step further. That being a post about the difference between a good book and a great book. Enter The Regal Critiques. Veronika, the book blog's founder, spills all in this month's guest post. Enjoy!
Hello everyone! I’m Veronika from The Regal Critiques! (*waves*). Amie was kind enough to invite me for a guest post, and I was happy to say yes, so here I am today, writing about what’s the difference between a good book and a great book.
To tell you the truth, upon picking this topic from the ones Amie suggested I was convinced this would be an easy post to write. Alas, it wasn't. I was struggling with thinking of a way to start off this topic and doing a bit of research didn't exactly help me in any way. I did discover some information, as this is a wildly talked about topic in the literary world, but, likely very few of the books I find 'great' would make the cut in their opinion. And so, I just left that all behind and am instead writing a fully subjective post about my thoughts on this topic. It's more fun this way anyhow.
Without further ado, let me list and explain the three main differences between a good and a great book.
1. THE UNIQUENESS
Who the heck wants to read a book that has nothing new to showcase, just the same old, same old story? No one, that's who. Ya'll know those authors who keep recycling the same plot, same characters, same EVERYTHING, don't you? Cuz I sure as hell do, and their books are no fun. Nuh-uh. Show me something I haven't seen before, darn it. Don't take ideas from someone else, don't use ideas from your old works, create something different instead, something unique.
Obviously, that doesn't mean using a couple of tropes or cliches is a deathly sin - but my favorite authors are the ones who use them creatively, making them their own.
2. THE EFFECT THEY HAVE ON ME
For me to call a book great I need it to affect me in some way that's more than: oh, that book made me smile like crazy. Sure, that's an effect as well, but not one that'll stay with me for a long while.
What I really want are characters who are so vividly-written that they come off the pages, characters I can connect with, either because they represent some part of me incredibly well, or simply because I admire/understand/love them.
I want a story that I can relate to, learn something from about myself or the world, or educate myself on something that I had little to no knowledge about it before.
3. THE LASTING IMPRESSION
There are books I read, love and then forget like, 99% of what actually happened in them super-quickly which proves they weren't that outstanding to begin with. I don't expect to remember every little detail or even most of the characters' names, but the overall plot? The major characters who were my favorites? I need to be able to recall them even two years after I read the book.
So, what makes a story unforgettable? For me, the two things I mentioned above - their uniqueness and the effect they have on me, this I can say that these three things are, to some extent, connected.
To wrap it all up,
ARE GOOD BOOKS AND GREAT BOOKS SO DIFFERENT FROM EACH OTHER?
Depends on who you ask, but I honestly don't think so. There are various books I adore so so SO much, rate them 5 stars, but wouldn't add to my all time favorites shelf for lacking either of the three things mentioned above. Does that take away from my enjoyment of them? Not much, no.
WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS ON THIS TOPIC?
WHAT WAS THE LAST ’GREAT’ BOOK YOU READ?
Thanks, Veronika, for sharing what you look for in a book. I completely agree that there isn't much difference between good books and great books. Some of my favorite books I'll probably never read again, but I thoroughly enjoyed the experience of reading it.
To all the authors out there, I hope that this post helps steer you in the right direction, or at least opens your eyes to what book bloggers take into consideration when reviewing your book.
What are you waiting for? Get out there and write!
Have you checked out these posts? You might enjoy these, too: