Friday, October 30, 2015

What Makes It Work?

Because of two books I've read recently and because of a post on my friend Kara's Blog I've been thinking about the ingredients in books.

Ingredients? There's ingredients in books? Why yes, yes there are. If you were to look at the perfect book for me the recipe would look a little something like this.

4 cups of unsifted plot (unsifted meaning no skimping on plot)
3 cups suspense (I don't mean murder mystery, just something that hooks me and makes me keep reading)
1 cup relatable, fleshed out characters
2 table spoons of romance ( not too much)
1 tsp humor
2 tsp wow factor
a pinch of unpredictability.
Stir well, add a lovely cover and serve

That's how I like my books...but what happens when you read a book that has all the necessary ingredients you enjoy and somehow it falls flat? Tastes sour? Doesn't satisfy? The book Storm Siren was such a book for me. It had everything I enjoy but...it just didn't work for me. Maybe it was my mood or maybe there was an ingredient that got overlooked or maybe the author substituted artificial sugar for real...I don't know. It just didn't work.

So, what would your perfect book's recipe look like? Do you ever read a book that has everything you normally love and it just doesn't work?



13 comments:

  1. This is interesting, I've never thought about it this way before. I think my perfect book was would be very similar to yours, but maybe with a bit more romance (1/2 cup to 1 cup depending on the genre) and a bit more character development (2 cups). And if it's a novel that can accommodate humour, then I'd throw in bit more humour too. I do think mood can definitely affect your enjoyment of a story, but I love your idea about artificial sugar as a substitute for real. Fab post!

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    1. Thanks. I'm not a huge fan of romance but most people are.

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  2. I'm not sure what my perfect recipe is as far as measurements go. I like what you have, except I know I'd have to add fantasy to your list and beef up the romance and characters for me to be happy. Plot doesn't matter so much to me as long as I like the characters, so that'd definitely be lower in my ingredients. A happy ending would need to be there. NO ANIMAL DEATHS.

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    1. Yeah I'm more of a plot girl but I do need good characters and romance just not that much.

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  3. Less plot, more romance, more character. :)

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  4. It's interesting to read about what everyone likes in their books. Everyone has their own ingredients for what they think is the perfect book and it's great when people try to find books that are a good fit for them. Not so great when these books miss the mark!

    For me, I'm a big plot person over character and romance. But you knew that already :)

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    1. I dd. It's why we're such great friends.

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  5. I've definitely read books where I've been like, "I should be loving this. Why aren't I?" I think it's just the author's individual style -- some write stories I can see, feel, touch and REALLY connect with. Others just don't. And, seriously, I'm not asking all that much -- I just want a plot that keeps me interested, characters I care about, and solid, vivid writing. That's not too much to ask for, is it?

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  6. I like this! I'd have to think for a while about what I like, but I'm probably more of a plot kind of girl.

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  7. A little late for noticing, but thanks for the shoutout! :) And I love your ingredients. I'd agree with all of them! But now I'm contemplating my thoughts on why some books have all the right ingredients and still don't work for me. This has happened to me several times actually. For one such example, John Green's The Fault in Our Stars. I like YA, fun and geeky romances, I even like characters with diseases! So why didn't this book work for me? I really don't know. I can only guess that there was just something about the characters and writing that I couldn't connect with. And I wanted to like it! It's always SO disappointing when I expect to enjoy a book and don't. But lucky for me there's so many other books out there that I can put it down and try a new one! :)

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