Friday, 1 October 2010
Thinking about what makes a book so awesome in my eyes that I have to re-read it several times within the same year or in consecutive years, brings to mind at least three reasons which I will now explain for ye in reasonable detail.
This is probably the biggest deciding factor because if I get to the end of a book and couldn't care less what the characters did after the story ended then it's probably not gonna get re-read any time soon if ever. It's the books where I'm literally dying to know what will happen next in the character's lives and I anxiously hunt about for any information indicating that the author is planning a sequel or two, that will invariably crop up again and again on my Urgent Re-read pile. I need to love the characters in a book, or heck love to loath them but I need to feel attached to them by the end of the story and run the whole gamut of emotions when something happens to them both good and bad. If I find myself wishing that a certain character was real so they could be my friend then I know that the book is a keeper. Basically even if a book's plot was rather wishy-washy I could probably overlook it if it had a fabulous cast of characters that made me laugh, cry and want to cuddle them all to bits.
I know this may sound strange but some of my favourite books are ones where I would literally *kill* to either be the main character or to be able to live in that world - this usually applies to fantasy novels being the escapist that I am. I will happily re-read all seven Harry Potter books back-to-back every year just to keep myself immersed in that fascinating and wonderful world until the day when J.K. Rowling takes pity on all us Potterites and writes us something new about Hogwarts and the Wizarding Community (I will openly admit that I'm still waiting on my letter, I'm sure the owl has just got a bit lost right?). Reading Fantasy novels allows me to live in a world I know can't exist, but at least for a little while Hogwarts is real, Narnia *is* in the back of my wardrobe, and Tortall is just a far-off country we haven't discovered yet. So don't try to argue with me that none of these places exist, I know they may not for you, but in my mind we just haven't looked hard enough for them and the brilliant authors who write about them are explorers who know something we don't. (At least that's the little fantasy I like to tell myself- please don't spoil my dream)
How hard I cried
No seriously, I do base my rating of a book on my tears. Any book that provokes me to cry is worthy of 4 stars straight off the bat - unless of course the tears are from laughing at how awful the book is :P. The books that get the 5 star ratings and are fervently recommended to anyone with ears and eyes are the ones that leave me red-eyed and exhausted from sobbing my heart out. Admittedly I do give high ratings to Nicholas Sparks books but that is more because I'm a big mushy romantic and he always gets me misty-eyed in the last two chapters rather than the book being all that brilliant by itself. I probably do cry more often than most people at books, films and tv shows but I think it's because I get wholly invested in the characters and their stories so when something terrible happens in their life it hits me like I'm watching my best friend go through it and my emotional reaction is heightened accordingly.
Books to be Reviewed over Favs Fortnight
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary-Ann Shaffer
The Protector of the Small Quartet by Tamora Pierce
Wild Magic by Tamora Pierce
Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban by J.K. Rowling
Trickster's Choice by Tamora Pierce Review Cancelled
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader by C.S. Lewis Review Cancelled
Atonement by Ian McEwan Not been re-read
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger Review Cancelled
Jess on Harry Potter
Now there will hopefully be some other "Favs" posts related to this but not exactly book reviews, I've asked my dear friend Jess of Jess Hearts Books to do a post about her favourite Harry Potter book and some thoughts about the series in general - that will go up when the poor girl has time to write it, busy thing that she is at the moment *hugs*
As the posts go up I will put links to each individual review/post as the title so this will become the handy master list of all things pertaining to the event.
I do hope you folks enjoy the posts I'm preparing for the next two weeks, do leave comments and whatnot, heck do your own nostalgia filled post on a favourite book and leave a link either on this post or if you happen to talk about one of the 8 books I'm reviewing, leave the link to your post on that particular review.
Happy October 1st! White Rabbit! (that is what you say at the start of a month right? For some reason I want to say that there's some ritual involving fish as well :S I really need to go to bed now)