So yeah I felt like making a let’s talk post because it’s been a while, and while it may be more on the personal side since it’s about me, it’s still book related. Phew, that was a long sentence and I still don’t get why I’m writing these super long run-on sentences lately.
It must be the not being in school thing, but that changed as of today! Yes, your girl is back in school and Spring semester officially started today so cheer me on fam.
But anyway, I wanted to write this because I have always thought about what exactly makes me love a book and I figured I’d share it with you all! So, yeah, enjoy my rambling because I’m probably not going to make any sense with this but I needed to get it down.
I’ve been looking through some of my five star reads, and even my four star reads (one of the things that will be changing in the future is my rating process, but that won’t be happening for a bit) and there are certain aspects that I see that I really love when it comes to books. One book could be considered similar to another, and yet I’ll feel a certain way about one over the other. I mean, I know I’m not the only one that feels this way, but when I really sit down and think about what it is that I love about a book, I think I’ve narrowed it down to maybe three things.
(1) If it makes me feel strongly about the plot or characters
I feel like this is such a given, but for me this is so important. I can like books left and right, and I can like something about the characters or the plot, but that doesn’t mean that I care emotionally about either of them. There are a few books that really made me feel a certain type of strong way that either made me call my mom and cry to her about it because it would make me think about her or my grandma, or I had to talk about it on Twitter or Whatsapp to a friend because it was just sitting in my heart waiting for me to process it.
One of my main examples was Girl in Translation by Jean Kwok. The whole time I was reading this novel, I felt so proud of Kimberly and her mother for literally working their souls away in order to pay back her Aunt for her bringing them to America, even though the aunt was a total bitch a lot of the time. I was so freaking proud of Kiimberly for doing so well in school despite living in such poverty and already having the disadvantage of not being a native English speaker. I mean, one of her freaking elementary school students would make her feel like an idiot because of her accent even though THE GIRL WAS SPEAKING A LANGUAGE SHE DIDN’T EVEN GROW UP LEARNING. I didn’t see anyone else trying to speak Mandarin or Cantonese to try to help Kim understand better. Did you? Hell no.
(2) The plot or the characters remind me of someone I know in real life
This one is super important for me because for some reason, that makes me relate to a book even more, and makes it hold an even more special place in my heart. I know there have been times where I’ll read a book, and I’m like YEP I FEEL YOU. or YEP THAT’S TOTALLY MY LIFE. And that feeling is so surreal to me that I have to remember it and just cherish it for the rest of my life.
This book was one of the main ones where I could relate to a lot of what Ever went through because I went through either the same thing or something very similar. Like I think I ended up crying about certain parts because I felt her pain and just her wanting to be able to live her life the way she wanted to, not what she needed to do in order to please her parents. You know? But it’s so much more than that, and I just really loved this book for that main reason.
(3) I wish I could trade places with the Main Character
This one is very, very rare honestly, because sometimes I love my life and don’t want to deal with what my MCs have to go through. But there are other times where even though they have some major crap to go through, I wish I could live their life even for a week or something, because I want to learn how to be strong like them. To get through life like them. To learn how to deal with grief like them and just go back to living like them.
Do you know how much I wanted to be Alice while I was reading this? Like, yes I know that she had to deal with her father dying all of a sudden and that was really hard for her and her mom – that’s in the very beginning of the novel, so no that’s not a spoiler – and even just learning to fight the Nightmares in general, but she learned how to do it and she succeeded in what she needed to do. She was so hard on herself like I am, but I was so proud of her growth and progress. I really wanted to see what it was like to be her, and have her strength, her confidence.
So are those really groundbreaking reasons? Not really. But those are some of the things that really mean a lot to me when I’m reading a book, and will make me carry it with me for a long time. Even to the point where I will buy a copy for myself because I loved it that much. Sometimes just having the ARC isn’t enough because I want to be able to support the novel and the author for creating content that just sat with me so much and made me feel something that I needed to feel.
And that’s really it! Nothing to major, but something I wanted to write. Do you have certain criteria that makes you love a book? Is it more technical than abstract? Is it a certain author? Let me know!