I recently read a novel that had five protagonists. Each had chapters dedicated to their viewpoints. I couldn’t associate with any of them as they were unlikeable in one way or another. You might feel differently, that book was Cretaceous Canyon: A Prehistoric Thriller, by Deborah Sheldon.
I finished the book feeling like a bystander, watching the action without becoming involved in it. It was an enjoyable story, full of action – and scares – but I felt unsatisfied at the end. I want a character that I can love and associate with. Be that a feisty heroine, or a book boyfriend to drool over – in those I can become the heroine, and her boyfriend becomes mine, lol! That’s what I enjoy the most. Although romance is important in what I read, I like to read something where that isn’t the main genre.
I’ve recently finished Surviving The Evacuation, Book 1: London by Frank Tayell. There was no romance in it but it did have a dashing hero. Bill earned my admiration by his relentless will to survive. I kept hoping he would meet a woman who was fighting her own battles with the zombies, and the two would get together. Alas, it didn’t happen, so I live in hope for the next books.
Robert Galbraith, aka JK Rollins, has written the Cormoran Strike series. These are crime books that I’ve really enjoyed. The last was called The Ink Black Heart and it is book six of the series. The relationship between Strike and his partner Robin has kept me going throughout because they are in love with each other. Without the other knowing, they feel it would hinder their business if they become romantically involved. It’s made me a little frustrated. Surely they have to get together in this book, I was disappointed again.
Although I’m sure I’m not alone in the way I enjoy my reading, other people look for different things in the books they read. One person I spoke to said that she enjoys the different worlds created by an author. Everything I feel, she has the same passion for that, especially when different planets are involved. Others prefer to be bystanders. Whatever is happening, they want to sit and watch the events unfold. It’s like watching a film where they seek entertainment and don’t want to think too hard about it.
It shows just how versatile books are. They not only offer readers great stories in different genres, but some are complex and others straightforward. We all like different things, and sometimes even like both! But readers also get something more and often it’s something they only subconsciously look for. It gives us further entertainment.
So, if you are reading this, I would really like to know what it is that you enjoy most. What makes a book special for you?