There are so many books in the world. Genres from fiction to science-fiction to biographies to fantasy litter the shelves. Sometimes it's hard to sort out the potential great literary pieces from the let-downs. First thing's first: every book is a work of art. Writing a book is tough, so whoever is able to actually complete one and publish it automatically earns my respect. You also have to keep in mind that the idea of a "good" book is completely subjective. Some might say that a good book has to be eloquent and metaphors have to be intertwined into the novel creating a double meaning. However, some people look to books as entertainment, not wanting to decipher what they are reading, but they view it as a way of relaxation. Neither interpretation is wrong. It's totally up to you! Here are some things that I look for in a good book.
I love books that have symbolism. The Great Gatsby written by F. Scott Fitzgerald is a great portrayal of a novel possessing a lot of symbolism. In the novel, each character is assigned different colors reflecting on their personalities. For example, Daisy is portrayed as pure, so her color is white. The colors mix as the people interact, sometimes revealing a person's true character. While some books are harder to pick up on the symbolism and metaphors, it is always interesting to try to delve deeper into a novel.
Some people love a predictable ending; however, I prefer to be kept on my toes. I love trying to figure out the ending of a book. Nothing is more satisfying to me than a book that leaves me pleasantly surprised or stunned by the ending. A book that left me in shock was The Help written by Kathryn Stockett. Typically, mystery novels leave people in shock, but this book surprised me at the end. I don't want to spoil it, but the ending, like life, leaves a bittersweet taste in your mouth. Sure, there are some positive twists, but there are also some disappoints, which illustrates how life has its ups and downs and not everything is going to go our way.
Is the character round or flat? Static or dynamic? A round character demonstrates that the character, like real people, has a variety of emotions and personality traits rather than one or two, which is what a flat character is. A static character does not develop over time, while a dynamic one does. Round and dynamic characters are more relatable and tend to come alive on the pages, while flat and static characters tend to be an idealized version of a person. Every character has to show their flaws to make them seem real. I love great character development. A book that has great character development is The Five People You Meet in Heaven written by Mitch Albom. As the book progresses, Eddie, the main character, encounters five people in heaven who have impacted his life. Eddie is forced to reconcile with his past and his personality, character flaws, and difficult past are revealed throughout the book. At the end of the book, Eddie is a changed man from the Eddie that the reader meets at the beginning of the story.
In the end, find a book that works for you! Know what genres you like and what you like to look for in a book, but don't be afraid to try something new! You may be pleasantly surprised by some of the books you find!