Discussion Post: What Makes or Breaks a Book?


As you’ve probably noticed, I’m not a very picky reader and generally like everything I read.  But I do know there are some issues that a lot of people have with a book.  I want to know what makes a book great to you and what makes a book terrible.


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This is a big one for me.  For some reason, I struggle with slower books.  I find myself skimming or spacing out.  A book doesn’t need to be all action, but I need things to be happening.


Multiple Points of View

I do fine with multiple POVs, but they need to sound different from each other.  Also, I can’t do it when there are so many that I can’t keep track of people.  I had to DNF a book last year because there were over 6 and they didn’t feel different for me.


Racism/Homophobia in a book

I have fine with this as long as it’s addressed and shown to be problematic.  I think books can be realistic with the world we live in, but they need to be challenged.  I find that not only is racism still a big problem in this country, but I remember growing up and boys insults were always “you’re gay”.  This is fine to show in a book imo, but I know others will feel offended by it.  As a writer, you need to make sure the reader knows these things are not ok.


Animal Deaths

I struggle with these.  Like a lot.  Authors, please warn us if you’re killing off a dog.  It breaks me.  And don’t linger on the scene.



I don’t mind tropes.  They really don’t bother me the way they do with others.



I prefer diversity in a book.  I won’t pass up a book because it doesn’t have any.  But I like it and it needs to feel natural and not just mentioned to say the book is diverse.  Own voices is even better, but I think anyone can write diversity in their book.  But use sensitivity readers to make sure nothing is offensive.


Writing Style

This kind of goes along with pacing.  I’m not super picky with writing, but I do love writing that feels natural and not forced.



I’m ok with crappy or annoying characters if the book is good.  I never expect everyone to be likeable.  But I do need to like someone to fully enjoy the book.



I’m one of those people who prefer books to be 450 pages or less.  I will read a longer book if it’s something that interests me.  But I generally pick smaller ones.  I always worry about the book stretching out with things not needed.  And I start to space.


Series or Standalone

I’m ok with either of these.  I love getting attached to characters in a good series.  But I hate waiting a year or more for the next book.  And they take up so much space.  Standalones can get great, but sometimes I do want more.



What are the things that make or break a book for you?  How do you feel about all the things I mentioned above?  Are you a picky reader?









Author: confessionsofayareader

I'm Kristi. I'm a wife, mom, and grandma. I have been breeding leopard geckos for ten years. I love to read and have been trying to review more books (the reason for this blog besides wanting to talk about books with everyone). I also love music and going to concerts, mostly punk and pop punk.

32 thoughts on “Discussion Post: What Makes or Breaks a Book?”

  1. This is such a massive question you’re tackling here – nicely handled! I agree with you on most of these points, particularly writing style. More specifically, though, for me, I want a book to have GOOD writing – the standard of writing is probably the first thing I base my decision as to whether I like/dislike a book on. Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I definitely feel the same way as you about multiple POVs. For some reason, I get annoyed with books that have multiple first person POVs! It might not make or break the book for me, but it has to work a lot harder for me to like it. Also, the writing really does have to feel natural in order for me to really get into it!

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  3. Ok If the editing is really bad or if I can’t connect with characters or if it has personal triggers or inconsistencies in the plot…deal breaker!

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  4. Pacing is a big one for me. I prefer fast-paced books. If the book is slow, I find myself daydreaming over the parts that seem boring to me.
    Also, the length of the book. I prefer around 300-350 pages or less, anything longer than that I typically pass up (not always) because I find many long books have a lot of unnecessary filler to make the book long.

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    1. My dog was diagnosed with bone cancer a few years ago. Shortly after being diagnosed ‘he’ 😊 wanted to write his story but needed my help to do it. I agreed as long a no animal died in the end. He kept it short & sweet. Sadly, he passed a year ago.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Animal deaths are a big no-no. I was really enjoying this book about a teenage serial killer in the making (I know, I know) and 3 books in, HE KILLS A CAT. I noped right outta there, I was DONE. I had no issue with him killing humans, lol, he was sort of like Dexter, it was bad guys or demons? but the poor innocent cat 😦 and it wasn’t just a quick scene, there was foreshadowing and then it was very much on page and I couldn’t handle it, I was so upset.

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    1. I haven’t dnf’d a book for the animal deaths, but it always stands out as a negative to warn others about. It bothers me a lot. It’s normal for a killer in the making to kill animals first, but I wish that authors would just say that and not describe it.


  6. This is such a great topic to discuss! I’ve always thought about what it is that either makes me love a book or hate it, but there’s so many different reasons haha. For me though, I think a lot of it is to do with pacing and characters. If I can connect with the characters and understand their motives then I know I’ll enjoy the book!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I struggle a lot with unlikeable characters and contrived plot lines. If I’m going to dislike a character, I need to at least understand where their motivations lie, and I need what happens in the story to be believeable in how the steps pan out. I’ve also been reading a lot of romance for the month of February, and it really bothers me when the hero is creepy but his love interest thinks it’s cute just because he’s attractive.

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  8. What makes or breaks a book for me is ultimately the characters! If I dislike the characters and, most often, don’t care for them, the book is only getting a 3 star at the most. I also really want to be impressed while I’m reading like, “oh this is so creative why didn’t I think of this first.” I feel bad about myself afterwards, though 😂

    Liked by 1 person

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