Posted in Weekly Posts

Musing Mondays (March 17)


Hosted by Should Be Reading
Musing Mondays asks you to muse about one of the following each week…• Describe one of your reading habits.

• Tell us what book(s) you recently bought for yourself or someone else, and why you chose that/those book(s).

• What book are you currently desperate to get your hands on? Tell us about it!

• Tell us what you’re reading right now — what you think of it, so far; why you chose it; what you are (or, aren’t) enjoying it.

• Do you have a bookish rant? Something about books or reading (or the industry) that gets your ire up? Share it with us!

• Instead of the above questions, maybe you just want to ramble on about something else pertaining to books — let’s hear it, then!

My Musing this week is What Makes a Good Read?

Over the weekend I started reading The Next Time You See Me by Holly Goddard Jones and the moment I opened the first page it was clear that this was a book I’d love. That got me thinking, what it is about certain books where you know from the start that you are in for a good read?

This book had none of the obvious hooks for me. It wasn’t the location. I love books set in London as a place I have fond memories from both childhood as well as an adult; this book is set in a small town in America. London

I didn’t immediately identify with the first character, Emily, a young bullied schoolgirl. Although never in with the cool kids I got through school unscathed with nothing more than the general teasing that happens to everyone, and yet something called to me. Was it the first scene sat in a classroom? The young Emily in awe of the poised and amusing Christopher, certainly something that I can relate too, but that surely isn’t enough to warm so immediately to a story?

The genre is spot on, I love a good mystery, but as I read a lot of them although often grabbed by a startling sentence as in Unravelling Oliver by Liz Nugent, I don’t usually immediately think ‘this is going to be special’

You can read my reviews by clicking on the book covers below

Unravelling Oliver

I’m afraid I still can’t articulate how I knew that this was one of those special books although the style of writing is insightful without being wordy.

There are writers whose books I am always sure I will enjoy, I have spoken before about the feeling of being wrapped in a duvet of familiarity when reading Barbara Vine.

Lisa Jewell always writes a rattling good tale which engages me from the first page, quite an accomplishment as she writes about varied subjects.

… and the list goes on of writers who I go to for a guaranteed good read. However, when I consider the number of books I must have read, it is far rarer for a new author to grab me quite the way Holly Goddard Jones has. Are there components to a book that make you fall in love with it or are you like me and sometimes a book just gels and it is love at first page?


A book lover who clearly has issues as obsessed with crime despite leading a respectable life

23 thoughts on “Musing Mondays (March 17)

  1. I don’t think I’ve ever felt love-at-first-page. As someone who usually reads fantasy, I find a deep, detailed world the most important aspect. But sometimes even with that there’s just no spark. I think it’s to do with writing style. Some writers are true artists, and I can’t pull myself from their world until the last page. Perhaps it’s to do with how immersed the writer is in their world. Perhaps we’ll never know what makes “the one”…


    1. So true Jo, I often end up loving a book despite feeling doubtful at the beginning… That Dark Day Remembered by Tom Vowler was a little bit like that and ended up being a resounding 5 star read.


  2. This is really thought-provoking. I’m not sure I can spell it out–sometimes you just KNOW! I do know that one thing that can make or break a book for me is the dialogue–if the dialogue rings true, and if I can almost hear the characters speaking, then I know I’ve got a winner. If the dialogue doesn’t seem authentic, that can be a dealbreaker for me.


  3. I don’t think I ever know I’ll love it on page 1, but sometimes I know I’ll hate it! It usually takes me a while to get into a book, unless it’s part of a series that I love – like Rankin or Reginald Hill (much missed). With them I have that ‘I’m going to love this’ feeling even as I’m opening the book…


  4. I love that feeling when you open a book and sink down into the writing. It just fits. I don’t know if I can pinpoint what exactly makes it that way. Maybe it’s the language/writing style that first attracts me. At the opposite end of the spectrum, I hate it when there is some ridiculous plot twist at the end of a book that ruins it!


    1. I think I’d find it much easier to list the things that I dislike in a book than putting my finger on what makes me love a book because I think it is probably a combination that creates that magical feeling!


  5. What a neat conversation. I feel lucky that usually I can tell by the first chapter if a book will be for me or not. That’s why I started a First Chapter Review feature at my blog. It’s definitely more a style thing for me, but one of the reasons I became such a fan of Karen White is because she ties past and present together so beautifully.

    Hope you have a great week.


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