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Frith
I am picking up the December posting meme again, because I'm just that awesome!

imbecamiel asked, What makes you love a book?

The short answer to this is: characters. I need protagonists that I like and sympathise with. They don't necessarily have to be good people, but I still have to empathise with them (even if it's while simultaneously thinking, "Wow, you're a terrible person!" I'm having a problem coming up with an example off the top of my head, but the movie In Bruges would be a perfect one. If it were a book.) When I don't care about anyone I tend to wonder why I'm reading a book at all and wind up totally hating it. (See: Wuthering Heights.)

Also definitely important is the story itself, and the worldbuilding, and how both of those relate back to the characters. I like plots which are expanding, and uplifting, and end with the characters being better and deeper than they were before. I love stories which are difficult, and dangerous, but are ultimately about growth and joy. Sam Vimes and October Daye and Tiffany Aching and Miles Vorkosigan and Lirael and Tris.

There are some genres in which I'm more likely to find books I love -- sci-fi and fantasy over real life; although Anne Fine's All Bones and Lies is one of my comfort reads, and "traditional" male-dominated SFF leaves me cold. Guy Gavriel Kay's alternate history over actual history, with exceptions for Rosemary Sutcliff. Stories about women. Stories about young girls being powerful and changing the world.

I love... imagination. Patriarchal romance is boring when there are lesbian sky-pirates and bloggers documenting the zombie apocalypse and female faerie private investigators and Regency academic magicians and crystal dragons which are the secret hearts of mountains. I love stories which show that there's more, and characters who embrace that.

These are books which I love.

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