Tuesday, February 21, 2012

February Book Club

For February our meeting fell on Valentine's Day. We all decided we would still meet and a suggestion came up that we read a Harlequin book. We decided that each of us would pick a different title based on our likes. We had a suspense, one with a Greek Billionaire, a baby mystery and cowboys. My pick was The Major and the Librarian by Nikki Benjamin.

For four years Major Sam Griffin had stayed away from Serenity, Texas, gruffly avoiding the fact that he was still heart-achingly in love with the woman who had almost married his brother.

Now home on leave, the devastatingly handsome pilot had to face beautiful Emma Dalton again. And though there was unmistakable yearning in her eyes, Sam could never put down the roots he knew the shy librarian so strongly craved. When Sam finally had the chance to win the heart of the woman he'd always loved, could he convince Emma that her home would always be where he was? (from Goodreads)

This book should only be like a 4 star, but because the librarian wasn't a stereotyped character it got that extra star! I really liked the story and the characters were all likable. I really loved that she wasn't the stereotyped stuffy librarian and she had to go through some transformation to get the guy, there were no Dewey jokes, or anything like that. She was a librarian, it was her job, it didn't define her! Nikki Benjamin rocks in my book because of that!

That's the review I wrote on Goodreads and I started to think to myself about why I rate books the way I do. Normally it's just how I felt at the end of reading the book, but that's not always a good rating of how the book stacked up to others I've read. As I reviewed this one I realized that there are 5 things I look for in a book.

  1. Characters - I need to feel a connection to the main characters.  I need to care enough about them to feel invested in the story.
  2. Plot - Simply, was it a good story?  Did I read everything or was I skimming along?
  3. Setting/Accuracy - If the book is set in Regency England is the language correct?  If referencing a certain historical even or person is it an accurate account? There's nothing more annoying that reading along and finding a mistake that with a little research could easily have been fixed.
  4. Genre - If I'm reading a romance, was there romance?  If I'm reading a mystery am I really intrigued or did I figure it out in the first chapter?
  5. That extra something - Does that story have an extra little something?  Is there a secondary character that makes my day, or a sub-storyline that adds a nice flare to the main storyline?  Just something that makes this story stand out. 

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