Let’s Talk Bookish – What makes a great book?

Hi guys and welcome to another Let’s Talk Bookish post! Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme, created and hosted by me, where we discuss chosen topics, share our opinions, and spread the love by visiting each other’s posts.

Today’s topic is: What, in your opinion, makes a great book?

This is a topic that I’m pretty excited about, because I think that the most important aspect of a book differs from reader to reader, so I’m excited to see all of your opinions about this! For me, plot is the most important aspect that makes a great book.

P.S. I just realized that I didn’t properly answer the question, because there are a lot of other things besides plot that makes a great book (the question doesn’t ask what’s the most important aspect, but what makes a great book), but I’m going to go with what I’ve already written for now because this post is already late. Sorry!


I flip flop a lot between my preference for character driven books, and plot driven books, but about 90% of the time, I prefer plot driven books.

The plot has to be thrilling, exciting, with good and believable twists and surprises. You can’t just have random things going on that have nothing to do with each other, or use magic to brush off something as “oh, magic fixed that, let’s move on”, and you can not have twists that are so far-fetched and so unbelievable, and so out of nowhere that I end up hating the book.

It has to be carefully and perfectly done. A few major twists, a few minor ones, an exciting build up to a stunning (preferably explosive) reveal, and a nice epilogue or wrap-up. If it’s a cliffhanger, it better be a very good one that leaves me shocked and crying for the next book. Those, in my opinion, are the ingredients for a perfect plot.

Why is plot what I think makes a book?

Well, I read a lot of mysteries and thrillers, so the plot is everything. Even with fantasy books, or contemporaries or whatever, the plot still matters immensely, because it keeps the story moving. It can be a character-driven book, but there has to be something going on, something at stake for the characters to help make it a character-driven book.

If the book had no plot, and it’s supposed to be character-driven, what’s the point in reading it? There’s nothing going on, it’s just characters moving through life and recounting thoughts and stuff. Without a good plot (it can even be a weak one, there just has to be some sort of a plot that makes sense), there really is nothing to help them have a character arc, and it makes it tedious to read about their lives. Unless of course it’s a book about their lives, and even then, there will be some sort of a plot.

In mysteries or thrillers, the plot is the book. Without the plot, there is no book, so a good exciting plot is very important and non-negotiable in those kind of books. And it also has to be plausible and believable-no superhuman strengths or a person defying death too many times to count, when there is nothing in the book about a character with superhuman strength or the ability to defy death.

In conclusion, I think plot is the most important aspect in any book because it gives the reader something to look forward to, or something that motivates them to find out what happens at the end. You can have horrible characters, but a great plot, and that can still save the story for some readers.

This Week’s Participants:

Ashlee @ Books Are 42 | Jane @ Blogger Books

What do you think? Is plot the most important part in a book for you? Do you prefer character-driven or plot-driven books? Do you think that the most important aspect of a book differs from genre to genre, or reader to reader? What do you think makes a great book? Chat with me in the comments below!

8 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish – What makes a great book?

  1. I think the plots important as, like you’ve said, it keeps the story moving. I do think, for me, it’s kind of a balance of everything though including the characters and writing. If ones bad it can drag the whole thing down. I read a thriller once where the plot should have been fantastic but the main villain just felt really badly written to me and then the writing got pretty poor in places too. But then with The Lovely Bones it felt well written to me but it just felt like it went nowhere plotwise (and some bits felt a bit bizarre). So I think everything has to balance out on the whole as if one aspect is particularly bad it can drag the whole book down.


  2. I agree wholeheartedly. Exciting plots literally keep you on the edge of your seat! 😄

    The Night Circus was supposed to be amazing but at the end of the book I was just sitting there like…”what was the plot???”. Unpopular opinion, but it was really disappointing 😒. I enjoyed the book and the characters to an extent. The rest of the time there was no plot, no excitement, nothing driving the book, you know? I don’t even know what made me read to the end…🤷‍♀️

    The Cruel Prince and The Wicked King were real game changers. The plot twists came up from NOWHERE and shocked my toes off!!! 😭😭 And they were believable which made me enjoy it exponentially. I’m counting the days till The Queen of Nothing because I need to know what happens!!!

    I also agree that using magic to patch up the plot is a poor move 👎

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yay, I’m glad you do Zahra!! I don’t know if I’ve heard of The Night Circus, but, I’m sorry it was so disappointing. Lol, I guess the characters were good enough to make you finish, but I get how it can be disappointing.

      YES!!! The twists in TWK specifically were awesome!! The ending was just mindblowing, and I was seriously not expecting that! I’m so excited for TQoN tooo!!! Ahh, finally it’s November 😓

      It’s a horrible ridiculous annoying move lol


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