I guess the answer to that question is very individual, and I can talk only about what makes a good book for me.
For me, a book is good if it makes me feel.
It doesn’t matter what – happiness, anger, frustration, fear. It makes me think about the characters while going on about my daily tasks; dwell on the story and possible outcomes while shopping in Tesco; cry when a love triangle gets impossibly tangled; choose reading over a movie with Ryan Gosling; throw the book against the wall when the ending is not what I wanted (although since I have a Kindle I refrain from that).
All of the four books of the “Star-crossed” series by Rachel Higginson are exactly that. I can’t even believe these books are not published by one of the big houses. The story is so attention grabbing from the very beginning that in the end of the day it left me emotionally drained. It has everything a good YA novel needs to be successful and entertaining – fast pace, love, feisty lead character, supernatural powers, lots of action and twist and turns, death, destruction, desperation, hope. I could never predict where the story was going because Ms Higginson has created a truly unpredictable heroine in Eden and also, she reveals the secrets of her amazing world little by little. I never knew what to expect on the next page because I just didn’t know the whole story yet. And that’s what kept me turning the pages with pleasure.
Sometimes the urge to throw my Kindle against the wall got so strong that I almost did it. Eden may be a wonderfully developed character but she’s also so stubborn and irritating in her self-doubt that I found myself shouting at an electronic device that couldn’t respond. I cried so many times I lost count. I laughed at the sarcastic remarks Eden loves so much and truly gloated with satisfaction when the baddies got what they deserved.
Now that’s what makes a good book.