Let’s Talk Bookish: Does having a good message automatically make a book good?

Hello! This LTB post is a little late, and it’s taken me a while to finish the post. I’ve had a lot of fun writing it though, and I really like this week’s topic.

My overall answer to the question for this week is no. There is so much more that goes into a book and that makes a book good outside of the message, but it was great to go more into what exactly my thoughts are on it.

Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly discussion post created by Rukky @ Eternity Books and is hosted by Rukky and Dani @ A Literary Lion! This week’s topic is from Rukky, and is does having a good message automatically make a book good?

If you see good representation in a bad story, do you still consider it a good book?

Not necessarily. I think that good representation does a lot to make a book good, but it’s not the only thing that I’ll consider. Having a compelling plot, interesting characters, and engaging writing are all very important. Without good representation though, I definitely will think a lot less of a book.

Are you more lenient with an ‘okay’ book if it has an important message?

I’m definitely more lenient with an okay book with an important message than an okay book with no important message. I do think that the main message of a book though has a lot to do with whether or not I think a book is okay, or good, or bad, or whatever.

How do you deal with a book that you disliked/hated if you think it still has an important theme?

I don’t think that there are any books that I hated, or disliked with important themes. There aren’t that many books that I really hate, and I don’t rate many books one or two stars. I think that’s mostly because I try to read books that I really think I’ll like, and I read reviews of books before I read them a lot of the time.

But in my more negative reviews, I do try to be constructive, and also make sure I’m also talking about the positive aspects of the book. This would include making sure to talk about an important theme that I liked seeing in the book.

Do you think we should actively recommend books with positive/important messages even if we personally didn’t like the book?

Not if we think the book was genuinely bad, but there are some books that I thought were alright that I’ll still recommend.

Books that I gave three stars, that I didn’t love but still liked, I will recommend to people who I think will enjoy and appreciate them. Those books are usually ones that I think have important messages and themes, and if I know someone who likes books with those themes, then I’ll definitely recommend them.

There is a difference between disliking a book, or being indifferent to it, or thinking that it was okay, just not really good. I wouldn’t say to recommend you genuinely disliked, especially if you have reasons outside of the positive message. For example, a book with a good or positive message but that also has problematic and harmful content despite the message is not one that you should be recommending.

So it really depends on the content of the book, and more than just the message of it.


Wrapping this up…

A book having a good message doesn’t automatically make it a good book, but it does make the book better than it would be without that message (at least for me.) It really depends on the other parts of the book though!!

Do you think that having a good message automatically makes a book good? How do you handle a book you disliked with an important message? What did you think about this post? Chat with me in the comments below!

5 thoughts on “Let’s Talk Bookish: Does having a good message automatically make a book good?

  1. that’s actually such an interesting topic because it’s something i’ve been thinking so much about, for a very random season, actually, lol. if you follow youtube drama at all, then you probably now gabbie hanna. if you don’t, the long story short is that gabbie hanna is this youtuber, who wrote a poetry book that was pretty roasted online. and she felt like because her book was based in her personal experience with abuse, depression, self-harm, etc., that then all critique of her book was not fair.

    i disagreed rather strongly with this sentiment, because i don’t think that a book should not be critiqued at all just because it was personal for the author. at the end of the day, once you start charging people from it, they’re free to share their opinions. BUT, reading your post made me realize how it’s actually not as black and white as that. i do agree that for some rep, i’d still recommend a book, even if i gave it 2/3 stars, because me not liking it doesn’t mean that the book can’t still be meaningful to someone else.

    amazing discussion!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i hadn’t heard of gabbie hanna, but from what you wrote that’s a really messy situation. i agree with you that once you start charging people for a book, and sharing it publicly, you can’t just reject any critique of it being out there. you do definitely have to give a book some credit for the rep if it’s based on the authors personal experiences, but you don’t have to rate it 5 stars just because of that.

      thank you so much for your comment!!

      Liked by 1 person

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