During Sunday dinner at my parents' house, my mom announced to my kids that she had a game for them. Clearly with high expectations for what the game might be, my oldest son said, "I hope you don't disappoint us!"
Subconsciously I think the same thing when I start reading a book. I have expectations (sometimes high ones) and I'm hoping the book won't disappoint.
Recently I started a new book with high hopes - loved the cover, the concept, the characters - but sadly I was disappointed after the first chapter. The more I read the more I became aware of the author's device for avoiding overused actions like stared or smiled. While this can be a good thing, in this case, it led to overwriting. Because the actions were so well described or lengthy, I found myself constantly being pulled out of the story.
On the flip side, I recently re-read Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson. This book doesn't disappoint - even the second time around. The writing is concise and powerful. The historical details lend to the story, not overshadow it. And best of all, there's a little romance. My favorite books are ones like this - ones where I fall effortlessly into the story.
What do love about the books you love? What disappoints you in a book?