So despite the fact that I'm a very picky reader (I usually do a lot to judge whether or not a book is worth reading), my reading list is over 260 books long. (Whoops.)
And I have a set of book rules to judge whether a book's worth reading or not. So here they are.
1. If the book is published during or after the year of 2005, be wary of it.
It seems that everyone's cashing in on the still-ongoing Twilight craze, and almost every paranormal romance book (which, you know, suck) I have come across was published after/during 2005.
This rule also applies (in a different kind of way) to printings after 2005. For example, in a printing of The Secret Hour (The Midnighters), an excellent book series by Scott Westerfeld, the blurb was along the lines of 'Jessica Day, new girl at school, feels the eyes of the mysterious black-clad Rex Greene on her in school. Oh, and there are stuff out to kill her.'
Now, my sister saw the blurb when I was re-reading the book, and she said she'd like to read it. I lent it to her, and she absolutely HATED it. (But went to read the rest of the trilogy for some reason.) She thought that, you know, it would be a romance with Rexy. NOPE. It's much more involved in actual plot, the first day of school (when Rex first saw Jessica) was written in Rex's point of view and he was staring at her because she had the Focus (which is what something has when touched by midnight).
As for the romance. Not very spoilery: Jessica and Jonathan get together.
Kind of spoilery, but at the same time you saw it coming: Rex and Melissa get together in the next book.
And the awesomeness that is Dess has no romance around her. It's solid kicking ass and math. Which is really cool.
Geez, that was far off topic.
2. If there is a mysterious girl, girl in a dress, girl not facing the camera, poker-faced girl etc etc. on the cover, be wary of that, too.
This rule does not apply if the cover was changed during/after 2005. (This 2005 is a big thing.) If that's the case, most likely publishers/bookshops are trying to increase sales.
However, more often than not, the book will be less than good. And the girl on the cover will not be as badass as she seems, nor will she ever wear a cool dress.
3. If it's a trilogy, or quartet, it may not be good.
First book: Awesome, leaves things kind of wrapped up.
Second book: Less cool, more prominent love triangle, ends on cliffhanger.
Third book: Almost all love triangle. Generally sucks.
4. If there are more than two guys mentioned in the blurb, there will be no plot.
The book will instead mainly focus on romance, which would not be a problem if the book promised a magical, riveting, unpredictable plot. The plot will instead be nonexistent until around the last fifty pages.
5. Look at reviews.
I believe Goodreads orders the reviews according to how often it was viewed. These, naturally, are by more popular reviewers, who have an excellent taste in books. The book may have an overall rating of, say, four out of five stars, but if the first page of reviews is mostly one or two stars, move on.
6. If the title of the series is the same as the title of the first book, the book will most likely suck.
This is indisputable.
7. I can ignore all of these rules if the book is by an author I know and trust.
For me, this is mostly JK Rowling, John Green, Emily Rodda and Scott Westerfeld.
8. I can ignore these rules whenever I want.
But not the first one.