Even if the characters are fictional.

A while ago I was checking updates on Goodreads when i stumbled upon a post made by Jennifer Niven, it was related to my favorite book of all time which was written by her, All the Bright Places.The post was about some merch being sold but that’s not the point i wanna make.

The thing is, there was an image she drew and it was related to the main characters on the book, the moment i saw it i remembered the stuff that happens on the book  and i started crying.. To be completely honest with you, i’m crying as i write these words.

You see, many people don’t understand why I cry when i read books. To be fair, maybe  i cry a little too much when reading them, but come on, if you haven’t cried while reading a book you are not reading the right books. [i’m not actually criticizing the books you read, it’s totally fine if you don’t cry].

I tend to read YA books because they can make me cry, and that’s something i really need, i need the attachment to the characters to like the book, otherwise it feels like it leaves an emptiness in my chest. Fairly enough crying over fictional leaves an emptiness even greater, but one i can deal with by crying some more.

Getting attached to characters and feeling their pain, even when this is fictional is pretty much my reason of being.

Do you know the quote that says “The characters are fictional but the pain is real”?

Well, that’s exactly how i feel. Oh, gosh, is that just completely a fangirling mood? Wait, do only people that fangirl/fanboy and get too attached to characters cry when reading books? Didn’t people who read My sister’s keeper not cry at the end? A regular person that read All the Bright Places, did not cry for days after finishing the book?

That’s impossible, i’m pretty sure the people that don’t understand me crying because of a book is because they are not readers themselves. There’s no way sometimes books make people cry because they are so emotional and the authors nail the story.

Some authors are geniuses, that’s a fact … that has to be a freaking fact. We are talking about people that can create such emotional settings, so lovable characters, such intense scenes, there’s no way in hell they aren’t at least, amazingness walking!

Come on, i read All the Bright Places back in May 2015 and whenever i remember the book i start crying and cannot stop for days! So, maybe not all the people who read the book still cry when remembering it, but i’m sure most of them cried when reading it.

No, i have no idea where all this is going, i’m just upset and crying like a baby and needed to tell someone that the bond created with fictional charcters is as real as a bond we may share with real people in our real lives, the fact that they are fictional does not make it less important or real, or at least, that’s what i believe.

Yeah, i cried when i finished reading Harry Potter, because the characters, i mean.. i grew up with them, that’s fine, right? I cried (of happiness) when i finished reading Aristotle&Dante discover the secrets of the universe, because it put me in such a happy place.. I cried while reading the chapter where Michael (from The Rest Of Us Just Live Here) had the meeting with the his therapist, because it hit close to home. I cried when i finished reading Fangirl because it was such a perfect ending. I’ll cry when reading The Raven King, i’m pretty sure, because i love those characters and whatever happens to them it’s important to me.

On the other side, sometimes i cry  when reading non-fiction, that’s because sometimes i read about difficult stuff and the suffering of real people is obviously heartbreaking. Still, some people don’t understand why would i cry when reading about the suffering of other people …… You see, these people just don’t understand s***.

I just realized, i’m really not sure other people cry as much as i do when reading books…

What about you guys? Do you cry because of fictional characters? they don’t really have to be from books, what about fictional characters from movies or tv shows or even games? Feel free to comment on whatever you are feeling, I’m the queen of tears.

C.

 

 

 

 

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Cliches in YA books.

When looking for the next book to read i usually dig a little in the story just to make sure i won’t be finding some terrible and already boring cliches that seem to appear in every possible YA book. It feels as if those were the only ideas in the universe, and they aren’t so i always avoid them and try to find more creative authors.

To be honest, it’s difficult. Apparently there are very little kind of trouble a couple may have, loves triangles happen all the time (never saw one in real life actually), Romeo&Juliette are nothing but hipsters that did it before it was cool and so on..

I wonder, do they have no creative ideas because they tried but didn’t come up with anything or they aren’t even trying at all? Because it surely feels as if they were underestimating the readers sometimes…

I mean, am i the only one feeling like that’s the case? Some writers seem to be making easy money on us, while some incredible fanfiction writers create better stories for borrowed characters than the original ones they come from.

And the thing is, while i do see people complain about cliches, many of them seem to miss the cliches in the books they actually like, and to be honest i may be missing the hints myself, which feels ridiculous, i mean, how come we don’t see the cliches when we like something but see them when we don’t? The brain is a weird thing…(says my own brain…).

So, let’s talk a bit about these cliches …

  1. New girl in town falls for the oh-so-cool guy that everyone loves but is a loner even thou he is so popular. I mean, really? that’s the only way people may fall for one another? Not even by coincidence that this year they just have biology together and for the first time talk to each other even thou they have been in the same school since kindergarten? And why is the guy so many times something special? why can’t he be just plain human? Please, if this ever happened to you, and now you are dating your werewolf soulmate, let me know.
  2. Love Triangles. Everyone loves the girl, who actually is the dullest dull to ever dull and i totally can’t understand why is everyone so obsessed with her. As she is the narrator of the story most of the time, we know she is dull and mostly boring, yet boys seem to be fascinated by her. Yes, sometimes she is a little more than just dull, and yet, do everyone have to be in love with her? Why is everyone loving one girl? is she the only girl there? Also, please at least if they love her, make them interact and fall for her not insta-love(i’ll talk about it later).
  3. Marys and Garys Stu. It doesn’t matter if they have been living in the world all their lives or they just discovered it, apparently there’s always one character (at least) that can do EVERYTHING perfectly.  They are incredible fighters, wizards, talented killers, great cooks, the town’s best athletes, Valedictorians, the most avid readers out there, the best cast spellers, and also inhumanly beautiful. Seriously? They don’t have flows, and many people seem to not see it. I don’t wanna give names of characters here, but we all can think of one or two (or twenty).
  4. Prophecies and Chosen Ones. Yes, the first few times i read those i enjoyed it, but after a while, it becomes really dull. I mean, isn’t there any other way people can become something? Are we all just subject to fate, no one is to decide his destiny, is it all already written? Well, at least now i don’t have to care or make any important choices, everything is already decided before hand.
  5. Everything is an experiment. Whenever someone has a great idea for the first book but doesn’t know how to explain it, it’s always a great solution to make it all an experiment. Yes, i don’t know why, but that’s how it looks like there was a good idea, but no probable way to fully develop it, so they just throw the experiment thing out there and it just explains everything. Why does the sun rise every morning? Because of an experiment we made. Yeah, right.
  6. The orphan or parents that aren’t there. For some reason, there’s something about parents being dead or not giving a damn about their children in YA books. Most of the time they aren’t there, why? This also happens in ‘YA movies’ even in the ones not adapted from books. I don’t have a dad, and i know a lot of people lacking, at least, one parent and still it feels way too frequent in books. Also, why is always a not caring parent the one to blame about all the protagonist’s problems? sometimes people are just messed up even when their family loves them.
  7. The end of life as we knew it. Please don’t get me wrong.  I love dystopian worlds, but at some point, i have to stop reading them because they start to all look the same. I come back after a while and then again, they start all looking the same. Most aliens aren’t nice, civilizations go to hell, WW IV destroyed every country and there are only little communities alive, blah, blah, blah and also, experiments (see point 5).
  8. Unnecessary sequels and fillers. Because sometimes stories and good and deserve sequels, but sometimes the writer is just wanting to make more money. Bonus: splitting books into two movies, once again just to make more money… can’t wait to watch Star Wars episode IX and a  I/II.
  9. Instalove. Because who needs to actually get to know someone these days before falling for them? And it’s not like they develop a crush it’s actually soulmates love that will last forever and ever, even when they try to stop themselves or people don’t want them to be together.
  10. Bookish characters and other geeky stuff. I’ve always found this to be a little condescending, although i’m not sure if the writers are trying to make us relate to the characters because we like reading too (obviously, otherwise i wouldn’t be reading the book) or because they want us to know how much of pop culture they know. Also, using old geeky stuff to try and lure us or somethign, i don’t know i just find them annoying. Please just stop talking abouot Dickens’ books in your book, it’s just pretentious.

There you have it, a list of annoying (to me) cliches, obviously there are a bunch more, but these are the ones that i could think of at this moment.

Bonus Cliche (and a favorite of mine) – Discovering a new ‘world’. I do love the books where the protagonist discovers a different ‘world’ and finds out he/she actually belongs to  it instead of our regular and boring world or just now because of knowing it exists he/she becomes part of it.

examples:

  • Harry Potter
  • The Castor Chronicles
  • The Magicians
  • The Mortal Instruments

Okay, so these books may have other cliches i commented on before…it’s almost impossible to find a completely original book, but if you do know about some, please let me know i’ll be more than happy to find and read some fresh and original stuff!

‘Til Next Time 😉

C.

 

 

On Reading YA Books

A few weeks ago i was looking at the books i own, trying to decide what to read next. While reading the name of the books and the authors, i realised i own a good amount of Stephen King’s, Haruki Murakami’s and Neil Gaiman’s. This shouldn’t seem weird to me, since last year i discovered i enjoy their styles very much.

Anyway, when trying to decide which book to read i found myself unable to choose one of those books. I then tried to figure out what was bothering me so much, if i enjoy their books how come i don’t want to read any of them?

Finally i took a step aside and understand what kind of book i was looking for.

What I ended up understanding was something much deeper than I originally expected.

As much as i love fiction, and by this i mean, fiction for ‘normal grown ups’, there’s something  stopping me from reading these books, there’s something missing in them… in my opinion, obviously.

The thing is, when i read fiction i don’t see myself reflected on the characters, as a matter of fact, most of the time i don’t care about the characters at all…

So, when looking for what makes me click with a book i realised the thing i like the most is when i can get attached to the characters, really feel their feelings, their pain…

After understanding that i was looking to feeling/filling the part of a character of the book i knew why i couldn’t read any those writers books at the moment.

One of the most importangt things when reading is the catharsis at the end of it, which i don’t get when reading about something or someone i can’t relate to.

Yeah, somewhere i read that the farest from you the stor ythe most you use your imagination, but apparently i’m not there yet.

So, i decided to stick to the kind of books that i relate to, those i relate to a lot.

Luckly for us/for me, we live in a time when Young Adult literature is in full blossom, you can find so many great authors and books, it’s a blessing.

From coming of age, to historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, more diversity [even though it can still improve], there’s a huge amount of topics and issues being brought up by authors and for young(er) minds.

Obviously i do not believe that only teenagers and dsuch can read these books.. In my opinion YA books are one of the most readers friendly books out there. In YA there very little ‘strong’ content that teenagers shouldn’t be reading about, it can also bring back to the surface the younger spirit of the older readers.

So yeah, most of the time if i need to recommend a book, it’s more likely i’ll be recommending a YA book, even to older people, because if there’s something most people (?) have in common is that time when growing up, when we weren’t completely sure about ourselves, so we all can relate to those books.

There, now you know. In my opinion, YA literature is one of the most important and relevant literatures. These books can help young people to get through difficult times, show them they are not alone in this. Also, to older readers [with whom i include myself] it remind us of wonderful times, and even discover part of ourselves we didn’t think or understand before.

These days kids and young adults have a bigger support in many topics that once were sort of taboo, and as society starts to embrace these issues, so needs to do the literature.

And so, YA Books takes a place in the new literary style, one that started developing not so long ago and made it possible for other styles to develop too…

From now on, i’ll be talking a bit more about the things that i enjoy so much [or don’t like, there are some topics about it too] in YA lit, it’s going to be a long ride.

Hope you join me, ’til next time 😉

C.