Saturday, June 23, 2012

Can you relate?

When I'm reading a book, the most important element to me is character development.  I want deeply developed characters that I can relate to and almost become friends with.  It's really important to me to have this element in a story or I find myself losing interest quickly.  this is one reason I love this year's Summer Sizzlers.

In The BFG both the BFG himself and Sophie are strongly developed characters.  I can visualize them and I feel like I'm in their heads.  I especially love the BFG's bumbling language.  It's so endearing, sweet and funny.  It definitely helps develop his character, too.  Roald Dahl was a master at character, wasn't he?  Think back to Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, The Witches, The Twits, James and the giant Peach.  A master, I tell you, a master.

In Old Yeller I feel like I really know Travis, even though he lived a long time ago in a way different situation than I do.  I love his strong loyalty to his family and, later, to his dog.  And of course I love the dog.  And here's the thing, I'm not really even a dog person that much.  I'm a cat person.  But really, you can't help but love Old Yeller, right?  I think it's pretty interesting how an author can get you to love an animal.  animals can't even talk.  How do they do it?

I think both characters in Flipped, Bryce and Juli, are really well developed, and I think that is in large pat due to the format of the novel.  Alternating chapters has become much more popular in the last several years than it ever used to be.  In some ways I like it because you can really follow a character's progression, thoughts, actions, etc. intensely.  On the other hand, Just when you really get going with one character, it's usually time to do the switch off, and that can be  little frustrating when you want to get back to character A but it's character B's turn.  I find it does make me read faster, though!  Do you like the alternating characters style?

Which characters do you really connect with in these books or others?  Leave a comment to let us know!

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