Saturday, April 25, 2009

Imagining Others

I just finished reading Paper Towns by John Green this evening, which I really enjoyed. It was thoughtful, funny, and at some points, quite heartbreaking. Plus, it's by John Green, who, if you've ever seen his videos on YouTube, is totally hilarious. NERDFIGHTERS! DFTBA!

Erm, anyway...the book talks a lot about imagining other people, and if we're able to ever really fully imagine other people, and when we can imagine them best, and how sometimes we're just in love with the idea of a person rather than a person itself. All of this I find rather fascinating, by the way. The fact that we're all in our own shells and we'll always only ever be us, but at the same time, we rely so much on our connections with other people--that these are what make our life full. In fact, wanting to get into someone else's head is one of my main motivators for writing.

One of the scenes I liked in the book was when the main character, Quentin, and his friends were on a road trip. They were playing a game they made up called That Guy is a Gigolo (which is a great name for a game, by the way) where you basically see random people and imagine who they are...what their story is. I can't help but do this sometimes, especially when I see people walking alongside a highway or doing something otherwise strange. Usually my ideas of their lives are somewhat romanticized or melodramatic, and that comes into play in the book too: sometimes what you imagine about others shows more about you than it does about them.

Anyone else like thinking about the possible lives of strangers?

Oh, and speaking of Paper Towns, which cover did you prefer? I read the sad one, but I didn't have much choice in the matter, since I just got the library system to send me a copy. I really can't wait to see what they do cover-wise with the paperback version!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Emotional Investment

In almost all forms of entertainment, emotional investment seems to be key. I know I talked about American Idol earlier, and I'm not going to bore you with more American Idol details, but let's just say, I'm emotionally invested in one of the contestants (ANOOP!) and that's why I keep tuning in. Books are pretty similar. To keep turning the pages, or buying books in a series, you have to be emotionally invested in at least one character.

One series I was emotionally invested in--along with, like, half the world--was Harry Potter. While I, of course, was just as interested in Harry and his quests as everyone else, my most genuine emotional investment involved Hermione and Ron. I think it's because I could really relate to Hermione. I have the bushy brown hair and everything! Since book four or so, I've been on the edge of my seat, waiting for Ron and Hermione to finally be together.

Another book I was emotionally invested in was The Catcher in the Rye. Again, it was the relatability and sympathy of Holden that made me feel this way. I wanted him to not be so lost. I wanted things to be okay for him.

More recently, I just finished reading Jellicoe Road (which is the book I was talking about in my last post). In the beginning of the book, I was not as invested in the main character, Taylor, but by the end, I cared so much about her. I was outraged when she didn't get the information she deserved and was devestated along with her at a disaster towards the end. The book, overall, was very good by the way, and I highly reccomend it.

What are some books you all were emotionally invested in, and what do you think makes you emotionally invest in a book or a character?

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Puzzle Pieces

I'm reading a YA book right now that's interesting to say the least. The beginning is confusing, but not in a badly written way. It's more like the author is scattering the puzzle pieces for later on in the book when the reader starts putting them together. I'm far enough in the book that a lot of the things that had me scratching my head earlier on are starting to make sense. Since I'm not done reading it yet, I don't have any official review of the book for you guys, but it sure is intriguing!

What do you guys think of these "puzzle piece" kind of books?

And can anyone guess what book I'm reading? It's fairly big in the YA least when it comes to winning awards. Hint, hint.