I've noticed something recently in (mostly) contemporary YA. In fantasy/paranormal/dystopia you can get away with weird names, but in contemporary YA, which is supposed to be REALISTIC, I see these female main characters getting guys' names. Examples?
I mean, really??? Who calls their daughter Hudson? (I apologize to any female with this name!) Or Ryan?!?! Some names, like Alex or Spencer or Parker or Courtney, you can get away with, but some just take it too far. Why can't contemporary authors call their characters something ordinary like Jessica or Hannah or Laura? Kudos to authors like Elizabeth Scott and Susane Colasanti, who use well-known first names in their novels. Trust me, this makes novels far more relatable to and their situations more lifelike, and so therefore they sell more copies!!
although, I do have a fondness for the name Eddie, as used by Courtney Summers in "Fall for Anything" :)
Tuesday, 10 January 2012
There's a difference between falling and letting go.
Lauren has a good life: decent grades, great friends, and a boyfriend every girl lusts after? So why is she so unhappy?
It takes the arrival of Evan Kirkland for Lauren to figure out the answer: she's been holding back. She's been denying herself a bunch of things because staying with her loyal and gorgeous boyfriend, Dave, is the "right" thing to do. After all, who would give up the perfect guy?
But as Dave starts talking more and more about their life together, planning a future Lauren simply can't see herself in - and as Lauren's craving for Evan and, moreover, who she is with Evan becomes all the more fierce - Lauren realizes she needs to make a choice... before one is made for her.
It took me quite a while to read this and to think about what I thought of it. So, here goes:
In life we don't always make the right choices, or even when we have made what we perceived to be the 'right' choice, it ends up being the one you should have avoided at all costs. Lauren made bad choices: I accept that. I make bad choices, and I'm nowhere near perfect either. And although I understood her and what she did and what she thought, there was something in me that didn't like her. I didn't relate to quite a lot of her personality, I didn't like the choices that she made, and sometimes I thought she was stupid and annoying and I kind of wanted to punch her. I hate that she cheated. I like to think that I would never do such a thing. Lauren kept saying she was wrong and she knew it was wrong and she felt awful to Dave when she cheated! And yet SHE STILL KEPT DOING IT! Arghhh! That was exasperating!!
I liked Dave. Was I supposed to? Even though I knew that she was really meant to be with Evan and I loved their relationship - once I actually started to think of Evan as a person and not kind of like a two-dimensional cardboard cut-out - I still liked Dave. He was a really great guy, if maybe a little obsessive about how perfect Lauren and their relationship was, and I kind of thought that Lauren WAS stupid to give him up. Even though she and Evan were adorable. But still. Dave wasn't perfect, even though he was perceived to be. He had a few little flaws that were noticeable, like he didn't talk to Lauren when he saw her with Evan, and even though I knew he could tell that Lauren wasn't "fine" like she always said she was, he never dug deeper.
I didn't get why Lauren and Dave didn't talk. She obviously wanted more from their relationship and I know he was religious and all, but she could have just talked to him. Dave was slightly annoying in that sense, that he didn't see that his girlfriend wanted different things, but I still really liked him.
The secondary characters were brilliant. Evan was kinda sweet, and Gail was great. Even Katie was a good friend, despite Lauren's difficulties with her, and I also liked Lauren's dad. It was quite emotional at the end when they finally talked about Lauren's mom!
Overall, Bloom was a engaging read and the plot did keep me interested, but Lauren was a bit of a let down, to be honest. But she was a real character, and not a stereotype, which maybe just saved this novel.