Which characters are you most like?
When I saw the question for this month’s Teens Can Write Too blog chain, my initial reaction was “Oh, this will be easy!” But when I actually tried to write my post, I realised there was one tiny problem: I didn’t know any characters I was most like. I stared at my bookcases for at least 10 minutes and wracked my brain for even longer, desperately trying to think of a character I was like. But I came up with nothing and I found myself wondering if my second attempt at the blog chain would be over before I’d even started. However, I was determined to find a book with just the character I was looking for (basically, myself), and luckily I didn’t have too long to wait as I was going into town the next day. I found myself in WH Smith, trying to find a book which looked interesting, and I ended up finding two – both in the ‘buy one, get one for £1’, conveniently – and whilst I thought The Rain by Virginia Bergin did sound like a really good book, it was when I read the synopsis for Alice Oseman’s Solitaire that I thought for the first time in years, if not ever, “this is just like me.
I hadn’t even started the book, but from reading that main character Tori Spring likes ‘[…] to sleep and I like to blog’, I figured it couldn’t hurt to see if I could work something out from those two things alone – well, and that she’s pretty cynical of everything too! In all honestly, it’s a little unnerving how alike we are, and it’s not always good aspects either. Tori is often talking about how much she dislikes socialising and people (I can most definitely relate to both), but there is one scene in particular where she reacts to something in exactly the same way I would. Tori walks past two girls in the street, one of whom is asking who Lewis Carroll was, and Tori’s reaction was “’in my imagination I pull a gun out of my pocket, shoot them both and then shoot myself’”. When I read that, I just sat in my room with a huge grin on my face, saying “Yes!” emphatically and repeatedly. It was a little morbid perhaps, but also absolutely perfect – hearing people ask questions like that in reality is something which always leaves me stunned and no longer wanting to have to live on this world, and I honestly don’t think that scene could be better if it tried.
I think that fact that the author is only about 19 is the reason I’m able to relate so much to Tori; it’s not an adult trying to write about the teenage mind, it’s instead a teenager herself writing so brilliantly honestly about another teenager and I feel she captures it wonderfully. It’s impossible to read this and not find at least one thing that makes you think “That’s exactly how I feel!” – and I imagine that the discussion of the sexual tension between Harry and Draco is something that will appeal to a good few of us! It’s little things like that which make this such an honest representation of most, if not all, young people, and not just myself.
Sure, lots of things she says or the way she acts may be things only I relate to (e.g. “‘This is because I have a very low opinion of most people’”), and okay the title of this month’s blog chain is which character are you most like – but I think, in one way or another, all of us here are a little bit like Tori Spring. A little bit cynical, a little bit morbid, and a little bit moody – but we’re teenagers. It’s expected of us, and Alice Oseman gets that perfectly.
5th – http:// semilegacy.blogspot.com/
12th – http://miriamjoywrites.com/
and http://teenscanwritetoo.wordpress.com/ (Look for the announcement to next month’s chain!)