Monday, April 12, 2010

Grow up, please!

All right, so I've been fed books since the first grade. That was about the time my mother tricked me into reading the first Harry Potter book, and I've been reading--A LOT--since then.
http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n1/n5584.jpg
That means that I've read a lot of series. Some of them, like the awesome, fantabulous, utterly amazing Harry Potter series have nothing wrong with them. (Well, there's probably something, but I guess I'm a tad biased. -coughs-)
But here's the thing with series. When you grow up with a character, isn't it nice when . . . well, when they grow up too?
I mean, look at Harry. I started reading about him when I was six and finished at like . . . thirteen? Every year, he got older. A little more mature. So did I--it was great. Granted, that isn't true with everyone--at least not in the similarity--but it is nice to watch a character change. You aren't the exact same person with every book you read, especially when the series spans years. It's weird when the character is.
Just look at the Percy Jackson series.
http://liveforfilms.files.wordpress.com/2009/10/percy_jackson_and_the_olympians_the_lightning_thief.jpg
Percy starts off as a scared little kid. By the end of the series, he's a kick butt teenager. It's part of what makes the books great--watching the characters grow.
It sets up dedication, too. If I had to sum up my childhood in a book, I would name Harry Potter. Not because I was a Witch
http://images.eonline.com/eol_images/Entire_Site/20090302/300.watson.harrypotter.030209.jpg
(if only)
but because I grew up with them. I don't think it matters the literal element to that, though I'm sure it makes my devotion stronger. Any amount of watching the character change makes you like them more. It makes you empathize, and even grow to love them. I mean, it would be kinda creepy if Hermione had looked like this for 7 years.
http://blog.taragana.com/e/wp-content/uploads/2009/07/hermione-granger.jpg
Yes, she's adorable. But unless she had taken a dip in the fountain of eternal youth, or even just stepped into Never Never Land, it's not practical to look like that forever.
What set off this rant?
The book I'm reading now is part of a series. I've been reading it for YEARS. I've seen dozens off new covers, and a maybe movie in the works, and guess what?
When I started reading, I was younger than the main character.
I'm now older.
It's kind of annoying, actually. In a one or two book series, fine, that's okay. Even in a trilogy, I suppose. But in a --six? seven?--book series? It's getting kind of annoying. I'm reading about the same character that I loved a long time ago--but I'm different. Why the heck isn't she?
I mean, I started reading when I had bad hair and a strong attachment to pink. I think it might have been pre braces. The character at the time seemed like this in my mind.

http://www.cluas.com/indie-music/Portals/0/Blog/Files/5/464/ilona2.jpg

(Okay, not really, but she's cute.)
Anyway, five years have passed. She shouldn't look like that anymore. I don't care if it's two years or three, but more than six or seven months should have passed. She should be resembling this, now.

Or something similar. For one thing, she's learning how to solemnly pose and offer a great brooding look. That alone deserves major kudos.
And the romantic interest? Yeah, he definitely shouldn't be staying young. It's one thing if you're a vampire.
Emmett-Cullen.jpg image by plushpout
Emmet Cullen allowed to look like that forever. In fact, I approve.
But otherwise? Come on. The characters just need to grow up.

--note--
Myra McEntire interview soon! If I don't get more questions, I'm just going off of what I want to know. That seems to generally work.
Comment if that seems okay, please.

6 comments:

Maggie said...

Yes. I agree. Characters should age. Well, I mean, certain characters should age anyways. Like, Mortal Instruments? They're fine. Vampire Academy, yes. Those types are fine. Some I agree though. Some should age.

(On a side note, I love Emmett Cullen/Kellan Lutz, Harry Potter and Percy Jackson very much. I approve of your selection.)

Lisa Green said...

You mentioned my two favorite series! HP and Percy Jackson are awesome for so many reasons, but YES one of those reasons is the way the characters grow and change. I can see how a series might not force the protagonist to age if the time represented in the books is consecutive (like Maggie said with Immortal Instruments). But I see your point of view - how cool to grow up with the characters.

Bish Denham said...

I agree. If you have a series that spans years then the characters should age.

GreenBeanTeenQueen said...

I agree-I like when my characters grow. Unless it's stated that there are seven books and it's all one long crazy year or something, I want to see my characters grow up!

Sam said...

Maggie: The thing with Mortal Instruments is that the plot is still going on. In this particular series, they have saved the world three or four times, been kidnapped six times, and basically gone through hell--and, oh, then ended up in heaven--dozens of times. And yet less than a YEAR has passed.
Addressing the side note, I too love them all. :P I'm glad you approve.
Lisa: They're two of my favorites, too! :P Of course, Harry Potter pretty much deserves flat out worship in my world, so ... ahem. -awkward cough.- And yes. You just phrased that perfectly; if the time is consecutive.

Sam said...

Bish: Yes. Thank you. It just seems natural, right?
Sarah: They never really state the age. I'd just assumed the characters had grown up, then WHAM. 'Hey, tomorrow I turn fifteen.' Um. Cool. I thought that happened four books ago.
Lol, I'm such a whiner.