Monday, July 13, 2015

Let's See How Well I Remember Character Names

I always say I'm bad with names. There have been many times where I've finished a book and couldn't even remember what the main character's name was (this happens often with books with one first person POV). I usually have to look back through the book when I talk about characters in reviews. And I sometimes get confused when I continue a series after not reading the previous book for a long time because of the names.

There are two parts to this post: a little game and a short discussion. I asked Twitter to give me names of books/series and I used the ones I've read in this post (and I didn't look at any book descriptions). For each book, I am listing all the character names I remember! After that, I'll talk about bookish memory and bring up some questions.

Thank you to all the people who responded to this tweet with these suggestions!

Ha! Yes. This is easy.

Percy Jackson, Annabeth Chase (?), Luke, Grover, a bunch of Greek gods (Poseidon, Ares, Hermes, etc.), Cyrus. 

Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, Kai, Wolf, Queen Levana, Iko, and er . . . Thorne? Um, I think. Yes, it must be.

The Darkling, of course. Aaaannnd . . . I'm not sure what everyone else's name are? I know there's a captain guy whose name I keep mixing up with the one from Cress. Carswell? No. Something with a C. And the heroine's name starts with an A. I'm pretty sure. Alina?

This is bad.

Day and June. That's all I remember!

I remember Day and June both had family members in the book. There were also some government people. 

Oh, my memory is bad on this one. O_O

Beast. That's it. Yeah...I know.

I better not get these wrong. I would probably be yelled at if I don't! :D

There's Blue, Gansey, Noah, Ronan, and Adam (?).

I can't remember the names of Blue's family members. Sorry.

Another Maggie Stiefvater series! I remember Sam, Grace, Cole, Isabel, and . . . yeah, I think that's it. But hey, it's been quite awhile since I've read this series.

Jace, Clary, Simon, Isabel, Alec, Luke, Jocelyn, Valentine, Sebastian, Hodge (?). I think there's a Mia (or Mya). Oh, and Magnus Bane of course. 

Hey! I actually did well with this one. 

It's been such a long time since I've read this one! Is there a Sam in this book? Or maybe a Clara? I'm just going to throw those names out there because I have absolutely no idea what anyone's names were. . . . 

Elder? Something like that. There was a big reason he had his name. I don't remember anyone else's names. As for the girl main character, I'm not sure. 

I've read this one twice. There's a Conner. I feel like the main girl's name starts with an R. There's also another important character and a mean guy with a shark tattoo, but I can't remember their names.

Juliette, Warner, and Adam (Right?? I seem to hesitate with the name Adam for some reason. Kenji, of course. I think Adam's (?) brother's name is James. I vaguely remember other important characters, but can't take even a guess at their names.

I remember Violet, Sonny (Sunny?), and Klaus Baudelaire as well as Count Olaf (please please please say I'm right on that). 

So. I'm definitely bad at remembering names of characters, as you can tell. (Poor Grisha books.)

Through this little memory game, here's what I've found helps me remember names:
  • Longer series = better chance I'll remember names. That's probably because I had to spend a lot of time with the characters (like in the case of the TMI series, Lunar Chronicles, and Percy Jackson series).
  • I remember character names better if there are a lot of POVs. This helps with the TMI series and The Raven Cycle. 
  • Popularity of the book(s) helps a LOT. Who can forget Ronan's name when it's mentioned so many times? And the Darkling and Kenji?
  • Characters in books where their names are in the title are obviously super easy to remember. 
  • Books made into movies/tv shows are easier to remember names from. 
Things that either make it worse to remember names or just plain doesn't make it easier.
  • Just because you absolutely LOVE a series doesn't mean you'll remember characters' names. Or, in my case, that applies. The Grisha books are a prime example.
  • It's tougher to remember character names from just one book. 
  • Time! It's been a long time since I've read Unwind, A Million Suns, and Unearthly, so I'm not surprised I barely remembered anything. 
  • Supporting characters can be hard to remember! It depends on how often they show up in the book and how memorable they are as characters.
Let's discuss! Can you remember any names that I missed without looking them up? Are you also bad with character names? What helps you remember them?

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