February 22, 2020

books we relate to

Photo by Cristina Gottardi on Unsplash

I was reading through my drafts here on blogger. You know, those posts you began but never finished? Perhaps no one else does this, but I had 12 draft posts just sitting there. A few definitely worth deleting because you don't even want to know just how old they were and how not-relevant to my life now. *shakes head at younger me* ;)

Anyhoo! One such draft was this one. Which only had two sentences. And a link to an old blog post of Suey's. Reading over the article again made my mind spin with ideas and lo and behold! Here I am with a post. Yay me.

So! Books we relate to. In the blog post (in case you don't want to go read it, no judgment don't worry) Suey's friend Jenny mentions about how a certain book really connects with her. (I'm assuming it still does anyway, this many years later.) I completely understood what she meant because as I thought on it, that is precisely one of the main reasons why I love certain books over others. I have a lot of booklikes, but books I love? I have to love and connect with the characters. I have to relate to something they are experiencing or something inherent in their personalities. That connection will take a booklike straight to booklove for me. (Not always guaranteed, of course, but more often than not.)

Connecting with a character is HIGHLY important to me. (I think that's true in my real life as well. I deeply love being able to connect with people around me. If I can find something we share in common and we have opportunity to chat about it? That person is forever a sweet spot in my heart, and that conversation doubly so.)

Here are a few literary examples for you:

Anne from Persuasion by Jane Austen :: I relate to so much of Anne's thoughts and personality. A great deal of her outer circumstances have created a rich inward life for her and I get that. Plus her phase of life is one I understand as well. She's a huge reason why I love this book so much. (That and Captain Wentworth, of course. I LOVE Wentworth a whole, whole bunch too! ;)
Valancy from The Blue Castle by L.M. Montgomery :: I love Valancy. I don't personally have an awful family who basically browbeat me like she does, but I completely understand how she feels a little lost and unknown. How uncertain she is. Oh how I get that! And I love journeying with her as she finds her voice. Her story fills me with hope.

Autumn from Life After by Katie Ganshert :: I read this book during the year after my mother passed away and cried a bucket nearing the end. I just completely understood the grief journey Autumn was on. Grief is hard and jarring at times, yet gentle and constant at the same time. It's a strange sort of being and Ms. Ganshert wrote so much of what I could not put words to. (The way this story spoke so wonderfully to my grieving heart has made me slightly hesitant to read it again, for fear of not loving it so much now, which is just silly I know.)

41818523. sy475 Cori from My Hands Came Away Red by Lisa McKay :: I would say I connected to so much of the feelings of many of the characters in this one, not just Cori. I haven't ever been in such a terrifying situation such as they are, yet I still understand their fears, their uncertainties, their struggles to work together as a team with others that they don't always understand. I just got it. Plus the fact that they're overseas in another country and culture that they don't understand and yet have to survive in, that spoke to my longing for travel even before I ever imagined getting to go overseas myself! :)

These are just a few examples. There are many more and we'd be here for pages and paragraphs longer if I were to truly analyze what I related to in every story that I LOVE. (So I won't do that to you. ;) But I can say, again, that the biggest reasons I will fall in book love with a particular story hinges on me being able to connect with something or someone within it. Otherwise, it's pretty much a no go.

What about you?


  1. Yes, I absolutely feel that way, too! Whenever I find a literary character that I relate to, I love the book! I've been meaning to read The Blue Castle for awhile and I need to just get a copy.

    1. MovieCritic: I'm happy to know I'm not the only one this happens to! And I hope you get to The Blue Castle someday soon! I love it, of course, but I know of a couple others who don't. So I'll be curious what you think of it. :)


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