Names are very peculiar things.
For one thing, they’re personal. Do you like to be called by the wrong name? Also, names are great identifiers. They often reflect the day you were born, your culture, and your country.
Names are big deals! They might not be 100% unique to you, but you still own your name. It still holds a lot of weight in society. And if you’re in hiding, what do you change? Your name. (Hey, I read a lot of books, okay?)
Things we hate about names: a) someone misspelling them, b) someone yelling all. the. time. c) someone mispronouncing them, d) losing them more common than you’d think…look at Jason Bourne.
So how do you feel when your name is in a book?
Obviously there’s only so many names out there. Odds are, yours is going to turn up in a book someday, right? (Particularly if authors take note of what decade they set their book in.)
Some names are more common in books than others. For instance:
The Hunger Games and Divergent and Peter Pan and The Chronicles of Narnia and Peter Rabbit and Peter Parker (Spiderman) and Gone (Little Pete).
Gone and The Wolves of Mercy Falls and Throne of Glass and Partials and The Last Thirteen and Lord of the Rings and Green Eggs and Ham and The Perks of Being a Wallflower.
Anna and the French Kiss and The Hunger Games and Prep School Confidential and The Fault in Our Stars and My Sister’s Keeper and Frozen (kind of cheating since it’s not exactly a book?) and Vampire Diaries and Anne of Green Gables and Persuasion and Anna and the King.
Other really common names in books are: Emily, Sarah, Emma, John, Will, Katie, Amy and Alex.
If you have a common name, chances are: you’re in a book. But does this affect the book for you?
For the first time in my life I found my name in a book! I’m in Razorhurst but I’m not a main character. I probably get mentioned in two chapters? BUT STILL: MY NAME.
Also: I had a knife in that book…scary me.
My name is a thousand kilometers from unique. (It’s actually on the list 100 top names for 1994.) And although I’ll read about a “Kaitlin” or a “Cate” or “Kate/Katie” or “Katelyn” or “Catherine” or HOWEVER YOU WANT TO SPELL IT, I hardly ever see the name “Cait” printed my way.
Least to say: It was weird for me.
But I feel that way whenever I read a book with a name that’s personal to me.
Like in Gallagher Girls, our heroine is named: Cammie Morgan. Often her nickname is “Cam”. I have a brother with that name. And in A Mad, Wicked Folly, the narrator shares a name with my older sister. And a character in Of Poseidon shares a name with another of my sisters. (I have a lot of sisters, okay?!) It feels so strange anytime I catch my “family” in a book!
Do I like it? I have to admit: no.
When my name is in a book, I’m inclined to feel awkward reading it. It’s my name, for goodness sakes. Give it back. Good thing it’s not a regular occurence for me, right?
Cait, believe it or not, has a name that’s seriously hard to spell. She always been asked how to spell it, and even after she says it, everyone misspells it. All people she knows in real life, truly honestly believe her name is spelt “Kate”. She’s given up correcting them. It’s a sad and sorry life. Currently, she’s reading APPLE AND RAIN which is full of names she’s not attached to.