Random Thoughts Thursday: Weird Names in YA

12:00 AM

I've read a few posts that made want to do a discussion post like this.  Katie talks about how weird names frustrate her.  I read another post at Book Brats that got me thinking.

It seems like authors are trying to out do each other with ridiculous character names.  Kind of like Michael Jackson's child BLANKET or Gweneth Paltrow's kid APPLE.  Like really?  
I can't even...
I agree with Katie, when authors pick crazy names it makes me hesitant to read the book.  Let me tell you a story about little Melissa.
Rockin the 90's flower jumper!
When I was first starting to read chapter books I would ask my mom "How do you say that name?" because even back in the day they used weird names in YA.  Hermione anyone?  I had been pronouncing the name how I wanted for awhile so when I asked my mom and she said "her-my-oh-knee" I would be like "well I've been saying herm-own this whole time so I'm just gonna keep reading it that way."  I was a tad stubborn.

Needless to say, the movies came out and I started pronouncing my favorite heroine's name correctly after that...with a british accent too!  (Did anyone try to read HP in a British accent in their head or am I the only one?)

So here I am in 2013, still reading names however I please.  I always get nervous that I'll go to a signing and butcher the names to the author's face though.

I always wondered why authors chose such unique names, but then I started writing a book myself and Jane and John just weren't doing it for me.  At the time I was working in a preschool so I used two names of kids I was teaching that were really strange, but beautiful names I'd never heard before.  It suddenly made sense.  It's almost like a brand name.  If you hear Katniss or Peeta you instantly think Hunger Games.  Where as if his name had been Noah you'd probably think of Leaving Paradise, Mara Dyer,  Temptation, or Pushing the Limits.

But some names are just too strange and kind of make it hard to connect with the character.  Let's take a glance at some of the names that I think are the strangest in YA.

If the book is Fantasy or Sci Fi I can cut the author some slack because the characters are living in a different world, but if you're just a YA Contemp character in 2013, being named Echo is a tad strange.  

So what do you think of these strange names?  Do they bother you?  

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