So I haven’t read Dead Letter Day yet as I’m committed to finishing my RITA books first. For now it sits on my Kindle waiting for me to devour. But given this is Eileen’s release week I thought I would talk about my love for the Messenger Series in general and why in particular I think it works.
Oh yeah – and I’m going to try and tie this to Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar too.
The series is told in first person from Melina’s point of view. First person stories are always hit or miss for me. Sometimes I love them and sometimes I loathe them. There was that point in chick-lit where everything was being written in first person and the heroines were all funny and quippy and snarky ala Bridget Jones.
And that can be a fun read, but often I would feel as if I was missing out on the depth of a person. We’re not funny and snarky and witty ALL the time.
I think that’s why I fell in love with Melina so quickly. There was more to her than just one liners. I felt like I knew her. I felt her struggle and her pain when she lost her mentor. More importantly I felt like we could be friends. We would connect on a personal level… and go kick paranormal butt together of course.
And that’s when it occurred to me why first person can be so tricky. For me, I have to like this person. I have to connect with her. Otherwise I can’t put myself in the character and look at the story from her POV. If I don’t, the funny and the snarky feels flat. The person seems one dimensional.
Which of course brings me to Jennifer Lawrence and what makes her special. Twenty-two and already a two time Oscar nominee and 1 time winner. Why? I’m sure you might say – good acting. That’s a given. But I think it goes beyond that. I think ultimately people identify with her. The person behind the character. She’s real and genuine and if you watched her interview with George Stephanopoulos after she won you totally wanted to hang out with her and be her friend.
I think it’s because of that openness of spirit - it allows you to watch her play a difficult character and still relate to her. I get that with great acting you shouldn’t “see” the real person. But I think people like Meryl Streep and Sally Field and now Jennifer Lawrence have a… quality. An honesty about who they are and that resonates through the character they are playing.
I think the same is true for writers and their voice. And I think this is especially critical in books with 1ST person POV. I have to believe this character. I have to want to be inside their head with him which means to an extent I’m inside the writer’s head as well.
It’s why I can’t wait to read this book. I can’t wait to get back into Eileen’s amazing head through Melina!