Monday, July 29, 2013

I Could Spot Cricket In A Crowded Room: How Stephanie Perkins Nails Characterization

I am a sucker for a book with good characterization. When I'm reading, I want to be able to visualize the characters, to imagine what they look like and how they carry themselves. Not every author can pull this off. Many times when I'm reading a book, I can't get a good visual of the character or the author doesn't do enough to help me really know the character.

Other times, authors do an amazing job of developing their characters so that I feel like I actually know them. In Young Adult literature, John Green and Stephanie Perkins are experts at this. Today, I want to focus on Stephanie Perkins.

In her novel, Lola and the Boy Next Door, Perkins marvelously develops her characters. This is evident in both, Lola and Cricket. I'd like to focus on Cricket.


Cricket Bell is Lola's neighbor and through Perkins' excellent descriptions, we learn that he is tall and lanky and also that his hair is tall. His hair is floppy, but also stands up, like a mad scientist. Cricket is particular about his pants. He wears slim-fitting, pin stripped pants and vintage shirts. Sometimes his pants are purposefully short to show off interesting socks. He wears rubber bands on his wrist. Cricket writes messages on his had, such as Carpe Diem or eggs to remember to buy eggs.

All of these characteristics help the reader really know and connect with Cricket. If I walked into a crowded room, I would easily be able to spot Cricket Bell.