It is a normal weekend night. I sit on my dorm bed, wrapped in blankets and resembling either a cocoon or an abnormally large newborn baby. The lights are off, except for my reading lamp, allowing my roommate to see the book in my lap and my deadpan expression as I read and whisper, seemingly unaware of her presence: “Saaame.”
It seems that I, cryptid book-lover and procrastinator extraordinaire, have found yet again, another batch of relatable characters.
I relate easily to any sort of fictional character. Teenage blogger with a stubborn streak? Yep. Romanian assassin who will literally do anything for his friends? Definitely. Incredibly introverted film-connoisseur? Yeah. Fish man who only wants to escape his human-made fish prison? Most certainly. I tend to latch on to small details and slowly merge with the story. BUT. Till this day, there has been only one author who managed to create characters that weren’t just relatable, but also pulled at every string that makes me who I am. And that author is none other than Alice Oseman.
Thank you for creating characters with imperfections and problems. Characters that are awkward and unexperienced, who have anxiety and struggle with relationships. Thank you for writing about characters who struggle with talking to new people, who live in their own heads. Thank you for writing real people. This was the first time I’ve ever found characters that actually mirror what my mind looks like, and this really helped me?? Somehow?? I don’t know, I just feel like it means that there are people out there who are like me.
These books are beautifully and quirkily written, and they’re exactly what I needed to get me back into writing and creating. I feel inspired to draw and doodle and sketch and write and just make some freaking art.
Alice has written two novels, Solitaire and Radio Silence. She also has two published novellas, This Winter and Nick and Charlie. Her webcomic, Heartstopper, is one of my all-time favorite things and I cannot wait for her upcoming novel, The Ark.