TGIF is hosted by Ginger at GReads! In this weekly feature, Ginger poses a question to her followers and then asks everyone to link up at the end of the post, sharing their responses.
For me, the books that stick with me the longest are dystopians, particularly The Hunger Games, Divergent, and most recently, Blood Red Road. What effects me the most when it comes to this genre is the growth in character, due in part to the difficult choices facing the main characters.
I relate to the characters in these books because for the most part, they start out dutiful, obedient even, and then strike out on their own and find that they aren't who they thought they were. They become strong and independent and fight with everything they have for what they believe in. I was once a model student and an obedient daughter. Then school was over and I was on my own. Even if I didn't find myself fighting for my life at that point, I still realized that I wasn't just that good kid anymore. It became painfully obvious that our choices, more than anything, define us.
I think it's important for characters to be relatable, but they also need to be flawed to be believable. We don't always make the right decisions in life and so it should be with fictional characters. As the story progresses, though, I want to feel compassion for the characters and the choices they've made, be them good or bad. I felt so much emotion while reading the novels I listed earlier that I became the characters. I wasn't reading their stories anymore...I was reading my own.
It suffices to say that any novel that can do that for me is going on my top ten list, and I'll have a difficult time forgetting it.