Top Ten Tuesday Flashback- Character Names

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. This week I get to pick whatever past topic I want to do. And It was so hard to choose.  Villains?  Childhood Favorites?  All Time Favorite Books?  There were too many options, but for some reason, I really wanted to talk about names. Character names are SO important. Sometimes they miss the mark and sometimes they are truly stupendous.  We must discuss!

1. Renessme, Breaking Dawn– SO, let’s get the obvious one out of the way. What is the freaking deal here? I mean, I understand that it’s a hybrid of Esme and Renee and I understand that everyone has given Stephenie Meyers so much crap about this, but that is because, hello, has she seen the name?  There is no excuse for it.  Even if, being up late at night typing her heart out all amped up on coffee or chocolate may have led to this, there is no way on Earth that Renesmee could have ever sounded like a good idea to a rational person.

OK I’m done.

2. The Gang from Charlie and The Chocolate Factory– I cannot possibly pick just one. Willy Wonka, Augustus Gloop, Veruca Salt, Violet Beauregarde, Mike Teavee, and  Oompa Loompas? It’s the hog heaven of names.

3. The Immortals series by Alyson Noel– Holy wow, this is another book with too many names to actually choose one.  But while Charlie had fabulous, fun names, this series is full of soap-opera cast offs.  Try these on for size: Ever, Haven, Honor, Sabine, Drina, Roman, Romy, Rayne, Jude…don’t make me keep going. I can’t make this crap up. Some of the names are nice and quirky, but all of them together make for a hella lot of cheese.

4. Cricket Bell, Lola and The Boy Next Door– I really wasn’t jazzed about this name because in the summer my garage becomes infested with these little guys (and by infested I mean there’s like four or five) who seem totally harmless and then jump practically in your face the moment you go near them.  But Cricket Bell, well they don’t get more adorable than him.  And he’s tall and quirky and sweet and just adores Lola in the cutest most awkward way ever.  Sa-woon!

5. Jace Wayland or Whatever His Last Name Is Now, The Mortal Instruments series– I can’t really explain this one. I just like his name. And his cool, arrogant awesomeness.

6. Karou and Akiva, Daughter of Smoke and Bone– These names are so weird and yet they work. They are phenomenal, strange characters in an amazing, magical story and any other “normal” names would have seemed out of place.

7. Jonah Effing Griggs, Jellicoe Road– Okay, I may have added the effing part.  I love this character. His name is simple, nothing crazy, but it suits him.  If you’ve not read this book and discovered Jonah (and Taylor!), then do it ASAP. You’ll see why the “effing” is pretty much required.

8. The Hunger Games peeps– Just, no. I get that this is a dystopic story set in a world we can hardly imagine living in, but there is no reason their names have to be THAT bad.  So, the Capitol can kill you on a whim. Does that really mean you have to subject your kid to a name like Katniss? I guess I can deal with Gale, but Peeta for the main male lead?  Well, I just feel bad for him because it’s a stupid, stupid pansy name.

9. Tina Hakim Baba, The Princess Diaries series– The best best friend ever deserves the best best friend name ever!  I love Tina and the perfect advice she always gives Mia (usually taken from romance novels. Tina, I so hear you, girl. All life lessons should come from books). I guess I just love this name because I love the character so much.

10. Aura, The Shade series– I really love these books and I love the heroine–except for her name (all of the other characters have really good, solid names). Aura sounds more like it should be in The Immortals (see #3).

11. Jack Force, The Blue Bloods series– I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, this is the best name ever.  End of story. Also, Jack totally lives up to his name. He’s a hottypants even when he tries to be all jerky.  No wonder Schuyler (ack! The spelling!) is so into him.

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32 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday Flashback- Character Names

  1. This is the best ever! I am in total agreement with you on all the names, both good and bad ones. I’m still scratching my head over who actually thought most things in Breaking Dawn would work, but hey… I’m no publisher! And while the name Peeta doesn’t bring me swooning to my knees, I can’t imagine him with any other name. But we all know my penchant for Peetas. 😉

    And Jonah effing Griggs… oh my favorite.

    • Seriously. Like, I’d get it if it were a cute nickname or something, but sometimes, in the desire to be different, people go crazy. Apple is horrendous!

  2. While I don’t totally agree with your arguments, this was hilarious 🙂 I do absolutely agree with Renessme… it was a total WTF moment when I first saw it, and I still can’t get over it.

  3. renesmee will go down in history as the worst book name ever. truly horendous. but i agree that names are very important and Jack Force kicks serious bahonkey.

  4. Ahh I love it! I remember my post of horrible character names and I see we share some of the same ones! Renesme was TERRIBLE and in fact, my friends just came over the other day and we ranted about this for a bit!!! And totally about The Hunger Games! The only one I actually liked was Primrose. I think it sounds a bit sweet and delicate! 🙂

  5. This was such a fun post, and I agree with everything you said regarding the books I’ve read.

    LIke you said, how could anyone thing Renesme as a name was a good idea.
    And the names in the Immortals series. I mean, the MC’s name is Ever. Ever. WTH?
    I love Cricket the character. Love him, but his name is, well, it’s an insect. Who wants a name like that? Do people actually name their children Cricket?
    Jace Wayland just sounds awesome, and it also seems like the perfect (totally kick-butt) name for Jace. I can’t picture him with any other name
    Love Tina!

    This was fun!

    Here’s my TTT

  6. This list makes me giggle. I had a real hard time taking Cricket Bell seriously. Someone with the name of Cricket is supposed to be a genius mechanical engineer? Really? Then again, I know of a real-life person named Cricket and she’s an entrepreneur. So, maybe it’s like a secret-to-success name? Ok, sorry, that name just gets me ranting!

    • So maybe we’ve missed something here and should consider naming our spawn after bugs? I tried to go all cute and girly with the names I chose, but maybe I’m barking up the wrong tree if your Cricket is an entrepreneur!

  7. I haven’t read number 3 but all those weird names in one book??? Definitely one of my biggest pet peeves!! I like the name Jace, HATE the name Cricket for a dude, and LOVE Jonah Griggs!!

    • I’m not joking, all of those names are in one book/series. It’s crazy. And the writing is terrible too! Jonah Griggs will live on as one of the most awesome literary guys ever, name and all.

  8. I was fine with Peeta’s name until one day it hit me that it sounds like someone saying “Peter” in a snooty, floofy accent… that somewhat killed it for me. However, I still love him forever because he is Peeta and oh so lovable. 🙂

    Renesme is seriously awful… how did no one stop her?!

    Love this topic, totally using it for the next freebie!

      • I first read the books in Swedish, and here the word “peta” means pick or poke, so the name Peeta felt really weird. It was so hard to imagine a character with that name, and it makes it weird talking about him. At least in Swedish.

  9. This made me giggle. Like, out loud, while reading. I TOTALLY agree with everything. And the soap opera thing? Heck to the yes. Followed you, b/c you are obviously full of awesome.

    Here’s my TTT!

  10. Oooh, I love this post – I am a bit of a/a complete name nut. It took me embarrassingly long to figure out that “Schuyler” is in fact, “Skylar” with a different spelling. Same with “Rafe” (from Kimberly Derting’s The Body Finder series) – I’d never heard it pronounced before, so I was like, “Raffy? Is that what you call yourself?”. Hooray for baby-name websites with their handy pronunciation guide! I like Cricket’s name for him – maybe because I haven’t met anyone else called Cricket, but it’s quirky without being completely out-there, and that’s Cricket.

    • I kept thinking that Schuyler was Shooler (because, really?). I didn’t like Cricket’s name at first, but it definitely grew on me. You’re right; it just fits him. He’s so cute!

  11. Good post! I think character names can reveal a lot about their personality if the author chooses it right. I have to agree with you, I did not like the name Peeta at ALL.

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