|100 Things #18: Percy Jackson
||[Dec. 6th, 2012|07:47 am]
little miss sunshine
Percy Jackson (Percy Jackson and the Olympians [book])
I'm going to go ahead and do my Percy entry now, since I just read The Mark of Athena and I am full of feelings. In short: Percy is freaking awesome. When I first started reading The Lightning Thief I remember being a bit unsure about it. Ugh, I said to myself. Do I really want to be getting the first person POV of a twelve-year-old? YES. YES I DID.
Percy is really great, and if you haven't read the PJATO books you totally should, they're really great and fun middle grade fiction. If you think they seem a bit juvenile for you, I'd recommend giving them a shot anyway - they feel a bit young at the beginning of the series, but you really do get to grow up with Percy and the fifth book in the series is absolutely fantastic. I love a series where each book is better than the one before it, and that's truly what I feel happens with this one.
Anyway, Percy is a really great narrator - he's super sarcastic and a total smartass and he's just basically hilarious. He's a really fun person to be in the head of. This series would not have worked with a different main character, him being a total little punk at times is what makes the books so entertaining. And he has legit skills, too, so he can back up all of his smartalecky behavior. Also, the friendship and eventually romance that is built up between him and his eventual girlfriend, Annabeth, is truly fantastic. They squabble all the time and give each other hell, and when they finally get together it is so emotionally satisfying in a way that few children's or YA books are in this regard. I find this relationship about 10,000x more moving than any of the absurd love triangles that you see in YA nowadays, and at the risk of getting skewered by all of humanity, much as I love The Hunger Games and Katniss/Peeta, I would still take Percy/Annabeth any day of the week. That is how much I love them. In the Heroes of Olympus series (the follow-up to PJATO) you get to see Percy and Annabeth as a couple, and it's so refreshing and real. They're clearly in love and would do anything for each other, but it has a feel of realism about it that I think is lacking in a lot of YA books nowadays. Percy isn't some idealized boy for girl readers to swoon over, he's totally real and kind of an idiot at times, and Annabeth is a total badass and doesn't need anyone to save her but she also really relies on Percy, you can tell, because they love each other. I don't want to talk too much about Annabeth, because she will be getting her own post at some point, but she is also completely awesome. They respect one another's decisions and choices and abilities, and it's so much better than just about any other romance out there for teen readers that I just have to stop now because I could go on forever. I enjoy the plotlines of these books (especially the original series), but I am truly almost embarrassingly enthusiastic about this relationship, and I really think everyone should read these books if they want to see a teenage romantic relationship written properly.
In summary: Percy Jackson is the man.