Here is a list of names from a book I'm reading. Look at them, and then I have a question for you.
Now, how old are these people?
That's right, those are names of people I grew up with. In other words, if they're not forty yet, they're nearing that age. And yet these are characters in a YA book published in 2008.
I'm not surprised that I picked up the book from the remainders table at Books a Million. I'm just surprised it got published at all. It's not even very good--the main character is repulsive and the plot is slow and dull. And the author is clearly out of touch with something as basic as what this generation of young adults are named. It's no wonder that she has the main character wanting to read a Rolling Stone magazine (have high school kids ever read Rolling Stone? At least since the 70s?). And I'm only 68 pages into the book.
Character names are important. If you're sloppy about naming your characters any old thing, you're probably being sloppy about other details. And you will end up REMAINDERED. Be warned!