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Thursday, March 18, 2010
What She Did Right--Wrong Number and "Relativity"
When Aubree Stewart receives a mysterious phone call on her way to work, she doesn't know what to think. At first, she assumes it's some kind of prank. But the call isn't a practical joke, and Aubree soon finds herself swept up in a world of danger, intrigue, and murder. With help from the FBI, Aubree races to protect herself and what's left of her family, but the one thing she forgets to protect is her own heart.
As you can see, Wrong Number is a suspense novel with a bit of romance. What you probably don't know, however, is it's also a story based on a premise I wish I had thought of. Why? One, because I loved the idea! But also, because one of the ways writers draw their readers into their worlds and connect them with their characters is by creating situations their audiences can relate to. I know I'm no Einstein, but for today, let's call it the law of "Relativity."
Consider how JK Rowling connected us with Harry Potter. From a distance, we initially see him as a young boy with unknown wizarding power, but as we get to know him, we discover he feels abused, neglected and powerless. How many of us aren't able to relate to those feelings? I'd wager very few.
And then there's Stephenie Meyer's Edward Cullen. From a distance, Edward is a terrifying monster, but tens of thousands of girls have not only related to him but also "fallen in love with him." Why? Not because he drinks blood, but because he's good, strong, and humanly vulnerable. In fact, I'd almost guarantee each of us can relate to him because we have not only based some of our choices on our love for someone else, but we have also wondered about our own ability of "making it" into heaven.
That's why I believe Christensen's use of the law of relativity in Wrong Number is just as effective as those utilized by Rowling and Meyers. I mean, who hasn't answered a "wrong number" phone call? What's more, how many of us haven't been just a bit creaped out by something an unknown caller said? Or didn't say? Or only breathed? I know I have. And I know I enjoyed reading Christensen's Wrong Number. I believe you will, too.