I'm not a very serious person. That's not to say I don't have my moments, but I'm definitely the girl who makes awkward jokes in bad situations and starts to pun when she's nervous (I'm a smooth date, let me tell you). This is why I always seem to love the books and characters that make me laugh the most.
|Dontcha know everyone wants to lauuuugh|
I don't mean I only love fluffy, bantery comedies (though I do). That doesn't mean I only read books that set out to be funny (I don't). But even the sad-making and most heartwrenching reads on my favorites shelf either contain characters with senses of humor or were written by an author who does. In Tor's otherwise excellent review of Unmade by Sarah Rees Brennan, third book in the Lynburn Legacy (may contain some spoilers), the reviewer makes this comment:
While the levity strikes down a bit of Unmade’s impact and memorability, it also makes it a much more enjoyable read overall.
I both very much agree with this quote and totally disagree. It's the second half of that sentence that strikes a chord with me. Laughing is fun. Even in totally heartbreaking series enders guaranteed to rip my heart and soul to smithereens, I want to enjoy the ride. But the first part of that sentence... well, truth be told, I actually feel the exact opposite. It's the lightness that makes the darkness so impactful. It's the fact that Kami Glass, Unmade's heroine, is a resilient, briliant, joking girl, and horrible things happen to her, and it sucks.
Obviously, not all readers are me (shocking). But where my tastes are concerned, creating a funny character is kind of like an author cheat. My brain goes, Hey, that character made me laugh! When the author inevitably kills them, I will burn this world to the ground! INSTA-INVESTMENT.
If everything is doom and gloom not one single character makes one single joke the entire time, and it's all suffer city all the time, it's harder for me to connect. Even in The Hunger Games there's humor. I mean, there is certainly no levity, and Katniss is far from fluffy herself, but she has a sense of humor. E.g:
With all that alcohol in (Haymitch), it's probably not advisable to have him around an open flame.
Katniss is not a slapstick kind of girl. She's not going to make puns or joke reflexively like sparkly unicorn princess, Kami Glass. But when a character thinks or says a line like that, my little laughing heart grows three sizes. I care more. Even shows like Game of Thrones, where loving a character essentially dooms them to a brutal death, there's a sense of humor. it's usually crude or gallows-y, but that's just another form. People in Westeros know they're lives are shit, and to me, it makes sense they'd joke about it because that's what people do. Then, when those characters get beheaded or stabbed or heartbroken or betrayed, I feeeeel it right in my marshmallow feels-spot.
Every aspect of the Wizarding World is infused with J.K. Rowling's sublime sense of humor, from characters to narration to whimsical world-building. That's what makes it so crushing when characters fall, or once-shining castles are invaded and turned to rubble. EVIL DEATH EATERS SNUFFED OUT THE LAUGHTER AND MY ONCE LAUGHING HEART IS VERY SAD. I mean, there's a reason everybody loves the Weasley twins, right?
Apparently it is really, really easy to earn my heart. Tell me a joke (and maybe present me with a baked good of some sort), and I am yours for life.
|And I'd probs react as smoothly as Cosmo does here|
What about you? Does making you laugh = making you love?