Reading a book and liking it, but I can't remember which person is which. Is Hillary the waitress who is winning the cooking competition? Or is that Hailey? Or maybe Holly-- no, she's the one who was on the police force but quit to go to culinary school.
Take heed. It's a whole lot easier to get into a character when you can associate the name with the situation. And when two or more characters have similar names, well, some of us have trouble remembering. Look at those:
They all start with H, have an L in the middle, and end in Y. As I read fast through the story, they all look alike. And while I can sort out the names finally, I simply haven't been able (halfway through) to associate each name with the right person. This isn't usually a problem for me, and the writer is adept at characterization and character voice, so I really think the confusion is all about those three very similar names.
How do you choose character names? Do you have any rules you enforce on yourself as you choose (like two names can't start with the same letter, say)? As a reader, how do you respond to names? Can you think of any times the name got in the way of your bonding with a character?