Never underestimate the importance of moving your reader emotionally. This is the key to making your work stand out as memorable. As they say:
People will forget what you said.
People will forget what you did.
People will never forget how you made them feel.
Emotional memories are the strongest, residing (literally) in both the brain and the heart. If you haven’t read any of the research done regarding heart transplant patients who acquired some of their donor’s memories, I recommend you read “The Heart’s Code” by Paul Pearsall.
If you move your reader emotionally, their heart doesn’t know the difference whether it was a personal experience or vicarious on behalf of a character in a novel. Think about your favorite stories and tell me if that isn’t true. For me, the most memorable books are those that made me laugh, cry, or best yet, both. Reader involvement emotionally is essential to creating and retaining fans.