Hi Virtually Readers! One of the top things that will make me love a book is when I feel like the characters are really well written. Characters are the heart of all novels. The setting and the plot is a way to showcase (usually human) beings who have to make complicated choices. In the choices and in the ambiguity, they’re more human; more like us. At their best, well written characters help me to know myself better. Today I thought I’d share a quick list of who some of my favourite characters are and why.
- Gideon Prewitt from Foolish Hearts by Emma Mills
I read Foolish Hearts a few days ago. And then it was so good I read it again (I promise you’ll get a review at some point too). While I loved the awkwardness of the main character, Claudia, and how she learns to look beyond stereotypes and be brave, Gideon was definitely my favourite character. He’s unabashedly enthusiastic, and looks out for other people, and is totally geeky and he made me happy. Gideon is a little piece of who I want to be.
- Sophia FitzOsborne from The Montmaray Journals by Michelle Cooper
I know I go on about Montmaray all the time (and I’m so excited to read Michelle Cooper’s new book, Dr. Huxley’s Bequest, as soon as I can), but it’s for a good reason. These novels are one of the few books that present new depth every time I read them. I adore the main character, Sophia: she is clever, and committed to her family, and also tying to reconcile her values with the glitz of the world as she finds her way amongst it.
- Zuzana from Night of Cake and Puppets by Laini Taylor
Shar reviewed this a few weeks ago. It’s an adorable novella. One of the best parts of the story (and the larger trilogy) is the character of Zuzana. She is ferocious and confident…but sometimes struggles to speak her feelings and enact courage to form new relationships. I see a lot of myself in that. Of course, Zuzana finds that it’s all worth it in the end.
- Paige from The Song Rising by Samantha Shannon
I am not very like Paige. She is magical, and powerful, and fierce and traumatized (leading rebellions will do that to ya). But what I like about her story is that she learns to trust the people around her, to give herself wholeheartedly to whoever, and whatever, she’s involved with. That can, and does end badly for her; but it also has incredible rewards. The end of The Song Rising, the third Bone Season book, made me cry, because admidst the blood and the loneliness, there’s this moment of tenderness between her and another character (who, for the record, she isn’t at all romantically involved with). Those vulnerable moments make this series (which also has high stakes and terror and tight plots) glow.
- Daniel from The Sun is Also a Star by Nicola Yoon
Almost everyone adores this book, and for good reason. Daniel, like literally every other character in YA books because it’s a defining aspect of the genre many others, is wrestling with who he wants to be: with the expectations of the world, and his own longings; between possibilities and certainties; between poetry and concrete. He watches the world around him with eyes wide open, hopeful, searching, resilient. He does not always find what he’s looking for, but he continues to seek. His enduring goodness and faith are also a piece of who I want to be.
Who’s a character who you’d like to be? Why? And do you know any of these characters? If not, I highly recommend each of these books!