Top Ten All-Time Favorite Characters in Books!
(In no particular order, as attempting to rank them makes my head hurt in the bad way)
1. Harry James Potter, The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Did you really think we were getting past this list without a mention of this particular protagonist? No way. A lot of people list out a myriad of secondary characters as their favorite in the Harry Potter tales, but my favorite will always be Mr. Potter himself. Harry starts out as an orphan that has a pretty decent attitude, considering his dismal circumstances, and grows to be defender of the weak, the wizarding world, and eventually, a damn good wizard. He breaks rules when necessary and cops a ‘tude when power-tripping authority figures are asking for it (an example being the following exchange between him and Snape: “Yes.” “Yes sir.” “There’s no need to call me sir, professor.” Ha!). Most importantly, Harry is an incredibly human hero that holds a lot of compassion for others. Plus, he has great taste in companions, considering his best friends are the brilliant Hermione Granger and the ever-constant Ron Weasley.
Since I could make a lengthy list of Top Ten Favorite Harry Potter characters on its own, I’m going to choose to move on here so I don’t just ramble on about my love for J.K. Rowling’s characters forever.
2. Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Katniss plays a lot of roles throughout The Hunger Games series: survivor, provider, protector, symbol of the rebellion, etc. However, the most important thing to note about Katniss is how undeniably human she is throughout the entire series. She’s not a magical fighting machine; she’s a girl who did what she had to do in order to keep those she loved alive and keep herself moderately unharmed. I adore Katniss as both the narrator of The Hunger Games series and as a character. She’s not friendly at all, yet she has this fierce loyalty and compassion for those she cares about that draws other people towards her.
3. Her Royal Highness Amelia Mignonette Thermopolis Grimaldi Renaldo, Princess of Genovia (or, Princess Mia for short), The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
A very fitting entry for National Princess Week! Mia is overdramatic, imaginative, and a fountain of pop culture references (both highbrow and lowbrow, nice). She’s completely neurotic in the beginning, overthinking most things until they become completely unrealistic in her mind. Thankfully, since her books are written in diary format, the reader is privy to her slightly crazy trains of thought! Mia has strong ideals that she sticks to, even when these create some royal messes for her when it comes to her family life, relationships with her friends and various significant others (though really, let’s be honest, there’s only ONE that matters), and you know, the country she is supposed to rule over one day. I want Mia to be my best friend. Though there’s a possibility that I would end up killing her.
4. Michael Moscovitz, The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot
Enter the example of the perfect teenage boy/twenty-something guy that exists in young adult literature. Michael Moscovitz is a certified genius without being condescending, creator of his own ‘zine (are online magazines still referred to as that?), AND he’s in a band. Plus, he likes Buffy the Vampire Slayer and will talk about random, absurd things with Mia and his sister, Lily. HE MAKES IT SNOW FOR MIA’S BIRTHDAY. IN MAY. Honestly, I could make an in-depth “Ten Things I Love About Michael Moscovitz” list easily. As much as I love The Princess Diaries movie adaptation, they really did Michael’s character a disservice by not letting him show more personality. Robert Schwartzman did well with what he had to work with, though. Sigh.
5. William Herondale, The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
This particular character would definitely top my list of literary bad boys. Will Herondale is sarcastic, inconsiderate, and downright rude at times to most everyone around him (which is entirely hilarious at times), exempting his parabatai and best friend, Jem Carstairs. His fierce loyalty to Jem is probably his most endearing characteristics(their intense friendship is more interesting to me than either of the characters’ involvement with Tessa). He lies about having drunken exploits and clandestine encounters with women of questionable morals, yet will sit down and have in depth, very truthful conversations about his favorite books. He’s devilishly handsome, with dark hair, blue eyes, and a Welsh upbringing that remains a secret throughout most of the stories. The thing about Will is he has a vulnerability to him that many of the other characters are unaware of. It makes me want to give him a hug and a cup of cocoa.
6. Claire Randall Fraser, The Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon
Claire, as a smartass English nurse from the 1940’s, doesn’t exactly fit in once she finds herself dropped into the heart of Scotland in the 1700s. Claire is witty and strong, a combination that fits female characters nicely, if I do say so myself. She is an equal in her relationship with Jamie, a situation she brought about by standing up for herself when the expectations of the century made themselves known. Claire is fantastic.
7. Finnick Odair, The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins
Do not read this entry if you have not read all three Hunger Games books. Oh, Finnick. You poor soul. I think Finnick Odair is one of the best, complicated characters Collins created in this series. Finnick is first presented in Catching Fire as a pretty-faced Quarter Quell tribute from District Four. He’s a Capitol sex symbol who trades in secrets, automatically making Katniss bristle with his bold manner. Once in the arena, Finnick becomes one of Katniss’s fiercest allies, saving Peeta’s life in the process. Upon discovering that the Capitol captured his true love, the slightly unstable Annie Cresta, Finnick falls apart, demonstrating how deeply he cares for her. Finnick becomes Katniss’s close friend and the only one that truly understands her mental state regarding Peeta in Mockingjay.
8. Jessica Darling, The Jessica Darling Books by Megan McCafferty
When I first started reading these books in high school, my thoughts were, “FINALLY! Someone who gets it!” Jessica Darling is an average, high school girl. She’s smart, she’s involved in after school activities that she feels trapped in, and she desperately misses her best friend Hope. The thing that really endeared me to Jessica was her rather acerbic wit that she used as a shield against those she disliked around her. Also, her general outlook on life: “Whenever I look forward to anything, it ends up sucking. The buildup inevitably leads to a letdown. It's safer to lowball my way through life.” (from Second Helpings) I just love her and should reread these books soon.
9. Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Augustus Waters is witty, confident, and refused to let his illness get in the way of his life. He is unflinchingly honest and up front with his feelings for Hazel from the get go. As a person that often deals with people in general talking around something they want to address, you have no idea how appealing this is. He refuses to let Hazel “save him” from losing her, instead choosing to persist in courting her until she relents. You have to admit he’s driven. I think I’ll quote my own review and say, “Augustus Waters, I think I might love you.”
10. Cassel Sharpe, The Curseworkers series by Holly Black
He’s a completely unreliable narrator that has holes in his memories where facts should be. He’s a prep school boy who can lie as well as he can breathe. And he happens to be my favorite male protagonist in a young adult book. At heart, all Cassel wants is to lead a life outside of the confines of organized Curseworker crime, where he could explore his feelings for his childhood best friend without the complications involved with magic and trust his family’s intentions. Poor, poor Cassel. I have to get to Black Heart soon in order to see what happens to him!
Can you tell by the length of my explanations how important characterization is to me and how attached I become to these people? Oy.
Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish