Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday [5]: Ten All Time Favourite Characters in Books

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created here at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created because we are particularly fond of lists here at The Broke and the Bookish. We’d love to share our lists with other bookish folks and would LOVE to see your top ten lists!

10. Elisa (The Girl of Fire and Thorns by Rae Carson): “Honor from death,” I snap, “is a myth. Invented by the war torn to make sense of the horrific. If we die, it will be so that others may live. Truly honorable death, the only honorable death, is one that enables life.”

As medieval fantasy series go, TGOFAT is knock-your-socks-off, cry-because-the-writing-is-so-gorgeous amazing. Beyond the technical masterpiece, however, the story is lit up by Princess Elisa. She is intelligent and clever, and she learns to play the game better than her enemies. That kind of strength is something all young girls should be exposed to at an early age.

9. Seth (Wicked Lovely series by Melissa Marr): “Maybe you should slow down, so I can catch you.”

I adore Aislinn, but she isn’t the reason I kept reading the Wicked Lovely series. Seth Morgan may not look like a Disney prince, but he’s a lot smarter and kinder than those guys ever were. His devotion to Aislinn is the stuff real romance is made of, and his willingness to work on their relationship is commendable.

8. Meg March (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott): “‘I’m not Meg tonight, I’m ‘a doll’ who does all sorts of crazy things. Tomorrow I shall put away my ‘fuss and feathers’ and be desperately good again.'”

Many people who read Little Women walk away loving Jo, tolerating Beth and hating Meg and Amy. When I first read it at seven years old, it was Meg’s dreamy nature that made me love the story–I wanted so badly for her to get her wish. At sixteen, I identified with her frustration and fear of being alone. At twenty-three, I’m learning how to be content with my life as she eventually does. Meg may not be the inspiring character Jo is, but she is real and vibrant and honest with herself.

7. Sara Crewe (A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett): “If I am a princess in rags and tatters, I can be a princess inside. It would be easy to be a princess if I were dressed in cloth of gold, but it is a great deal more of a triumph to be one all the time when no one knows it.” 

A Little Princess may be a children’s book, but the lessons I learned from Sara Crewe are things I’ve taken with me as I grow up. I’ve heard people belittle the story and Sara by saying it’s too focused on being a stereotypical spoiled princess, but being a princess means more than pretty dresses and dolls. It’s about knowing your worth and never letting anyone make you feel less than what you are. Sara proves that you can be strong without being overbearing, and kind without being a pushover.

6. Etienne St. Clair(Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins): “And we’ll talk about everything BUT our parents…or perhaps we won’t talk at all. We’ll just walk. And we’ll keep walking until the rest of the world ceases to exist.” 

I write silly Valentine’s Day posts about this guy. I dreamcast him in movies. I lost count of how many times I’ve read Anna and the French Kiss somewhere around 200 because I love Etienne St. Clair so much. True, he’s kind of a confused jerk at the start, but as he says himself, “When it’s real, it’s simple” and he’ll do anything to hold on to the people he loves.

5. Mina (My Name is Mina by David Almond): “I sit in my tree/I sing like the birds/My beak is my pen/My songs are my poems.” 

If you want to know what it’s like inside my head, read this book. I’ve never cried in a bookstore, but when I started reading My Name is Mina at a small indie shop, it was all I could do to keep from crying quietly in the corner. Mina is absolutely luminous and she makes every word count.

4. Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars by John Green): “Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”

If the characters in this book were planets, Gus would be a moon only seen every hundred years, passing across the sky and commanding your attention in every minute. His honesty is painful, his humour is whimsical and his love is something (quite literally) writes stories about.

3. Lily Evans (Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling): “You’ve chosen your way, I’ve chosen mine.”

It may seem strange to some people that my favourite character in the HP series is one that was dead at the start of the story, but Lily Evans is just as much a hero as Harry. It is her sacrifice that paves the way for the entire series. The love both James Potter and Severus Snape bear her changes the wizarding world forever. Her determination to do what is right is inspiring and her unconditional love for Harry is something we don’t see too often in today’s world.

2. Atticus Finch (To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee): “I wanted you to see what real courage is, instead of getting the idea that courage is a man with a gun in his hand. It’s when you know you’re licked before you begin, but you begin anyway and see it through no matter what.”

Atticus is exactly the kind of father you never knew you wanted until you met him. His love for his children is palpable throughout the entire novel, and even as he struggles to bring justice to his town, his takes the time to teach them lessons they’ll never forget. He is the reason I reread To Kill a Mockingbird every year, to remind myself that truth and goodness is something that always needs to be worked on.

1. Angela Vicario (Chronicle of a Death Foretold by Gabriel Garcí­a Márquez): She looked for it in the shadows, she found it at first sight among the many, many easily confused names from this world and the other, and she nailed it to the wall with her well-aimed dart, like a butterfly with no will whose sentence has always been written.

When I encountered this novel in freshman year of university, I was hesitant to read it. As an admirer of Márquez’s works of magic realism, I wasn’t sure what to think of this rather somber story of murder and lies. Angela Vicario came out of the shadows to turn everything upside down. Angela stands by her words, making the people around her accept that she will never say anything different, despite what they may think.  The strength of her character manifests itself in subtle, yet powerful ways, and she is actually one of the forces to reckon with in the story.  She is the beginning and the end of the entire novel.

Who are your ten all time favourite characters?


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9 replies »

  1. I really loved this post so much, Angel! I’m SO glad to see someone mention Little Women. I identified the most with Jo because of being a writer, but Meg is also a very compelling and realistic character. I could definitely see how someone would find a kindred spirit in her!

    And Etienne. *swoons* As soon as I saw the title of this post I just KNEW he’d be on your list somewhere.

  2. I’m not surprised by most of this list, though I don’t think I’ve ever heard you mention Mina before. At first, I thought you were talking about Sailor Venus.

  3. I can’t believe that there are people out there hating Meg. I always loved Jo and identified the most with her but loved Meg and Beth almost as much. Still not sure what to think about Amy. I have to read Little Women for a universtiy lecture on Children’ lit right now and this is my chance to reading it again. Interested if I still like Jo the most.

  4. I only recognise about half of these characters, but I love your choices of Meg and Lily and Atticus. This is making me want to choose my top 10 characters despite the fact that it’s Thursday, lol.

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