Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. If you head on over to their site, you can see other bloggers’ top ten lists too. This week is tough! I mean, what do you do? Go back to the classics? I decided to focus on books I’ve read in the past five years or so. And I’ve noticed my list features lots of smart, beautiful, and resourceful women. With a couple of guys thrown in! Here we go, in no particular order:
Rudy from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak. I love this book so much. And although I’m listing Rudy as my favorite character, I really love Liesel as well. This is a survival story, a love story, a sad story, and a story of hope. Liesel is the book thief, but I fell in love with her friend Rudy. Just read it, if you haven’t yet. You won’t regret it.
Candy from Emergence by David R. Palmer. I’m so glad I thought of this book. It’s been years since I read it, but it ranks high up on my list of favorite SF stories. Candy is an incredibly smart eleven-year-old survivor of a bionuclear plague. With her pet parrot Terry, she sets out on a journey to find other survivors. Yes, it sounds like a million other post-apocalyptic novels, but it’s unlike anything else you’ll ever read. I’m holding on tight to my frayed paperback copy, because unfortunately, Emergence is out of print at the moment.
Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. I am eagerly awaiting Bitterblue, the final book in Cashore’s trilogy, but until then I can gush over Fire, the second in the series. In this world, Fire is called a monster. She has fiery red, beautiful hair and can control people and read their minds. She is such a unique character, that it’s hard to compare her to anyone else.
Jake from The Last Werewolf by Glen Duncan. Jake is the last werewolf on Earth, and he is one bad-ass dude. But he’s also handsome, suave and charismatic. Plus he has the heart of a poet. Or at least Duncan does. Jake has been around the block and has given up hope, and now that he’s being hunted, he’s almost ready to go quietly. You kinda feel sorry for the guy, but he finds the will to live when he meets…well, I don’t want to spoil it for you…
Myfawny Thomas from The Rook by Daniel O’Malley. “Myfawny” rhymes with “Tiffany.” That’s one of the first things you learn about this wonderful character, told in her own words. I loved The Rook and just never got around to writing a review, but Myfawny’s first person account of how she wakes up in someone else’s body (she’s actually lost her memory) and how she solves the mystery of who exactly is trying to kill her is one of the more original stories I’ve read recently.
Unnamed narrator from Incendiary by Chris Cleave. The subject matter about a London bombing at a soccer game is tough to swallow, and I don’t think I would have been able to get through it if it weren’t for the heart-felt narration of a woman whose husband and son were killed in the stadium. Written as a letter to Osama bin Laden, the narrator’s voice is fraught with sorrow and anger, but she gets through the horrible days after the bombing with a wry humor. She is truly an unforgettable woman.
Iko from Cinder by Marissa Meyer. One of my most recent five-star reviews, Cinder is a SF take on the Cinderella fairy tale. Its structure follows the events in the classic tale, but the unique characters make this quite different. I love the character of Cinder, but I actually loved her android Iko even more. Iko is quite intelligent for an android, and she is Cinder’s constant companion. She keeps Cinder’s secrets just like a real friend, and you won’t believe what happens to her near the end of the story, or how Meyer sets the stage for Iko’s reappearance in the next book in the series, Scarlet.
Kvothe from The Name of the Wind by Patrick Rothfuss. Kvothe is everything a great character should be: dashing, a talented musician and gifted with the ability to do just about everything well. He’s also irreverent and has a mysterious past. He makes women swoon and breaks lots of rules. I didn’t like Rothfuss’ second book, The Wise Man’s Fear, as much, but I did find even more to love about Kvothe.
Karou from Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor. Here’s another quirky, intelligent and talented female character with colored hair! Daughter of Smoke & Bone was a favorite of mine last year, mostly due to the characters, but also because Laini’s writing is so vibrant and engaging. You can tell she truly loves the characters she is writing about, and that makes the reader love them as well. Deep down I want to be Karou, a girl who can make wishes come true and has blue hair.
Lisbeth Salander from The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo by Stieg Larsson. Although she is abused in the beginning of the story, Lisbeth gets her sweet revenge and never lets the bad guys crush her spirit. How can you not love a character like that? And she’s a computer hacker to boot. I don’t really want to be her, but I do admire her tenacity and focus.
So, who are your favorite characters?