Ten Books for Readers Who Like Character Driven Novels
1. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series is basically my spirit animal. She’s so unashamedly herself, quirks and all and I absolutely admire that. She’s brave, beautiful, and so smart.
2. Firefly Lane’s Tully Hart is another of my spirit animals. She’s afraid of absolutely nothing, she is independent and strong willed. She goes full throttle after what she wants and doesn’t let anyone, or anything, stand in her way. Plus, she’s funny! I’ve always wished I had a sense of humor like that, off the cuff remarks and all.
3. Last but not least, Tris/Beatrice from the Divergent trilogy. I LOVE all of the books and she is such a strong, amazing character. I love that even through her fear, she pushed through and followed her heart. She continuously fought for what she believed to be right and once again, didn’t let anyone stand in her way. I feel like the characters I always admire the most, and the ones that stick with me, are the ones that I am least like, and I am definitely nothing like Tris!
4. Alanna from the Song of the Lioness series is a total badass. I read the Song of the Lioness series for the first time when I was 14. Though a girl, Alanna decides she craves adventure and wants to be a knight. So, she switches places with her twin, Thom, and becomes a page at the King’s castle. Basically it’s full of sword-fighting, hiding her gender, kicking tail, and a very complex character profile. By the end of the series, I felt like I knew Alanna. I’ve read the series several times since then, just for the characters!
5. Though part of my love for Piper Kerman‘s character is from Netflix’s version of Orange is the New Black, I also love her character in the book (it’s more lovable than the show version). It’s a memoir of Kerman’s life in prison (which I suppose makes her a real life character?) but I found myself really enjoying her personality and story.
6. Would it be a post if I didn’t mention the Study Series? Yelena is convicted of murder and in exchange for her life is chosen to be the Commander’s food taster. Maria Snyder has painted a multifaceted character whom I felt instantly connected to (yet still wondered about her secrets and mysteries) in the first book. It’s Yelena’s character that makes the series as awesome as it is.
7. If I had a British alter-ego, it would be Bridget Jones. In fact, after reading Bridget Jones’s Diary for the first time, I caught myself occasionally using words like ‘loo’ and ‘lift’ and ‘bloody hell’. I sympathized with Bridget, laughed with Bridget, and read all of the sequels because of Bridget. Helen Fielding has a wonderful main character, but didn’t skimp on the secondary characters, either.
8. The Throne of Glass series by Sarah J. Maas is extremely character driven—in fact, I almost put the first book down because I was having a difficult time getting it to it, but it was the way Maas constructed Celaena that kept me going. I’m definitely glad I did, because I fell in love with all of the characters.
9. I am a huge John Green fan, but Quentin and Margo from Paper Towns are my absolute favorites. I read this book when I was seventeen and really felt like I could identify with these quirky, different, but completely normal characters.
10. I really feel that the characters and relationships in Something Borrowed by Emily Giffin are what made the story as good as it was. Yes, the cheating with your best friend’s fiancé bit was interesting, but honestly, it’s the characters that move the story forward and kept me engaged. Darcy and Rachel are so different—you expect Rachel to be complex and Darcy to be shallow, but Giffin brings out a complexity to both of them that makes you want to finish the book in a sitting. You find yourself feeling for Rachel, but feeling for Darcy too. Rooting for Dex, but hating him for cheating.
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