Top Ten Tuesday: 10/7

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.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site. 



Top Ten Tuesday: 9/30

Top Ten Books That Were Hard For Me To Read



1. Columbine by Dave Cullen is by far the most difficult book I’ve ever read. In fact, I haven’t even finished it yet. It isn’t difficult because it’s written poorly or it’s boring—it’s difficult because when I’m reading non-fiction, I have a tendency to put myself in the shoes of the people involved. This book covers the brutal Columbine massacre in 1999. It covers the suspects. The victims. The law enforcement agencies involved. The families and friends of victims. The incident completely shocked and stunned everyone, and reading about how devastated parents, siblings, girlfriends, boyfriends, friends, teachers, etc. were…it’s rough.

2. Working off of the same “putting myself in other people’s shoes” deal, Memoirs of a Geisha by Arthur Golden stands out in my mind. Nitta is 9-years-old when she is sold into slavery at a geisha house—essentially a whorehouse. They say that being a geisha is not the same as being a prostitute—but no matter how you sugarcoat it, sex for money is prostitution in my book. She is taught the ways of the geisha; dancing, wearing a kimono, how to appeal to men. Her virginity is auctioned off and she’s required to sleep with an older man who she doesn’t know. It’s awful. But the book is amazing. Way better than the movie.

3. Breaking Dawn by Stephanie Meyer is terrible. I’ve read all of the Twilight books. I enjoyed the first one. The second one was slow, but I still read it. The third was a little worse. The fourth was because I was invested and felt that I had to. It was hard to finish—the only reason I did was because I couldn’t burn the $20 I’d just spent on it. Parasite baby birth? Come on.



4. Review to be posted this week, but Friendship by Emily Gould was incredibly difficult for me to read, primarily because I was so incredibly irritated with the main characters. It’s about two thirty-something women who are best friends—they’re supposed to learn that growing up and growing apart is okay, but holy hell. They were selfish and immature and extremely obnoxious and unlikeable.

5. The Fifty Shades trilogy was difficult for me to get through, especially after learning that it was essentially thinly veiled Twilight erotica fanfiction.

6. My Story by Elizabeth Smart was emotional, terrifying, and eye-opening. I struggled reading about the rape and abuse of the thirteen-year-old Elizabeth Smart. I remember when she went missing—I was the same age. My mom was so upset because she could identity with Smart’s mother. I remember when she was found. I was outside, and my mom shouted out the door that she had been found. Everyone was surprised. In turn, everyone became judgmental. Why didn’t she run? Why didn’t she try to get away? Her book covers that, and what she went through during her captivity. It was riveting and well-written, but extremely difficult to process and read.


The Heroin Diaries

The Heroin Diaries

7. The Heroin Diaries by Nikki Sixx was probably, hands down, the hardest book for me to read since I’ve started reading (aside from text books). It’s a very detailed, in depth description of Motley Crue co-founder Nikki Sixx’s drug addiction, specifically heroin, and how he got to rock bottom. There for awhile I was very intrigued by drug addiction and the journey there and back. I read book after book on the subject, anything I could get my hands on really, and I learned a lot. But this book? This book was just too much for me. It’s filled with drugs, sex and alcohol and was very, very depressing. I read it about 5 years ago so it might be better now, but I have no desire to attempt it.

8. Anything after book 11 (Eleven on Top) in the Stephanie Plum series by Janet Evanovich basically made me want to rip my hair out, but  I read through to book 18 (Explosive Eighteen). I LOVED the entire series up to about book 10, and then I started noticing that every single book was exactly the same with a few different people, and then it started getting out of control. I’m sure it happened well before that, but I honestly didn’t mind up until then. My dad got me hooked on her books and I wanted to badly to finish the entire series but I just couldn’t. I don’t think it helped that I read all of those books within about 4 weeks though… oops.

The Book Thief

The Book Thief

9. I feel a little bad putting this book on the list, but The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak was absolutely terrible for me. It gets such good reviews and it covers a topic that I’m very interested in, but I just could not get into it. It was very boring to me, and did not capture my attention at all. I pushed through as far as I could but honestly? I couldn’t finish it. I’ve tried 3 or 4 times to get into it, but it’s just not going to happen.

10. Melissa Explains It All by Melissa Joan Hart – it was advertised and marketed as being this really awesome tell-all, how she really was sort of a wild child while filming Sabrina but was smart enough to hide it, etc. But the entire thing felt like she was trying way too hard. Talking about trying drugs and smoking and being crazy just to make her sound cool, when really it made her sound old and annoying. I feel like the book was just a desperate attempt for publicity with a show that isn’t doing so hot and a need for money since she hasn’t been in the public eye since Sabrina went off air probably. If she had just been honest, even if her life was boring, it would have been better. Fail for Sabrina.


Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the Broke & the Bookish. Check out more Top Ten features on their site.