Characters Create The Best Escape
Have you ever had a day in your whole life, where you find yourself needing a little quiet space? Some way to center yourself from all the commotion around you? Have you ever woken up, had that cup of coffee and still, your energy level just isn’t there?
When I find myself heading down one or all of these rocky paths, there’s only one thing I can think of that gets me back on track—
Characters, reading, and rereading some of my all time favorite books. It’s the best way I know how to calm my mind and generate new emotion. I can disappear into an imaginary vacation without straining my wallet. And it’s not the plot that drives my escape. I am in love with stories of great character, relatable characters, regardless of whether or not I see life as they do.
So today, I’m reposting my top ten all time character list I shared on a blog with Lola’s Reviews back in December. Most of these characters stem from the YA genre since I read what I’m writing myself. All of them are my favorites.
So Here it is … My Top Ten Character List
1. Claire: The Main Character in The Morganville Vampire Series. A quirky sixteen-year-old girl, highly sheltered by overprotective parents, she’s brilliant. She tested out of the remaining high school years, a Physics genius. The character arc in the first book Glass Houses, blew my mind. I believed her story. I also feel like I watched her grow up in the series through her Urban Fantasy challenges. Plus, the plot in the book was incredibly creative. Physics and vampires? Wow. I loved it. And I loved every quirky character in the series.
2.Willow: The Main Character in L.A. Weatherly’s Angel Burn Series. I am a fan of angel books. Willow, by far, topped all the other leading characters in the angel books I’ve read. She’s a girl who doesn’t mind a little car grease on her hands, and can get under the hood and know what to do, well, yeah, amazing! Plus, she is an altruist, a lover of all things people and nature, and a girl with a heart of gold and an incredible backstory.
3. Cole: Maggie Stiefvater’s Shiver Series. Reading his character voice for the first time in Linger, taught me the value in motive and character arc. His strong identity showed me the importance in making all characters different in a book, and not just acting different in body language, but sounding different, reflecting the unique needs and wants. I loved his rough edges. I loved his constant battle between life and death, and of course, the hope Maggie gave me for him.
3. Daphne: The Space Between by Brenna Yovanoff. A child from Fallen Angels, she’s a half demon half human girl. Strong. True. She says things with impact. She’s burdened with fear for who she is, knowing someday she’ll experience her true demon power and is terrified she’ll hurt a human. She doesn’t want to hurt anyone, and a demon feeling that way? Wow. She also never experienced being loved and so she, in turn, is afraid of loving anyone. Her story is one of the best and truest character stories I’d seen in a long long time.
4. Rose: The Vampire Academy Series by Richelle Mead. I loved her strong no nonsense attitude. She’s a girl with a fighting soul and heart because she knows of no other life than survival mode. A protector of the elite, she covers her emotion with thick layers of skin. I loved when the layers peeled back and showed us how people aren’t always who they seem to be.
5. Joshua: Hereafter, by Tara Hudson. He was the love interest, and any character who defies what is normal because they’re so comfortable in their own skin, is a great character to learn from. After his near death experience, he woke up haunted by his attraction to the girl who saved him. A dead girl, who no one else could see. He doesn’t care how people see him talking to himself, and even kissing the air. He loves her. He’ll do anything to help her find out the truth.
6. Jo: Little Women, by Louisa May Alcott. As a thirteen-year-old girl, Jo was the first character I ever remember relating to. I bonded with her voice and I couldn’t stand what happened to her towards the end, unable to finish the book. Years later, I made amends with it. I even watched the movie and loved it. Here’s an excerpt so you can see why too (http://xroads.virginia.edu/~hyper/alcott/lwtext.html):
Really, girls, you are both to be blamed, said Meg, beginning to lecture in her elder-sisterly fashion. You are old enough to leave off boyish tricks, and to behave better, Josephine. It didn’t matter so much when you were a little girl, but now you are so tall, and turn up your hair, you should remember that you are a young lady.
I’m not! And if turning up my hair makes me one, I’ll wear it in two tails till I’m twenty, cried Jo, pulling off her net, and shaking down a chestnut mane. I hate to think I’ve got to grow up, and be Miss March, and wear long gowns, and look as prim as a China Aster! It’s bad enough to be a girl, anyway, when I like boy’s games and work and manners!
8. Patch: The love interest in Hush-Hush, by Becca Fitzpatrick. Sexy, dangerous, I get his bad side. I get his character ARC, too, and I love how he grows in the four books in the series
9. Orual: Till We Have Faces, by C.S. Lewis. Again, she’s a strong girl who doesn’t want to fit into the norm. She has a story, being the underdog and sort of the ugly duckling next to her beautiful sister, and I loved how she fought to be heard.
10. Everafter: This is all time pick-me-up movie. Whenever I’m blue, and I need to switchover fast, I plug in my old VHS tape and watch Drew Barrymore play the best rendition of Cinderella. Sweet, honest, she’s true to herself.
…And I am also just a fairy tale girl at heart. :0)
Happy Monday all. May your week shine bright.