Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Top Ten Tuesday: Favorite Characters

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted by the lovely bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's theme is
Top Ten Favorite Characters

I confess: I'm not a very character driven reader. Half the time I couldn't even tell you the names of most of a books' characters (sometimes even the main ones!) I don't know why, it's just how I read. But in going over some of the books I've really liked, I realized that some of the characters have stood the test of time. Here they are:
Jennifer Jones as Carrie
Carrie, from Sister Carrie by Theodore Dreiser. I love this tale of a young woman from Missouri determined to get ahead and make it in the big city, no matter what. She has affairs, lives it up, and makes it as an actress, in spite of society's disapproval.

Beka, from Tamora Pierce's Beka Cooper series. A young girl from a poor background who wants nothing more than to become a loyal member of the police force protecting her beloved city and the man who saved her family from ruin.

Offred, as imagined by Erin McGuire
Offred, from The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood. Offred is not the most revolutionary character. She's not out on the front lines of the revolution, fighting against the regime. However, I related to her. If our society suddenly disintegrated into a world resembling hers, would I know what to do? Or would I just try to survive the best I could?

Anne, from Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery. Who doesn't like this spunky orphan who works hard and charms everyone she meets?

Lev, from The City of Thieves by David Benioff. He's a scared teenager in The Soviet Union during World War II, who finally gets up his courage to protect his friends.

Owen Meany, from A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. I think this book makes half the Top Ten Tuesdays I do, in one form or another. Owen is such a compelling character. He's tiny, with a VOICE, and is unfailingly loyal, even after accidently taking out his best friend's mother with a foul ball. He's convinced of his mission in life, and carries it out whatever the personal cost.

Leah, from The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver. She's not perfect by any means, and she's a bit too willing to unquestionably worship the man in charge, but she fights for what she feels is right, and is not afraid to change when her mistakes are pointed out.

Lillian, from No Ordinary Matter by Jenny McPhee. Probably one of the more "unlikeable" characters in the book, I loved Lillian's don't-eff-with-me attitude. She knows what she wants and she goes after it.

Sula, from Toni Morrison's Sula. Another "disreputable" woman I can't help loving. Her best friend makes safer, more socially acceptable choices, but Sula's the one who won my respect.

Aya, from the graphic novel series Aya by Marguerite Abouet. She loves her family and friends, and she helps those who need it. She's focused on doing better for herself, but you know that she'll never forget where she came from.


Tanya Patrice said...

Lol - I'm a lot like you in that sometimes I can't even remember the names of the main characters! - trying to do better though :-)

kstar said...

Oh, Beka! I loved that series when I was younger :)

LBC said...

Carrie is on my list, and I can't believe I didn't think to put Offred. I also liked Nick in Handmaid's Tale.

Alex (The Sleepless Reader) said...

Great choices! I'm especially happy to see Aya there, there's not enough attention given to that series.

MJ said...

@Tanya: I'm trying to do better, too!

@Kstar: I just checked the final book out from the library yesterday :-)

@LBC: Yay for Carrie! And I liked Nick, too.

@Alex: It really is a great series. So many graphic novel choices seem to be by men, and I'm always looking for good ones by women.

Angela said...

Fantastic choices! I love Anne of Green Gables.
Angela @ AJ Arndt Books Blog