As a reader, I think characters are one of the most important parts of a book. We care about the characters; we pick up the sequels to see what becomes of the characters. We love a strong, relatable character and leave a flat, annoying character. These ten characters are some of my favorite characters in fiction. They are often complex and flawed, they have problems and they try to find solutions, and they are interesting and unique.
Kira from Gathering Blue by Lois Lowry: Kira is crippled, and when her mother dies, she is at the mercy of the manipulative Council of Guardians in a town where the weak are killed or cast out. She is reserved, but not shy or complaining, and she is an intelligent and strong character who acknowledges her weaknesses and strives to be a light in her dark, fearful, trustless community. I think Kira is one of Lois Lowry’s most complex, interesting, layered, and relatable characters.
Levana from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer is a fascinating character. She thinks she is doing the right thing and deserves to be in charge, but really, she is a manipulative, frightening, power-hungry, and evil queen. She is completely twisted and blinded, and in Levana Marissa Meyer has created a villain of the best sort.
Logan from the Swipe series by Evan Angler is a scaredy-cat with good reason. I appreciated seeing a character that developed over the course of the series, but didn’t get to the end of the story and have a completely new personality and be a perfect, outgoing, kind and wonderful person.
Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee is renowned, and I probably don’t need to repeat why. I loved Scout because I can very much identify with her drive for justice and distaste for not knowing what’s going on or who is telling the truth.
Lucy from Listen to the Moon by Michael Morpurgo has an unusual identity crisis. (I know, I know, all YA characters have an identity crisis and they all follow pretty much the same pattern. This doesn’t.) Lucy washed onto shore on an island in Scillies with amnesia and no memories, no backstory, and no family. She must discover who she is over the course of the story with the help of a kindly fisherman and his family.
Nisha from The Night Diaries: Nisha is a sweet,sensitive girl confused by the turmoil in her world. I enjoyed getting to know her in The Night Diaries.
Henry from 100 Cupboards by N. D. Wilson: Henry is an unusual character. He is an eccentric and awkward boy, but he is also the typical adventure hero with energy, bravery, something to overcome, something to defeat, and a sidekick.
Sonia from You Bring the Distant Near by Mitali Perkins is a book-loving, cause-supporting, opinionated girl, and I wrote a post about her and the other characters in You Bring the Distant Near in this book review.
Chess from The Fog Diver is a daring, precocious character trying to survive on a makeshift raft as he dives down beneath the fog to salvage what is left of the world before his. He is perfectly suited for his setting, and was a very entertaining character.
Charles Wallace from the A Wrinkle in Time series by Madeleine L’Engle: Charles Wallace is a brilliant, quiet boy who knows everyone and whom everyone thinks they know. He is the best kind of character: one who is flawed and sometimes wrong, yet ultimately comes to realize and acknowledge that fact and find a way to overcome their obstacles.
Who are some of your favorite characters? Do you prefer plot-driven or character-driven stories? Have you read any of the books I mentioned?