Top Ten Tuesday - Character Driven Novels

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

It's Tuesday, so that means it's time for The Broke and the Bookish Top Ten! This week we're supposed to feature character driven novels. While I've seen some people divide their choices into categories (such as driven female leads and so on), I'm not going to be that specific. Instead, my books are those where there were characters I fondly (or not so fondly) remember. For those of you who frequent my blog, you'll probably notice some of my favorite books once more. ;) They're in no particular order, either!

Number Ten: The Book Thief by Markus Zusak

This book is just utterly beautiful, and the character are definitely what made the book. From Hans to Liesel to Rudy to Max - they're all wonderful characters that I loved getting to know and ones that I love to revisit, often. If you haven't read this book yet, pick it up now!

Number Nine: The Grisha Trilogy by Leigh Bardugo

In addition to an especially memorable setting, Bardugo brought us one of the strongest female leads I've ever read in YA, as well as some swoon-worthy male leads to boot. While I loved both Nikolai and Mal, the male with the most character and development, I felt, was The Darkling. I was obsessed with him from book one and kept rooting for his redemption up until the last book. Definitely a book to check out if you love strong characters.

Number Eight: The Help by Kathryn Stockett

This book remains on my all-time favorite book shelf. It's one of the best Southern Fiction books I've ever read and the characters are fresh, human, and memorable. Skeeter, Aibileen, and Minny are all heroines to root for and even those less likable characters, like Hilly are memorable - a character you love to hate. This one is definitely one to pick up if you haven't already!

Number Seven: My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

If you know me at all, you know I love John Green, but that I think The Fault in our Stars - as wonderful as it is - is definitely overrated. Now this book? This was the original Cancer book. Instead of just a love story, this book brought to us a love that is a little more complex, between sisters and family, as well as other issues. This is the book people think of when you mention the author and the characters definitely leave you wanting to turn the pages. I'm so excited to meet her next month!

Number Six: Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Ya'll knew this one was coming, right? Little Women is my favorite classic, as it was the first I ever read. And, being a young woman when I read it, I was able to relate to the March sisters, each in their own way. I loved Meg's sense of responsibility, Jo's adventurous spirit, Beth's quiet strength, and Amy's artistic nature. I loved getting to know them both when they were young and grown. If you've never gotten the chance to read this classic, be sure to make time!

Number Five: Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte

I've already looked at many other TTT so far, and it seems like everyone is putting down Austen. But my favorite character driven classic, besides Little Women, will always be Wuthering Heights. It's a lesser read book, but I think of it as an epic love story. While I didn't necessarily love Heathcliff or Catherine, I certainly fell for their incredible love for one another. It's not your typical hearts and flowers romance of that day and I guess that's why I find it so fascinating.

Number Four: Jennifer Scales Series by MaryJanice Davidson & Anthony Alongi

I really can't praise this series enough. It's definitely a hidden gem, one that I would've never found if it weren't for a friend of mine introducing them to me. Jennifer is definitely a kick-ass heroine and many of the side-characters know how to bring a bad guy to their knees as well! I've said it before and will say it again: read this series!
Number Three: Harry Dresden Series by Jim Butcher

I guess I really don't have the right to put this book up here, seeing as I've only read the first two, but hey - they were awesome books with some very memorable characters - both likable and not-so-likable. I can't wait to delve deeper into the series and see what other amazing characters I meet! I'll get to you soon, Harry! I promise!

Number Two: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

I just finished this book a few days ago and it's definitely worthy of a spot on this list. I certainly didn't find any of the characters likable, but boy did they pack personality! You'll want to kick many of the characters where the "sun don't shine," but let's face it - that sort of dislike isn't easily achieved without the characters being ones to remember!

Number One: Looking for Alaska by John Green

Like I said before, I love John Green and the best "character driven" novel by him, I believe, is Looking for Alaska - mainly because of Alaska herself. Miles I found rather forgettable, at least as far as Green's character's go, but Alaska had depth and many layers to her, making the climax of the story especially compelling. While it's not the most celebrated of Green's books, it's definitely the best when it comes to characters that leave you thinking.

And that's my list! What did you think? Did you have the same books on yours or were there books you thought should've made the list? Feel free to let me know in the comments as well as link me to your TTT!


  1. Great list, Brittany! I totally agree about "The Book Thief" and "The Grisha Trilogy"! As for the rest, I have to admit I haven't read/didn't know about them but I definitely plan to read some of your picks. :D

    Yvonne @ A World Between Folded Pages

    1. Thanks! That's one of the best things about TTT lists, you get to add so many book to your TBR pile! ;)

  2. Excellent list! So many I should have added to mine!

    1. Thanks! There were several on your list as well that I could've added!

  3. Three of the books you listed made it to mine as well (The book thief, looking for alaska and gone girl) and obviously I couldn't agree more... Gone Girl is one you might think is all about plot and then twist! hahaha. The others I haven't read so I can't really say much about them, with the exception of Wuthering Heights which is completely character-driven and one of my favourites, but Emma by Jane Austen made it to my list because I liked Emma way better than Catherine, that's for sure

    1. Great minds think alike. ;) And I actually haven't read Emma, so I can't say too much about it. The only Austen books I've read is Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. I really need to read more classics.

    2. Oh, by the way I tagged you to do the 20 things you probably didn't know about me tag! =)

    3. Thanks, it looks fun! I'll get to it as soon as I can!