I know, I haven’t done a Top 5 Tuesday in a while but none of the topics had really tickled my fancy but now I’m gonna dive right into the deep end and do a topic I know I will struggle with!
Why will I struggle with this topic??? Because it’s my top 5 character driven books and guys…That’s my peak reading vibe.
Seriously, a book can be poorly written, the world can make absolutely no sense, the plot can have all of the holes, literally everything can be shit but if you’ve managed to create characters that are complex and intriguing, have fascinating character development, with messy relationships and a tendency to be far too hard on themselves then you will have me from the get-go.
I will look past almost anything for strong characters. Look at my fave Andrew Minyard. He’s everything I hate in one small 5 foot, blonde, violent package and yet I love him so much that I would take a bullet for him.
I wouldn’t even take a bullet for my brother. If someone was pointing a gun at my brother and me, I would probably push him in front of me.
That sounds bad. But to be fair if there was a gun pointed at us it would probably be because of something he did so I don’t really feel bad.
Back to the topic at hand!
When I think of a character-driven story, I think of a book that keeps me turning the pages to make sure my babies are okay. I’m not that invested in the plot or the world, I’m invested mostly in the characters themselves.
So for the purpose of this list, I will be excluding all books where I actually gave a shit about anything other than the characters and their relationships with each other.
I say this like it’ll make choosing my top 5 easier. It won’t. More likely, I’ll just include an extra 5 as honourable mentions. Yeah, I will probably do that.
If that wasn’t already cheating enough, I am going to cheat some more and include series as if they are one choice because I don’t like being told what to do and I like bending rules whenever I can get away with it.
So now’s the time I pull my heart out of my chest and try and pick my favourite bits because that’s basically the same as having to choose my fave character driven books
Am I being dramatic? Yes. After having acknowledged that, do I still feel the same way? YES
│The All for the Game Series│Nora Sakavic│
Characters I give a shit about: Neil, Andrew, Kevin, Aaron, Nicky, Dan, Matt, Alison, Renee, Seth & Jean
HAHAHAHAHAAH Big surprise, who would have thought.
I mean this series is the King of character-driven books. If you haven’t already read it yet WHAT ARE YOU DOING??? GO READ IT NOW!!! IT’S LIKE LESS THAN $5 TOTAL ON KINDLE!!!
│Black Iris│Elliot Wake│
Characters I give a shit about: Laney & Blythe
This book is dark and messy and fucked up and I love it.
Laney tells you exactly who she is from page 1. Of course, you ignore her and figure surely she’s not that bad and then you get to the end and you’re like oh. She is. I love her more.
And Blythe is just ugh, so precious, I want to protect her from the world.
│Far From You│Tess Sharpe│
Characters I give a shit about: Sophie, Mina & Trevor
This book made me ache. I made me feel seen. This is the first book I’ve ever read that showed a girl with chronic pain (disabled) like me! Not only that she also battled addiction and is bi. This is the most represented I have ever been in one book, with one character.
│Genuine Fraud│E. Lockhart│
Characters I give a shit about: Jule & Imogen
Jule is your worst nightmare, a fucking monster and I love her. Imogen was a really interesting character as well!
│The Villains Series│V.E. Schwab│
Characters I give a shit about: Victor, Sydney, Mitch & I guess I care about Eli too. That delusional bastard.
It’s all about what it means to be a villain or a hero and humanity and I love it so much! The characters all stand well on their own but all mixed together, it’s fascinating.
│The Raven Cycle│Maggie Stiefvater│
Characters I give a shit about: Blue, Gansey, Adam, Ronan, Noah and all the women in Blue’s family. Oh & Chainsaw.
So I haven’t actually finished this series, I’ve only read the first book but it was sooooooo good and I just wanted to crawl up into Ronan’s mind and see what’s going on in there.
│The Six of Crows Series│Leigh Bardugo│
Characters I give a shit about: Kaz, Inej, Nina, Matthias, Jesper, Wylan
I love my gang of misfits so much! They’re all so hard and soft and extra and perfect. I especially love the friendship between Inej and Nina!
│The Shades of Magic Series│V.E. Schwab│
Characters I give a shit about: Lila, Kell, Rhy, Alucard & Holland
Hi, Hello, if you didn’t already know this series is my fave or if you forgot, here’s a friendly reminder!
Schwab just creates some of the best characters and that is the end of that conversation.
│The Nowhere Girls│Amy Reed│
Characters I give a shit about: ALL OF THE GIRLS.
This book is so deeply human and painful and empowering. It was cathartic and heartbreaking and healing. I was sobbing reading it and I don’t normally cry when reading books. If you haven’t read it please go and do so soon. It’s so fucking good and important.
│The Conqueror’s Saga│Kiersten White│
Characters I give a shit about: Lada & Radu
Again, I haven’t finished this series! But I really love Lada and Radu!
My sharp, dangerous girl Lada who is already ready to fight to the death if need be and her sweet, soft baby brother Radu who I just wanna wrap up in a nice warm blanket and hide away from the world.
So that’s my favourite character driven books!!!
Go read them.
No, seriously, go read them!!!
What are your favourite characters?
Are you going to pick up any of these books?
Because you should. You really, really should!