As the end of 2018 approaches (rather rapidly, in fact) I’ll be spending the rest of it talking about my “bookish bests” during the Top 10 of 2018 event I’m hosting. Are you interested in joining? Check out the sign-up post for details.
Today’s prompt, Captivating Characters, was the hardest to narrow down so far. I read so many great books this year — with so many unforgettable characters — it was nearly impossible to pick only ten. And truth be told, if you asked me again in a week some of my list would probably change. ??♀️ But I’m confident with my choices for now. ?
Luna is the latest in a long list of Mariana Zapata characters who has burrowed their way into my heart. She was sweet and spunky. And so kind and thoughtful, especially for someone who was mistreated more by those who were supposed to love her than anyone ever should be. I basically just wanted to give her a big hug for 3/4 of the book.
Some truths are universal — such as Emma Chase writes amazing male POV. Sometimes they work for me. Sometimes they don’t. Garrett in Getting Schooled was definitely the former. He’s easily one of my new favorites of her men. (Of course, I don’t think anyone will ever unseat Jake Becker, but he’s come the closest!)
Oh my Ariel! She caught my attention almost immediately in the first Naughty Princess Book with her sass and sarcasm. Her character grew SO MUCH throughout this series. She made me literally laugh out loud more times than I can count, but she also gave me some big ol’ feels in her book.
The award for one of my most unexpected favorite characters of 2018 goes to Sean Bell. When I first read the blurb and saw words like playboy and womanizer, I was nervous to read his book. Sorry, but that’s just not my preference when it comes to heroes. Turns out he’s the exact opposite of the asshole he pretends to be and I fell for him. Hard.
So often when an author (or duo) writes a “quirky” character, it appears as though they’re trying too hard. Hazel was 1000% quirky, but also utterly perfect IMHO. She felt authentic and I appreciated her energy and ability to just be herself. We’d be besties IRL, I just know it.
Michael Phan & Stella Lane
TKQ is making me break all my “rules” for recaps like this. I couldn’t NOT give a nod to both Michael and Stella separately because they are easily two of my favorite characters of the year. They’re also two that I have barely stopped thinking about since I finished reading. Michael is one of my top new book boyfriends. I loved how tender and caring he was with Stella. He was literally the sweetest guy — and he gets bonus points for having an AMAZING family. Stella. Oh, Stella. She was strong, smart, endearing and sweet. I enjoyed spending time in her head and learning more about her Autism and how she felt as a result of it. I absolutely adored both of them — together and separately.
I mentioned above that Mariana Zapata’s characters find a way into my heart nearly every single time. That was definitely the case with Ivan in From Lukov with Love. Generally I connect more quickly with the heroines in her books and find the heroes grow on me over time. The exact opposite happened with this book. Jasmine was a little prickly for me in the beginning, but Ivan had my heart nearly immediately. He was kind and sweet and gah, he just gave me feels. Particularly a little later in the book when we were introduced to the strays he’d rescued over time. *melts all over the place*
I wish I had 25% of the strength Starr showed in The Hate U Give. This girl is nothing less than amazing. Her journey throughout this book gave me so much to think about and moved me so much. The pain she dealt with all but ripped my heart from my chest. The Hate U Give — and all the characters in it – left a very real mark on me. Each time there’s been a new incident IRL, I immediately think back to this book. Starr is a big part of the reason why I do, too.
Iris is one of the biggest kick ass heroines I read in 2018. And, truthfully, of all time. I loved Long Shot and the romance that built slowly throughout it, but I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that Iris’ journey throughout this book is what made it so special. This woman dealt with things NO ONE should ever have to. Her strength made me cry. To be in such a hopeless situation, to see no way out, but still soldier on? She’s a special character. There are women like her all over this world and stories like theirs are so important.
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Who are some of your favorite standout characters this year?