Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature that was created by The Broke and the Bookish and hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl. Born from a love of lists and a love of books each week there’s a new topic for bloggers to list their ‘top ten’.
Top Ten Characters that Remind Me of Myself
One of the things I love about reading is how the books I pick up take me to different worlds where I can escape from my real-life problems for a couple of hours, and because I mainly read fantasy books it was a little challenging to come up with ten characters that reminded me of myself. My favourite characters risk their lives for what they believe in and honestly I don’t think I’d be able to be that brave if I was in the same situation, so while I can’t wholly relate to the ten characters I picked this week there were aspects of each of their characterisations that stuck with me.
Emily, Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson
The friendship between Emily and Sloane was the main thing I could see myself (and my best friend) in. My best friend is definitely more outgoing than I am but she’s convinced me to try things I never would have even thought of doing otherwise. Plus I’d be lost without her.
Then she smiled at me and said what she always did before we went out. “Let’s go have the best night ever.”
Taylor, Queens of Geek by Jen Wilde
The anxiety representation in this book was incredible. A lot of the times when Taylor was talking about her mental health I could relate to what she was saying because they were things I had said or thought about my own mental health. Plus I could relate to the fangirl aspects of Taylor’s character.
“I fight every day, and too many times it’s just not enough and the fear wins. I’m so fucking weak and everything is so fucking intense and sometimes I really hate it.”
Ariel, You Asked for Perfect by Laura Silverman
I’m not gay or Jewish but the pressure Ariel put himself under to do well in school to get into Harvard was what I related to in You Asked for Perfect. The idea of living up to the expectations you think people have for you, even when those expectations aren’t as high as you think, really struck a chord for me.
“They make us think the grade is more important than the learning, and that’s messed up. We’re all overwhelmed. You’re not alone.”
Darius, Darius the Great is Not Okay by Adib Khorram
Again this is another book where the mental health representation spoke to me. I don’t have depression like Darius does but a lot of the scenes in this book where he was thinking about how his mental health affected his life, and how it made him feel to admit his struggles to other people, were how I’d felt at times.
“I had nothing to be depressed about. Nothing really bad had ever happened to me.
I felt so inadequate.”
Nancy, Every Heart a Doorway by Seanan McGuire
Nancy was the first asexual character I read in a YA book and I loved seeing that representation because I identify as asexual. Nancy’s asexuality was something she actually came out and said, it wasn’t something the author just hinted around without saying the word “asexual” and that was so important for me to read.
“I don’t do that. With anyone.”
“No. Celibacy is a choice. I’m asexual. I don’t get those feelings.”
Cress, Cress by Marissa Meyer
Like Cress I spend a lot of time daydreaming and creating worlds inside my own head that I can escape into. Plus her desire to escape and explore everything the world has to offer is something I can relate to, even if my situation isn’t as extreme as needing to escape a satellite orbiting space.
“Maybe there isn’t such a thing as fate. Maybe it’s just the opportunities we’re given, and what we do with them.”
Cath, Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
When reading Fangirl the main thing I realised was how similar my university experience was to Cath’s. I stuck with what I knew; I preferred staying in to going out and socialising, and I didn’t make new friends but instead reminded close to one of my high school friends who came to the same university as me.
“In new situations, all the trickiest rules are the ones nobody bothers to explain to you. (And the ones you can’t Google.)”
Eliza, Eliza and Her Monsters by Francesca Zappia
Again it was the mental health representation that I connected to with Eliza’s character. Eliza keeps her WebComic strictly to herself, and it’s not the same thing but no one outside of my parents knows I have my blog. Also the way Eliza doubt herself and let’s those doubts overtake her is something I am very aware I do a lot.
“I’m so tired. I’m tired of anxiety that twists my stomach so hard I can’t move the rest of my body.”
Molly, The Upside of Unrequited by Becky Albertalli
Molly was a character I instantly connected to for so many reasons. Her dynamic with her sister is similar to my dynamic with mine, with Molly being less outgoing and more insecure. Also like me Molly is very into arts and crafts and baking, and she’s self conscious of her weight.
“I don’t feel like doing anything. I don’t even know what I need right now. I just want to feel normal.”
Nix, The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Like Nix I would one day love to have the freedom to explore the world. Granted I don’t have a ship I can navigate which will take me to any era throughout history, or any world no matter how fictional (if only), but one day I want the freedom to travel without limits like Nix wants.
“I saw the horizon unbounded and I reeled with the vastness of it. What new shores would I discover if I could only travel those few inches?”
Did you take part in this week’s Top Ten Tuesday?
Which characters do you see yourself in? Do any of the characters I picked this week remind you of yourself?
What books have you read with incredible mental health representation, and what books would you recommend with well written LGBT+ representation?