Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters that Remind Me of Myself

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 Tuesday '19 #13

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.”

“You’re celibate?”

“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?

36 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters that Remind Me of Myself

  1. I am really looking forward to reading more asexual characters, because I identify with it a lot myself too and I have yet to find a character that I can *truly* relate with. I am really hoping that I love ‘The Lady’s Guide to Petticoats and Piracy’ and that it becomes one in which I can finally see myself in the asexuality rep.
    I’m currently reading Darius the Great and I am already relating to Darius so much! His relationship with his father mirrors a lot my own relationship with my father, including the body-shaming and I’m so shocked by how much I am able to see myself in this one.
    Finding a South-American character whom I can relate with is one of my biggest goals in YA. So far, I’ve only read one book, Heretics Anonymous, with a Colombian-American main character and it was amazing, but I hope to find a main character in a YA book too.
    Thank you so much for sharing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s so great seeing more and more representation for asexuality out there. Oh hopefully you find that character somewhere, I really loved The Lady’s Guide so even if you don’t *truly* relate to Felicity’s character I’m sure you’ll still love the book anyways.
      It’s interesting isn’t it? How characters who on the surface we have nothing in common with we’re able to relate to. For me with Darius the Great it was the mental health aspects. It was so easy to see myself reflected there.
      I’ll wish you good luck in your search then, either way reading all these books with incredible representation will only show the publishers we want more and more books like them. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Such a good list, Beth! After reading through I realised there’s quite a few characters on here that I relate to as well. It’s so great that you managed to find some characters that you could really identify with – asexuality doesn’t come up very often which is a shame! 😊

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Ashley. 🙂 I think when it comes to books with representation these are definitely some of the best I’ve read, so I can’t be the only person who can relate to these characters! 😀
      Yeah there are some sexualities that are so rarely represented and it’s really a shame because there’s needs to be more diverse rep out there as well.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Based on some of the reviews I’ve read I feel like a lot of people can relate to her in some way or another. I guess when you think about it we all feel a little lost when we go through a big change like moving from high school to uni. 🙂


  3. AHH BETH I love your picks so, so much and I can relate to SO many of these characters as well. Eliza, Taylor, Ariel, Cress and… most likely Cath when I will read Fangirl too and Darius as well 😀 Wonderful list ❤ ❤ It's so good to find bits of yourself in books, isn't it 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Marie. 🙂 Yeah when it comes to characters I relate to my first through is always books with incredible mental health representation, for obvious reasons. I’m sure you’ll love them as much as I did ❤️ and yes in my opinion that’s one of the best things about reading! 😀 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Great answers Beth! And it’s amazing you could come up with 10, I know I wouldn’t be able to! Cath is someone I related to so much when I was in university… I’m curious if I was to read it again how connected I would be to her. I feel like in the last 5 years I’ve changed a bit… maybe I’ll re-read it! Anyways! I loved reading your answers! 🙂 ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Meghan. Yeah I mean it was a little challenging, and a lot of then aren’t characters I can say I wholly relate to but they’re all characters I could relate to some aspect of.
      Ohh, that’s actually something I never thought about but yeah I think I’ve changed a lot since I first read Fangirl, I wonder if I’d still feel the same as well. Guess it’s a book we both need to re-read.
      Thanks again. 🙂 ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much. 🙂 ❤️ There’s a reason Cress is my favourite book in The Lunar Chronicles series after all, and yeah while I didn’t love all of Eliza and Her Monsters the rep and Eliza’s character were two aspects I did love.


  5. lskdjflskjfd all of these characters!!!!!! I relate to how much you relate to them, especially Darius. The depression rep was handled so well + we both love tea, I think maybe Darius could easily be my best friend. And Cress is a teddy bear + shy smol puppy of a character, I both adored her and understood her general terror of loud! gorgeous! humans

    + Nancy was so important to me as well!!! I also identify as asexual and her character was the first one i’ve ever read to outright call herself ace. You’re so right about authors always hinting at asexuality but never outright saying it, like with Victor Vale. But then NANCY *strolled* into our lives and declared she was ace, I was in tears ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah Darius the Great is Not Okay honestly has some of the best mental health rep I’ve ever read. And yes I forgot about the tea!!! But that was definitely another reason I related to his character. 🙂
      Ha, yeah if I was a character in a fantasy book I’d be like Cress, but without the epic computer skills unfortunately.
      Exactly, I mean it’s great to see representation but you also want to hear about characters actually say how they identify. That’s all part of it in the end, and sexualities like asexuality are so underrepresented as well, even if you count all the hunted at but never confirmed characters. ❤️


  6. Yeah, it’s wonderful to see so much more representation in books than there used to be. I’m glad you found a book about an asexual character that spoke to you.

    My TTT.

    Liked by 1 person

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