I haven’t done one of these in a while so it’s about time I got back on the bandwagon! The Goodreads group for Top 5 Wednesday can be found here and the moderators here and here.
This weeks’ topic is Top 5 characters you defend. I’m interpreting this topic as top 5 characters I would defend if I saw any negative comments thrown at them. I’m a very loyal person so I’d jump to defend basically any character I love. But the following five most of all!
1. Nyx from Cruel Beauty
Before reading Cruel Beauty I’d seen quite a few mixed reviews on Goodreads and a lot of the hate seemed to be directed towards the MC, Nyx. So I was a tad stand-offish when I started the novel but, whilst reading it, I got increasingly confused by people’s opinions of her. I thought she was a wonderful character. She was practically everything I look for in my strong female protagonists. I loved how flawed she was – and she was flawed. I liked her bitterness, I liked her unapologetic, unforgiving nature and, most of all, I liked her unrelenting drive. But I also liked how, underneath her prickly exterior, she was kind and warm-hearted. She felt intensely realistic to me and I just love her and yes, I will defend her till people get bored of me droning on about how awesome she is 😊
2. Twylla from The Sin Eater’s Daughter
Similar to Cruel Beauty, I’ve seen many reviews that criticised the book for its MC, Twylla. At the beginning of the series, yes, Twylla is quite a weak character – she isn’t remotely assertive and she is unable to stand up for herself. But she is written in such a way that, I feel, invokes great sympathy, not criticism.
It does really bug me when people expect others to be strong and unwavering in that strength. It’s okay to be scared and act cowardly. And it’s definitely okay to be selfish (in regards to self-care). You don’t owe anyone anything. And I hate it especially when female characters are expected to act selflessly because it reflects how society believes women should act. That we should always be doing things for other people at the expense of ourselves and our own hopes and dreams. Um, no. You’re alright. Oops, impromptu rant. My bad.
But, anyway, back to Twylla. She goes though some crazy character development over the course of both The Sin Eater’s Daughter and The Sleeping Prince. But, particularly, in the last chapter of the first instalment of the trilogy. She goes through a lot and, I won’t give away what happens but, what I will say is that she most certainly finds her voice and, as a result, her strength. And I just bloody love her okay?
3. Harper from Rebel Belle
I haven’t really seen much criticism for Harper but, for reasons I’ll explain, if I saw any comment that would diss her in any way, I will clearly explain to the person in question how and why they are wrong 😂 No, but seriously, Harper is one of my all-time favourite heroines and I adore her so much. I loved reading from her perspective. She’s witty, charming, highly intelligent, no-nonsense, extremely level-headed and unapologetically always herself.
In a world that seeks to criticise people who take pride in their looks and expresses that pride in a multitude of ways, Harper is a very important character, especially for younger readers. Too often the popular, ‘girly,’ overtly-feminine types are villainised by writers with deep-seated personal issues who seem to harbour within themselves a great deal of internal misogyny. Which is why we need more characters like Harper proving to people that you can wear heels and also kick a lot of butt, whether that be literally kicking butt or just outsmarting everyone around her. You got a problem with Harper, you got a problem with me 💁
4. Jem from The Infernal Devices
I have only read the first two in this trilogy (so no spoilers please!) but I am already totally and unequivocally in love with a certain Mr. Carstairs. He is special and delicate and must be protected at all costs. How anyone could ever say a single bad word about Jem or even go so far as to dislike him is completely beyond my comprehension and I don’t think I’m compatible with anyone who would feel such horrid things. I’m only half-joking 😂 To meet a real-life Jem Carstairs is at the top of my bucket list. No shame.
As a love interest to the MC, I haven’t seen many ‘Jem’ types in other novels. He is good and kind and gentle and probably one of the loveliest characters I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading about. In YA novels it’s usually the archetypal highly masculine (in a toxic way), bad boy that tends to treat the MC like crap for whatever unbelievable, unforgivable reason that is the usual love interest. Suffice to say, those kinds of immature little shits don’t get my pulse racing in the slightest (why on Earth would they?!?). So the fact that Jem is one of the few truly nice male love interests out there – and I mean actually nice not fake nice guy that turns into a massive douche canoe the moment you turn him down – means I will forever defend him. Come what may. Until my last dying breath. Points if you understood that reference 👏
5. Chaol from Crown of Midnight
HOW COULD ANYONE HATE CHAOL!?!? Is a question I ask myself daily. Most of the time that question is directed towards none other than Ms. Maas herself. Unsurprisingly. Similar to Jem, I feel as though Chaol is quite a different male love interest than all the others. I love how uptight and stubborn he can be and I find his unwavering loyalty towards his friends really admirable. He’s just so swoon-worthy 😍 How people ship Aelin and Rowan together, I will never understand!
Thanks for reading this very long Top 5 Wednesday! Which characters would you always defend?