There are so many good books out there with sooo many characters that I totally wish I could meet in real life. Whether it be because I find them funny, inspiring, or just want to get to see them in action, I’ve got a long list.
And when I say long list, I mean a looooong list.
So without further ado, here are some of my favorite characters from some of my favorite universes.
The Grisha Trilogy // Alina Starkov :
“They wanted a queen. […] And what did I want? Peace for Ravka. A chance to sleep easily in my bed without fear. An end to the guilt and dread I woke to every morning. There were old wants too, to be loved for who I was, not what I could do, to lie in a meadow with a boy’s arms around me and watch the wind move the clouds.”
Songs for Alina:
– Cosmic Love (Florence & The Machine)
– Haunting (Halsey)
– No Light, No Light (Florence & The Machine)
– Long, Long Time Ago (Javier Navarrete)
Why I Love Her:
She’s human. And I don’t mean “I like her because she’s not an alien” I mean she has flaws, she has desires that get the best of her, and was pretty dang relatable (at least for me). In ‘Shadow and Bone’ when I first was introduced to Alina, I was already on her side due to having so much in common with her. And from then on I stayed on her side, felt each emotion she did, fell in love with whoever she fell in love with, and basically became her for the whole book.
With everything that gets dumped on her shoulders, I love that she caves under it all from time to time. She let the power go to her head, she let the desire for an easy way out control her at times, and became a person the reader knew she wasn’t.
I’m not going to lie, it was annoying and frustrating to watch her fall, to watch her say something oh so wrong, and to trust all the wrong people.
But it was wonderful to watch her laugh, to watch her stand up for herself, to watch her try and try again when she just wanted to go to bed and never get up. And the SASS when she had had it with people playing her and her people…whoooooooo boy.
So yes. I love Alina, the very human Saint.
“I’m the Sun Summoner. It gets dark when I say it does.”
“It’s true, you are stronger, wiser, infinite in experience…but I am an apt pupil.”
Other: “What are you smiling at?”
Other: “Are you that funny?”
Alina: “I’m hilarious.”
Six of Crows+Crooked Kingdom // Kaz Brekker :
“Crows remember human faces. They remember the people who feed them, who are kind to them. And the people who wrong them too. They don’t forget. They tell each other who to look after and who to watch out for.”
Songs for Kaz:
– Scars (Boy Epic)
– I’m a Wanted Man (Royal Deluxe)
– Man or a Monster (Sam Tinnesz)
– Watch Me (The Phantoms)
– Fire (Barns Courtney)
Why I Love Him:
Where do I even start.
Kaz Brekker, demjin. Yep. That’s my boy.
I fell head over heels in love with this man. Did I want to strangle him every other page? Ohhhh yes indeed. Did I just want to hug him on the other pages? Always.
Kaz is a brilliant character. I honestly can’t think of any other who will ever in a million years compare. I’ve never read anyone like him before, and don’t think I ever will.
He’s damaged beyond belief, cold and heartless as they come, cruel and selfish, money obsessed, only cares about you if it’ll benefit him in the end, is the smartest most genius man for miles, and a total and complete teddy bear.
I went through various stages with Kaz. Hating him, yelling at him, being frustrated more than you could ever know, and then loving him and just wanting to give him a hug.
I loved how he was made out to be so cold and cruel, so selfish, but with enough sass and charm to make you love to be scared of him. Then as his arc progressed, you really got to see why he is this person/monster he’s become.
The way he pretends to hate everyone, but really loves them all and does everything to protect his friends (yes Kaz they’re your friends whether you like it or not), and the fact that he comes off as this horrid genius when in reality he’s a teenage boy who’s crushing on a girl and doesn’t know how to tell her without ruining his reputation.
I could rant about Kaz forever, so I’ll stop now.
I just love his story so much.
“You’re not weak because you can’t read. You’re weak because you’re afraid of people seeing your weakness. You’re letting shame decide who you are. […] We can endure all kinds of pain. It’s shame that eats men whole.”
Kaz: “I’m a business man. No more, no less.”
Other: “You’re a thief Kaz.”
Kaz: “Isn’t that what I just said?”
Other: “You’ll get what’s coming to you one day Brekker.”
Kaz: “I will, if there’s any justice in the world. And we all know how likely that is.”
“I would have come for you. And if I couldn’t walk, I’d crawl to you, and no matter how broken we were we’d fight our way out together – knives drawn, pistols blazing. Because that’s what we do. We never stop fighting.”
Caraval // Julian :
“What happens beyond this gate may frighten or excite you, but don’t let any of it trick you. We will try to convince you it’s real, but all of it is a performance. A world built of make-believe. So while we want you to get swept away, be careful of being swept too far away. Dreams that come true can be beautiful, but they can also turn into nightmares when people don’t wake up…”
Songs for Julian:
– Everybody Wants to Rule the World (Lorde)
– Get Out Alive (Three Days Grace)
– Smoke and Mirrors (Imagine Dragons)
– Carousel Instrumental (Anthology)
Why I Love Him:
Honestly? ^^ I’m not too sure.
I just know that he grew on me. There was an air of mystery and fear that came with him and for some reason I liked that. He was charming at times, rather obnoxious at others, and overall just a complete and utter mystery. I loved watching him go from the typical playboy who didn’t care about anyone but himself, to genuinely caring about Scarlett (the main character) and looking out for her.
I can’t go into it too much because *spoilers* but it was so interesting to have a character that as much as you love … you really know nothing about therefore allowing anything to be possible, and forcing you to analyze everything again and again.
I honestly didn’t know if I loved or hated him until I read the last page of the book. And even now I say I’m in a love/hate relationship because I can’t make up my mind.
But I do know that I’m obsessed with his character, and the way he was weaved into the story.
“Wishes were things of wonder that took a certain amount of faith, and Julian seemed the type to trust only what he saw.”
“…on this isle secrets are valuable. Be careful about giving yours away too freely. If people know what you want the most, it can be used against you.”
“There you go being dramatic again. You think everything is going to destroy your life.”
Other: “Don’t look at me like that, it doesn’t work on me.”
Julian: “That’s why it’s so much fun.”
Six of Crows // Nina :
“Many boys will bring you flowers. But someday you’ll meet a boy who will learn your favorite flower, your favorite song, your favorite sweet. And even if he is too poor to give you any of them, it won’t matter because he will have taken the time to know you as no one else does. Only that boy earns your heart.”
Songs for Nina:
– One Time (Marian Hill)
– Dance with the Devil (Rachel Taylor)
– No Rest For the Wicked (Lykke Li)
– Call it What You Want (Taylor Swift)
Why I Love Her:
Nina Zenik is my hero.
When I first started reading Nina, I thought she was going to be the typical girl character who flirts with men for information. Very Cinnamon from Mission Impossible if ya know what I mean.
The more I saw her in action, the more I realized she was anything BUT that. Sure sometimes she had to wear a lavish dress rather than boots and a coat, and yes she walked arm in arm with different men, laughed at their lousy jokes, and got information from them, or kept them distracted. But she was so much more than that.
You don’t see the difference?
Did I fail to mention she’s Grisha?
Yeah, she’s a heartrender. Which means she can stop your heart with a single flick of her finger. She can cause armies to fall without uttering a word.
She hides stashes of cookies for “emergencies”, loves waffles almost more than her boyfriend, and sacrificed herself for her friends in a way that brought tears to my eyes and had me whisper shouting, NO NO NO NOOOO.
I think one of my favorite Nina moments has to be when she’s at the Palace (pretending to not be herself as she’s wanted) and this dude who’s kinda drunk recognizes her and corners her. But before he can tell anyone who she is, she raises her finger to lower his heartbeat just enough … and he collapses. Cue a couple strolling by and see the man on the floor, “Is he alright?!” Nina plays it off with a roll of her eyes and an exasperated giggle, “Oh! I guess he had one too many drinks.” Before the couple move on and she makes her oh so elegant exit.
Also she’s sassy as heck (everyone in Six of Crows is honestly) and just an all around fantastic character.
“Do you have a different name for killing when you wear uniforms to do it?”
“Things can always get worse, but only quitters quit!”
“Nina just liked to flirt with everything. He’d once seen her make eyes at a pair of shoes she fancied in a shop window.”
“Who wears white to a knife fight?”
The Lunar Chronicles // Winter :
“Vanity is a factor, but it is more a question of control. It is easier to trick others into perceiving you as beautiful if you can convince yourself you are beautiful. But mirrors have an uncanny way of telling the truth.”
Songs for Winter:
– Midnight Moon (Oh Wonder)
– I Can’t Breathe (Bea Miller)
– Little Talks (of Monsters and Men)
– Secret for the Mad (Dodie)
Why I Love Her:
She’s not normal is she?
The first time you see Winter is when she’s talking to a prisoner like a playmate. When she tells the prisoner that the walls were crying red earlier that morning.
Winter is a young character, yet still more mature than most of the adults in her life. She’s without parents, living with her aunt (aka) the evil queen. And constantly surrounded by royal advisors and physicians who are trying to “help” her.
She’s mad. A complete and utter loony bin … who is a princess. Heir to the throne.
And this is why I love her. Despite everyone avoiding her, looking down on her, treating her as if she doesn’t exist, she still fights back. She gets the better of them, using her “madness” as a guise at times, and surprising them all being much smarter than they could have imagined her to be.
She didn’t care about her own life, but rather those around her. She ignored her predicament, the bad that had been done to her, and made it her mission to “cure” people she saw hurting.
I won’t say anything because *spoilers* but the whole reasoning behind her madness? The reason she’s a bit crazy? Breaks. My. Heart. Every. Time.
She’s a crazy awesome character whom I love dearly.
“Fear was a weakness in the court. Much better to act unperturbed. Much safer to act crazy when in doubt.”
“Safety first friend, we are fragile things.”
Winter: “I feel tomorrow may prove even more difficult for you. Do try to think of me when you can.”
Other: “Try princess? I can hardly do little else.”
“She was prettier than a bouquet of roses and crazier than a headless chicken. Fitting in was not an option.”
“She was not a girl of ice and glass at all, but a girl of sunshine and stardust.”
***dividers courtesy of Every Tuesday