Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week, they post a topic and encourage fellow bloggers to list their own top ten answers. This week’s prompt was to list the top ten characters who remind me of myself or someone I know in real life. What a challenge! I tried to go with my gut on this.
1. Katniss and Prim, from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins
I know some people felt that Prim was not a fully-realized character, but I always liked her and felt that the relationship between her and Katniss was a realistic depiction of a protective older sibling-innocent younger sibling dynamic. While I can relate to that–being the mad protective older sister to a sweet younger brother–this comparison is definitely a bit of wish fulfillment. I wish I was as awesome as Katniss!
2. Sarah, from Little Children by Tom Perrotta
In our introduction to the character of Sarah, I cringed because I saw so much of myself in many of her thoughts and actions…especially upon just graduating from grad school and feeling pretty lost.
Applying to graduate school seemed like the perfect solution for escaping the rut she was in–a way to recapture the excitement of college while also making a recognizable version of adulthood…Within a couple of weeks of starting the Ph.D program, though, she discovered that she’d booked passage on a sinking ship.
She was a failure, a twenty-six-year old woman..who had just discovered that she wasn’t nearly as smart as she’d thought she was.
Here’s to hoping that my life turns out a little better than poor Sarah’s does.
3. Sansa, from A Song of Ice and Fire by George R. R. Martin
My friend S and I have a theory that if you were raised as and continue to be a “good girl”–a girl who is obedient, who follows the rules, who doesn’t cause trouble–you will relate to Sansa, as we did. While some readers think of her as weak or stupid, she is just a girl who doesn’t understand how the world really works. I may not be quite as naive as Sansa is, but I do follow the rules and probably feel far too entitled to certain things because of that. (I’m actually really excited to see where her story arc ends. I hope it’s with her on the Iron Throne.)
4. Kristy, Mary Anne, Stacey, and Claudia from The Babysitters’ Club by Ann M. Martin
Slightly embarrassing, but…my three best friends from my hometown and I all grew up reading the Babysitters’ Club series (and watching the television show!) and realized that we fit some the four original characters pretty nicely. I was Mary Anne (nice, shy, unpierced ears, boyfriended up). My friend J was Kristy, being loud, boyish, and bossy. Friend C was Stacey, with blonde hair and love for New York City and singing. Finally, friend R was our Claudia, being very artistic and a very unconventional dresser! We may have even discussed creating our own babysitters’ club at one point…
5. Lena, Bridget, Carmen, and Tibby from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants by Ann Brashares
Same group of friends, same deal! Though this didn’t divide up as cleanly as Babysitters’ Club characters. I was a mix of Carmen and Lena, friend R is Lena/Bridget, and friends C and J are both Tibby. We actually sewed together a pair of pants (that were a hideous mix of four different fabrics) and sent them around one summer. I think I wore them in Mexico when it was my turn!
6. Felicity, from The American Girl Dolls series
This may be another case of wishful thinking, but I always identified the most with Felicity. (Note that this was in the old days when there were only five dolls: Kirsten, Felicity, Samantha, Addy, and Molly!) Like Felicity, I rode horses, got annoyed at my sibling, and considered myself a bit of a badass. I also coveted the life-sized version of her fancy blue dress.
7. Belgarath, from The Belgariad by David Eddings
Perhaps because he was the one who got me started reading fantasy novels and one of the first ones he gave me was The Belgariad, my dad and the character of Belgarath are very much linked in my mind. Though he’s powerful and smart, Belgarath also has a fun and mischievous side. I don’t always get my dad’s humor, but he and this ancient wizard have a lot in common.
8. Richard Papen, from The Secret History by Donna Tartt
What I see in Richard are the parts of myself that I don’t really like, reflected back at me. His desire to fit in, his ability to lie easily, his inability to ask for help, his insecurity, his longing to be “better”–I’m ashamed to admit that I experience all of these things. Pretty sure, however, that I’d never participate in and help cover up the murder of my friend. Like, 100% sure.
9. Taryn and Jimmy, from Fierce Moon by Kira Lerner
This one is sort of cheating: it’s one of those Books By You that you can personalize with your own name and information! This was a gift from evil, evil friend C (aka Stacey McGill), who knows both my love for werewolves and my awkwardness about reading romance. In this story, I was a lonely librarian (fairly accurate) sent to the past to help solve a mystery with my soon-to-be lover Jimmy, a Victorian werewolf detective (fairly inaccurate). It was equally hilarious and mortifying. Highly recommended.
10. Walter, from Freedom by Jonathan Franzen
Like Richard Papen, Walter’s character highlights some of the tensions I see in myself. I do environmental nonprofit work, and have often grappled with the question of selling out myself–it’s common when huge projects are funded by the likes of Shell, BP, Toyota, and other companies. I have a lot of the same fears as Walter, though (thankfully) my relationship to my significant other is much better than Walter’s with Patti. We also both love birds! But I like people, too, and don’t consider overpopulation the end-all, be-all issue that Walter does.