I like talking about characters. I like talking about characters A LOT. So when I saw that Cait over at Paper Fury had created this tag/awards/thing about characters, I knew that I had to do it.
I’m going to stick to books I’ve read this year, BUT I’m going to include rereads because ahahahahaha my reading hasn’t been that great this year so I’ll take what I can get.
1. MOST RELATABLE CHARACTER
I’ve always felt a bit of a kinship with Sam from Life in Outer Space by Melissa Keil. Back when I first read it in 2013, when I was an Inky Awards judge (I’ll just slip that little bit of bragging in there) and it was on the longlist, Sam seemed like a male version of myself to an eerie extent (aside from the fact that he likes horror movies because I’m way too much of a wimp for that), and although I relate to him a little less these days, I feel like we’re still on a similar wavelength. Predominately because we’re equally incapable of dealing with having feelings for other human beings (aka DENIAL DENIAL DENIAL).
2. MOST PURE AND PRECIOUS ANIMAL COMPANION
The default answer to this question is Bovril, from Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan trilogy. Which I’ve started rereading again and realised with horror that I had not yet read them this year.
(Not that I haven’t read all three books a million times before, BUT if I missed reading them this year this would be the first time since they were published that there had been a year where I had not read at least one of them. Which would be a travesty).
3. FIERCEST FIGHTER
This is a DIFFICULT QUESTION when you read predominately contemporary YA. Also I have a concerningly minimal recollection of the books I read early this year.
War from Good Omens was pretty deadly. I mean, well, it’s more that she causes fighting but I’m going with her anyway.
4. MOST AMAZING SIDEKICK
If I was going to go gallivanting around London hunting down a no-good boyfriend, like Sunny does in London Belongs to Us by Sarra Manning, I’d want Vic and Jean-Luc as my sidekicks. How much this has to do with them being dashing Frenchmen who run a bakery and have a snappy sense of fashion I will not disclose.
*fails to resist urge not to mention The Sidekicks by Will Kostakis because I have no self-control*
5. ONE YOU’RE SURPRISED YOU LOVED
I ended up liking Adam from Good Omens by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman a lot more than I thought I would. Didn’t think he’d end up tugging on the ol’ heartstrings as much as he did.
I’d like to quickly note that I almost wrote Food Omens rather than Good Omens which we don’t even need to interpret, naturally.
6. BEST SASSMASTER
Crawly Crowley, “An Angel who did not so much Fall as Saunter Vaguely Downwards” from Good Omens (again). To be honest, I’m not sure if he was strictly speaking sassy, but THE AWARD GOES TO HIM ANYWAY because he’s fab.
7. BEST ANTI-HERO AND MORALLY GREY GRAPE
Crowley again! I’m not sure if he technically qualifies as an anti-hero, but he is in league with the devil (quite literally).
8. BEST WORST VILLAIN TO HATE
Remember when I said mentioned I read predominately contemporary YA? Where the villain is usual something like unrequited love, or miscommunication, or FEELINGS?
But I guess, even though he’s not like a Big Bad kind of villain, my most hated antagonist (trumped only by Umbridge) is John Thorpe from Northanger Abbey because he is the King of the Douchebags and is such a slimy little sleazeball that I take much pleasure in UTTERLY DESPISING.
And on a similar note, Mark from London Belongs to Us. If John Thorpe is King of the Douchebags, Mark’s the heir to the throne.
9. TRULY ASTOUNDING WORST PARENTS
I’ve altered this question slightly from the original, which was YA parents, because the worst parental units weren’t from YA, but from Mansfield Park by Jane Austen. Really, all the adults in this one are pretty shocking people. But Sir Thomas and Lady Betram pretty much do nothing in their children’s lives and then wonder why things turned out the way they did.
And don’t get me started on Mrs Norris.
OH and also Minnow’s parents in The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly. I’m not exactly in a position to be offering parenting tips but DUDE. Joining a cult that doesn’t recognise women as people and brainwashes the children into thinking that everyone else is an enemy? Not the best move.
(There are more reasons why Minnow’s parents are pretty dodge, but SPOILERS. Although I think her mother redeems herself a little in the end? I can’t remember)
10. TRULY ASTOUNDING BEST PARENTS
If I remember correctly Romy’s mum and stepdad in All The Rage were pretty cool (my brain hurts from all this remembering).
I also really liked Lily’s mum in The Twelve Days of Dash and Lily. Talk about someone with their head screwed on. She’s there for Lily when she needs her, but also isn’t afraid to give her daughter a (VERY NEEDED) reality check. I wish we’d gotten to see more of her.
11. TOOT TOOT BEST SHIP OF THEM ALL
Me and Jean-Luc Goddard, one of the French boys from London Belongs to Us.
Fiiiine. Bluesey is forever a favourite. I’m not a massive shipper, really.
I almost ship Crowley and Aziraphale from Good Omens, but not in a romantic way so much as a “please keep hanging out and bickering together forever” way.
12. THE MOST IN NEED OF PROTECTION
Probably Henry, from Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley. Although, what he needs is not so much protection as someone to jump out and whollop him over the head every time he tries to talk to Amy.
It would be emotional protection, I swear (I promise I’m not a violent person).
13. MOST BORING AS A BARNACLE
I thought Jack from Night Owls by Jenn Bennett to be kind of bland. I know that I read this book early last year so there’s little reason to expect me to remember much, but the fact that I had to look up the review I wrote of Night Owls in order to remember his name means that he wasn’t exactly memorable. But apparently I forgot his name right after reading the book, anyway.
14. BEST LITTLE ROYAL
Does the Antichrist count as royalty? I think he gets referred to as the Prince of Darkness at one point by the satanic nun. If yes, then Adam from Good Omens. I love that kid.
Oh, and how could I forget Alek from Leviathan?
15. VERY SURPRISED YOU’RE STILL ALIVE
Charlie from The Flywheel by Erin Gough. What are you doing with yourself, my dude.
16. BEST AT HORRIBLE DECISION MAKING
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAND it’s Charlie again. I think these last two categories go hand in hand.
17. CUTEST DORK
Henry Tilney from Northanger Abbey. He’s such a little smart-alec and I love it. Also Sam from Life in Outer Space because he’s such a sweetheart and so totally dorky.
18. CLEVEREST LITTLE HELLION
BOVRIL. The one character in the Leviathan trilogy who knows everyone’s secrets and it’s a talking loris. Volger and Dr Barlow have nothing on the creature.
19. MOST IN NEED OF A NAP
Sunny from London Belongs to Us. You deserved it, girl.
I feel like Mr Darcy could probably do with one, as well.
20. WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT YOU
Pretty much any of the characters I’ve mentioned here.
Except John Thorpe.
Never John Thorpe.
A proper answer is Crowley and Aziraphale from Good Omens.
And Deryn Sharp, obviously. There’s no such things as too much Deryn.