1. Peeta Mellark
The Hunger Games, Catching Fire, Mockingjay
In a world of children-killing, deception, and a vicious war, Peeta manages to be good. I don't mean interesting, I don't mean nice or sweet, though he is those things -- I mean good. He holds firm to what he believes to be right and protects the one he loves even as he has to fight tooth-and-nail for his own survival. In all honesty he could give such legendary "good" characters as Melanie Wilkes and Beth March a run for their money and he's earned a permanent spot as one of my favorite characters ever.
2. Bronwen Oliver & Jared Sondervan
I Now Pronounce You Someone Else
I tried not to let myself include any pairs in this list, but in the case of Bronwen and Jared it just didn't seem right to include one of them without the other. Because although Bronwen is kind, loving, and long-suffering and although Jared is sweet and old-school gentlemanly, what makes these characters memorable is the way they are together. Bronwen and Jared bring out the best in each other; they make the other one both happier and more interesting. So of course, I had to list them together.
Fall For Anything
Milo is an incredible character. Walking on eggshells around his best friend since the death of her father, he manages to be enigmatic and at the same time completely supportive. Milo is the friend everyone needs, the one who cares so much and so deeply, the one who you just know is on your side no matter what. And it's how much he cares, more than anything else, that makes him an incredible character.
4. Edie Reeves
Fall For Anything
Oh, Edie. I just wanted to give her a hug and be like you will be okay, promise promise promise. Edie is lost, confused, sad, and utterly, utterly vulnerably human. It's rare to find a character who is such an honest portrayal of painful and personal emotions as Edie is, and for this I love her.
5. Cassia Reyes
Cassie wins the award for "Best Character Journey." Her growth from the beginning of the book, before she's Matched and before her grandfather's death, to the end of the book after everything has happened, is an incredible one. What makes it even more incredible is the way Cassia handles everything, the way she seems to grow and mature and become whoever it is she's going to be with each new event or trial that she faces. I feel like Cassia isn't really a fully-formed character just yet, but that by the end of her saga she'll be whoever it is she's meant to become. And it'll be awesome.
an explanation for numbers 2-4, namely why did Bronwen and Jared share a space while Milo and Edie didn't?
It's not because Bronwen and Jared are a couple, or because I needed to narrow the list down to just five spaces. It's because while Edie and Milo are both amazing characters on their own, Bronwen and Jared don't become amazing until they're together. Explain'd.