Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Half-Year Favorites of 2012: The Characters

Day Two ~ The Characters
(Day One ~ The Books, can be found here.)

1. best female protagonist: Juliette, from Shatter Me. Okay, here's the thing: I just freakin' love Juliette, just like I love nearly everything about Shatter Me (except, of course, for Warner. I loathe Warner, which makes me nervous for the rest of the series). Still, Juliette is far and away my favorite thing about the book - she's inwardly strong despite being so, so broken down by those around her and the things that she's done. She's just awesome.

2. best male protagonist: Felton Reinstein, from Nothing Special. Oh, Felton. He's such a talented, crazy, often self-absorbed (though trying not to be) guy. He's often pretty oblivious as to what's happening around him, although once he catches up he charges full-steam ahead to fix the situation and take care of those he cares about, often awkwardly apologizing for his own mistakes in the process. Plus, Felton's voice (like Juliette's) is entirely original and completely makes the book.

3. best couple: Josie Brant and Peter Maxx, from Fangirl. (Note that this was a tough category and there were two other couples that I really loved, but both of them are spoilerish.) AH. These two are so cute and embody the whole angst of crushes so, so well. I feel a little bad continually raving about this book when it's not out for months yet, but seriously. So adorable.

4. who i want to be best friends with: Felton Reinstein, from Nothing Special. Partly this is because Felton reminds me quite a bit of myself and partly it's because he's so flipping hilarious. I would love to just sit around and hang out with him; it would be great.

5. who i fell in love with:

6. best villain: The killer from And Then There Were None. I can't say this character's name, but the way s/he orchestrated the murders was completely brilliant and creepy.

7. best character twist: Alright, answering this one without spoilers is difficult so instead of saying who, I'm just going to say what book she's from. She's one of the main characters in The List and if you've read the book I'm sure you know who it is, but the ending of this just blew me away. Not only was it smart and unexpected, but it made the entire novel that much more heart-wrenching.

8. best kick-ass female: Amy, from A Million Suns. Amy totally takes control in this second novel in the trilogy. She steps up, goes after what she wants, and is determined to uncover the mysteries surrounding Godspeed, even if Elder doesn't want her to. Exceptional.

9. best kick-ass male: Dylan, from How to Save A Life. There are many, many points in this novel where everyone is pretty much acting crazy bananas. But Dylan is always the calm voice of reason, which I absolutely love. He's unflinching in his honesty, but also in how much he cares about those that he's close to.

10. character that broke my heart the most: Ack. Another one that's potentially a spoiler. But whatever, this one I'm just going to up and say, so if you haven't read Sisterhood Everlasting, maybe skip this one. Because ohmygoodness Tibby. Why? WHY WHY WHY??? This is up there with the ending of The Luxe series in terms of confusion, sadness, and anger.

11. favorite animal award: Hum, from The Summer I Learned to Fly. I never ever ever thought I'd love a rat, even a fictional one. But this book proved me wrong and I don't quite know how, but it definitely happened.

12. best young adult parents award: Hazel's parents from The Fault In Our Stars. Hazel's mom and dad are so fantastic that even if the rest of the book were awful (which, it isn't) it would still almost be worth reading it just for her parents. They're loving and stable and there for her even when she's being a brat. They walk that fine line between overbearing and crazy lenient, and they react to Hazel's illness the way real (awesome) parents would. Ah, I love them.

13. favorite sibling relationship: Jonathan & Telemachus, from Adios, Nirvana. There were so many good ones for this category and I feel almost like a cheater choosing these two, since the entire book is about Jonathan dealing with Tele's death. But the way he reacts to his twin brother's death shows so clearly how incredibly close the two boys were and it's painful to read. But it's also beautiful because there's so much love between the brothers.

14. favorite friendship award: Jimmy and Frankie, from Saving Francesca. There's a solid group of friends at the center of this story, but Frankie (Francesca) and Jimmy stand out to me because there's nothing romantic between them but they have such a weird, unexpected friendship that really works. At one point in the novel Jimmy says that he's "not really into the F-word--" (meaning friendship)-- "with people," and I think that's sort of the best. When you don't really have many friends or you're not good at having friends or whatever, but then you find someone you feel comfortable enough around and that you like enough to actually call your friend.

15. best and worst character names: First for the best. Hudson Avery, from Bittersweet. This name has the perfect amount of uniqueness without going completely overboard. Plus the first and last works really well together and I absolutely love unisex names (or even boys' names) for girls.
And now, sadly, for the worst. Alex Patrick, from The Rivals. I know I just said that I like boys' names for girls, but there are two notable exceptions and I apologize if you're a girl with either one of these names. And the first one is Alex. (The second one I won't say because I don't need to offend any more people that I already have.) And pairing it with Patrick? It just so doesn't seem to fit Alex's character.

16. best love triangle: I almost answered this one. I almost did. But the truth is that while some books I've read so far this year have technically had love triangles, none of them fall into that classic angst who-will-she-choose dilemma; it hasn't been the fuel for the story and it hasn't even really been a big deal in the books. So if you have any great love triangle books, please recommend them! (Because I like love triangles in fiction, I really do.)

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