Let’s Talk Bookish is a weekly meme hosted by Rukky @ Eternity Books and Dani @ Literary Lion. Discussions pertain to topics related to reading or books. Share your opinions, and spread the love by visiting other “Let’s Talk Bookish” posts.
Prompts: Are there any physical qualities you look for in a character? What personalities tend to draw you to characters? Are there any archetypes you prefer, are you always falling for the villain? What makes you like characters?
After discovering an array of books with diverse representation, I’ve been grabbing a lot of books that feature Asian characters. I still read plenty of books that do not have Asian characters, but I am particularly excited when lead characters identify as Asian or are Asian-type characters because I was rarely exposed to any when I was growing up; there weren’t really any to be exposed to. It wasn’t until this year when Lori M. Lee’s Pahua and the Soul Stealer was published that I could point to a book categorized as fantasy and say definitively that this protagonist is Hmong. As Lee writes in her author’s note, “Everything from books to TV to movies to magazines told me that being who I was meant I couldn’t go on epic adventures or discover magic or ride off into the sunset. I’ve matured since then, and now I know that representation matters, representation matters, representation matters. Being me is enough and always has been.”
I’m drawn to characters that are smart and have a desire to protect and help others. It’s a plus when these characters are also sarcastic and have a good sense of humor. I’m not the biggest fan of characters that are subservient but I don’t mind such characters when their arc involves finding their voice and standing up for themselves. Taking into consideration these personalities, I have multiple archetypes I fall for, including the joker, the hero, the rebel, and the caretaker. It’s hard to choose just one because characters often take on multiple roles. Villains are usually those I like the least, but I do love a good origin story or redemption story.
- Ia Cōcha from Ignite the Stars by Maura Milan is one of my favorite characters because she embodies most, if not all, of what I’ve listed. She’s a rebel, tough and likes to do what she wants, but underneath that exterior is someone who cares about others.
- Rowan Roth from Today Tonight Tomorrow by Rachel Lynn Solomon is another character I adore. She’s smart and has drive to go after what she wants, including bringing down her academic rival Neil after losing out to him for valedictorian.
- Lennix Hunter from The Kingmaker by Kennedy Ryan is one of my favorite romantic leads. She is passionate and fights for what she believes in. She is the kingmaker because she is good at what she does, putting hopeful political candidates who she supports into office.
What about you? What draws you to a character?