Let’s Talk Bookish: What makes you like a character?

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?

First Lines Fridays 1.19: He sat on..

First Lines Fridays is a weekly feature for book lovers hosted by Wandering Words. What if instead of judging a book by its cover, its author or its prestige, we judged it by its opening lines?

  • Pick a book off your shelf (it could be your current read or on your TBR) and open to the first page
  • Copy the first few lines, but don’t give anything else about the book away just yet – you need to hook the reader first
  • Finally… reveal the book!

He sat on the hillside and waited.

Another day, another job. Before him, rusting tracks disappeared into the depths of the tunnel mouth. In the gray gloom of the cloudy day, the light barely penetrated beyond the stone arch of the opening. His eyes never left the entrance. He was expectant but jaded.

There was no thrill of excitement or flicker of interest.

He had long since ceased to be curious.


by Claire NcFall
ASIN/ISBN: 9781536218459
Publication: October 12, 2021
First Published: March 1, 2013
Series: The Ferryman #1

When Dylan wakes up after her train has crashed, she thinks she has survived unscathed. But she couldn’t be more mistaken: the bleak landscape around her isn’t Scotland, it’s a wasteland–a terrain somehow shaped by her own feelings and fears, a border to whatever awaits her in the afterlife. And the stranger sitting by the train track isn’t an ordinary teenage boy. Tristan is a Ferryman, tasked with guiding Dylan’s soul safely across the treacherous landscape, a journey he has made a thousand times before. Only this time, something’s different. The crossing, as ever, is perilous, with ravenous wraiths hounding the two at each day’s end, hungry for Dylan’s soul. But as Dylan focuses her strength on survival, with Tristan as protector, challenger, and confidant, she begins to wonder where she is truly meant to be–and what she must risk to get there. An international bestseller with a phenomenal following, the award-winning Ferryman (with its sequels Trespassers and Outcasts) is in development to be a major motion picture. (Goodreads)

It was first published in 2013, but only just published in the U.S. for the first time. I read a review from a bookstagrammer and was immediately intrigued by it. Have you read it? Does it sound like something you’d want to read?