When I love a book, I'll come back to it many times. I know some people only read a book once, but when I truly connect with a character, he/she becomes real to me--almost like a real-life friend. And I'll read their story over and over, despite knowing all of the plot twists, the resolution and the character arc. Because, for me, there's something so comforting in coming back to an old literary friend.
So, in no certain order, here are my Favorite Literary Characters:
1. Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones Diary--Sorry to steal this one from Tracy, but I think she'd be on a lot of people's lists. Her character was so nuanced, so REAL that I'd start laughing uncontrollably while reading, thinking, "Oh My God. I am so HER."
2. Claire Webster, Watermelon-- Immediately after giving birth, Claire's husband dumps her. So she moves back to Ireland with her newborn daughter to stay with her wacky family. Naturally, craziness ensues, but Claire's voice was so strong--funny, heartbroken and smart--that it was really the selling point for me. This book helped to remind me that writing could be just that--funny, touching and hilarious. After many years of reading "heavy" stories like A Tale of Two Cities and As I Lay Dying in formal education, it was a wonderful reminder that great writing can be funny and light, too. As a tribute, I named my main character in A Bump in the Road after Claire.
3. Gemma Doyle, A Great and Terrible Beauty--I didn't come upon this trilogy until recently. As in, like a month ago. Immediately after reading AGTB (in 24 hours), I went back to Borders and bought the next two books in the series. Set in Victorian England, the books are about Gemma and her friends rebelling against social norms in very "magical" ways. Sassy, funny and not at all into being a "proper" lady, Gemma pulled me into the story and carried me through all 1,000+ pages of the three books. A very modern girl in a decidedly oppressive world.
If you haven't read any of those books, RUN! RUN! to Borders or B&N or Amazon and get a copy. You won't be disappointed!