Monday, March 4, 2019

Ten Characters I Wouldn't Mind Being

I'm linking up with That Artsy Reader Girl for another Top Ten Tuesday.

This week's topic is "Characters I’d Like To Switch Places With," which is a challenging one — plots thrive on conflict, so if you're in a book there's likely something bad happening to you at some point or other! I mostly focused on side characters and children's books to find ten characters who would allow me to inhabit a different world without having to suffer too much. I also stuck with female characters when thinking about whose place I'd want to be in.

1. Amelia Maugery (from The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society)
No one on Guernsey had it easy during the war, but Amelia managed to pull together a community to maintain a semblance of normalcy. As one of the most well-read people in the community, she's a character whose shoes I wouldn't mind stepping into.

2. Cam Jansen (from the Cam Jansen series)
I was obsessed with detective stories as a kid and would have loved nothing more than to have been a kid detective myself. And how cool to have an eidetic memory!

3. Cho Chang (from the Harry Potter series)
Of all the characters in this series, I think I'd choose to be Cho — she's in Ravenclaw, she gets to participate in Dumbledore's Army, but she's a year ahead of Harry so she manages to graduate before the school is taken over. She does have her personal moments of grief and also relationship drama, but who doesn't at that age?

4. Claudia Kincaid (from From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler)
I related so much to Claudia as a kid! She's a spunky, smart kid who loves planning, and of course she also gets to investigate a mystery, which was my dream. I would have definitely traded places with her.

5. Jo March (from Little Women)
Unlike a lot of women I was never super into this book or the March sisters, but compared to the many books involving war or dystopian regimes or people just being terrible to each other, this book's setting wouldn't be a terrible one to live in. And if I had to pick a March sister to switch places with, it would probably have to be Jo.

6. Kat Potente (from Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore)
Another character who gets to assist with unraveling a mystery — although in this case, all of Kat's stellar programming skills can't actually solve the puzzle. Still, she doesn't end up too bad in the end, and besides feeling embarrassed, nothing terrible happens to her, so her life wouldn't be too bad to have.

7. Mandy (from Mandy)
Here's another children's book with a happy ending. Mandy's life as an orphan isn't all sunshine and rainbows, but she manages to find her own special project that allows her to feel pride and independence and eventually leads her to build connections with others.

8. Mina Harker (from Dracula)
Of all these characters, Mina probably has the worst lot, being bitten by a vampire and in danger of becoming one. Still, she manages to keep her head and helps the male characters figure out how to ultimately defeat Dracula, and she has a good partnership with her husband. She's a surprisingly admirable female character for a horror novel written by a man in 1897.

9. Rhonda Kazembe (from the Mysterious Benedict Society series)
Of all the characters in this series, Rhonda's the most level-headed one. She's gifted like the kids who are the main characters, but she manages to avoid more of the dangerous situations than they do. She gets to put her talents to use doing work that's important and interesting, and she's found a family within Mr. Benedict's home. If I were going to be in the world of this series, I'd definitely want to be her.

10. Wendy Darling (from Peter Pan)
The book itself is pretty dark and creepy and racist and sexist, so I'm not exactly recommending it, but the story at its center is one that most of us are familiar with. Wendy is one of the few female characters, and her experience isn't too bad — she gets to have the experience of flying and going to a new land, she's (eventually) given respect by the boys who live there, and then she gets to go home and basically says, "Well, that was fun, but now on with the rest of my life."

Which characters would you switch places with?

Looking back:
One year ago I was reading: Third Girl and Better Than Before
Five years ago I was reading: The Omnivore's Dilemma and War and Peace
Ten years ago I was reading: Inkspell

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