Top Ten Character Driven Novels


Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week there’s a different Top Ten list. It’s a great way to find and connect with other awesome bloggers.

You know what genre has the best character driven books? Contemporary YA.

And you know what my favourite genre is? Contemporary YA.

So you can expect quite a few of those today. Maybe a few speculative fiction as well 🙂

aristotle and dante code name verity falling into place

Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

I will literally never get tired of this book. It’s contemporary, and it’s about Ari and Dante, and the way their friendship develops is absolutely amazing and lovely.

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

This book will tear your heart to pieces, but the friendship is incredible. Despite being a WWII book, I would definitely say that it’s very character driven.

Falling Into Place by Amy Zhang

My equal favourite book of the year. It takes you through SO many character reactions and revolves around the main character, Liz. Incredibly, incredibly sad and hopeful and wonderful.

searching for sky dead ends my life next dooooor looking for alaska

Searching for Sky by Jillian Cantor

*SOBS FOREVER* This follows the story of Sky as she is re-introduced to…for lack of a better word, civilisation.

Dead Ends by Erin Lange

If you haven’t read this book yet, you need to. Another great friendship book, and TONS of diversity.

My Life Next Door by Huntley Fitzpatrick

This has a HUGE cast – lots of siblings and parents and awesome people.

Looking for Alaska by John Green

Because I use The Fault in Our Stars for pretty much every week and I decided to change it up a bit. I love Pudge’s friends in this book, and Alaska is a fantastic character.

these broken stars the intern for blog anna and the french kiss

These Broken Stars by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

I mean, you could say this is plot driven, but a lot of it is dependent on Lilac and Tarver as well. The character development of Lilac is one of my favourites ever.

The Intern by Gabrielle Tozer

Another book that makes it onto SO many of these lists. Josie is one of my favourite characters ever, and following her journey is so much fun.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

I LOVE THIS BOOK SO MUCH – it’s my favourite of the three, both for Anna+Etienne and their friends.

So those are my ten recommendations for awesome character driven novels. Do you have any recommendations for me? 🙂


17 thoughts on “Top Ten Character Driven Novels

  1. Gosh, I don’t even need to linkup this week. I’ll just direct people to your blog and say, “What she said.” XD This is absolute perfection. Ari & Dante was my first thought when I saw the prompt!! Dead Ends and Looking for Alaska FOR SURE. Actually I’ve read everything on this list except The Intern (which my fingers hate typing because they just go on and say “inter…net” hehe) and My Life Next Door. Gosh. I really want to read these. LIBRARY. I NEED IT.

    • Because everyone knows I’m perfect. *flips hair* I WILL NEVER NOT RECOMMEND ARI AND DANTE. Also, petition to change its title name to that, lol. Ohhhhh you definitely need to read The Intern. I mean, I know contemporary’s not your FAVOURITE but it’s hilarious. Seriously.

  2. I love books where characters are the strength. My sister read one of my short stories and said, you like character driven novels, don’t you? Maybe. These Broken Stars has been on my wishlist for a while now, I’ll have to move it up. 🙂

  3. These are great! I tried reading Aristotle and Dante, but I couldn’t get into it. *hides under a table* I remember reading your review of Searching for Sky, and just loving the concept. I seriously need to read it!

  4. I think the majority of awesome character driven YA seems to be contemporaries. John Green is probably a really good example. Code Name Verity! That’s the book I was trying to think about the other day when I was book shopping. I wanted to grab a copy and couldn’t think of what it was called. I really think the sign of a great contemporary is the characters, if those are well developed the the storyline just seems to click as well. Without that, they’re pretty much just a generic read. I actually just did my first TTT for Sporadic Reads where I’m coblogging now. Hooray! Awesome list Em, going to check a few of these out ❤
    Top Ten Tuesday

    • Yeah, I guess because (for the majority) contemps don’t have awesome plots/worlds to fall back on, so character becomes THE most important aspect 🙂 ohhhhh yes Code Name Verity is fantastic. So sad, though 😦 You’re co-blogging at Sporadic Reads??? How exciting!!

  5. I really really REALLY want to read Aristotle & Dante. Hm… maybe I’ll buy it as a belated birthday gift for myself (or something. I’m sure I can think of an occasion that warrants book-buying!). 😉 And totally agree with My Life Next Door – that was one of my absolute favourite books.

  6. I am terrified to go near Code Name Verity.

    But I will. Eventually. Maybe. But from what I’ve heard about it, it does sound a lot like a character driven novel, even though it’s apparently going to tear my poor little heart out. My heart still hasn’t recovered from TFiOS. And I read that over a year ago, heh.

    And yes! Falling Into Place! How could I forget that one?!

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