Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Favorite Heroines

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Each week has a different prompt to which you make a top ten list. This week’s prompt is favorite heroines. Since my list of favorite heroines is infinitely long, I tried to choose the ones who had the biggest impact on me while reading. Here they are (in no particular order):

  1. Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen- She will forever be my all-time favorite heroine. She’s witty, tough, loves her family unconditionally and isn’t afraid to admit she’s wrong. She was who I wanted to be when I grew up.
  2. Maximum Ride from the Maximum Ride series by James Patterson- She’s badass and caring and makes tons of mistakes. But she’s always trying her hardest to fix them. It’s so easy to relate to Max that she instantly became one of my favorite characters.
  3. Elizabeth/Abigail from The Witness by Nora Roberts- I connected with Abigail from the beginning. I loved watching her grow into a strong, compassionate woman.
  4. Vestakia from The Obsidian Trilogy by Mercedes Lackey and James Mallory- From birth, she had everything working against her but she refused to let it control her life. She’s genuinely kind and brave even when she’s absolutely terrified.
  5. Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman- She was one of the first characters to have a real affect on me. She’s stubborn and talks back and impulsive but she always does the right thing.
  6. Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer- I will never stop loving Wanda. She’s an alien possessing a human girl and she still manages to be the most honest and caring character in the book.
  7. Katsa from Graceling by Kristin Cashore- Another character I related to instantly. Her uncle, the king, has used and controlled her since she was a child but she had the courage to fight back, even when she believed her powers made her a monster.
  8. Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead- One of the bravest heroines I’ve ever had the pleasure to read about. She goes against everything she was taught to believe to save people who she was raised to think of as evil. She risks everything because she can see the best in people.
  9. Hyacinth Bridgerton from It’s In His Kiss by Julia Quinn- She’s one of the funniest characters I’ve read about. She’s sarcastic and smart and not afraid to speak her opinions during a time when women were expected to act a certain way. I wish I could be best friends with her.
  10. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling- I almost didn’t put her on this list simply because I knew so many others would. But when it came down to it, I couldn’t think of anyone else who met the standards she set. There’s a reason Hermione has shown up on so many lists this week. She’s smart, brave, funny, loving. She believes in herself and in her friends and even when she’s scared she’s always there for the people who need her. The great thing about Hermione is that she’s always true to herself and never lets anything change her.

Do any of your favorites coincide with mine? For the same or different reasons? I’d love to hear some of your own choices so leave them in the comments or link to your own post if you have one. Thanks for reading.
-Antonia

The Host by Stephenie Meyer

Goodreads Summary: Melanie Stryder refuses to fade away. Earth has been invaded by a species that takes over the minds of human hosts while leaving their bodies intact, and most of humanity has succumbed.
Wanderer, the invading “soul” who has been given Melanie’s body, knew about the challenges of living inside a human: the overwhelming emotions, the too vivid memories. But there was one difficulty Wanderer didn’t expect: the former tenant of her body refusing to relinquish possession of her mind.
Melanie fills Wanderer’s thoughts with visions of the man Melanie loves – Jared, a human who still lives in hiding. Unable to separate herself from her body’s desires, Wanderer yearns for a man she’s never met. As outside forces make Wanderer and Melanie unwilling allies, they set off to search for the man they both love.
Featuring what may be the first love triangle involving only two bodies, The Host is a riveting and unforgettable novel that will bring a vast new readership to one of the most compelling writers of our time.

The Host by Stephenie Meyer is one of my all time favorite books. I just read it again in honor of the movie coming out soon. (I’m beyond excited and dreading it at the same time.) I started it yesterday afternoon and finished it at about four this morning. Even though this was my fourth or fifth time reading it, I couldn’t put it down.
What drives me nuts about this book is how underrated it is. I’ve noticed that a lot of people disregard it because Meyer wrote it and they expect it to be like the Twilight series. It’s not. It is its own individual story that is NOTHING like the Twilight Series. There are no similarities besides the fact the main character is female. It barely even falls under the same genre. Yeah, they’re both young adult, but Twilight is paranormal and The Host is sci-fi. I’ve also noticed that many Twilight fans haven’t read it because it’s not Twilight. If you liked the Twilight series then you’ll probably like The Host. It’s still Stephenie Meyer writing it. No matter what you have to say about the storylines she comes up with, Meyer is a terrific writer. The problem is that so many people expect the cliché vampire love story from her. The Host is completely different.
Now that that rant is over, let me tell you why I love this book so much. First of all, the storyline is something I haven’t read a lot of books about. An alien race, called Souls, has spent millennia finding planets and stealing the bodies of the life forms from each planet. Souls cannot survive outside of a body. They are inserted into another body’s brain and they have that body’s memories and complete control over it. The consciousness of the body is no longer there. Now, Souls have almost completely taken over humans. Though there is the occasional human found hidden somewhere, Souls now make up most of the population. Melanie Stryder is caught by the Seekers, the Souls’ police. Wanderer is chosen to inhabit Melanie’s body. Earth is the ninth planet Wanderer (Wanda) has lived on. Since most Souls only live on two or three planets before settling, Wanda is like a celebrity among Souls and they believe she’s qualified to subdue Melanie and take her memories to find any other humans she might have been hiding with. But Melanie is strong and will do anything she can to protect her brother, Jamie, and the love of her life, Jared, and Melanie’s consciousness will not fade away. She can speak to Wanda and hide her memories from her. After awhile, from the few memories Melanie will give her, Wanda begins to love Jamie and Jared. Afraid the Seekers will find them, Melanie and Wanda set out to find them, following a map Melanie’s uncle had given her. Uncle Jeb and his hidden group of humans, including Jamie and Jared, find them and take them prisoner. Wanda isn’t trusted because she’s a Soul, but they don’t want to kill Melanie’s body. Slowly, with Jeb and Jamie’s help, Wanda becomes a part of their group. This story is basically about Wanda’s humanity. She’s not actually human, but when her actions are compared to human’s reactions, Wanda’s are more humane. She makes the people around her better, just by being herself.
Wanda is one of my favorite female characters because she’s so innately good. She’s kind and compassionate and no matter what happens to her she never loses that.
Ian is a human who falls in love with Wanda. He’s believed for so many years that all Souls are bad. He actually tries to kill Wanda at the beginning of the story. However, Ian isn’t a bad person. As soon as he realizes Wanda isn’t a threat to anyone, he’s on her side. He’s the first person, other than Jeb and Jamie, who trusts Wanda and he protects her throughout the entire book. I adore Ian. The entire time I was reading the book I’d just keep giggling or laughing and Amanda would look at me and I’d just say, “I love Ian so much!” She got sick of it pretty quickly.
The story sounds like it’s about a girl possessed by an alien. It’s not. It’s about an Alien possessing a girl. The entire book is from Wanda’s perspective. It’s cool seeing a book through the eyes of someone who is considered the “bad guy”. And, although the summary says there’s a love triangle, it’s more like a love square… with three bodies.
Overall, I recommend this book to pretty much everyone. I’ve gotten many people to read it over the years and all of them loved it. If this review convinced you to read it, please let me know what you thought. I love getting other people’s opinions.
-Antonia

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Antonia’s Top Ten Tuesday- Characters

This is my first time trying Top Ten Tuesday, started by The Broke and The Bookish. When I saw posts for Top Ten Tuesday, I was really excited about it. There’s nothing I like to talk about more than books. So I sat down to start it, and stopped. What genre was I supposed to pick? I changed my mind at least thirty times before deciding I would just list all my favorite characters, separated into genres, and pick whichever one had ten first. Well, then I had another problem: How was I supposed to choose? I didn’t want to just pick characters because I loved the book. We all know loving a book and loving the characters don’t always coincide. I can love a story but be aggravated by the main character. Or love a character and hate the plotline. I didn’t want to base this list on my favorite books. I really just wanted to think about the individual characters and what I like about them personally. I think I managed it. So without further ado, here it is (in no particular order):
ONE: Kyle Kingsbury from Beastly by Alex Flinn. His growth throughout this book was extraordinary, but realistic at the same time. His transformation gets to me every, single time.
TWO: Colin Singleton from An Abundance of Katherines by John Green. Colin is the type of character I don’t read about often. He’s a child prodigy. Intelligent to the point that I tend to find irritating in a character. But Green manages to make him quirky and funny.
THREE: Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore. Fire is, for all intents and purposes, a monster. She is hated and feared on sight. However, she is such a strong character that she never lets it change who she is. She’s a good, kind person. She knows right from wrong. I love that she always stays true to herself.
FOUR: Hanson Alister from the Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. Han is a thief, a bit of a womanizer, and doesn’t even pretend to be a pacifist. However, his circumstances forced him into things he wouldn’t otherwise have done. He wants to be a good person and never stops trying. I loved how he developed throughout this series.
FIVE: Raisa ana’Marianna from the Seven Realms Series by Cinda Williams Chima. At first, Raisa is a little bit spoiled and I really didn’t like her for most of the first book. She really grew into herself and became the type of queen I really didn’t think she’d become. I seriously enjoyed having her prove me wrong.
SIX: Adrian Ivashkov from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. He’s on this list because he’s currently my number one male character who I wish was a real person and asking me on a date.
SEVEN: Sydney Sage from the Bloodlines series by Richelle Mead. I really, really love how Sydney has broken away from the beliefs she’s had her entire life. As soon as she realizes some of those beliefs are wrong, she does what she knows is the right thing.
EIGHT: Wanderer from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Wanda is definitely one of my favorite female characters of all time. She’s lived in so many different worlds and here on Earth she’s almost like a baby. She’s still learning everything about humans and her opinions of some things are seriously adorable.
NINE: Ian O’Shea from The Host by Stephenie Meyer. Ian is an asshole. I adore him. I really couldn’t get over the way he fell in love with Wanda. He fought it the entire time but in the end, he really couldn’t help himself.
TEN: Total from the Maximum Ride Series by James Patterson. Total is a talking, flying dog. He isn’t even one of the main characters. But some of the things he said had me literally laughing out loud. The comic relief he brought to the book was absolutely fantastic.
Well, feel free to agree or disagree. I love hearing other people’s opinions.
-Antonia