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  • Olivia Swindler

Books with Characters to Root For

Updated: Mar 3




I just finished Emma, which while it was a lovely book, the entire time I found myself being annoyed with the titular character. I finished the book needed someone to cheer for. Here are some wonderful books with some of my favorite characters.


Yinka from Yinka, Where is Your Huzband?

I absolutely loved Yinka and I would really like to be her friend. You can’t help but cheer her on as she navigates single life in a culture that values being married over all else. She is smart, witty, awkward, and just so relatable.


Eleanor from Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine

I loved Eleanor as a narrator. Seeing the world from her perspective (albeit cringe-worthy) was so refreshing. Her story is one that inspires hope and is a beautiful reminder of the power of friendship.


Molly from The Maid

I think I have an affinity for the socially awkward. What I love about Molly is her heart behind her actions. She loves people deeply and truly wants to believe the best in all people that she meets. Also, I would love her house cleaning tips…


Ryland Grace from Project Hail Mary

You can’t help but have sympathy for the guy who wakes up hurling through space and has no idea who or where he is. I can’t say much about Ryland without spoiling the book, but the whole novel I felt myself cheering him on!


Finlay from Finlay Donovan is Killing It

I love Finlay’s vigor for life. She is the definition of rolling with the punches. She made me laugh and I really admitted her work effort (even if she is a contract killer…) I can not wait to read more of her story in the recently released sequel.


Justyce from Dear Martin

Justyce’s story of resilience made me want to cry and helped me to see the world differently. This book is right up there with The Hate U Give (honestly, I love the characters in both of these novels). Justyce is a character that has wisdom beyond his years.


Evvie from Evvie Drake Starts Over

I love the depth that Evvie’s character has. The more we get to know her, the more loveable and complicated she is. As she starts over, it is easy to cheer for her and rejoice as she takes control of her life.


Elsa from The Four Winds

I can’t imagine being forced to make a choice like Elsa. She is not only brave, but so bold in her ability to stand up and fight for those she loves. She is hardworking and determined and does let things stand in her way. I really admired her.


Willis from Interior Chinatown

Though he was flawed, it was hard not to root for Willis as he did everything in his power to break from the mold of generic Asian man. I not only loved Willis, but I loved the way that his story was told.


Willow from Counting By 7s

We meet Willow at the age of 12, right after her parents have both died. Willow is insanely smart and I loved and learned a lot from her outlook on the world. As someone who also lost their mother at the age of 12, I found pieces of her story to be comfortingly relatable.


Auggie from Wonder

Thinking of this book is enough to make me tear up. I absolutely loved Auggie. The way that he walked through hard situations was so inspiring. I deeply appreciated his outlook on the world and what this book teaches about the prejudices we hold.


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