You can tell a lot about a person by the book characters they like, but you can tell even more about them by the book characters they can see themselves in. Obviously, we can see at least a little bit of ourselves in every character we read about, but sometimes you come across a character that reminds you so much of yourself that it’s almost like someone based them on you.
In order of greatest similarities, mine are:
1. Lara Jean Song – To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han
Of every character I’ve ever read about so far, Lara Jean is the one that takes the cake when it come to similarities with me. We both have mothers of Asian descent (hers Korean, mine Filipino) and fathers of European descent. We both absolutely love to bake, and are actually better at baking than cooking. Lara Jean and I also love to write, and just like her I’ve had many, many crushes – Lucas, my boyfriend, was lucky #7. I’m pretty sure I’ve written a “letter” to each of my crushes in the past, but they were emails and I never actually sent them. It was just a coping mechanism, I guess?
Anyway, I know a lot of people didn’t like TATBILB, but I think one of the reasons why I enjoyed it so much is because I identified so strongly with Lara Jean. I still have to read P.S. I Still Love You. I wonder if the similarities will still be there?
2. Frances Janvier – Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
Another character of mixed race, I identify with Frances in that we both believed university was the only path for us. I’ve wanted to go to university since I was in elementary school, and with everybody only ever complimenting me on how smart I was, it seemed like it was the only real path for me. I worked hard in school to get straight A’s and balanced extra-curricular activities on top of that. While Frances was the head-girl of her school, I was the valedictorian of my graduating class. We both had expectations put on us to go to really great schools and study really important things. I’d continue on, but that’d be kind of spoiler-y. But you get the point.
3. Tracy – The Lonely Hearts Club by Elizabeth Eulberg
This isn’t so much me now as it was me when I first read this book, at about 16 years old. Tracy is the main character’s best friend, who’s a little bit of everything at once: pretty, kind, funny, smart, etc. There’s a line in this book in which Penny (the main character) wonders why her best friend had never had a boyfriend since she was all of those characteristics, and I think that’s really where I found the similarities. I’ve always tried to be everything at once, tried to get people to like me, and sometimes it worked, sometimes it didn’t. This was an especially important line to 16 year old me, who was a hopeless romantic and who thought that nobody would ever fall in love with her.
I’m sure there are other book characters that I’m more similar to now than I am to Tracy, but A) these were all the first character who popped into my head, and B) Tracy was a very important character to 16 year old me, so I don’t want to forget about her.
What about you? What characters do you see yourself in? Are there others characters that you think are like me? Let’s talk about them!
Thanks for reading!