Have you ever wished you could be a bit more like one of your favourite characters? Adopt their magical abilities, or their wit, or maybe just their look? Although I’ve always dreamt of being best friends with the characters I read about, I’ve never wished I could fully transform into them. I mean, being a character in one of your favourite novels is a big gig. Rarely are characters flawless and their lives easy—you’re either expected to fight off the evil powers of the world, sell your soul for humanity, or even have your best friends killed. I mean… I’d love to be a witch, but just how much am I willing to sacrifice to be Hermione?
Today I’m going to be sharing which characters I wouldn’t mind becoming, and what likelihood of survival percentage I think I’d have in their world and their assigned narrative. But in my rumination of this opportunity—the opportunity to become a character from a book I’ve read—I think I’ve realised my life isn’t that bad. Sure, I’m in dire need of a nap and my coffee addiction is almost debilitating, but I’d take that any day over fighting off demons. But then again, trying to function without my daily coffee feels as difficult as battling a Greater Demon.
Lila Bard, A Darker Shade of Magic
I WISH I WAS AS BADASS AS LILA. In reality, I’m just an awkward, clumsy mess of a human who doesn’t know how to function without her phone. Lila is just everything I aspire to be. She’s fierce, cunning, and unafraid of even the most deadly of challenges. And not only that—she has other abilities that makes me disappointingly aware of how I don’t even know which way north is. But if I were forced to act in her position as she travelled between the different Londons, I think I’d last approximately an hour. Probably less. I’d fall into the Thames, or trip down the stairs of the Stone’s Throw, or accidentally walk into someone’s sword. You know. The usual.
Likelihood of survival: 8%
Hermione Granger, Harry Potter
School would have been SO MUCH EASIER if I were a bit more like Hermione. We did have a bit in common—visiting the library more than our friends, being a little bit rebellious at times (but totally in a nerdy way), and being enviously good at spells. JUST KIDDING. I wish I could have had a few spells up my sleeves in high school. But I would SELL MY SOUL to be as smart and knowledgeable as Hermione, always knowing which spell works best in every situation. But I guess if I actually WERE Hermione, living in Hogwarts with the yearly threat of Voldemort trying to kill my best friend, I’m not sure I’d make it out alive. What if I suddenly had a mental blank and forgot the spell I wanted to use when I was being attacked, like how you can never remember a book title when you need to? Or what if my butterbeer was off and I died of food poisoning? I just wouldn’t want to risk it. I think I’m safer being a muggle. OR AM I.
Likelihood of survival: 67%
Felicity Montague, The Gentleman’s Guide to Vice & Virtue
If I were born in the 1800s (or whenever the heck this book is actually set), I WOULD DEFINITELY HAVE BEEN FELICITY. You know, that nerdy girl who’s always got her head in a book and glasses perched on her nose. Although I don’t have siblings, I know I’d be taking none of Monty’s crap. However, when it came to fighting off highwaymen and pirates, I don’t think I’d do very well as Felicity. Like her, I can get sassy when I’m angry, and I don’t think that would go well for either of us. And besides, unless I had the collected works of Shakespeare on me, I wouldn’t fare well in a fight. And like Felicity, I’d hate to have to rely on Monty to protect me—WE DON’T NEED ANYONE FIGHTING OUT BATTLES FOR US. And that would probably be the death of me.
Likelihood of survival: 74%
Frances Janvier, Radio Silence
I see so much of myself in Frances I’m not sure how we’re not related. Or maybe Alice Oseman just modelled her off me. We’re both hard-working and focussed, and when we were at high school, everything we did was to look good on our university applications. But I would love to steal her entire weird and amazing wardrobe, and her mum if I’m being completely honest. AND HER FRIENDSHIP WITH ALED IS EVERYTHING. Honestly, I want to be Frances just so I could have that adorable munchkin Aled in my life. WE WOULD HAVE SUCH AN ICONIC FRIENDSHIP. And the good thing is that because Frances lives in our world, I don’t have any kind of demonic powers threatening to kill me. But then again, I’d probably get lost in the English countryside and get mauled to death by a hungry sheep. You never know.
Likelihood of survival: 98%
Emma Carstairs, The Dark Artifices
Can I just have Emma’s laid back life please, without all the Shadowhunter stuff? Her relationships with the Blackthorn family is just SO CUTE. When they make pancakes together… MY HEART. I WANT THAT IN MY LIFE. So umm… I’m now taking requests for people who want to be my siblings. But I’m honestly willing to attempt the Shadowhunter side of things if that means I get to hang out in Los Angeles by the beach with the most iconic Shadowhunter family. I would DEFINITELY die on my first patrol of the Sunset Strip or be banished by the Clave for one reason or another, but I wouldn’t mind. Emma is a total badass, and I can only aspire to be more like her.
Likelihood of survival: 43%
Would I survive as the protagonists from my recent reads?
This was such a beautiful, heart-wrenching read! THERE WERE SO MANY OF MY FAVOURITE THINGS IN THIS NOVEL: New York City, music, dual perspectives… it was just such a gorgeous read. Undoubtably my favourite thing about it was revisiting my favourite city on Earth with Ben and Dom. It was so atmospheric and emotive, making me feel like I was right there on the city streets beside them. I loved the duality between a rich music prodigy and a poor dancer who’s given up on her dream because of money issues, and I felt like both characters had such unique voices and I connected to both of them right from the get-go.
SO WOULD I SURVIVE AS ONE OF THE PROTAGONISTS? I definitely feel like I’d be more of a Ben in this situation because of my determination to succeed and our shared lack of sleep. I also think it would be cool to play a musical instrument at such a high level—I tried with the oboe and it just doesn’t have the same ring as being a violin-player prodigy. No one likes the oboe. It sounds like a dying duck. But when it came to the insta-love aspects… I don’t think I’d be able to survive through that. AND SOME OF THE STUFF BEN DOES IS SO CRINGE. But he was such a realistic, three-dimensional character and I loved getting to know him. The mental illness rep was also fantastic to see, and that was really genuinely portrayed.
Likelihood of survival: 73%
WHAT A PHENOMENAL NOVEL. Gosh, I adored this so much. I honestly don’t know why it took me so long to get my hands on a copy, but I’m so pleased I finally got a chance to read it. It was like Queens of Geek meets Kindred Spirits, and it was just wonderful. I absolutely love books about fandoms and cosplay and conventions, so this was everything I could have wanted. SOMEONE HOLD ME. I’m such a major nerd, and so I really appreciated seeing the chaos that can be caused by making reboots of movies / shows with cult followings, and I really connected to both of the protagonists. And there was a Cinderella twist where the pumpkin was a vegan food truck! MY LIFE IS COMPLETE. Oh anD internet friendships. HERE FOR THAT.
If I were one of the protagonists from Geekerella, I’d definitely be more of an Elle. I mean, she has a blog — I have a blog. She works for a vegan food truck — I’m a (fake) vegan. (Yes, occasionally I indulge in non-vegan chocolate. I’m a monster.) AND I WOULD LOVE TO TEXT WITH DARIEN. What an adorable munchkin. Even though I felt like Elle’s and Darien’s friendship progressed a little quickly than seemed realistic, I would DEFINITELY have fallen head-over-heels for him in an instant. But in saying that, there’s a slight chance I would fall so head-over-heels that I would trip a little too far and end up falling to my death down a flight of stairs. But love hurts, right? That’s a sacrifice I’d be willing to make.
Likelihood of survival: 94%
WOW. I’m honestly lost for words right now. I always knew The Poet X was going to be a sensational novel, but I didn’t expect to read it all in one sitting. And I also didn’t know it was going to be written in verse! So that made it a lot quicker to read than I had anticipated. There are so many issues raised in this book, but they were all addressed in a way that didn’t feel overwhelming or rushed. It spoke about rape culture, religion, self-love, and abuse, and it was just so incredibly moving. The Poet X highlighted the power of slam poetry and just like Xiomara, every word in this novel was perfectly chosen and woven together to make an unforgettable story that packs punches and leaves the reader breathless.
But how would I fare as a slam poet? PROBABLY NOT WELL. I’ve never been very good at poetry, and my Tumblr I had in high school is evidentiary of that. BEFORE YOU ASK, NO, I WILL NOT BE LINKING THAT HERE. And even if by some miracle I could adopt Xiomara’s ability to create her slam poems, I don’t think I’d be able to perform them or share them with anyone. But Xiomara was such a strong character who knows what she wants and won’t let anyone get in her way. I really admired that aspect of her, and I loved following her narrative. And it was so important to see a Dominican-American protagonist! WHAT A BOOK.
Likelihood of survival: 77%
Would you like to become one of your favourite characters? Do you think you’d survive if you had to take on all their tasks? Have you read the books where the characters I’d like to be more like are from? Have you read any of the three novels I’ve read recently? I’d love to know!