Hello lovelies – it’s Wednesday so that means it’s time for another Top 5 Wednesday!
Top 5 Wednesday’s group, which is a group on Goodreads created by Lainey from the booktube channel, GingerReadsLainey. This is open to any Booktuber or blogger that would like to get involved. Basically, there’s a list of topics every Wednesday and you find five things that fit well for the topic.
You can find the group here: Top 5 Wednesday
This week the topic is: Favourite Diverse Characters
As topics go, this should have been an easy one to think of a top 5 – it’s actually quite sad to say that I found it difficult to quickly think of 5 diverse characters, let alone my favourites! This also means that the majority of books I’ve read have similar or uniform characters, whether that’s white, straight or without a disability. When I sat and looked at my bookcase I did see some stand outs that I remembered, and those are the ones I’m going to share with you today. When I think of diversity in characters, I don’t just think of race or culturally different characters – I also include characters that have a different sexual preference or any characters that deal with mental or physical disabilities, so here are my favourite diverse characters.
Park from Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Rainbow Rowell created a character named Park who is a bi-racial Korean and American boy living in 1986 Omaha. He is in one of my all-time favourite books, and he is also one of the only characters I’ve come across that is from a different race. This book does however have some controversy surrounding the depiction of this character, and you can read more about that here. In terms of the character, I really did love his quirky personality and I appreciate what he brings to the relationship with Eleanor.
Will Grayson from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green & David Levithan
David Levithan’s character, Will Grayson, is diverse in relation to his sexuality. WG is a character that identifies as gay, and what I like about this character is that he breaks the derogatory stereotypes that are associated with teenage LGBT characters. WG isn’t flamboyant, and isn’t overtly friendly to everyone he meets. I like that he is cynical and anti-social, and that his character stands out. It shows that sexuality doesn’t have to necessarily be the defining characteristic of a person, and that you don’t have to conform to a stereotype to be diverse.
Maddy from Everything, Everything by Nicola Yoon
I’d finished this book around the time that the topics were posted, and it came at a perfect time. I’d struggled to create a list of diverse characters then I realised that Maddy is just that, a diverse character. In fact, Maddy is a diverse character for two reasons. One is that she is bi-racial, and the second is that she is suffering from a disorder that means she is allergic to, well, everything. I love that the author has created a character that is different and stands out, it absolutely makes a change from the same old regurgitated characters we often see.
Simon from Simon Vs The Homo-Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli
In a similar vein to Will Grayson, that I mentioned earlier in the list, Simon is also a character that is diverse because of his sexual orientation. Simon has started a secret relationship with a boy via email, and he deals with a lot of issues regarding coming out to the people around him. This is exacerbated by one of his narrow minded classmates as he blackmails him with emails he stole. I like that this book features a diverse character and also highlights the struggles that LGBTQ+ characters (and people) still deal with in todays society.
A from Every Day by David Levithan
When I sat looking at my bookcases, I realised there was one character that is incredibly diverse and I think should feature on more lists. A is a soul that inhabits a new body every single day, and through this A becomes many diverse characters. Throughout the novel A becomes different races, has different sexual preferences and in the past has occupied characters with disabilities. I love that this book gives us a chance to live many peoples lives and read many diverse backgrounds.
I’ll be honest I really struggled to write this post, mainly because I’ve not come across a lot of diverse characters. This saddens me and it encourages me to seek out novels that do have different characters. Let me know who your favourite diverse characters are, and definitely recommend me some books! Make sure to check back next Wedneday for another Top 5 Wednesday, and the topic will be: Top Authors I’ve Discovered This Year.