Top 5 Tuesday is hosted by the wonderful Shanah @ Bionic Book Worm. This week’s topic is perfect for me! I am someone who prefers character-driven novels vs. plot-driven novels. The majority of the books that I loved and rated five stars have been character-driven. The books I chose to talk about in this post are just five of the many character-drive books that I absolutely adored!
Tin Man by Sarah Winman
I have talked about Tin Man at every opportunity since I read it in the beginning of June, and I will continue to talk about it for the foreseeable future. It is a breathtaking story that is about an almost love story between two characters. The first half of the story is told from the perspective of one character, and the last half from the other. There is not much of a plot to Tin Man, and the story truly is about the lives of these two characters and how they navigate the world both together, and apart. It is truly beautiful.
Swimming Lessons by Claire Fuller
I went in to Swimming Lessons knowing nothing about it because it was a complete cover buy, and I was blown away by it. The story is about a woman who goes missing, and years later her husband finds letters she had written to him hidden in books throughout his collection. There is not much of a plot to speak of and the story is truly about the ups and downs of this marriage, and how the wife’s disappearance affects the family. Each and every character is flawed and completely human. I found myself sympathizing with each of them in very different ways.
Lincoln in the Bardo by George Saunders
Apparently there are 166 characters in Lincoln in the Bardo, so it is definitely a book all about the characters! The majority of the book is simple dialogue and banter between the overwhelming number of characters. It definitely takes awhile to get used to all of the voices and the unique way that the story is told, but once you do, it is truly a work of genius.
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine is a story all about Eleanor and she completely drives the story. This book is written in first person and it was an absolute joy to spend some time living in the mind of Eleanor. There is a lot of character development and the reader slowly discovers why she is the way that she is and you start to completely fall in love with her. She is not the only character that I loved! The side characters, especially Raymond, are wonderful as well.
I’ll Give You the Sun by Jandy Nelson
I’ll Give You the Sun is one of those books that is a perfect balance between plot-driven and character-driven. While I adored the plot, it was the characters that truly shined in my opinion. I became completely attached to both Noah and Jude and felt every emotion that they felt when they felt them. Jandy Nelson is such a talented writer and brought her characters to life. I appreciated that her characters were in no way cookie cutter and were individuals. It was such a moving story!
Do you prefer plot-drive or character-drive novels? I would love to know what your favourite character-driven novels are!