10 for 2010: Favorite Male Characters

Favorite Male Characters

We kick-off the 10 for 2010 series with my Favorite Male Characters in 2010. I like strong, male characters in books, but by strong, I don’t mean macho or all gung-ho and just masculine. I like guys that leave an impact — guys who are not afraid to admit their weaknesses, guys who aren’t afraid to cry, guys who know how to respect the people around them and still stand up for themselves or their family when needed. In short, I like my male characters real, as real as they can be in fiction.

Not all of these characters listed below are the main heroes. Some of them are sidekicks or supporting characters, and they deserve as much credit as the heroes do. The heroes won’t be heroes without them!

And now my 10 Favorite Male Characters from 2010 — these came from books I read this year, and in no particular order.

1. Happyface (Happyface by Stephen Emond) – He has no face except for a happy face. He’s probably one of the most real characters I’ve read this year, and I cannot stop expressing my love for this guy. He’s just…aww. To quote my review:

Happyface is the dorky boy in school who you would never have a crush on, but would be really good friends with. He’s the guy who’d draw stuff for you, join you in shopping and hand you a Christmas gift that he made himself, looking all awkward and blushing. He’s the guy you will call when you’re dating someone and you need someone to encourage you or tell you that everything will work out — heck, he may even help you work things out with the guy. Happyface is the guy who is secretly in love with you, and you may never ever know because he’s too shy to tell you about it.

2. Radar (Paper Towns by John Green) – one of my favorite John Green sidekicks. I love that he’s black, and I love that he’s the ultimate geek in their little trio. I also love that Radar’s parents have the biggest collection of black Santas in the world. Radar is the type of friend who you’d normally forget, and he knows it, but when you need him, he will be there. Q is lucky to have him as a friend.

3. Jinn (As You Wish by Jackson Pearce) – for a paranormal creature, Jinn is not perfect. I really liked how the author wrote him, and how I was given an opportunity to see his side of the romance in the story, instead of just seeing everything from the girl’s side. Jinn is snarky, sarcastic and vulnerable at the same time. I rooted for him from the start all the way to the end. :)

4. Curran (Kate Andrews series by Ilona Andrews) – Ah Curran. I wouldn’t have discovered him if it weren’t for Chachic and Michelle pushing me to get the books. And I am very, very thankful for giving in because Curran is awesome. How do I describe the Beast Lord more accurately? I don’t have the words. Let’s just say he’s the guy who’d go through hell just to save his Mate. Who would not like that? I cannot wait for Magic Slays.

5. Bennett (Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick) – Another sidekick that won my heart. Bennett is your standard sci-fi geek who has a blog, a Twitter and is normally there to annoy the heck out of other people. However, he’s also the guy who you can count on to be there when things get ugly. I liked how complex his character was in Tweet Heart, and that’s saying a lot because that’s a book written in tweets and emails. :P

6. Shaun Mason (Feed by Mira Grant) – I love Shaun because I love brothers. And I like that while he can be reckless, he’s also very loyal to his sister, Georgia. This is a guy character who supports the female character and he still shines with his own wit and personality. I cannot wait to read more about him in the next book, Deadline.

7. Arnold Spirit / Junior (The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexey) – As I mentioned in the review, Arnold reminds me of Happyface and that was already an ultimate plus for me. I liked that he fought for what he wanted even if he knew no one really believed in him. I liked how he let things roll off his back and he keeps on standing up again. We could all learn a lot from Arnold Spirit. :)

8. Hassan (An Abundance of Katherines by John Green) – I am conflicted between Hassan and Radar as the best John Green sidekick, but who says I cannot love both. Just like Radar, Hassan is funny and loyal. I love that he’s Lebanese and even if Colin has been ditching him for all the Katherines, he stuck by him and he’s always there to pick him up after a break up.

9. Brigan (Fire by Kristin Cashore) – I loved Brigan the moment he first showed up in Fire. He’s the kind of guy that you’d initially be intimidated with, but you’ll also find him quite attractive. He’s the kind of man you know you could trust with your life, and would do everything in his power to keep his loved ones safe.

1o. Etienne St. Clair (Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins) – Etienne St. Clair is probably the most popular guy character in the contemporary world now, ever since Stephanie Perkins’ debut novel came out. And who wouldn’t like him? He’s funny, he’s witty, and he’s wonderfully imperfect. His British accent really helps up the hotness factor, too. :P

Runners-up:

Oh, and you do know I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010 in my Anniversary Giveaway, right? Win awesome books such as Stephen Emond’s Happyface — this happy/sad graphic novel like book has one of the most real heroes I’ve ever read, and it deserves more attention! Every comment you leave is one entry — the more comments you leave, the more entries you get! :) Click the image for the mechanics and the list of prizes!

Tweet Heart

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick

Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick
Hyperion, 264 pages

Claire is a #hopelessromantic.y

Lottie is determined to set up her BFF with Mr. Perfect.

Will wants his #secretcrush to finally notice him.

Bennett is a man with a plan.

Claire can’t believe it when her dream guy starts following her on Twitter. She never thought he noticed her, and suddenly he seems to understand her better than almost anyone.

But the Twitterverse can be a confusing place, especially when friends act differently online than they do in person. Things get even more complicated when Claire realizes she’s falling for someone else, the last person she ever would have expected….

Told in an innovative format combining tweets, emails, and blogs, Tweet Heart is a contemporary romantic comedy that will set your heart atwitter.

I didn’t get into Twitter until last year, but I’ve had my account for a while now. At work, I think my friends and I converse more in Twitter, and it’s kind of fun to watch and read other people’s updates. Not to mention following authors and celebrities. Sometimes the best gossip can be found in Twitter, don’t you think?

So I was really excited when I saw and read what Tweet Heart was about from Amazon. At first I was frustrated when I saw that there wasn’t any Kindle version, so I decided to just wish and wait for it to get here. Then my friend Jana tells me she saw copies of the book in National Bookstore in Shang, and then comes my search. I finally found a copy of the book in National Bookstore Megamall, and this was one book I wasn’t going to pass up on, regardless of how big my credit card bill is. :P

The moment I opened the book, I understood immediately why there was no Kindle version:

The cover did say it was a book told in tweets, emails and blogs. ;)

I guess I didn’t think that the entire book was told in tweets, emails and  blog posts. I saw the line in the cover, but I didn’t think the book would only contain that.

At first I was disappointed, but once I started reading, I couldn’t put it down. Tweet Heart is a quick and fun read. Claire is indeed a hopeless romantic, who has been pining for lacrosse team captain, JD Whitcomb since she was a kid. Lottie, her best friend, goes from one guy to another, but is always there for her best friend to help her in all her boy troubles (lucky her). Bennett is Claire’s guy best friend, who annoys Lottie most of the time and would rather talk and tweet about anything SciFi (or SyFy, as he often says) but is always there to be a friend to Will. Will is the smart, quiet guy who likes Claire and would listen to her swoon about JD even if it hurts him so.

Tweet Heart is a typical high school romance and mistaken identity. There’s really nothing new about the plot, and if it was told in the traditional way, I don’t think it would have been as charming as it is. But the tweets and emails and blog posts totally made it a different book. Since there was no narration, I had to deduce what happened in between the tweets, and since most of the characters were talkative enough, nothing is ever missing. I wasn’t so sure about the length of the direct messages exchanged, though. I mean, I don’t do much of direct messaging because the notifications spam my inbox. Maybe they turned it off?

It was also a great feat for the author to create well-rounded characters even with just their 140-character tweets. Claire is charming, Will is sweet, Lottie is wild, and Bennett! I love Bennett. He is probably the best character in the entire book, and I love all his references to Star Wars, Sarah Connor Chronicles, Joss Whedon and all things geeky (like mounts, for example). Despite his very annoying nature, he’s also a good friend, and I liked that he had a happy ending of his own. :)

A word of warning to the kids (and everyone else for that matter), though: the romance in this novel is between people who see each other in real life, and not just on Twitter. So don’t go starting online romances with people you know on Twitter (or email, or blog, or chat) alone!  Remember that not everyone online is a nice person just because they talk nice.

But I digress. Again, Tweet Heart is a quick and fun read. However, I don’t think all people will like this, especially those who prefer to read narratives in a book. Plus, I don’t think this book will be much of a hit in the future, if Twitter loses its popularity. This book is recommended for today’s generation, and anyone else who enjoys social media and a cute romance. :)

Rating:

2010 Challenge Status:
* Book # 52 out of 100 for 2010

My copy: paperback, Php289.00 from National Bookstore

Cover image & blurb: Goodreads

→ Get Tweet Heart by Elizabeth Rudnick from Amazon.com
→ Elizabeth Rudnick’s Website

This review is included in Cym Lowell’s Book Review Wednesdays:
CymLowell