Fantasy, TOP 5 TUESDAY, Young Adult

Top 5 Character Driven Books | T5T

Hello bookworms! I’m Nia and today I’m going to be talking about some of my favorite character driven books.

I love me a good character driven story. To be completely honest, I can look past a bland plot if the characters are incredible and I love them, so these books are usually one of my favorites. I would say it took me a while to think about five for this post, not because I don’t have them, but because my brain froze and suddenly I couldn’t remember anything *whoops*.

If you aren’t familiar with Top 5 Tuesday, it is a group here on WordPress now currently run by Shanah over at BionicBookWorm, where each week they give you a topic and you talk about 5 books that fit that category.

Without any further ado, let’s start with this week’s topic!


The Raven Boys | Maggie Stiefvater


My thoughts: I freaking adore this quartet. The books are so mysterious, whimsical and weird, and you’re basically confused while reading it until the very end of the series, but that makes them so special to me. Yes, they have a plot going on in the four installments, but they focus more on the characters and their relationships between each other. Also they all have such a great development within the series, and their interactions are just freaking bomb. I just love my babies so much, so every time I talk about character driven books, I have to mention these ones!


It is freezing in the churchyard, even before the dead arrive.

Every year, Blue Sargent stands next to her clairvoyant mother as the soon-to-be dead walk past. Blue herself never sees them—not until this year, when a boy emerges from the dark and speaks directly to her.

His name is Gansey, and Blue soon discovers that he is a rich student at Aglionby, the local private school. Blue has a policy of staying away from Aglionby boys. Known as Raven Boys, they can only mean trouble.

But Blue is drawn to Gansey, in a way she can’t entirely explain. He has it all—family money, good looks, devoted friends—but he’s looking for much more than that. He is on a quest that has encompassed three other Raven Boys: Adam, the scholarship student who resents all the privilege around him; Ronan, the fierce soul who ranges from anger to despair; and Noah, the taciturn watcher of the four, who notices many things but says very little.

For as long as she can remember, Blue has been warned that she will cause her true love to die. She never thought this would be a problem. But now, as her life becomes caught up in the strange and sinister world of the Raven Boys, she’s not so sure anymore.


Six Of Crows | Leigh Bardugo


My thoughts: I know, I know… This duology has an amazing storyline and plot. I completely agree with you. The only reason why I’m mentioning this in here is because I truly think this is an amazing character driven story. Leigh Bardugo did an amazing job at creating a normal plot for a book and transforming it into something unique. And I’m pretty sure one of the reasons Six of Crows is that amazing is because of the characters. Not only it has a diverse cast of characters, but also they have so many layers and it’s impossible not to love them. I’m telling you, if you’ve read them, you’re going to like them. That’s what you’ve signed for.


Ketterdam: a bustling hub of international trade where anything can be had for the right price–and no one knows that better than criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker. Kaz is offered a chance at a deadly heist that could make him rich beyond his wildest dreams. But he can’t pull it off alone…

A convict with a thirst for revenge.

A sharpshooter who can’t walk away from a wager.

A runaway with a privileged past.

A spy known as the Wraith.

A Heartrender using her magic to survive the slums.

A thief with a gift for unlikely escapes.

Six dangerous outcasts. One impossible heist. Kaz’s crew is the only thing that might stand between the world and destruction—if they don’t kill each other first.


Shatter Me | Tahereh Mafi


My thoughts: This is one of the best character driven books I’ve ever read. I can understand why some people didn’t like these books, because they are the type of books that you need to read them all to fully get the plot point (I would consider the three of them a very large book). But the character development in this story is incredible and mind blowing, and one of the best ones I’ve encountered. It’s amazing how Juliette had changed since the first installment, and I cannot stop recommending them (sorry if I’m talking too much about them lately, it’s just a way to express my eagerness for the fifth one!).

I have a review of Restore Me here, in case you want to know my thoughts about it.


Juliette hasn’t touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don’t fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior.


Sky In The Deep | Adrienne Young


My thoughts: This is another example of a great character driven story. The plot in this one was pretty simple and sometimes it really wasn’t one to being with, but the relationships and the evolution of the characters were what made this book worth the read for me. I adored the character dynamics in the story, and basically the whole cast of characters. The development of the main character, and the relationships she formed with the enemy tribe were done so well and realistic, and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

I have a review of this book here, in case you want to know my thoughts about it.



Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield — her brother, fighting with the enemy — the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother’s betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.


The Winner’s Curse | Marie Rutkoski


My thoughts: Even though this book was super slow paced and not everyone’s cup of tea, I really enjoyed the trilogy! Though it had a very interesting plot going on, I would say this one was also another character driven story, mostly because it focused on the main character and her companion, and the relationship between them and how it affected everything going on in between. It was such an angsty trilogy, let me tell you, and that was something that I adored of these books. Also I really loved Kestrel; I found her super interesting and clever, and everything, including her development, was done so smoothly and well.


As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined. 


What are your favorite character driven books? Do you have any book recommendations? Let me know if you’ve read any of these or if you have them on your TBR!

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14 thoughts on “Top 5 Character Driven Books | T5T”

  1. The Sky in the Deep!!!!! Oh how I loved that book!!! I really don’t think that book is getting as much love as it should. The characters were so full and wonderful, I felt all of their emotions and loved them all, even with their faults. Thanks for participating 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I know! It had a lot of praise before it came out, but now not many people are talking about it, which is super sad! I agree with the characters, they had such a great evolution and I adored them😊.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. TRC and SOC are on my list too!! Haven’t read the rest of the books you mentioned though buut I’m sure they’re great!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. CONGRATS! I absolutely adore that duology and the characters and cannot recommend it enough, so I hope you’ll end up loving it, too😊.


    1. Yay! I absolutely adored those books💕. Sky In The Deep was SO good, and I feel now that the release date has passed not many people are talking about it.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I bought The Winners Trilogy which I don’t normally do – I usually buy book one and then wait to see how I feel before buying the rest – but for this I got all three books. I’m looking forward to reading them and really hope I enjoy the first book!

    Liked by 1 person

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