Characterising your co-blogger!

Last year, a friend of ours created a tag wherein she described herself in five literary characters (unfortunately her blog is no longer live). We loved the idea but found it difficult (and a little odd) to describe ourselves in that way. But then we came up with the idea to describe each other as friends and co-bloggers instead. Albeit presenting quite a challenge, describing and characterising each other was heaps of fun and strengthened our friendship, too. We each picked 5 literary characters for the characterisation, the condition being that these characters shared one or more significant personality trait(s) with the co-blogger. Below, you will find the character compared to the person, which book the character appears in, and a comparison of characteristics. We hope you have as much fun reading this – while slowly getting to know us better through the lenses of our significant others – as we had creating this post! 🙂

Chantal Characterised In 5 Book Characters

Kimberly Chang | Girl in Translation

Education is one of the main themes of this contemporary, and Kimberly is portrayed as a character who strives for knowledge and achievement. I see a lot of Kimberly in my lovely co-blogger and immediately associated Kimberly’s ambition with Chantal, as both of them are hard-working, determined, and ambitious. Career goals are important to them and the determination with which they pursue them is admirable. Furthermore, both Kimberly and Chantal have experienced the challenges of migrating to a foreign country, in which they’ve had to adapt and find a comfort zone to fit into, which requires a lot of patience and strength. Chantal’s courage to move across the continent for her dream studies is something I admire a lot.

Lila Bard | A Darker Shade of Magic

If you know anything about Chantal, I’m sure you’re surprised by Lila Bard being on the list. Lila is a rude, snarky, self-centred thief with an attitude, and Chantal isn’t any of those things. And yet, they have something in common. Lila does not like being dependent on other people and prefers being in control of situations herself, which is the reason she sometimes feels like she must do things on her own – and so does Chantal. Unlike Lila, Chantal works well in teams, but she likes having the overview nonetheless. In that sense, the Lila from A Conjuring of Light – the one that has learned that it’s alright to rely on people, too – is much closer to Chantal in spirit than the Lila we meet at the beginning of the Darker Shade of Magic series.

Iseult Det Medenzi | Truthwitch

If there is a pair of fictional gal pals that not only captures the essence of our friendship but our characteristics as individuals, it’s probably Safiya and Iseult (granted, there’s a hidden characterisation of myself in this passage, too, but shhh). Of the two witches, Iseult is the reasonably calm and level-headed one, whereas Safiya the one with a feisty temper and a dirty mouth. It’s like a thunderstorm has become friends with a tranquil sea, and they are each other’s balance. Like Iseult, Chantal is calm on the surface, level-headed, and rational, and honestly, I’ve rarely heard her utter a swear word. This does not mean, though, that she does not have a temper, but she’ll choose to express her temper on specific occasions. Mostly, the storm is hidden behind a quiet, calm surface, which can sometimes be the better hand than showing all of your cards.

➽ Gauri | A Crown of Wishes

At first, the similarities between Gauri and Chantal weren’t apparent to me. Gauri and Chantal connect on the most superificial and deepest levels possible, whereas all the bits in the middle are completely different. Gauri is skilled with her make-up, mostly because she believes in the magic of impression and values it as a form of armour, and I’m positive it holds a similar value in Chantal’s life (my make-up basically gets an inferiority complex around hers if that clarifies anything). However, the aspect that really connects the Princess of Bharata and the Blogger of Every Word A Doorway is control. Gauri’s desire is to be in control of herself, in control of the control others have over her, and in control of her own destiny, whereas one of her deepest fears is the loss of it. Chantal is the epitome of control, which has impacted her in both positive and negative ways. Her ability to control her body, for example, is what allows her to present something in front of the entire class without her voice faltering or to put on a poker face. Control in all of its facets is like a subtle, underlying current in both of these women’s characterisations, and though it can be a weakness, Chantal has become skilled in using it as a weapon.

Millie | Mafiosa

I wasn’t fond of Millie in the first book but soon came to value her as a fiercely loyal character who stood by her best friend in the darkest of times. You’re going to think that’s nothing outstanding, I know, but it gets better. There’s a reason I listed the final instalment as her story of origin, not the first book. At the beginning, it seemed like Millie was introduced to play along in the main character’s lunatic, bound-to-fail plans (and fail epically they did). It eventually became clear, though, that the strength in Millie’s personality and her friendship with the main character didn’t lie in her willingness to play along, but in her ability to pull the breaks when necessary. A true friend is a person who doesn’t hesitate to point out the flaws in your plans or to tell you when you’re overreacting or to simply express an opinion you might not want to hear at first. Meet Chantal, everyone – a true friend. A best friend. ❤

Ok, it got a little sappy there for a minute.

by Nina

Nina Characterised In 5 Book Characters

Elisa | The Girl of Fire and Thorns

I have said multiple times that Elisa is one of my favourite fictional characters so it really shouldn’t be a surprise that I associate her with Nina who is one of my favourite people in general. What stands out so much about Elisa is the utter depth of her kindness. She cares so much about other people, is incredibly loyal and brave and those are all characteristics that I see in Nina as well.  Elisa will sit and listen to the problems of her friends and try to walk in other people’s shoes. Nina is hands down the best listener I have ever encountered: she has so much empathy and that inane ability to see things from other people’s perspective. I’m not sure if part of that comes from her psychology studies or if she studies psychology because of it, but in any case, I can’t imagine a better field for her.

Nina Zenik | Six of Crows

Before you all roll your eyes at me, no, I didn’t choose Nina because of her name (in fact, it’s going to make writing this paragraph much harder). Nina is such a strong, unapologetic female character with a kind heart but who can shield herself off when she has too. She’s hilariously sassy and confident in herself, without ever coming across as arrogant. She’s always fully herself and never compromises her essence to accommodate others. My dear co-blogger is the same. You can tell she is comfortable with who she is despite having her own little insecurities (as we all do) and would never change herself for another person. She is incredibly witty and intelligent and always has something to interesting to say, even in difficult situations.

Amani | Rebel of the Sands

Rebel of the Sands starts off with a shooting scene where Amani proves that she is the best  all the men around her. That girl is literally a spitfire. She has a bit of a dirty mouth and sometimes there are moments where it would have been better for her to be quiet, but she isn’t because she will always stand up for what’s right. Nina is the same. Sometimes I will advise her “maybe don’t say this to x person, they might take the wrong way” (as you can see I’m the kind of person who will avoid confrontation at all costs) but Nina will be like “no, if I was in that situation, I would want someone to tell me”.  And of course she’s right, but it needs a certain kind of courage to always say what you think and stand up for the right thing to do. And that’s a quality I admire both in Amani and Nina.

Zuzana | Daughter of Smoke and Bone

I can’t imagine anyone reading this trilogy and not wishing they’d have a best friend like Zuzana. Well, I’m in the enviable position to actually have a best friend who is a bit like her some (many) ways. On the surface, the similarity between Zuzana and Nina isn’t immediately obvious : Zuzana is kind of strange, does some weird things and has seriously wacky interests, all of  which aren’t things I associate with Nina. However, they are both the absolutely most loyal friends imaginable, Zuzana pretty much goes to the end of the earth in the second book to help Karou and I know that Nina would do the same for any of her friends. They are also both pretty tiny human beings with a big mouth that prove that physical size means nothing when it comes to size of personality and inner strength. They are also both hilariously sarcastic.

Cadence | We Were Liars

For those who have read the book, you might think that my comparison with Cadence is an offence to Nina, but hear me out. Cadence is troubled by headaches and memory loss and is seen by many as being a more typically weak female character. However, I would disagree. In her own way, Cadence is incredibly strong. She has to come to terms with some difficult things that have happened in her life and sometimes her past overwhelms her, but she always finds the resilience within herself to stand back up and keep on moving. Nina is one of the mentally strongest people I know. She is someone who has the tendency to shoulder other people’s burdens for them even if it means that a day that already been hard for her becomes even more difficult to handle. Though I sometimes wish this wouldn’t be the case (because I hate seeing her suffer), it also leaves me in a bit of awe. Nina’s ability to get back up when she’s knocked down and continue fighting no matter what is truly impressive and it’s part of what makes her such an amazing friend. ❤️

by Chantal

How would you characterise yourself or your co-blogger(s) in literary characters? If you thought this was a fun idea, let us know about your characterisation(s) in the comments or feel free to create your own post in response to this tag. We’d love to hear from you!

36 Comments

  1. This is the coolest idea ever. I need some time to think about what fictional characters I relate to the most. I’ll come back later and let you know.

    The Nina/Nina part was hilarious haha.

    • chantal

      April 23, 2017 at 2:45 PM

      Thank you so much, Kimi!! I’m so glad you like the idea, haha. Please come back and tell us! I would love to hear yours :)) Haha, it was not even on purpose!

  2. I think my comment is too long son I’m going to try to post it in parts.

  3. So I just went through a mini existential crisis answering this question haha, thanks guys.

    ➨ Lily Bloom: this one came to my mind as soon as I saw your post. When I first read It Ends With Us I almost dnfed it. Not because it wasn’t a good book, but because I saw too much of myself and my life in there. Usually when people relate to a character they have the opposite reaction, they want to finish the book and maybe find a solution to whatever they were dealing with but with Lily, I don’t know how to explain it. It was just too much. I felt so uncomfortable reading it that I put it down for a while and was only able to finish it later on.

    • What Lily and I have in common is that we both wanted to fix people.

      When I was in school, I would always find a way to be best friends with the most messed up kid in that class. I was determined to do whatever it took to fix that kid and just help them with anything I could. You how Augustus waters fears oblivion? I guess I felt the same way. I found purpose in helping others. It made me feel like my life mattered because I saved all those people.

      • Thank you for commenting and sharing, Kimi! I love that you took the time to ponder over a characterisation of yourself by using a book character 🙂 Your in-depth description felt very personal, and I’m glad you shared it with us. Though I would find fulfilment in something other than helping people, I have an epic Helper’s Synrome, so I can relate a lot (it is not a coincidence that I major in Clinical Psychology…). It is interesting how, through your editing services, you still focus on fixing things, but this time devoting yourself to other people’s stories rather than their personal problems 😉

        • I never even thought about it that way. You’re absolutely right. I’m literally trying to fix everyone and everything. Oh boy.

  4. IF I can stop one heart from breaking,
    I shall not live in vain;
    If I can ease one life the aching,
    Or cool one pain,
    Or help one fainting robin
    Unto his nest again,
    I shall not live in vain.

    • For most of my life, this was literally my motto. If I could just get that stupid robin back to its nest, my life would not have been in vain.

      There was only one problem… fixing adults is not as easy as fixing kids.

      I can’t remember what book this was from but Magnus Bane once said “There are some people — people the universe seems to have singled out for special destinies. Special favors and special torments. God knows we’re all drawn toward what’s beautiful and broken; I have been, but some people cannot be fixed. Or if they can be, it’s only by love and sacrifice so great it destroys the giver.”

      • I’m not sure I can agree 100% with your statement about children being easier to fix than adults, but one of the reasons I want to do my counselling training in child and adolescent psychology is the fact that you get to work with a whole system, rather than with one individual, which gives you more angles from which to approach a problem 🙂 Love both the poem and the quote, btw! You have no idea how relatable Bane’s words are to me right now ❤

        • Fun fact: I almost chose Psychology as a major but then decided to go for English instead 😀

          Magnus Bane is everything <3

  5. Some people just can’t be fixed and if you keep trying to fix them, you’ll only destroy yourself in the process. I think both Lily and I realized that in the end.

    • chantal

      April 23, 2017 at 6:40 PM

      Thank you so much Kimi for sharing this. It’s interesting, when you mentioned your Helper Syndrome, literally my first thought was “just like Nina”. You seem to have it a bit more extremely than she does, but it’s definitely something I see in both with you. But as Nina pointed out, though it’s good to want to help people, I think there is boundary where helpfulness and selflessness can quickly turn into something that somewhat self-destructive. So be careful and take the time for self-care! There is no point making yourself unhappy or overburdened just so you can help others. I always say: “I want to help people, but the best way I can do that is if I first take care of myself and make sure I’m ok. Otherwise I won’t have the perseverance or energy to help others.” But you seem to already have realised this?

      I love that poem by the way! It’s Emily Dickinson, right?

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write all this, sorry the blog won’t let you post longer comments 🙁

  6. ➨ Cath: Another character I related to was Cath from Fangirl. I’m literally that person who would survive on chocolate bars because she doesn’t know where the Cafeteria is and is just too embarrassed to ask anyone haha

    ➨Cadence: I’m glad you mentioned Cadence as well. We were Liars is one of my all time favorite books. I didn’t relate to Cadence that much in character traits but I definitely related to the family dynamic. How everyone would always pretend everything was fine no matter what. “Be normal, now. Right now. Because you are. Because you can be.”

    • Ohhh Cath from Fangirl! That’s a good one, Kimi! I still haven’t read WWL, though I’ve borrowed it from Chantal, and it’s now oggling at me from the shelves *uncomfortable silence*

    • chantal

      April 23, 2017 at 6:43 PM

      Good choices! I know what you mean with Cadence: the family dynamic was definitely what was most relatable to me as well! And I know a ton of people relate so much to Cath and I can totally see why. For some reason I didn’t relate that much to her but I’m not really sure why haha (I really like the book though)

  7. I’m sorry I couldn’t find five. Feel free to add more to my list if you feel like I forgot someone.

    I thought it would be fun to find one character that reminded me of each one of you so here it goes:

  8. Nina: Sazed from the Mistborn trilogy.

    Before you bite my head off for describing you as a thousand year old Terrisman dude, hear me out haha.

    I’m not sure if you guys have read the Mistborn trilogy or not so I’ll keep it spoiler free. Sazed is just that character everyone goes to for advice and that’s exactly the kind of friend Nina is to me. I feel like I could talk to you about anything and you would be able to help me find a solution. Oh Nina, you wise immortal <3

    Chantal: Karou from DoSaB

    I totally picture you as that friend who would have blue hair and pull it off. What I’m trying to say is that you’re one of the coolest people I know <3

    • chantal

      April 23, 2017 at 6:47 PM

      Omg Kimi I love this!! Thanks for contributing. We both adore the Mistborn trilogy so we know what you’re talking about (thanks for keeping it spoiler-free though for potential comment readers). And YES! Sazed is such a good choice for Nina! She is so wise and a great advice-giver and usually very calm and collected, it fits perfectly!

      Ahhhh, thank you Kimi, that’s so sweet❤️❤️❤️

    • Sweetie, you basically compared me to one of my favourite thousand year old characters ever! To say that I feel honoured would be a massive understatement ❤ Also, I agree with you that Chantal is one of the coolest people ever! We’re lucky to have crossed paths with her, one way or another 🙂

  9. Okay that was all. I’m never writing a long comment again haha took me forever to post.

  10. This is awesome post, I loved reading it! And I have no idea how I would characterize myself through book characters so kudos to oyu ladies for managing it 🙂

    • chantal

      April 25, 2017 at 10:12 AM

      Thank you so much Lucia! I’m so glad you enjoyed the post :)) Haha, I found it hard as well, but I love reflecting like that. If you ever do come up with answer, I would love to know!

    • Thank you for commenting, Lucia! I’m glad you thought this post was entertaining 🙂 I hope Chantal and I will find the time to do more posts like these in the future. I think characterising ourselves would’ve been harder than characterising each other. I second Chantal: If you ever do decide to do a self-characterisation using book characters, please let us know!

  11. If I do it one day, I will definitely let you know 🙂

  12. Either way, I am jealous (in a good way) of your friendhsip. I have no real-life friend with whom I could share my obsession with books. So treasure it 😉

    • chantal

      April 26, 2017 at 2:53 PM

      Thank you Lucia. I definitely value Nina so much. I don’t have anyone else I can to talk about books with either, that’s the whole reason why I started writing reviews on Goodreads! The fact that I met Nina through it and we became such good friends still amazes me. But I think that’s the great thing about the book community: everyone is kind and welcoming and it makes it very easy to make friends?

  13. Aw girls, this post is the sweetest. I am jealous and happy at the same time, because it’s such a rare thing to find someone who shares your love for reading in real life and, moreover, you created a blog together. You rock girls! <3

    • chantal

      May 1, 2017 at 9:29 AM

      Thank you Nasta!! You are the sweetest ❤️❤️Love you and your reviews so much and thank you for all your support?

    • спасибо, Nastya! Your comment was genuinely the sweetest thing ever ❤️ And even though we don’t know you IRL, we love reading your reviews and talking to you on GR! Who knows, maybe your path will cross with someone else’s from the book community (or with ours) someday 🙂

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