This week The Broke and the Bookish offered a choice of option for the weekly top ten list, as long as it featured characters who, for example: are musically inclined, have lost someone, have depression, who grow up poor etc. My choice was slightly darker.
April 28: Top Ten Books Which Feature Characters Who Die
Depressing, I know, but some of my absolute favourite books are those in which the authors’ are not afraid to kill off some of the best loved characters. As with any list of this nature, there will inevitably be spoilers, you have been warned! This list is in no particular order, so don’t go thinking that I was any less devastated as the list goes on. Far from it.
1. The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger (Henry DeTamble)
This is one of my favourite books of all time, and even though you know the death is coming, (Henry is a time traveler after all), it is hard-hitting. I fell completely in love with the characters, and this is a highly emotional and beautiful read.
2. Noughts and Crosses by Malorie Blackman (Callum McGregor)
This death has to be one of the most powerful I’ve ever read. Set in a world where your race dictates your class position, it follows the forbidden love between a nought and a cross, and with some of the strongest supporting characters in any book I’ve ever read, it is absolutely mindblowing!
3. The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins (Cato)
Whilst there are several deaths within the trilogy which could be deemed the most depressing, I went with the most distressing. There is something about Cato’s pleas to be killed that make this death so much more profound. It was an incredibly shocking conclusion to a novel.
4. The Notebook by Nicholas Sparks (Noah Calhoun)
‘The Notebook’ is one of my very favourite films (and I also love the book). It follows the love story of Noah and Allie who met one summer when they were still teenagers. They were forced apart, but find themselves reunited when Allie questions “what if?” This whole story was beautifully short and sweet, but filled with such deep emotion, and to this day it remains one of only a handful of books that can make me cry.
5. The Fault In Our Stars by John Green (Augustus Waters)
Whilst the book didn’t capture me to the extent it appeared to do for the majority of my friends, the mortality issue within this book was very powerful. Gus’s death felt worse to me than if Hazel had died, as he was everything that is good in a person. I also loved Isaac, one of the supporting characters in this book, as he felt incredibly real and honest.
6. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling (Krystal Weedon)
Despite not liking this book as a whole, I can’t deny how emotive this novel is. Every character faces deep psychological demons, unlike anything I’ve ever read before. This is an incredibly harrowing novel, and the deaths are no less haunting.
7. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins (Tom Watson)
If you’re yet to read this bestseller, look away now (I guess that’s the case with any and every name on this list, but this feels different for some reason). Tom’s death was gruesome, shocking and unexpected. I literally gasped when his murder occurred, and I don’t think I’ve ever had that reaction at a book! I absolutely loved the gore and the suspense though. All too often deaths and murders are glossed over, but this was fabulous reading!
8. The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith (Lula Landry)
Whilst Lula did technically die, albeit in a possible murder, and we as the reader didn’t actually know her, her death was pivotal to this story. If you like mysteries/thrillers, and you’ve yet to read this book, what are you waiting for? It was my favourite read of 2014, and I was totally blown away by the intricacy of the plot.
9. Marley and Me by John Grogan (Marley)
I’m cheating slightly here, but I don’t think I’ve ever sobbed so much at a book death before – I know Marley was real, and I think that makes it that much worse. I read this book only months after we bought our first family dog, and it ripped my heart out getting to know such a mischievous dog on the page, when we have one in real life. I honestly don’t think I’ve ever cried over a book to such an extent before.
10. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling (Hedwig)
This just wouldn’t be a list without mentioning ‘Harry Potter!’ I mean who didn’t J.K. Rowling kill? Props to her for being so ruthless. There were many deaths which crushed me throughout the ‘Harry Potter’ series, but Dobby was only just pipped to the post by Hedwig. Hedwig for me was a symbol of Harry’s innocence. Besides Hagrid, she was his first friend, and was fiercely loyal to him for the duration of the series.
My journey will also be instagrammed frequently on @charlottebibliophile