By: Rachel Bertsche
Can you smell the sharpened pencils in the air? It’s the delicious scent of another school year underway. Kids are cracking open new books and diving into the likes of Great Expectations or The Things They Carried or Roll of Thunder Hear My Cry.
Though my school days are behind me, as the leaves start to fall (at least here in Chicago) I get the itch for new reading lists. A fresh literary start.
On my fall syllabus? The Hunger Games, of course (I’m so behind) and Freedom (I like to know what all the fuss is about) and whatever my book club demands of me. Currently that’s The Weight of Silence by Heather Gudenkauf. I could go on, but thinking too much about all the to-be-read books on my shelves makes me anxious that I should stop blogging and start curling up in my book nook, pronto.
So to usher in the new school year, something light, bookish and BFFish (my personal blog, MWF Seeking BFF chronicles my search for a new, local best friend… preferably of the Babysitter’s Club variety).
I present to you the literary characters (aside from the members of the BSC) with whom I would most like to be best friends:
1) Boy, The Giving Tree. Some say he’s selfish and greedy, I say he’s lonely. He loves his tree. He could use a BFF.
2) Jo March, Little Women. Or maybe Beth. For one of my college applications, I had to name which fictional character I most identified with. I chose Jo. But I wonder if we could really be best friends? We might be too similar. As much as I love her, I could see us bumping heads. I might benefit more from Beth’s warm heart… You know, before her gutwrenching end.
3) Ginny Weasley, Harry Potter series. She’s awesome. Half badass, half girly. Not as goody-two-shoes as Hermione, but just as brave. I can totally picture us whispering together in the corner.
4) Alice Cullen, Twilight. Whimsical, fiercely loyal, and loves to play dress up. That she can see into the future doesn’t hurt.
5) Harriet the Spy/Nancy Drew. I really wanted to be a child detective back in the day. Sadly, there were very few (read: zero) mysteries that needed solving in my hometown. But I would still very much like to be the sleuthy sidekick.
6) Lisbeth Salander, Millennium Trilogy. I would not want to be on her bad side. But she is crazy protective of her friends, could dig up dirt on anyone at anytime, and would be one of those never-a-dull-moment BFFs.
7) Skeeter Phelan, The Help. She’s passionate, determined, sneaky when she has to be. I think we could be good writing buddies. Read each other’s work, give honest critiques, take breaks to discuss Hilly’s horribleness.
8 ) Oskar Schell, Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close. I’m aware that most people think Jonathan Safran Foer’s first book, Everything is Illuminated, is his best. But I fell in love with Oskar, and this novel, early on. He’s eager and vulnerable and precocious… and he’s just really funny. I mean, he plays the tambourine and invents things like talking teakettles. Who wouldn’t want to be his best friend?
9) Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones’ Diary. I was on the fence about her at first. Isn’t she kind of a hot mess? But as my very wise coworker reminded me, “You need a friend to get drunk with. And who’s more f’ed up than you are.” Fair point.
Did I miss anyone? Who’d be your literary BFF?
Rachel Bertsche is a web producer and a journalist in Chicago. Her blog, MWF Seeking BFF, chronicles her search for a new best friend after moving to the Midwest for love.
Catherine Stine says
Pippi Longstockiing or Alice in Wonderland. Many wild adventures of the imagination and no proper bedtime.
Julie Hedlund says
Elphaba from Wicked – cause I "get" her.
Jane Eyre – talk about loyal! (and well read)
For my younger self, it would be Ramona all the way!
Hmm…A lot of mine are medieval, I have to say. Do those count? Sorcha from Juliet Marillier's Daughter of the Forest is definately on the list, either that or her granddaughter Clodagh in Heir to Sevenwaters. I do remember Addie in Gail Carson Levine's The Two Princesses of Bamarre. She would definately be on my list. I tend to like the plain janes thrust into extraordinary situations. I can relate to them and I think we'd get along because of that.
Jessica Darling from the Megan McCafferty series. She's witty, smart, snarky, progressive, feminist, cool, and wants to change the world.
My BFF would definitely be Anne Shirley from the Anne of Green Gables series. I love her as a fellow "scribbler" and her imagination matches my own.
I also have to add a picture book character whom I have always admired and want to be like– Miss Rumphius! Her motto to travel to faraway places, live by the sea someday, and make the world more beautiful matches my own as well.
Thanks for the post!
The Man from The Road-not dead though. He's badass and minimalist…I'd like to hang out with someone so singularly brave.
Bridget Jones came to mind as well, I guess we all want a friend like that!
I think Noah from Peter Geye's Safe from the Sea is a great guy, but I don't think I could keep it platonic.
Scooter Carlyle says
I would totally chillax with Jane Eyre. I could be her BFF that doesn't die!
Laura B says
Ford Prefect of Hitch Hikers Guide to the galaxy. He's got an amazing job and he always knows where his towel is.
I know this is late to the party, but a comment that compels me.
I'd love a night of dinner and drinks with Ernest H. leading the gang with Mr. Bennett, Elizabeth and her cousin Charlotte….The evening would not be complete without Charlotte's dreadful husband showing up.
Imploring her to come home. Charlotte then tells him to buzz off.
Mr. H. and Mr. B, helping Mr. Collins, find the door!
I would love to have Alice Cullen as my bff. But Hermione would be great, too.