And I wish to high heaven and back that I could say I was just like Tris from Veronica Roth's Divergent, or Alanna from Tamora Pierce's Song of the Lioness quartet...or any one of Mercedes Lackey's hero/heroines...
But I can't. Because truthfully, the literary character I am most like is Melinda, from Speak by Laurie Halse Anderson.
I remember reading Speak in my sophomore year of high school. I was 14, at a brand new school in a brand new state and I was terrified. I woke up dreading every day, living through those painful 8 hours in near-silence, and going home and collapsing, exhausted from being scared all day.
Melinda suffers a traumatic life event and gradually stops talking. Although my "trauma" was nothing compared to what she went through, I felt the same way she did. She was quiet on the outside, full of sarcastic snark and wit on the inside. She had no friends, I had no friends. Her parents didn't really care, mine tried but didn't help much.
And the snark that goes on in Speak. Oh, the snark. It made me happy. I felt like I'd found a friend in Melinda.
It's been 11 years since I read Speak, and I still identify with her, even though I'm no longer a mouse in high school. I am much less angsty than I was as a teenager, thank goodness. And I am much snarkier than I was as a teenager, so consequently I am much more amusing. I hope.
I also hope that if this question is ever asked again, I can come up with a better answer. Sure, I'd take Tris and her quiet, unassuming confidence, (SERIOUSLY PEOPLE, READ DIVERGENT!) but I'd also settle for ...uh... someone else who is awesome and selfless and amazing but a little more grown up. Because it's starting to concern me that the only characters I could think of for this Wordfull Wednesday were all teenagers. (P.S. On a random note, my blog name, Kestrel, comes from William Nicholson's Wind on Fire trilogy, an excellent series for tweens. Kestrel is my hero. And if I had given birth to a girl, I would have named her Kestrel. Probably a good thing I didn't have a girl.)