Today is National Diary Day! Everybody loves the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, but to celebrate, here’s five characters whose diaries I’d love to read.
Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship—the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.
The romance between Aristotle and Dante is one of the sweetest I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading – or listening to, as it were. (Did you know Hamilton’s Lin-Manuel Miranda narrates the audiobook?) I know author Benjamin Alire Sáenz is working on a sequel or companion novel to the book, but that doesn’t stop me from wanting to read Dante’s diary about everything that happened with Aristotle right now.
The Lie Tree by Frances Hardinge
Faith Sunderly leads a double life. To most people, she is reliable, dull, trustworthy—a proper young lady who knows her place as inferior to men. But inside, Faith is full of questions and curiosity, and she cannot resist mysteries: an unattended envelope, an unlocked door. She knows secrets no one suspects her of knowing. She knows that her family moved to the close-knit island of Vane because her famous scientist father was fleeing a reputation-destroying scandal. And she knows, when her father is discovered dead shortly thereafter, that he was murdered.
In pursuit of justice and revenge, Faith hunts through her father’s possessions and discovers a strange tree. The tree bears fruit only when she whispers a lie to it. The fruit of the tree, when eaten, delivers a hidden truth. The tree might hold the key to her father’s murder—or it may lure the murderer directly to Faith herself.
I loved The Lie Tree; the way Hardinge balanced magic with subversion of social expectations made me a lifelong fan of hers. While we’re in Faith’s head for the duration of The Lie Tree, I’d still love to see Faith’s diary – of what happens after the book ends. You can’t tell me that girl’s not going places.
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
Nix has spent her entire life aboard her father’s ship, sailing across the centuries, across the world, across myth and imagination. As long as her father has a map for it, he can sail to any time, any place, real or imagined: nineteenth-century China, the land from One Thousand and One Nights, a mythic version of Africa. Along the way they have found crewmates and friends, and even a disarming thief who could come to mean much more to Nix.
But the end to it all looms closer every day. Her father is obsessed with obtaining the one map, 1868 Honolulu, that could take him back to his lost love, Nix’s mother. Even though getting it—and going there—could erase Nix’s very existence. For the first time, Nix is entering unknown waters.
The Girl from Everywhere – one of my favorite fantasies to release this year – gives us quite a few incredible side characters. It’s Nix’s “friend” Kash whose diary I would love to read, in part because we all know they’re way more than friends. Come on. You want them together too, don’t you? You don’t have to lie to me.
Otherbound by Corinne Duyvis
Nolan doesn’t see darkness when he closes his eyes. Instead, he’s transported into the mind of Amara, a girl living in a different world. Nolan’s life in his small Arizona town is full of history tests, family tension, and laundry; his parents think he has epilepsy, judging from his frequent blackouts. Amara’s world is full of magic and danger–she’s a mute servant girl who’s tasked with protecting a renegade princess. Nolan is only an observer in Amara’s world–until he learns to control her. At first, Amara is terrified. Then, she’s furious. But to keep the princess–and themselves–alive, they’ll have to work together and discover the truth behind their connection.
A fantasy with one of the most fascinating concepts I’ve read, Otherbound gives us many fascinating characters, but I’d love to peek inside the head of Cilla, the cursed princess that Amara is sworn to protect. While we see how Amara feels for her, I’d love to know how Cilla feels about Amara in her own words – and about everything that unfolded throughout the book.
The Scorpion Rules by Erin Bow
Greta is a Duchess and a Crown Princess. She is also a Child of Peace, a hostage held by the de facto ruler of the world, the great Artificial Intelligence, Talis. This is how the game is played: if you want to rule, you must give one of your children as a hostage. Start a war and your hostage dies. The system has worked for centuries. Parents don’t want to see their children murdered.
Greta will be free if she can make it to her eighteenth birthday. Until then she is prepared to die with dignity, if necessary. But everything changes when Elian arrives at the Precepture. He’s a hostage from a new American alliance, and he defies the machines that control every part of their lives—and is severely punished for it. His rebellion opens Greta’s eyes to the brutality of the rules they live under, and to the subtle resistance of her companions. Then Elian’s country declares war on Greta’s and invades the prefecture, which surely means that Greta and Elian will be killed…unless Greta can think of a way to break all the rules.
In The Scorpion Rules, Greta shares a room with a girl named Xie inside the Precepture. I love being inside Greta’s head, and as important as Elian is, it’s Xie’s diary I’d love to peek inside – though would she write her true thoughts down with the great Talis watching?
What characters do you wish had diaries that you could read? Let us know on Twitter at @PiqueBeyond!