Since many of the books I read are YA contemporary or fantasy, it can be pretty rare to find books with strong and interesting parents. I find in many of the books I read, the parents don’t get along very well with the main characters, or else they are virtually non-entities in the story, mentioned only in passing. Last year, toward Father’s Day, Top 10 Tuesdays had a freebie topic, which I used to talk about some of my favourite fictional fathers, both in books and on TV/movies. I was glad to see this topic come up again since I’ve read a few books with memorable father figures recently, although it was a little more challenging than I expected to find new characters.
Top 5 Wednesday is a meme created by Gingerreadslainey on Youtube, and the official GoodReads group with the weekly topics can be found here.
1) Sirius Black from Harry Potter
Last year, I picked Arthur Weasley as a favourite father figure, but the more I think about it, the more I realized how many great father figures there were in this series in general. Sirius Black may not have always been the best example for Harry because of his tendency to be a little reckless, but there was no denying how deeply he loved Harry and that he genuinely wanted the best for him. Sirius would do absolutely anything to protect Harry, including breaking out of Azkaban and later rushing into the Department of Mysteries when he thought Harry might be in danger. He was one of the first people to offer Harry a real home, and the two of them bonded so quickly. He always did his best to make himself available to give Harry advice and support him, and did everything in his power to make sure Harry was not only safe, but also happy.
2) Isaac Grant from Obsidio by Jay Kristoff and Amie Kaufman
I finished off this series very recently, and I was blown away by it! It’s rare that I read sci-fi at all and I’m not usually a fan of books that are set in space, but this series was amazing. I think a huge part of why I loved this series is because I absolutely adored the main characters. Isaac Grant is the father of protagonist Kady Grant, and he takes on a larger role as the series progresses. By the third book, he has become a kind of father figure to the whole group, and especially has bonded with Ella. He was a great character in his own right, and I love how he seemed to unofficially adopt the rest of the cast and look out for them the same way he looks out for Kady. He doesn’t hesitate to take on the responsibility, and his interactions with the teenagers are so much fun to read. He was such an endearing character in general, and a great addition to the books.
3) Brimstone in Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor
It’s kind of funny that last year, I felt this book tended to get overlooked among all the other series I started, and now it’s been mentioned twice this week alone. I loved this book just as much as the other YA fantasy series I started last year, yet somehow it didn’t seem to get talked about as much. Brimstone is a father figure to Karou, raising her from the time she was an infant. Although he looks like a monster and is involved with pretty scary activities like collecting people’s teeth from around the world, he is also a great father figure to Karou and seems to be quite wise. I have only read the first book in the series so far, so I’m not sure how much of a role he has later on, especially given the events toward the end of the book. He protects Karou and gives her advice when needed, and he takes great care of her, doing his best to shield her from any harm. I found it really interesting how even though he seems like a monster, his interactions with Karou make him seem like a regular parent — scolding her for being late, questioning how well she can handle more responsibility, etc.
4) Russell in Two by Two by Nicholas Sparks
If I’m honest, this is probably the least memorable of all the characters on this list, but I felt like Russell deserved special mention because I very rarely see books that focus on single fathers. Russ is left to raise his 5-year-old daughter, London, alone after his wife suddenly decides to divorce him after returning to work. I loved the relationship that we got to see between Russ and his daughter, although his ex-wife was an incredibly frustrating and selfish character. This book really successfully depicted the breakdown of a marriage and the struggles of trying to co-parent a child with an ex-wife. One of my favourite parts of the book was how Russ took his daughter out for a “date night.” Their relationship was so sweet, and although this was not my favourite Nicholas Sparks book, I really enjoyed the father-daughter relationship.
5) Henry’s father in Words in Deep Blue by Cath Crowley
Although I just finished this book recently, I’ve gone blank on what this character’s name was or if his name was ever mentioned. This was one of a few YA books that I’ve read where the character’s family members played a significant role. Henry’s parents owned Howling Books, a bookshop with the unique feature of a Letters Library, where customers can’t purchase the books, but instead are encouraged to write or draw in them and leave letters to others. The Letters Library was started by Henry’s dad, and it is such an amazing idea! Although I personally hate to write in books and find it incredibly distracting to have notes written in them or pages highlighted, I think it would be amazing to have something like this available in real life. One of the things I really loved about both of Henry’s parents is how they actively involved the whole family in decision-making. When it came time to decide whether to keep the bookshop or sell it, Henry and his sister were given as much say in the decision as the parents. I loved the relationship between Henry and his dad, and just his dad’s personality in general. His father spent most of the book organizing a project to document the Letters Library to make sure what people had written was preserved in case the bookshop was sold, and it obviously held a lot of sentimental value to him. He may not have been a huge character in the story, but he was definitely one of the more memorable YA parents.
i saw brimstone as more of a grandfather figure, but he’s definitely someone who’s there to give guidance and raise karou ❤