Again, no movie or TV show characters are on this list.
Check out my list for the guys, too!
1. Katniss Everdeen (the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins) – Katniss is such a real character. She’s not the strongest, the fastest, the prettiest, the smartest, or the most talented person you’ll ever meet. I would argue that she is one of the bravest, though. The Hunger Games has become so mainstream and commonplace that sometimes I forget what a huge thing it was for Katniss to volunteer for Prim. It’s such a beautiful moment of courageous self-sacrifice and Katniss continues to exhibit those qualities throughout the series.
2. Julia Hoffman (Fire by Night by Lynn Austin) – Julia has been one of my very favorite heroines for a long time. When the book begins, she’s a selfish, spoiled belle whose only goal in life is to capture the attention and affection of her crush. But as the story progresses, she gradually (oh so gradually) changes and matures and becomes the woman God always intended her to be.
3. Luxa (the Underland Chronicles by Suzanne Collins) – Luxa’s a bit of a brat when you first meet in the pages of Gregor the Overlander, but at least she was never as bad as Henry. She goes from hating and loathing pretty much all species (except the bats, but including Overlanders) to bonding with the rats and sacrificing so much for the mice and trusting Temp. I love it and I love that Hamnet had such a big influence on her in the end. I HAVE SO MANY FEELS ABOUT HER CHARACTER, OKAY?
4. Fanny Price (Mansfield Park by Suzanne Collins) – Fanny Price is not pathetic and weak and she deserves every Austenite’s respect and admiration. There. I said it. I’ve always like Mansfield Park and I don’t really get why more Jane Austen fans don’t share that liking. Fanny is an awesome heroine. She stands by her convictions and doesn’t back down or whine or complain when things don’t go her way (as they so often do not). Everyone should be more like Fanny.
5. Sara Crewe (A Little Princess by Frances Hodgson Burnett) – Some people say that Sara is an unrealistic child and a Mary Sue as well. I disagree. Sara never really played with children her age (if I recall correctly), so she would necessarily be more mature and grown-up than other young girls. She isn’t perfect, but she is incredibly brave and kind and caring.
6. Mary Breydon (The Cherokee Trail by Louis L’Amour) – Louis L’Amour’s heroines are usually great, but Mary is in a class of her own. Even though her husband has died relatively recently, she still travels to the lonely stagecoach station he would have been in charge of and runs it just as well as her husband would’ve (if not better). She has grit and chases off numerous threats, all while cooking delicious food and retaining her femininity.
7. Parvin Blackwater (the Out of Time trilogy by Nadine Brandes) – *bawls* Parvin’s journey throughout Nadine Brandes’ trilogy is epic and amazing and inspiring and she is an example of a Christian character who isn’t flat or too perfect or unrealistic in any other way – she isn’t perfect and struggles with real issues that real Christians have to deal with (take note, Christian film industry!). Parvin displays so much strength and belief and trust throughout the series…it’s truly awe-inspiring.
8. Cress Darnel (the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer) – Really, any of the main heroines from the Lunar Chronicles could be on this list, but I wanted to limit myself to one and Cress is the best, so yes. Cinder has the smarts and Scarlet has strength and Winter has so much heart and courage, but Cress is such a beautiful blend of quietness and techsavviness and compassion and curiosity – she’s basically Rapunzel from ‘Tangled’ (minus the tech part). I love how she’s got a crush on Thorne, only he doesn’t measure up to her idea of him until she becomes the catalyst of his character growth. And her backstory is tragic. Which is always a plus.
9. Tally Youngblood (the Uglies series by Scott Westerfield) – Maybe it was a visceral reaction to Aya Fuse’s awfulness in Extras, but Tally quickly became a favorite heroine after re-reading the Uglies series. At first, she’s naive, but that changes. She takes so many crazy, selfless risks and inspires and encourages people – she’s an optimistic heroine, even with all the bad stuff that happens to her and the people she cares about.
10. Marguerite Blakeney (the Scarlet Pimpernel series by Baroness Orczy) – Marguerite should probably be at the top of this list, to be honest. She’s amazing in the first book (Percy’s rather horrible), especially when she rushes to France to try to save Percy’s life. And then in El Dorado…yes, yes, and more yes. ‘Brave’ isn’t even a big enough word to describe her actions there. I love how Percy trusts her implicitly and she never gives him a reason to retract that trust (after the unpleasantness in the first book, I mean). Marguerite is one of the best fictional female characters of all time and I don’t hesitate for a moment in saying that.
Who are some of your favorite fictional heroines?