my top ten favorite fictional gals of all time

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.

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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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Who are some of your favorite fictional heroines?



32 thoughts on “my top ten favorite fictional gals of all time

  1. liviepearl

    I have a hard time with favorites, some of these are top, a few might not be top ten, but this is what I’m going for now, quickly.
    1. Valancy
    2. Little Dorrit
    3. Princess Amy from The Ordinary Princess
    4. Anne of Green Gables
    5. Azalea from Entwined
    6. Emily of New Moon (except in the last book; I wanted to commit a double murder in that book . . . although she is MASSIVELY less worst than her despicable lesser half).
    7. Ivy from Swift and Nomad
    8. Harriet Vane from the Lord Peter Wimsey mysteries
    9. Liesel from the Book Thief
    10. Judy Abbot
    I’m surprised. I guess I thought I would have a few in common with you and certainly none that I absolutely disliked. I dislike Sara Crew and Katniss. I think the former is a perfect example of a goody-goody little Pharisee, and I think the latter is a selfish, clannish, amoral opportunist. And Marguerite is the worst “heroine” in literature; she is petty, selfish, stupid, boring, small-minded, and stereotyped. And that is putting it mildly. I hate her. I mean that literally. Oh, and her brother is about on par with her. My sisters and I have been ranting about how awful she is (as a person and as a character . . . development and writing-wise I mean) after I re-read the “best” three (the original, the Elusive Pimpernel, and El Dorado). I don’t mind the movie version, she doesn’t look quite the fool there.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I considered adding Valancy to my list because she is a rather wonderful heroine. Liesel is great, too! (I really should have put her on the list, to be honest.)

      Sara isn’t a Pharisee! A Pharisee is a hypocrite and Sara certainly isn’t a hypocrite – she practices what she preaches, so to speak. And while Katniss can be selfish, she is also selfLESS. If your opinion of her as an opportunist has been formed by her actions in the Games, then I would say that, yes, she is an opportunist and it’s completely justified considering that she would have died (along with Peeta) otherwise.

      Then there’s Marguerite. Petty? Maybe so, at first, when she (unwittingly) betrays that family that harmed Armand (I agree with you about Armand, by the way – I really can’t stand him). Selfish? She gives up her husband again and again and in El Dorado when she’d much rather die with him, she continues the fight for his sake. And in the first book, she goes to France, willing to sacrifice herself for Percy’s sake, even after the way he’s treated her for so long. Boring? Marguerite is a great dramatic actress and every scene with her is filled with vivid life. Small-minded? In what way? Stereotyped? Never have I come across a character like Marguerite before. Her bravery, warmth, wit, and passion make her one of the most memorable characters I’ve ever read of.


  2. jessica prescott

    Completely agree about Fanny Price. In a way, I do believe she’s the strongest and toughest of Austen’s heroines. She’s been constantly emotionally abused for YEARS and yet, she never lets it destroy her self-respect enough to be forced into something she doesn’t want.

    My favorite heroines? Cath Avery, from Fangirl, will always be my top favorite, I think. She’s such a reflection of me, and she inspires me so much. I love how quiet and awkward and shy she is, yet blunt and outspoken when she needs to be. And she’s a WRITER. Win. ❤

    I also love Liesel Meminger, Scout Finch, Anne Elliot, and Donna Noble (Doctor Who).


    1. Yes, yes, and yes. I agree with YOU about Fanny. 😉 I think we’re a Fanny Price Admiration Society of two.

      Man, I want to read Fangirl.

      Liesel! Love her! (I just re-read The Book Thief, so…yeah.)


  3. I don’t really have much free time this week, and this is the kind of list I’d really need time to think about, but I’m pretty sure half of my picks would be superheroes and at least a couple others would be video game characters.


  4. I’m so glad you have Katniss on your list! Once Hunger Games became popular there was a lot of backlash and pointing out the flaws of the series (which are admittedly made worse in the movies, in my opinion). But when I forget about what everyone else says about it, I love the series, and I love Katniss.
    Also, I completely agree about Fanny Price. I really like her (though I’m a little biased- one of the characters I’m writing is a lot like her).
    Mary Breydon sounds awesome- I should read that book.
    And of course, Luxa ♥.


    1. Same here. I got obsessed with THG just before Catching Fire came out, so there’s was all the hype urging me to love it, but I ended up loving the series/characters on their own merits. And Katniss is one of the best characters.

      Hail Queen Luxa!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. thebookshopbarista

    Love this list! I’m so happy you mentioned Lynn Austin’s books. The characters in the Refiner’s Fire series are all so great.


  6. Ooohhhhh I LOVE THE LITTLE PRINCESS. But also…just watched the Scarlet Pimpernel (1982 version) and I searched back for this post because I remembered it had Marguerite…..I LOVED THE MOVIE. I have not seen a Romance with such palpable chemistry between the two leads in ages. Must read the books now!!!


  7. I agree (mostly) with the heroines in this list who are from books I’ve read. I’m really excited that someone actually mentioned The Scarlet Pimpernel– it’s just not loved as much as it should be. Tally Youngblood was my only disagreement. I felt she had the same emotional cycle in every book. But hey, to each their own.

    Liked by 1 person

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