For all the male characters yesterday, I must not forget about the females. :) I love reading about kick-ass heroines, especially after reading about so many weak, Mary Sue-ish heroines in other books who cannot live without their guy. That doesn’t mean they can’t be weak or cry or what — they do. They are weak at times, but in this weakness they find their strengths, too.
I had a hard time writing this list because I met so many awesome female characters this year. But that just goes to show how girls rock, doesn’t it? :) Today’s 10 for 2010 is my Favorite Female Characters.
1. Kate Daniels (Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews) – If there’s ever a most kick-ass heroine I’ve “met” this year, it has got to be Kate. Kate is strong, stubborn and powerful, and yet she’s also very compassionate. Kate is like Thursday Next in an urban fantasy setting, and maybe even more. I might still need to re-read Thursday Next, but if it comes to combat, I think Kate will win. Sorry Thursday, but don’t worry, I still love you! :)
2. Alanna of Trebond (Song of the Lioness quartet by Tamora Pierce) – I must pay homage to the mother of all kick-ass female characters in the YA fantasy genre (correct me if I am wrong though): Alanna of Trebond. Alanna is the heroine that went against all odds just so she can be what she wants but normally cannot be: a knight. I loved Alanna from the moment she decided to become a knight up to when she finally settled down. But is there really any settling down for her? :) After reading the Song of the Lioness quartet, I now understand why girls consider Alanna as their hero. :)
3. Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore) – Katsa is awesome not only because she’s Graced, but because she stood up to free herself from the people who want to take her in. And just like the first two girls, she also kicked serious ass in her book. :D What’s not to love about her?
4. Fire (Fire by Kristin Cashore) – Fire is a monster with a heart. I loved that description, and I loved her development from being a woman afraid of her beauty to someone who learned to use her beauty to help others.
5. Terra Cooper (North of Beautiful by Justina Chen Headley) – Terra is hard to understand at first. I envied her for her sheer willpower to exercise and be “perfect” physically, but I also felt sorry for her because she was trapped in a cage that her father built for her and her mom. But as the story went on, I saw Terra’s growth, and I wanted her to win. Like Terra, I want to remember and hold on to what true beauty is all about: Let the glossy spreads have their heart-stopping, head-turning kind of beauty. Give me the heart-filling beauty instead. Jolie laide, thatâ€™s what I would choose. Flawed, weâ€™re truly interesting, truly memorable, and yes, truly beautiful.
6. Georgia Mason (Feed by Mira Grant) – I love that Georgia is a blogger, but I think what most readers would really love about her is her integrity. She really embodies what a journalist is supposed to be. You would have to kill her to stop her from telling the truth, and yet, even so, I bet she will still be able to get the truth out. I bet Georgia would have made a great politician, too. ;)
7. Anne Elliot (Persuasion by Jane Austen) – Ah Anne. Okay, so I’ve only “met” Elizabeth Bennett among all Austen heroines. I know I have no point of comparison over the other heroines because I have yet to read them, but Anne Elliot is someone that I really want to be. She’s smart, she’s mature, she’s gracious, and she always has her heart in the right place. Definitely the epitome of great female characters. :)
8. Samantha Kingston (Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver) – Samantha is not someone I’d be friends with if we were in the same school. I wouldn’t really like her much, either, given the way she treats other people. But Samantha’s story taught me that there is always more underneath a person other than our first impressions on them. Sam started out as a bitch, but I ended up loving her as a friend as she repeated the last day of her life, and wanting her to succeed in whatever life is teaching her on her last day. Definitely memorable.
9. Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns by John Green) – I know a lot of people who’s read Paper Towns dislike her, but I didn’t. I liked her for the strength that she had in choosing what she felt she needed to do. She doesn’t know if it’s the right choice, and sure, she made other people suffer, but she was brave enough to do what she wanted to do. If I may quote Aaron (who’s a very big fan of the book): Hating Margo is like hating everyone in the world that chose, once and for all, to be themselves.
10. Caroline Sweeney (Sweet Caroline by Rachel Hauck) – Of all these characters, Caroline might be the most silent one. If she were placed in a room with all the other girls in this story, I bet she would have remained unnoticed, until someone suddenly needs help, and she would be there in a flash. I admired Caroline for her gentle and helpful heart, one that found that being faithful in the small things means you will also be faithful with the bigger ones. :)
- Andi (Tall Story by Candy Gourlay) – I honestly almost forgot about Andi when I was writing my list. I could relate to Andi because she’s also a younger sister. I felt for her when her life was literally shaken when her brother Bernardo came into the picture, and I liked that instead of pushing him away, she embraced him and looked out for him even if he was practically a stranger to her. That’s what being a sister is all about, I guess?
- Ellie Manuel (Fairy Tale Fail by Mina V. Esguerra) – I liked Ellie because I can relate to her, not in the relationship sense, but in the way she thinks. Ellie’s voice is so fresh and friendly that I cannot help but like her from the moment I started reading Fairy Tale Fail. I also liked how she grew into an independent character at the end of the story. :)
Check out my other 10 for 2010 posts!
10 Favorite Male Characters
Oh, and you do know I’m giving away some of my favorite books in 2010 in my Anniversary Giveaway, right? Get a chance to win Fire by Kristin Cashore and find out why Fire is such an awesome heroine. Every comment you leave is one entry — the more comments you leave, the more entries you get! :) Click the image for the mechanics and the list of prizes!
I’m sort of unfamiliar with these female heroines you mentioned (except Andi) but these characters reminds me of my friends who possess strong personalities! :)
I think you’ll like Margo too when you read Paper Towns. :) And you should definitely read Song of the Lionness — Alanna is such a great heroine.
YAY! A Jane Austen heroine among the 2010 fav female characters. I am a huge Austen fan and I am more than happy to be reminded of how much I loved Persuasion. Also I really like seeing Sam from Before I Fall on your list, I plan to read this novel and am now even more eager to get my hands on a copy of it!
Anne Elliot is awesome. I want to be here more than I want to be Liz Bennett. :)
I’m glad Graceling is on this list because I’m just about to read it and I’m optimistic now;) Great list!
Oooh I hope you enjoy Graceling. :)
I loved Graceling and Before I Fall, and I love that their characters were included in your list (:
My Fave Female Characters for 2010:
1. Katsa (Graceling by Kristin Cashore) – You have already said it all :) She’s seriously kickass.
2. Sabriel (Sabriel by Garth Nix)
3. Katniss Everdeen (Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
4. Lyra Belaqua (His Dark Materials Trilogy by Philip Pullman)
I too love strong and brave (and mostly stubborn) female characters such as these.
5. Kate Wetherall (The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart) – Very “Girl Scout” , resourceful and has everything in that red bucket of hers. She’s super athletic too. I would definitely want her on my team :P
6. Violet Baudelaire (Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket) – A Girl Inventor :) She is as resourceful as Kate. She comes in handy when escaping Count Olaf.
7. Annabeth Chase (Percy Jackson and the Olympians by Rick Riordan)
8. Elizabeth Bennet (Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen)
I love smart women such as these two. Can’t make it to ten unless counting in Hermione Granger my all-time fave from HP and Eowyn from LOTR. :P
I just recognise Before I Fall. XD
I hope I can read that book soon. I want to know more about Samantha Kingston
I’m happy that you mentioned Terra from North of Beautiful. I think it’s a pretty underappreciated book in general but it’s one that I love. It does a good job of setting up why Terra is the way she is without making her fundamentally a weak person. It’s a hard job for an author, but because it was done so well, it made her metamorphosis realistic.
You’re right – North of Beautiful is hardly recognized. I loved Terra’s growth in the book, and it wasn’t even just her that changed but also her mom, and that made it more striking. I really hope more people read this (and that whoever wins the contest would choose this book :D).
Kate Daniels for the win! Kick-ass heroine and the stubbornness is admirable!
Katsa is a great female protagonist- spirited, strong, but she also has many layers to her, including a vulnerable one. She’s one of the most well-developed characters in YA that I know of.
Sam is also someone I have a love-hate relationship with. Mostly love, but there were times I just really disliked her. But ultimately, she shows that everyone has different sides to them, and usually, it’s the good side that shines through. Margo is another mystery, like a more outgoing and current Alaska Young, but she is someone I loved very much when I read Paper Towns.
Yes, Katsa is indeed one of those fully developed characters. I like that she showed a softer side as the novel went on, and even if her relationship with Po wasn’t the most romantic one, it really helped her grow. :)
Sam is one of those people who I know I wouldn’t be friends with in high school, but if we were left alone somewhere, maybe we would be friends. The best thing about her characterization in Before I Fall is she doesn’t really undergo a drastic change. She’s still very much the same person, except that she’s wiser. :)