I’ve been wanting to do a post like this for a long time, but it took me a while to figure out how exactly I wanted to do it. I did a little research by reading other blog posts to get some ideas and to see if there were any tags. There are some tags, but I decided a good old-fashioned list would be the best way to go because, hey, I love a list. And I thought starting off with some of my favorite female characters made sense seeing as most of the books I read are in the POV of a female character and the books I read are generally by female authors. Let’s start with 7 characters.
- Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice – I’m not sure we’d have a list without Lizzie. Saying you love Pride and Prejudice is a cliche in many ways, but one that I don’t mind being part of at all. It’s one of my all-time favorite books and this character is so complex. I love her fight against societal norms in a time when that was extremely difficult for women. Her love for her family is also one of her best character traits, but being true to herself is the one that I admire the most. She grows a lot in the book as well.
- Margaret Hale from North and South – I wasn’t sure if I should include Margaret because I haven’t read the book. I’ve only seen the 2004 BBC mini-series, but I loved that version of her. I’m interested in seeing how different the book is from the TV version, but I think I’ll love her in the book as well. It felt wrong not to include her. She’s a lot like Lizzie in the sense that she could have easily followed society’s expectations of women, but instead she decided to use her sense of right and wrong to help people who were technically below her social status.
- Jessica Darling from the Jessica Darling/Jessica Darling’s IT List series – Jessica was one of my first “me” characters. I started these books in high school when I was dealing with some similar situations and I saw a lot of myself in Jessica and her personality. Even if I didn’t like some of her actions later on in the book series and I wasn’t into a sport like her, she was a real character and I’ll always appreciate that I kind of grew alongside her from my teen years to my twenties.
- Mia Thermopolis from The Princess Diaries series – One of my role models growing up and I’m not sure I realized it for a long time. Admittedly, I probably would have loved to find out I was a princess, but Mia has a lot of admirable qualities aside from that. The way she handled the situation, like a teenage girl thrown into something she didn’t understand but still determined to do it her way, and I always love a character who’s witty and herself even if other people think they’re lame. There’s nothing lame about Princess Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo.
- Rose Hathaway from The Vampire Academy series – When we talk about kick-ass characters, this one almost always comes to my mind first. I love that this book series had a female protagonist who wasn’t perfect and sometimes did the “wrong” thing, but beyond that, I love that she was the bodyguard for Lissa. A female bodyguard to a royal? I don’t know about you, but that’s something new to me.
- Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – As a curious child myself and a bit of a wanderer, I could have easily fallen down a rabbit hole and ended up in Wonderland. When I was in college, I did several papers on this story and its adaptations because I love the character that much. It’s one of my favorite Disney classics, but I also love the non-sense of the book while still keeping the character a true image of a child. She’s curious and curiouser. That’s the best part of childhood, trying to figure out what is going on in your world (and other worlds evidently), but she was also frightened which I think we would all be if we were in her situation at any age.
- Merricat from We Have Always Lived in the Castle – I love a good unreliable narrator! Merricat is the definition of unreliable and this is one of my favorite mysteries. I also love Constance, her sister, and I think that their relationship and the fact that Merricat will do anything to keep someone from harming her says a lot about the character’s thoughts and actions throughout the book. There’s nothing like a sister bond, whether it’s biological or a close friendship, and I appreciate when a book has a character who will stop at nothing to keep them together.
Thank you so much for reading! Feel free to share some of your favorite female characters, whether they be protagonists or not. I’m probably going to need to make one of these for my favorite background characters. This list is sadly lacking in diversity, but that’s something that I hope will be changing as I read more. I’m planning on doing one of these for male book characters as well as television/movie characters soon.