Top Ten Strong Female Characters

Posted 22 April, 2014 by April @ The Steadfast Reader in memes

As always, brought to you by: The Broke and the Bookish

Strong female characters are ridiculously hard to find. There does seem to be some emergence of strong females in newer YA literature, which is a good thing. But even women seem to have difficulty writing women. Why is that? Regardless, there are strong female protagonists (and in some cases, antagonists) to be found in books. You just have to know where to look

  1. Hermione Granger (Harry Potter 1 – 7): Did you really expect anyone else to be at the top of this list? Smart, not afraid to be smart, adventurous, and loyal – Hermione is everything I want to see in YA heroine.
  2. Hester Eastman (A Prayer for Owen Meany): Hester is outraged and bitter at being treated differently from her two older brothers, relegated to public school and the state university instead of fancy private schools and colleges in California, she is pissed. But Hester is strong, rebellious, and takes charge of her own life.
  3. Lily Bart (The House of Mirth): Lily has to take care of herself. The family money is dwindling and she needs a husband now. Lily does what she has to do, but she never compromises her integrity.
  4. Cersei Lannister: (A Song of Ice and Fire*): A lot of people don’t like Cersei, she has some questionable sexual practices and partners and a lot of people think she’s a cold hearted bitch – but in reality she’s a strong a capable woman who makes the hard decisions on protecting her family and (for a time) ruling the realm.
  5. Meg Murray (A Wrinkle in Time): Sure Meg is awkward and not entirely sure of herself socially, but when she has to tessaract to a distant planet to save her father, Meg hangs in there with the best of them. She loves math and science too.
  6. Edna Pontellier (The Awakening): Set (and written) late in the nineteenth century, Edna was a revolutionary character for her time. She is middle aged in a comfortable marriage, but when she travels to Grand Isle, youthful dreams and yearning are re-awakened and she can no longer hide her desires to get more from life.
  7. Elphaba (Wicked): It’s not easy being green, but Elphaba doesn’t pull her punches. She knows right from wrong and is never afraid to stand up for the little guy. She also takes ownership of her actions and makes other female characters around her better. (I’m looking at you Galinda.)
  8. Emily Ruff (Lexicon): Emily comes across as a loose cannon, but she’s smart, capable and will do what it takes to protect those that she loves.
  9. Kirby Mazrachi (The Shining Girls): Kirby was almost brutally murdered. Now, years later, she wants to find the would be killer and bring him to justice. She works doggedly on the case as an intern at The Chicago Sun-Times. She’s smart, determined, and will get shit done. Plus, her name is Kirby.
  10. Tess Durbeyfield (Tess of the d’Urbervilles): Tess is another character that is willing to work her fingers to the bone to do what is right. She’s not so great at standing up for herself, but she never takes the easy way out and is admirable in the sacrifices she is willing to make for those she loves. (Even if they don’t deserve her love.)
*Daenerys and Catherine Stark are also strong women written into this series. But I always feel that Cersei never gets enough love.

April @ The Steadfast Reader


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