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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Favorite & Least Favorite Female Protagonists

I was going to grace you all with another adventure of WEIRDO THE ALIEN, but alas I didn't have the time today. Perhaps next week. I think he may be visiting the world of Harry Potter in the next episode *snicker*. I'm open to suggestions, of course!

As I'm writing my novel with a female protagonist, I thought it would be beneficial to look at some of my favorites (and least favorites). What about her personality makes her a strong character? What makes her so likeable? Why do I relate to this person? Below are some of my favorite protagonists (in no particular order; please add your own in the comments section!). Most of these books I have read relatively recently and they are semi-fresh in my mind.

  1. Evie from Paranormalcy - Evie is a tough, snarky, witty teenager who also is caring, brave and passionate. She fights for her friends and risks her life even when there is something evil on the loose. Plus I love how sure she is of herself. Teenage girls can look to Evie as a role model (minus the whole vampire-tasing thing).
  2. Tiffany Aching from the Discworld series - I've only read two books out of the BAZILLION in Terry Pratchett's series. In THE WEE FREE MEN (which I know I've mentioned several times - sorry), Tiffany is a young girl who learns that she may be a witch. She gets involved in a magical world of monsters and tiny blue men who love to drink and fight and kick. I love Tiffany because she doesn't take any crap from anyone. She's tough, smart, logical and follows her dreams. She doesn't let anyone pull the wool over her eyes. And she's not even a teenager yet!
  3. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series - She is incredibly smart and talented, brave because it's important to keep fighting, loyal to her friends, and keeps a strong head on her shoulders. She can be emotional at times, but she's a teenage girl for cripes sake! Growing up isn't easy, especially when you're fighting the darkest wizard of all time. I love her optimism and how she is the one who keeps Harry moving forward. I'm not a big fan of how she let Harry and Ron cheat off her work all the time, but Harry had a lot on his mind (Ron was a bit of a mook, though I love him too!).
  4. Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter series - She isn't a main character, but I just love her. She's so funny and starry eyed but also passionate and loyal. She dances to her own music, never letting anyone or anything get her down, even when the other kids steal all her shoes. She always sees the good side, the silver lining. Plus she's incredibly brave (or maybe she just doesn't realize the danger of some situations).

Here are some female protagonists that are my least favorite, though I still enjoyed the books very much:

  1. Bella Swan from the Twilight series - I think many people will agree that Bella is a whiney mess most of the time. She's so obsessed with Edward that she alienates herself from her father and her new friends. She has an unnatural passion for Edward and I find it hard to believe. Though, I am a big fan of the books and movies. I'm not sure the exact reason why I like these stories so much, because it's certainly not Bella. I can't relate to her. I think I relate to Jacob better. Maybe it's just the excitement of being in love with a vampire and all the danger that comes with it, plus the werewolves are cool.
  2. Elana Gilbert from the Vampire Diaries - I liked these books too (and I swear I'm not trying to bash the vampire girls), but Elana is WAY too perfect. She's all blonde and popular and gorgeous, plus she gets the dreamy guy and has awesome friends. And to top it off, she has a heart of gold. Barf! Again, I loved reading these books but more for the storyline than for the characters. Damon is probably my favorite, and I don't normally like the bad boys!
  3. Mistaya Holiday from A Princess of Landover - The Landover series is fun. In case you haven't heard of it, it's about a man who buys a magical kingdom out of a fancy mail-order catalog. He doesn't think it could possibly be real, but he takes a chance and finds out is IS real and he is now the king. The book about Mistaya is several books later after Ben (the king) has a daughter. Mistaya is a selfish brat. Granted, she's a teenager and many teenagers are brats, but Mistaya doesn't seem to become a better person in this book. She does a tiny, tiny bit. But I still wasn't really rooting for her at the end. I still liked the book though.

So what do the good/bad characters have in common? For the good, they all seem to be pretty comfortable in their own skin and fight for what's right. They all have their flaws, of course, but that makes them more down-to-earth. From my least favorite list, all of these characters are not relatable. I have a hard time rooting for someone who's super moody, or is too perfect, or has everything and is still a jerk.

What are some of your favorite female protagonists? What about them make them stand out in your mind?


  1. I love this post! Hermione is my fav, followed by Katniss Everdeen.

    My least favorites is Bella Swan. Love Twilight, but she annoyed me to no end.

  2. Thanks, Melanie! I actually just started the Hunger Games series (I know, I'm totally behind) so maybe she'll make it to the list :).

  3. Brawn: Katsa from Graceling. Brains: Frankie from The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks.

  4. Sounds like you like strong heroines with a positive atitude. Very good criteria indeed.

  5. I like Ai Ling from Cindy's PHOENIX series. I also like Tiffany Aching, and Katniss. I'm trying to think of more but of course... can never remember things when I'm on the spot!

    Ah well.

    I do agree about Bella though. Don't really like her as a person, but I don't mind being a voyeur into her whole world. :)

  6. I think strong heroines are in high demand now - which is a good thing! For me, Mercy Thompson from Patricia Briggs Mercy Thompson series is a great hero. She's quick witted and strong but not invicible.

  7. Hey there, Keriann! Great post, as always. Luna was one of my faves, too! I loved that she wasn't afraid to speak her mind and just BE. You know? Take me as I am, even if I'm eccentric and moony eyed. :)

    I think L.T. nailed the TWILIGHT craze to a T. People weren't so much enamored with Bella as they were to just ride along in her head so they could hang w/the hot vampire. LOL.

    BTW, I'm presenting you with an award for your fabulous blog, so please drop by my blog tomorrow!

  8. Aww, your award looks so pretty there! I'm sooo glad you like it. :) You really do have a great blog and you've earned a spot on my "blogs I follow" sidebar so I'll know each time you post now. YAY!

  9. THANK YOU! It's my very first blog award, so of course I will treasure it :). Thank you for following my blog. I have you in my "blogs I follow" sidebar as well.

    Thank you everyone for adding to my favorite heroines list! Sounds like we all agree. By the way, I just finished the first book in Hunger Games and have to agree that Katniss is definitely a contender.

  10. I love Katniss and Hermoine. I have yet to read Paranormalcy, but it's on my list.

    Found you from Anita's post yesterday. Congrats, BTW.

  11. Hi Keriann! I totally agree with your heroine picks (for the books I've read), and I'm so glad you liked Jacob better than Bella as welll... He seemed to be the best-developed character in the entire series.

    I also found you from Anita's website... Congrats to you (and props to Anita for bringing us all together)! :)

  12. Welcome, Marybk and LisaAnn! Thanks for following me and for the congratulations :).