Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Top Ten Favorite Heroines From Books

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish


Books

Eleanor Douglas
Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell

You'll find that I love quirky and unusual characters who overcome some sort of difficulty in their lives. Eleanor is the perfect example of that. She has flaming red hair, freckles and doesn't look or dress like anyone else. She comes from a life of poverty and abuse. In a life and situation where anyone would be understandably withdrawn and negative, she is actually very resilient, sharp, funny and perceptive. She is bright and talented and isn't hardened by her circumstances. She recites poetry beautifully, loves to read book and comics and listen to music. Park describes her by saying, "You just seem like yourself, no matter what's happening around you. My grandmother would say you're comfortable in your own skin." She's not a heroine as in fighting physical battles, but she overcomes many emotional and mental battles to stay focused and resilient in her life. What more could you ask for in a great heroine in literature?



Hazel Grace Lancaster

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

Another heroine whose battles aren't fought on a battleground. She is a 17 years old with cancer and while I was initially afraid to read this book, it ended up being one of my favorites all due to the amazing characters. Hazel begins the novel very thoughtful and considerate with a wish to tread lightly upon the world. She tries to keep herself at a distance from others because she fears the impact her death will have on those around her, particularly her mother. Throughout the book, she grows and changes and learns to accept who she is and the role she can have in the lives of others. It was an incredible journey to go on with her.

Lola Nolan
Lola & the Boy Next Door by Stephanie Perkins

This was an interesting choice for me, but I just love the characters and settings in Stephanie Perkins novels. She and John Green write some of my favorite characters. They are always so unique and have such a depth of emotion and decisions that make them really multi-dimensional. Lola is another 17 year old, who is an eccentric costume designer. She wears colorful wigs and crazy outfits (most designed by herself). One of her biggest goals throughout the novel is to attend a school dance in a Marie Antoinette costume that she creates herself. She is just a true individual and accepts nothing less from those around her. She was just so enjoyable to read about.

Diana Holland 
The Luxe series by Anna Godbersen

These books take place in 1899 when the class system and gender issues were completely different than today. Diana Holland is a society girl in New York City. Her older sister is more involved in the society side of things, while Diana prefers to stay at home reading books (one of many reasons why I loved her). She is rebellious and independent and doesn't see the point of the society lifestyle. She has wild brown curly hair, pale skin and brown eyes. Throughout the books she ends up falling in love with her sister's fiance, then leading a life of more adventure in the world. She finds society dull and seeks to make her own way. I found her fierce independence very refreshing and while this didn't play out the way a typical young adult romance normally does, I really enjoyed the gender roles that were explored and the insight into what women had to face at that time.

Tris Pryor
Divergent series by Veronica Roth

I loved Tris throughout the books because of her willingness to say it like it is. She grows and changes throughout the story and following those changes was interesting and enjoyable for me. Her bravery right in the beginning to choose Dauntless over Abnegation was a great start for her character, but as the story continues, we learn that she is smart, strong-willed, direct, sarcastic and funny while also not having the greatest self-esteem and still struggling to understand her mixed emotions. Her divergence is truly played out in her constant struggle and confusion with the feelings inside her. She faces many adversities, but she is a loyal friend and a brave fighter. I was one of the few who was able to accept the full circle of her story throughout the series, knowing that her decisions were always based on her strength of character and her bravery.

Katniss Everdeen
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Ah Katniss. She is definitely one of my favorite female characters because, let's be honest. Not many of us would be able to survive a real Hunger Games, but Katniss did - twice. Because she rocks. She is a provider and survivor by nature and you see that right from the beginning where she is providing for her family after her father's death. She hunts with a bow & arrow. She even goes against the norm to protect others in the hunger games as well. She risks her life for others. She is definitely hardened by her circumstances and she doesn't make friends easily and she comes off as harsh to many, but I found that when she did develop relationships that they were that much more rewarding because they had been earned. She had worked through difficulties with others to have a meaningful relationship, whether that was Cinna, Gale, Peeta or even Effie. She is rebellious, brave and defiant, but she stands up for others and her bravery proves beneficial for anyone around her in the end.

Hermione Granger
The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

Who doesn't love Hermione?? She is bossy and loud, but intelligent, loyal, brave and endearing. She is a rule-follower, but she is clever and adapting and proves herself a valuable person to have on your team. She is talented and gifted with great magical ability. She is a great friend and proves to be one of the most loving and reliable members of the main trio. I enjoyed seeing her growth over 7 novels. That is one of my favorite thing about a long-running series - that you get to know the characters and you see them grow up and you grow with them. Hermione is one that grew up as I did and getting to experience that journey was one of the most rewarding experiences of my reading past.


TV

Buffy
Buffy the Vampire Slayer

I absolutely love Buffy the Vampire Slayer. I know it's a cult favorite so it wasn't exactly mainstream, but I enjoyed every single episode I watched. Buffy reluctantly accepts her role as Slayer in the beginning of the series and over the course of each season she grows to better accept her role and her calling as the Chosen One. This doesn't come without many moments of questioning or self-doubt, but she proves a fiercely brave and independent hero. She managed to fight all kinds of baddies, but keep her keen fashion sense and hairstyles. She was adorable, but she was also fierce. She was probably the most combat-able character on the show. My other favorite thing about the show and the character of Buffy was that through the fantasy storylines, they explored real issues and I got to see Buffy experience love, loss, bullying, and maneuver through friendship and fighting. She wasn't always perfect, she wasn't always put-together, but she always made it through.

Movies

Mulan
Mulan & Mulan 2

Yes I am the mother of 2 girls and so yes I watch a lot of Disney movies. My favorite Disney heroines are overcame great obstacles to show their bravery & independence (oh wait that's all of them). Mulan was a great example of this because she takes on the role of protector for her family when her father is called to service in the Chinese army. She pretends to be a man because a woman wouldn't be allowed in that role and by doing so, she proves to be just as (if not more) adept that the men she is fighting alongside. Her bravery and courage are truly admirable and I love that my girls enjoy watching this movie!

Merida
Brave

Merida is one of the newest princesses and I loved the movie from the first time I saw it! I love that there isn't even a love story in it. Merida's goal is to be allowed to choose her own future and to save her mother when she is in trouble. Merida isn't perfect and she is shown to make poor choices when she is angry, but she learns so much throughout the movie and her relationship with her mom is the main relationship in the movie. Her bravery is again her most admirable quality.

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