This week's Top Ten Tuesday on The Broke and the Bookish is: Favourite Literary Heroines. I often have trouble cataloguing the books I've read and characters I've met in my mind. But there are always those few brilliant characters who stick with you as if they were flesh and blood. Here are a few of mine:
Cassandra Mortmain from I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith
This is one of the most whimsical, quirky, heart-warming stories I've ever read. And I've read it several times. It's the lesser-known book by the author of 101 Dalmations, but I think it had more of an impact on me than most books I read as a teenager.
Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling
Well I mean come on. Who doesn't love Hermione? She's smart, brave, loyal and punches Malfoy in the nose. Best. Moment. Ever.
Hazel Grace from The Fault In Our Stars by John Green
When I was 13, after several weeks of getting sicker and sicker, I was diagnosed with diabetes. It's not cancer, but it still sucked. I remember waking up in hospital, I remember the worry etched on my parents' faces. I remember realizing my life would never be the same again, and that this medical condition would irrevocably change me. But I still can't imagine going through what Hazel Grace and her family did. It takes incredible courage, and I will forever be in awe of Hazel Grace and Augustus Waters.
Deuce from the Razorland series by Ann Aguirre
She's a total badass, and not only that, but she's a believable badass. I loved her character development and that she never gave up being a warrior, even when those around her didn't value her abilities. She's a great role model and her stories were epic.
Veronica Mars from the Veronica Mars series by Rob Thomas and Jennifer Graham
I mean, honestly. This girl is my fictional best friend. I love her spunk, her witty repartee, her friendships and her skills. MAD skills. I basically wish I WAS her.
Tiffany from The Silver Linings Playbook by Matthew Quick
I wasn't sure about Tiffany at first. It took a while to understand where she was coming from and why she was behaving the way she did. But in the end, I was won over. Life isn't easy. Sometimes you feel like it has broken you, or that you don't have anything left to fight for. But somehow you have to find the strength to go on living, even if in doing so you alienate those who have never been where you are. The trick is not to apologize for your dreams, to find people worth your loyalty, and not to let the tough moments in life beat you.
Laureth Peak from She Is Not Invisible by Marcus Sedgwick
This chick flew halfway around the world to look for her missing dad... and she's a teenage blind girl with a little brother to take care of. She's brave, she's tough, and she is definitely someone you'd want on your side.
Matilda Wormwood from Matilda by Roald Dahl
I fell in love with Matilda when I first read the book as a child. She was one of the first reflections of myself I found in literature. Her story was inspirational and she's a wonderful role model for book-loving young girls.
Anne Shirley from the Green Gables series by L.M. Montgomery
Oh, Anne. Sometimes too hot-headed for your own good, often doing silly things because you refuse to let anyone get the better of you, and half the time living in a different world created entirely by your imagination. One of my first literary best friends, and always a favourite.
Coraline from Coraline by Neil Gaiman
It's been a long time since I read Coraline, but I remember being really impressed with how well Gaiman captures the character of young Coraline. She's adventurous, brave and spunky.
There are so many more literary female characters over the years who have come to life as I read and have become part of my mental landscape (Trixie Belden, Nancy Drew, Harriet the Spy, Sara Crewe, Austen's ladies...). Role models and kindred spirits, I will always be grateful to their authors for making my world a bit more vivid, and at times, a lot more bearable.
What about you guys? Which heroines struck a chord and stayed with you? Share in the comments!