Friday, February 20, 2015

Top 5 Most Influential Female Book Characters

You know the whole spiel about empowering woman and young girls so that we're not easily taken down and we are able to stand up for ourselves. I think, altogether, it's such a great cause because yes (don't take this into offense) but women and girls are easily knocked down. I think authors play a huge part in empowering women and girls because their female characters embody the soul of a true leader and an empowered women. We can only learn from these authors and highlight that matter. So in honor of that I'm here to do a post that is kind of serious and from the heart. 

When someone says "like a girl" they don't realize the power in their words and how hurtful they can really be. These words shouldn't be said and no one, and I mean no one, knows your limits but yourself. They don't know what you can and can't do. SO without further ado, here are the top 5 book characters that have empowered me to strive to become a better women. 

Alex's Top 5 Most Influential Female Characters 

1. Tris from Divergent
We all know the story of Tris from the Divergent series and movie. She's an outcast who is looked down upon by the highest people in society because of what she is. She knows she's different and she knows that she will be seen differently by other people, but does she let that bother her? Heck no. She fights. For what she loves and who she wants to be. Tris has no limits because she knows who she is. She's selfless, kind, brave, and everything else in between! 

2. Celaena Sardothien from Throne of Glass
This one is a given. If you probably don't know I'm insanely obsessed with the Throne of Glass series and Celaena is one of the most kick-butt characters to ever hit the shelves (if you know what I mean). 

3. Bianca from The DUFF
I think Bianca is placed in one of the most terrible and hardest situations: High School and just being a teenager around bullying and constant name-calling. She was just an unwavering person throughout the book because she didn't let any of the name-calling or rough stuff get to her. You go girl! 

4. Princess Lia from The Kiss of Deception
I recently just read The Kiss of Deception and fell in love with Lia's character. She was a royal princess so you would think she would be arrogant and pampered, but she wasn't! She was the exact opposite actually. Lia was unlike any other character in all the books I've read and she, for a lack of a better term, broke the meta for female characters ever. She wasn't snooty or self-absorbed, not even in the slightest.

5. Hazel Grace from The Fault in Our Stars
This is also a given because Hazel Grace is such an important icon in the "book-world". She's also a great example of a very intelligent young woman. She's a young women in love with literature and gosh she's just so strong as a cancer fighter. I admire her so much for embracing her beauty!

Dee's Top 5 Most Influential Female Book Characters

This is really hard to just think of 5 and the "most" is kinda making me nervous but I really just have so many and have to add that this is just one reason I love books. As a young woman / middle aged woman/ old woman —it doesn't matter you can always find that strong female character that may have defects (as we all do) but has a strength in which you, as an individual have always admired. That's the wonderful thing that fiction can do for us as women and these are just a few of the books that have helped influence me along the way… (I tried to stick with YA but went a bit out of range  too). ;) 

1. Annabeth Chase from Heroes of Olympus 
She wields a knife. To be good with a knife you have to be, like, the best. To wield a knife in battle you need to get so close to your enemy that it's very dangerous and that's why people choose swords or other weaponry. The fact that Annabeth is introduced from the first book as a knife-wielding battle demigod daughter of Athena (she's smart, folks) just had me seriously swooning with pride. Annabeth is perhaps one of the best fictional characters for young women to look up to. She's smart, snarky, can literally kick every guys' butt — and doesn't just "fall" for Percy and become a damsel. She makes him work so hard to prove himself to her, and she doesn't lose herself along the way. Oh, and she's blonde. Way to tackle even one more stereotype and shove it back on it's ass, Riordan. This is why WE LOVE YOU. :L

2. Ingrid from The Dispossessed series
I just love Ingrid because although she doesn't have any "demon" powers or wasn't bitten by any magical beast, she still fights. Her sister may have powers, but she just has gumption and courage. That courage is a major influential component for me. I feel like courage in women is something that needs to be celebrated and can't be exemplified enough. All around the world women are courageous and we (men and women) don't think it's anything to celebrate. Sometimes we forget that every day women are standing up to their abusers and their rapists. This is courage and although in this particular book the courage is in the form of literally taking a huge knife, with absolutely NO powers or "know-how" and trying to save her sister's life by gutting a demon and having his green blood flow all over her dress (she's in France in the 1800s). That is badass, that is courage. And I love it. :O

3. Cinder from Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer
The reason I have to list Cinder here is pretty simple. She doesn't fit the mold. Like Alex said before about stereotypes and the damage they can do to women — Cinder is a perfect example of that fight to eradicate those stereotypes. Maybe it helps that it takes place in the future, idk. But I can't wait because I really love reading about Cinder. She's a cyborg, she's a mechanic. She is a fierce and loyal woman who stands up for herself and is just…brilliant. I love that she is a mechanic and her hands are greasy and that is just her thing. All women need to have "a thing" and It's SO HARD for women who's "thing" is a male-saturated hobby/profession/sport. Think: football, engineer, mechanic, etc. Women are just as capable of doing all these things, but face so many difficulties that even if we research them unless we are there we don't know what they are overcoming and if they are supported enough. Simply reading that Cinder is like this and it's cool, it's not big deal is just inspiring to me. :D

4. Hermione Granger from Harry Potter by JK Rowling
Hermione was the "teacher's pet" "smart girl" character who didn't have many friends. We've seen it all before, both in real life and in movies and books. Rowling took this typical stereotype and made it inspiring and therefore influential. Hermione said to me, said to our gender, that it's OKAY to be smart. It's OKAY to be the most brilliant [girl] in your co-ed class. That being smart wasn't something to be ashamed of. This is something that I definitely dealt with as a kid—that embarrassment, trying not to seem "too smart" in front of other classmates. One of the only times I ever got bullied was when I used big vocabulary words in fifth grade. This was a big issue and hot button for me, and it was during this time and prior (of course after too) that I just clung to books, even though I did have friends, I clung to books because only in books was it okay to be smart and be a woman (in my elementary school I didn't see examples of that in any other form). 
I think many of us deal with this in some way or another? Whether we are smart in music or math or english or everything—there is that fear of drawing too much attention, and therefore criticism from that. Especially because as women we are trained not to outshine men. It might make them feel badly. It might make them feel emasculated. Well, F that
Hermione Granger did it best, and she is my hero to this day. 

5. Ayesha from She by Rider H. Haggard
I had to pick just a classic character (nonYA) just because this was the first really influential strong female character I had read that was fully fleshed out. If you haven't read this book, I can't recommend it enough. It's an obscure classic but really an excellent story. She is just a mysterious immortal like woman who basically rules a kingdom as bravely, ruthlessly, and more successfully than any man. It's a brilliant novel and I just really looked up to her because with all of that she had, (which was a tagline when they made it into a film) Drew nations to their height and made men drop to their knees" I mean… :b


Who are your most influential female book characters? 


author image

Alex

is a book-hoarding, binge-eating anime lover that loves to read and write on her free time. When she hasn't got her head stuck in an enthralling fantasy novel, she's outside collecting rocks or re-organizing her bookshelves for the 100th time. Alex also has nightmares of her TBR pile falling down and crushing her underneath.

13 comments :

  1. Sorry I have to disagree with you about Bianca from The Duff. I have no problem with sex, but I had a big problem with the fact that she had sex with a guy she hated. It made no sense.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. LOL That's alright. I didn't like that part either, like I had no idea why she would even do that when she kept calling him a manslut xD. Excuse my French. But I thought just her character and how she overcame the four letter word. I totally understand where you're coming from though :D

      Delete
  2. I personally loved Tris from Divergent, it was such a fantastic series & I loved her characters as well. I loved reading your answers as well, great post :) xBenish | Feminist Reflections

    ReplyDelete
  3. Yes! Go Tris! And Hazel Grace! Herman + Cinder :) Love your choices. Very interesting post.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Haha thanks. Have to read Cinder :P

      Delete
  4. Yes yes yesss to Celaena, Annabeth and Hermoine. But to all of them really, because girls are awesome ;)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Truer words have never been spoken :D

      Delete
  5. What a fantastic idea for a post and love all the discussion. Hermione, definitely. I love that she makes it cool to be smart. I was on board with Tris until she became so selfless that she ... okay I won't say in case someone doesn't know. But great post, ladies!
    Jen @ YA Romantics

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yeah I put Tris because she herself is a representation of a mix of all the factions and the fact that she... just makes her all the more brave and selfless actually. She's such an unwavering character that I think most people look up to :D

      Delete
  6. I love that Hermione Granger made one of the lists. I really need to read Kiss of Deception.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I need to read it too lol, you're not alone :k

      Delete
  7. HERMIONE YESSSSS TOTAL INSPIRATION FO ME

    ReplyDelete

Leave a comment! We appreciate every single comment!