August 31, 2010

Top Ten Tuesday: Heroines

The "Top Ten Tuesday" meme is hosted by The Broke and The Bookish. I don't know that I can really choose ten favorites so consider these just ten awesome heroines.

So, in no particular order...

1.) Tally from the Uglies series - She's flawed, for sure, but she's got so many great qualities - she's gutsy, she cares about justice and making her world better, she never gives up. She's a fighter. And even in the futuristic world Westerfeld creates, with all the transformations Tally goes through, somehow the reader can still really identify with her.

2.) Elinor Dashwood from Sense and Sensibility - She's a quiet heroine, but she endures a lot of hardship without any complaint. See my "Character Connection" for a more in-depth analysis of why I like her character.

3.) Isi (or Ani, she goes by both) from The Goose Girl - I love many things about this book, but Isi's character is one of them. She's strong in a way that isn't showy, she cares deeply about her friends, and she can speak with the wind and animals! Also, even though she's royalty, she doesn't think twice about hiding out as a goose girl and mingling with the lower classes (indeed, she's quite happy to make friends with them).

4.) Sophie from Howl's Moving Castle - Because after being turned into an old woman waaaaay before her time, Sophie grows a backbone and figures out who she is and where she belongs. And she doesn't give up on Howl even when he's at his most disagreeable.

5.) Ella from Ella Enchanted - I loved this book so much when I was younger (and still do!) I always thought that poor Ella had to endure a heck of a lot under that curse of obedience, but she has a lot of spunk and gets her happy ending eventually!

6.) Beauty from Beauty - Wow, this is my third fairytale retelling on this list. Anyway, Beauty's a great character because she deals with a lot of insecurities her readers can relate to (for instance, having the nickname "Beauty" when she doesn't believe she's remotely pretty). She does have some faults, but her love for her family really stands out. Also, she reacts to events in ways that are realistic; she shies away from the Beast for quite a while before she begins to trust him, and she is often homesick despite the lavish furnishings of the Beast's castle.

7.) Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre -  From early on in life Jane had to learn to protect herself, so it's a treat to see how she allows herself to gradually open up to Mr. Rochester. I've encountered some criticism of Jane (especially when she runs off) but I think she can be admired for sticking to her guns and not allowing herself to be persuaded into doing something she believes is morally wrong. She loves Mr. Rochester, but if she had stayed with him I think she would have ended up feeling terribly guilty and resenting him because of it. And hey, she comes back and it all works out in the end!

8.) Daine from the Immortals series - At first I thought of Alanna, but she gets a lot of attention anyway, and Daine is awesome in her own way. She's not a noble and doesn't pretend to be anything that she isn't; she's down-to-earth and very real. Daine's extremely loyal and protective of her friends (human and animal alike), and while she's normally pretty cool and collected, if you threaten them, watch out!

These last two are more childhood favorites than current ones, but I thought they deserved some recognition:

9.) Alice from the Alice series - I absolutely adored this series when I was younger. It's still ongoing, in fact (I think there are just a few more books before the final one) but I haven't been enjoying the most recent additions quite so much. Perhaps it's because I've grown at a faster rate than Alice! In any case, Alice is an extremely relateable protagonist; she gets into lots of scrapes and embarrassing moments and the reader winces right along with her when she does. She's a fabulous friend, and she goes through all sorts of phases that teens do as she tries to decide who she is and what she wants out of life.

10.) Anna from From Anna (lol) - Jean Little used to be one of my favorite authors, and From Anna one of my most worn books (seriously, pages falling out from use). It's a simple story but a sweet one, and it's easy to sympathize with Anna as she struggles to show her family a side of her they all seem to overlook. Also, Anna learns the power and value of literacy in this novel, and as a reader it's always wonderful to see that!


  1. I considered Elinor, somehow forgot about Jane Eyre and need to read about Daine! I loved the Song of the Lioness quartet and have this series on my to-read list.

  2. I haven't yet read Sense and Sensibility but have seen the most recent film adaption and on the 'Which Austen heroine are you?' quiz online I got her. I definitely want to read it as part of the JA challenge I'm participating in. Beauty is an unusual but very worthy heroine pick too.
    Lovely list!

  3. I thought about Daine as well, but thought that would be too many Pierce books, so I chose Alanna- my first favorite. And I totally forgot about Isi! She should definitely be on my list-what a wonderful character.

  4. Elinor Dashwood is a good choice, and is Jane Eyre. I can't comment on the others because I haven't read any of the books, but I am sure they are fine choices.

  5. Tally is a good pick! I only read the Uglies but I really thought she was a good character with a head on her shoulders!

  6. I went through an Immortals phase where that was the only thing I ever read. As much as I enjoyed reading Alanna, I wanted to BE Daine. I would have some serious talks with my dog and then run off and join a monkey colony :)
    Great picks!

  7. Egads, if I keep reading these things and I actually go back and change my list because I forgot to add someone, my list will be way longer than ten. I love Isi in Goose Girl. Face it, I love that book. (Unfortunate title, however.)

  8. Great list!! I should really read the Uglies series!

  9. Dude, you are so my hero for the HMC shout out. It's absolutely my favorite book (well, co-favorite with P&P), and I was kinda sad that it doesn't seem to be popping up more on these Top Ten lists. *hi5*

    I need to read more Tamora Pierce D: everyone's talking about Alanna (and now Daine!) this round, lol.


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