Let's Talk: My Favourite Kickass Literary Heroines

Friday, May 10, 2013




Let's Talk is a new weekly feature here at i swim for oceans. I think it's important that we all have our say, and there's something to be said for raising our voices. Simply put, here on the little old blog, I like to host some of my very own discussion posts because, well, I like to converse with you all.

And so, Let's Talk will feature questions or prompts, which I will answer, too. Love it or hate it, weigh in or don't, it's my hope that Let's Talk will at least get you thinking...and maybe even get you discussing with the rest of us!
Question: Who are some of your favourite kickass literary heroines?

This is one of those questions that I could literally give you probably 100 or more answers. I'm not kidding. There are THAT many empowering female protagonists out there that make me want to sing their praises. And no, Bella Swan is not one of them. Sorry. When I look for an outstanding literary heroine, I look for someone that embodies humanity, humility, courage under fire and a sense of integrity that, let's be real, a lot of female characters seem to lack these days in YA. Rather than go off on a tangent thought, without further ado, here are some of my favourite kickass female characters.

Ok, before I go any further, I have to state that absolutely no list would really be complete without Hermione Granger on it. This is the girl that I grew up reading about. She is fierce, driven, fiery, hot-headed at times, intelligent, compassionate and loyal to all her friends and those she loves. Hermione is tested by the drama of her teen years, as is every single teenage girl out there, but she rises above it and remains strong and solid in her convictions and her dedication to her friends and cause throughout. Above all else though, reading about Hermione made me look within myself at times and wonder just how I might react in her circumstances. And, throughout the Harry Potter series, we watch as she grows into a remarkable witch with incredible courage.

I put off reading the Vampire Academy series for a very long time because I was a bit jaded by the bitter taste that Twilight and Bella Swan left in my mouth. Frankly, I just didn't want to read another vampire book in which a girl falls prey to swoon-worthy men and loses herself in the process. I couldn't have been more wrong about Rose Hathaway though. Seriously...this girl is on fire (cue song). She has one hell of a temper, she's sassy as all get out, and when she falls for Dimitri, she doesn't become a blundering, withering bimbo. Rather, she gets feistier than ever. Amen, sister. This girl is a no-holds-barred, badass fighter that stands up for what she wants and believes in, and she doesn't back down. Ever. Now that's a heroine after my own heart.

I could give you an endless list of kickass female characters, but I'll give you a few more of my most honourable mentions just to plant a bug in your ear (ie...read these books!) Yalith from Many Waters is a subtly fierce heroine with strong convictions and even stronger beliefs. Mara Dyer of The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer is one messed up girl, but she's a total badass (albeit slightly nuts). Annabeth from Percy Jackson and the Olympians is the perfect heroine for younger teens everywhere to look up to...and she's sassy! And, because I think heroines can be in contemporary fiction, too, I have to include Maggie from Leaving Paradise because she overcomes so much and learns to forgive and move on. 
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19 comments:

  1. I could not agree more with you about Hermione She embodies everything I expect in a good YA heroine. It doesn't hurt any that I love Emma Watson. Have you seen her in Perks of Being a Wallflower? OMG! Now she is AMAZING.

    Rose though. I have always had issues with Rose. She is too loyal to the point where she is a doormat for people that don't see her worth and it drives me insane.

    Great topic! I couldn't limit it to 1 either.

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  2. I still haven't picked up the Vampire Academy series yet, I know everyone keeps telling me to get onto it, but now that you've mentioned Rose I think I will have to get onto it a lot more sooner. I absolutely adore Hermione, she has everything I love about a kickass character. A few more of my favourites include Allie from The Immortal Rules, Cassie from The 5th Wave and Penryn from Angelfall. Thanks for your great recs too Melissa :)

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  3. Oh, yes, Allie is such an awesome character! And definitely give the Vampire Academy series a go. I resisted forever because I was positive it would be all fluff, but it is GOOD!

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  4. I totally agree on Emma Watson! And I can see where you're coming from with Rose, and while I agree that, at times, she is walked all over, I do think she gets stronger as we get to know her better!

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  5. Good post :-)
    I think Hester from the Mortal Engines books is a wonderful and unusual female character: grim, distrustful, horribly disfigured - but still gets her guy :-D
    I won't add spoilers about her life further down the line, but she continues to grow and change. Not everything about her is admirable, but she is certainly strong, determined and interesting.

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  6. Oh, Hester is such a great choice - I like it when they break the mold! Thanks for weighing in! :)

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  7. If a story has a kickass character, I'm in. Hermione is, of course, my favorite but there are so many great characters out there that I love to root for!

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  8. There definitely are a TON! Kickass women are something worth hoping for in every book!

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  9. Oh yes, you can't not love Hermione Granger! I love that she's a badass not necessarily in a " I'm going to kick your ass with my bare hands" kind of way but rather in a "I'm smarter than you, so watch as I kick your ass with the brilliance of my mind and my spells" kind of way. Love her.

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  10. haha YES, exactly. Love her. Want to be her. Obvs.

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  11. Rose! I love that chick. Also Katiniss we can't forget about her.

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  12. How in the world did I forget about Katniss?! So true, Savy!

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  13. Oh yes, SO agree with you on Rose and Hermione. Katniss, Katsa, and Tris are some more favorites of mine. Fabulous post! :-)

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  14. Just stopping by to say Hi! And that you have a new follower here! Hope to see you follow mine as well!

    Amber

    http://paradiseofpages.blogspot.com/2013/05/feature-and-follow-friday-favorite.html

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  15. Thank you! Oh yes, Katniss should definitely be right up there, along with Tris!

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  16. Yes, yes, to Hermione. I have to admit. I have only read the first Vampire Academy book so I don't know a lot about Rose.....Also, Ismae and Sybella from Grave Mercy and Dark Triumph!

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  17. Hermione Granger is one of my favorite YA characters EVER. I truly think that we'd be best buddies if we ever met in real life. I admired her for how she grew up as the series progressed - she's AMAZING.


    Seeing your thoughts on Rose immediately made me want to read the Vampire Academy series, even though I've been having my doubts. We shall see what comes of that ;)

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  18. I LOVE Annabeth because she's not the same type as every other heroine out there. I like that a lot of hers comes from smarts and wisdom but not in the same way as Hermione, you know?


    Also, I've avoided all vampire novels, practically, but I'm glad to hear that Rose is a lot better than Bella Swan!


    Also, I'm going to do this. Sometime this week. I just have to consider who I'm picking...

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  19. I wanted to be Hermione since I was six, when I first met her. She was so like me in many ways and I loved (still do) her for who she was. As Ron says, Ron and Harry "wouldn't last two days without her!"

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