Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by those kick-ass ladies over at The Broke and The Bookish. This week we’re talking about the kick-assedness (yes, it’s a word) of some of our favorite heroines.
Here are my absolute favs:
1. Frankie Landau Banks, The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks– Butt kickers are fabulous, but give me a girl who uses her incredible smarts to take over the all-boys secret society at her school (because she didn’t like being excluded) AND who makes up words like gruntled (the opposite of disgruntled. How can you be disgruntled and not be gruntled?) any day. This girl is bright, she’s funny and yet she’s still awkward and so realistic what with her insecurities and the fact that she cares too much what her lame-o boyfriend thinks, but every girl should aspire to find their inner Frankie.
2. Mia Thermopolis, The Princess Diaries– She may be awkward and shy, but this girl knows what she wants, she knows what she needs to do, and she always, always finds a way to do it. Again, Mia is not the girl who’s going to beat everyone up or who will finish the race first, but she overcomes huge obstacles, she ends up living out her adolescence in view of a watching world, she (spoiler alert) brings democracy to a country that has never known it AND she even figures out a way to get her prom-hater boyfriend to put on a tux and take her to his senior prom. Mia’s got it all in the bag, she just doesn’t know it.
3. Katsa, Graceling– She’s a more fierce heroine. Katsa is skilled with the gift of killing people. She’s an assassin for an evil king. She’s fearless. And when she has to forsake her king (she knows he’s bad news) and do the right thing, she does it without question. And finally, Katsa isn’t the girl who needs the fairytale ending to live happily ever after. She chose a different path than I would have, but she made that decision unapologetically and I love her for it. She is what feminism is about (not because of the choice she made, but because she went against the grain and did what she wanted).
4. Katniss, The Hunger Games– Well, if she’s not bad-ass then I don’t know who is. She saved her sweet little sister from The Games, she saved Peeta and she gave President Snow the ultimate inyourface (at the end of the first games). While the series didn’t end perfectly, and Lord knows this girl dumb as a hammer when it comes to guys, I always admired her strength. Had I been in her position, I would have hidden in a tree and cried until someone captured me. But not Katniss. Hell no.
5. Isaboe, Finnikin of The Rock– What a fabulous book, with a stellar story and an unbelievably good romance. Isaboe showed such bravery and such passion. She was absolutely my favorite character in that book, both for her willingness do anything to see their home restored and for her love for Finnikin. This girl is fierce while still maintaining such grace in the face of tragedy and against seemingly insurmountable odds.
6. Taylor Markham, Jellicoe Road– Taylor has a side to her that is recklessly devoted in her love for Hannah (her caretaker) and her mother. It’s this drive that pushes her to find answers about her life and her family. And it’s this relentless love/hate thing she has for Jonah Griggs, one of the biggest bad-ass literary guys ever, that is a beautiful perk in the story of a girl who so desperately needs her mom. It seems simple and yet there is so much to this painfully flawed girl.
7. Clary Fray, The Mortal Instruments series- Clary is willing to go to those dark corners and creepy places I would never dare to. She wants to fight as a Shadow Hunter, a life that was at one time foreign to her. She’ll do anything to protect her family, her best friend Simon or her loverboy Jace (and you would too). And even though she’s tiny, I have a feeling she could kick your butt and mine.
8. Jane Eyre– The ultimate feminist chick before feminist chicks were in existence. And Jane isn’t in your face about it. She doesn’t have to preach about not needing a man or a family. She loves Mr. Rochester, despite the odds. And yet, even though it’s so painful, she leaves his home because she needs to; she has to. It’s the only option for someone like her (someone with morals, someone with integrity and self-respect). And she proves to herself that she can make it without him, she just likes life better with him. I love that story.
9. Elizabeth Bennet, Pride and Prejudice– A poor girl who wanted to marry for love in a time when marrying for love didn’t happen very often. AND she was willing to turn down not one but two marriage proposals, one from a super-hot, extremely rich Mr. Darcy (because he was rude and deserved a big SO THERE). She was a lady in every way and yet she never failed to say exactly what was on her mind.
10. Viola, The Chaos Walking series- Oh this poor girl who orphaned from the moment the story begins. Though she doesn’t know Todd, the young boy who is shocked to find her outside of town, she decides to trust him. They aren’t even sure they like each other, but they each have a common goal: to get away from Prentisstown and the people who seek to kill them both. Throughout this series, both Todd and Viola risk life and limb for each other, but I especially love Viola, how even though she can hear every thought racing through Todd’s head, how even when they are separated and Todd does some questionable things, she believes in his goodness and she’ll do anything to save him. I’d love to see this girl when she grows into a woman because I know she’s be amazing.