Afterwords: Top 5 Heroines

Once upon a time, I wrote a blog post that was appropriately titled “Top 5 Heroines.” It was, as you might guess, a list of my favorite heroines from books. Now, even though I wrote that blog post three years ago, I still stand by it. There were some really awesome female characters on that list: June Iparis from the Legend trilogy, Cammie Morgan from Gallagher Girls, Deryn Sharp from the Leviathan trilogy, Reyna Ramirez-Arellano from The Heroes of Olympus, and Stargirl from Stargirl.

But I also wrote that blog post three years ago. I’ve read (and re-read) a lot of books since then, and I’ve fallen in love with both new characters and old. So while I still love and adore all of the ladies on my original list, I thought it was a good time to show some appreciation for a few of my other favorite heroines.

June Iparis

Legend by Marie Lu

I’m allowing myself one returning character, because I just finished re-reading (listening, actually) to the Legend trilogy, and there’s a lot about June that I haven’t really noticed before. In my original post, I said that I liked June because she’s determined, smart, independent, resourceful, and a strong leader. All of those things are true. After reading her story again though, I’ve noticed something else – she isn’t perfect.

Despite being the Republic’s prodigy, June has a lot of flaws. She’s grown up sheltered and privileged, and sometimes that makes her a pretentious know-it-all. When June finally gets exposed to the Republic’s dark side, she isn’t sure how to reconcile her loyalty with the injustices she sees. This causes conflicts between her and Day, the series’ male protagonist who grew up in the Republic’s poor sectors. All in all, June has a lot of growing to do, and that’s what I like about her. She learns that she doesn’t have it all figured out, and she becomes better because of it.

Annabeth Chase

Percy Jackson & The Olympians series by Rick Riordan

There was a phase in my life where I thought “wow, liking Annabeth is such a cliche” and I’m glad I’m past that now. Looking back, I think Annabeth is one of the first female characters I encountered that could certainly hold her own in a fight, but was so much more too. Her intelligence is her biggest asset, and as a young nerd/geek/dork, I loved seeing a smart girl be presented in a positive way. And Annabeth never apologizes for being smart, either – in fact, her knowledge is usually what keeps Percy and the other characters from getting killed by monsters.


The Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer

The Lunar Chronicles is full of women with diverse personalities and skills, but Cress is by far my favorite. She’s the youngest of the cast and certainly the smallest, so she’s hardly a physical threat (unlike, say, Cinder or Scarlet). When we first meet her, she’s sheltered and naive. While Cress does grow as the series continues, she still retains her soft and shy demeanor, which is why she’s my favorite. She doesn’t have to be brave or outspoken to be “strong” – she asserts herself in other ways. Cress might be a stereotypical damsel in distress at the beginning, but she’s also the best hacker around. I like that she shows there are other ways of being strong.

Maddie Brodatt

Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein

Listen, it was a hard choice between Maddie and Verity. On one hand, Verity is a hardcore spy for the Allies, but on the other hand, Maddie is a pilot who ends up helping the Resistance when she crashes her plane in the French countryside. Do you see my dilemma?

In all seriousness, I love Maddie and how down-to-earth she is throughout the novel. She’s practical, brave, and selfless. Her strengths perhaps aren’t as flashy as Verity’s, but Maddie does display a steady sort of strength, especially when it comes to making a difficult decision at the end of the novel.

(Really, I just want more fantastic historical fiction, that’s all.)

Inej Ghafa

Six of Crows and Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo

If I had to pick a word to describe Inej, it would be “resilient.” She grew up in a family of traveling acrobatic performers, but when she was in her early teens, she was kidnapped by slavers and forced into prostitution. When Kaz Brekker buys her freedom and recruits her for his gang, Inej accepts and becomes known as “The Wraith.”

Despite her hardships, Inej sticks to her principles – she maintains her family’s faith, which reveres a set of saints, and she isn’t afraid to stand up when she thinks Kaz or any of the other gang members are going too far. And Inej is always thinking of others, too – one of her goals is to one day have her own ship and crew so that she can hunt slavers and save other girls from having to meet the same fate she did.

Who are your favorite book heroines? Why? Let’s chat in the comments!

Until next time!

5 thoughts on “Afterwords: Top 5 Heroines

  1. I love Annabeth! I think I like Maddie too, but I don’t remember Code Name Verity very well. I am pretty sure Maddie was my favorite character though.
    Picking favorites is hard. A few that come to mind are Eoywn from The Lord of the Rings, Muggles from The Gammage Cup, Kate from The Perilous Gard, and Ella from Ella Enchanted (the book, not the movie). They all have different strengths which correspond to different weaknesses. None of them are perfect, and that’s what makes them interesting and real, but they are still awesome enough that you want to be like them.

    Liked by 1 person

    • To be honest, I had to look up Maddie’s name because all I could remember was “that really cool pilot girl!” Whoops.
      I love your list though! Sometimes it seems like characters are expected to be perfect and always have their life together, so it’s a treat to see flawed but strong characters. I can’t say I’ve read all of the books on your list, so I’ll have to check them out! Thanks for reading!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Inej Ghafa sounds DOPE! I’ve never even heard of those books. And I KNEW you were going to put Annabeth on there 😉 For me, I’ve got to go with the classic Hermione.
    When I was in 4th grade, someone asked if I was ready for the test and I said “yes! I’m so excited! I love tests!” and he laughed and said “Oh my gosh, you’re just like Hermione!” not “wow, you’re really weird. What a nerd.”
    Representation matters.

    Liked by 1 person

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