You may well be thinking I am being ridiculous, trying to whittle down the vast array of heroines into one measly “top ten” list. And you would be right, it is ridiculous. But let’s have a go anyway… I’ve tried to be unpredictable here and there… (in no order of importance)
- Jennifer Jones, Looking for JJ
This girl isn’t what you would call a conventional heroine. Basically she killed her friend when she was ten and we see her life six years later as she attempts to integrate back into society under a false identity. Needless to say things are not easy for Jennifer however I loved the way that even though she did this beyond horrible thing I still empathised with her. She actually seemed like quite a nice person.
2. Minny Jackson, The Help
This is my favorite character in The Help. Every time she is on the page it glows with humour, passion, bravery and rebellion. She tells everyone how things are and makes no apologies for that. I wish she could be my BFF.
3. Artemis, Greek Mythology
My favorite goddess by a country mile. She’s the best in all of mythology with a bow and arrow, she’s a full on virgin and only hangs out with other virgins, in woods, surrounded by deer. How cool is she? (P.S. there is no actual such thing a ‘full on virgin’).
4. Elizabeth Bennett, Pride and Prejudice
The predictability of this choice makes it no less worthy, I tell thee! Elizabeth is sparky in all the right places. That sounds a bit rude but what I mean is she gives as good as she gets and can play verbal tennis with the best of them – all done politely of course – and she can win. She’s also a bookworm and writes fabulous letters.
5. Bella Swan, Twilight
I put this in here for a reason: to be contentious. No! I put this in here because I feel like Bella has been given a hard time, way harder than she deserves. I’ve heard many arguments as to why she is an unworthy heroine including the fact that she is madly in love with a vampire. And? She’s got a lot on her plate and it’s not her fault she is also attractive to a hot werewolf. I think her voice in the books is not just moany-whingy. It is also eloquent and relatable. Stephanie Meyer can write and I wish she would write more books quite frankly. Stephanie got a generation of girls reading and there’s no point turning around now and being all “too too” about it.
6. Katniss Everdeen, Hunger Games
I’m not going to make this list without Katniss am I? She is the perfect reluctant hero. All she really cares about is her sister, Peeta and Gale but through all the crap that goes down she is the one that has to deal with the whole society and put a stop to all the nonsense, but it isn’t particularly because she sets out to do that. She just kind of ends up handling it all.
7. Honey, The Patron Saint of Butterflies
Honey is one half of the friendship that this book is about. Agnes and Honey are brought up in a religious commune where some weird crap is happening. Honey is rebelling whilst Agnes is desperately trying to stay holy. It is Honey who has her eyes open and despite the fact that she makes a hash of it a lot of the time, she is a very active force in helping put a stop to the weird crap.
8. Rachel Watson, The Girl on The Train
This girl is in many ways cretinous – she’s a drunk, she’s creepy and sad however all the way through the book I am completely on her side and I want her to win so badly. She sort of empitomises the loneliness of modern day life in cities but at the same time she is, again, underneath it all quite a nice person.
9. Eva Khatchadourian, We Need To Talk About Kevin
A worst nightmare scenario happens to this woman, basically her son turns out to be a mass murderer, going on a killing spree at his school. Eva is another highly imperfect heroine. She never really wants to be a Mum and all the worst possible scenarios of Motherhood happen to her. And yet her voice is utterly compelling. She is chilling in her outlook and the way she talks about things is fascinating. This is one hell of a masterfully drawn character.
10. Matilda, Matilda
My favourite Roald Dahl character and that is saying something because I love them all. Matilda is the original book geek. She’s the female bibliophile who if she were a bit older and had an iPhone would be instagramming like mad all her latest reads.