Our Top Ten Female Protagonists

Posted September 15, 2015 by Ely in Memes, Top Ten Tuesday / 39 Comments


Welcome to our latest Top Ten Tuesday post! This week is a freebie week, so we decided to talk about our top five female protagonists each since we all love a great female character and Ely and I both feel strongly about supporting women and being women and what not.


female protagonists
Batgirl/Barbara Gordon from Batgirl
For this, I’m referring to the Batgirl from Gail Simone’s run because it’s the only run I’ve read, and also the only DC comic I’ve ever read (Marvel 5ever). I like her because in this run you get to see her stuff up, you see her weak and vulnerable but then you see her seriously kick some ass. She made this list for a different reason though—before this series begins, Barbara has to teach herself to walk and fight again following an assault. This is something really close to my heart, because I had to learn to walk again when I was eight after some operations. I mean, I didn’t become a crime fighting bat but the sentiment is still there.

female protagonists (Art by Viria)
Annabeth Chase from Percy Jackson
Who doesn’t love Annabeth? She is such a great character, at least from what I’ve read so far (I’m only up to Mark of Athena so no spoilers please!) I love how fierce and intelligent she is—she doesn’t dumb herself down so that Percy will like her and I think that’s really important. Piper from The Lost Hero is a definite contender for this list too. I just love how Riordan writes his female characters, and his male ones, and just everything that man touches.

female protagonists
Nancy Drew from … Nancy Drew
Nancy Drew was maybe the second fictional character I ever fell in love with? I started reading these books mid-way through primary school because I’d already read everything else the library had to offer, and I instantly fell in love with them. Reading Nancy Drew is what led me to my love of Agatha Christie and crime/mystery novels in general, so I owe her a lot.

female protagonists

Violet Baudelaire from A Series of Unfortunate Events
And here is the first character I ever fell in love with. In fact, this was the series that got me into reading. I tend to fangirl about this a lot so I’m really sorry for those of you who have known me long enough to hear me gush about this more than a million times. Violet is an incredibly special character to me. I was probably about nine when I started reading this and I’d been having a pretty tough time. Enter Violet Baudelaire—an intelligent teenage female inventor. She became my role model because she didn’t care about fashion, or make-up or hair (neither did I) and that was okay! I also had a massive crush on her brother, Klaus, because he read and was super cute in the movie.

female protagonist

Liesel Meminger from The Book Thief

I was really struggling to come up with a fifth female protagonist that I loved. I was going to say Celaena Sardothien, but I don’t know how true that is anymore (not loving Queen of Shadows so far). Then I thought, wait, LIESEL. If you know me at all you know how much I love World War Two stories—and if you don’t, well it’s my favourite thing to read about. Liesel is an amazing character, she’s smart, she’s kind and she’s a bookworm. What else could you possibly want?


Penryn Young from Penryn and the End of Days trilogy: I look at Ely’s answers and see that they are all so poignant and I’m over here like “I like this character because she kicks ass”. I aint gonna lie to you all though, sometimes I like a character because they kick ass and there is nothing wrong with that. Penryn knows herself and is a natural leader. Her love for her sister drives her and she is smart and resilient, I wish I possessed as many of those qualities as her.


Paige Mahoney from The Bone Season series: Paige has been dragged through hell almost literally but she still continues to stand up for what is right (as right as can be considering her world) and what she thinks will be best for her kind. She is strong and smart and caring and cunning and OMG I JUST LOVE HER SO MUCH READ THIS SERIES.


Jennifer Walters aka She-Hulk : So like Ely said Marvel 5ever  and more specifically She-Hulk 5ever. I’m not sure what you guys know about SH but she is cousin to Bruce Banner aka The Hulk. She had to receive an emergency blood transfusion after and accident and Banner was the only one that could help. She then became SH , in the comics I have read SH is permanently green but in others she can transition from her normal self to SH. She is also a lawyer by day  and this is probably my fave thing about her. She is smart and strong and beautiful but she is also angry and stubborn. I like that she is a multifaceted character.


Matilda from…Matilda:  Roald Dahl  is basically the reason I got into reading. If I didn’t have The Witches and The BFG when growing up I don’t know where I would be, certainly not writing a book blog. Matilda was probably the biggest influence though, she was smart and a good friend and she did not let her enemies defeat her. AND SHE LOVED BOOKS, enough said. I think I have basically become her all I need is the power to move things with my mind.


Clara Gardener from The Unearthly trilogy: Clara has to live her life feeling like her path has already been chosen for her and being basically clueless about stopping it. But Clara has so much love to give no matter what is thrown at her, she tries her hardest  and sometimes makes mistakes but it is these qualities that make her so endearing and I wish I had a friend like Clara.




Who are some of your fave female book Characters? Do you agree with either of us? Let us know 🙂

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39 responses to “Our Top Ten Female Protagonists

  1. I really like your choice of topic for this week. Liesel is a brilliant addition to the list! Sorry to hear you aren’t loving QoS so far. I was a bit “meh” to begin with, but ended up loving it. Hope you find the same. Happy reading!

    • Ely

      I’m hoping it picks up, because I considered the first three as some of my favourite books. I’d be disappointed not to love this one too.

  2. This is such a great topic to discuss! I love all your choices as I have read most of the books you’ve mentioned and have heard of the rest that I haven’t, but my favorite would have to be Penryn, Annabeth, and Violet. I still have to read Unearthly! I’ve started it last year but I got busy and forgot to finish.

    • Ely

      Those three are pretty amazing. The first book isn’t the greatest, but both Michelle and I loved the next two!

  3. I love this topic ! I agree with most of your list, and I’m so glad Nancy Drew made it! I grew up with Nancy Drew, and she will always be one of my favourite heroines. Also, Annabeth Chase is a favourite of mine! I love it when there is a smart, strong female love interest in a novel!

    • Ely

      I don’t even see Annabeth as the love interest anymore. She’s so much more kickass than Percy, even though I love him too.

  4. What a great topic for the freebie! Off the top of my head my favorite female protagonists are: Lirael from The Abhorsen Trilogy by Garth Nix, Lauren Olamina from The Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler, and Kimber from the new Jem and the Holograms comic (this one may be temporary, but I just finished reading the first story arc and I’m crushing on Kimber a lot).

  5. YAY FOR ANNABETH CHASE. She’s definitely my favorite from that series. I never clicked with Piper, but I love Hazel Levesque. Violet and Liesel are also awesome 🙂 Great topic choice!

    Thanks for stopping by @ Spellbound!

  6. Great topic and you’ve come up with some excellent examples. I do love a good strong female role.
    Lynn 😀

  7. Ahhhhh, Nancy Drew! She definitely got me hooked on reading as a youngster. I remember going to the library each week and filling my bookbag until the seams were popping in order to take home the maximum number of mysteries I possibly could! I grew up in the Midwest with harsh winters, so curling up in a blanket with a cup of cocoa and a book was how I spent a LOT of my free time as a kid.

    • Michelle

      Me too, I own it and I was tempted to read it again on the weekend but didn’t for some reason. Maybe one day soon 🙂

  8. I haven’t read any of these books, well except for the first book in the Percy Jackson series, but I want to read the Batgirl series. I did the Top Ten Favorite Heroines back in February and I had Ms. Marvel on my top ten. She’s one of my more recent favorites.

  9. Love Clara and Matilda! And seriously, I have to get on with reading the Percy Jackson’s books, it’s driving me insane when everyone points out how great the characters and the adventures are, and I’m still in book three…
    I’m sorry you haven’t been enjoying Queen of Shadows, Ely, I really did, but I understand that it can go both ways, depending on which characters you’re most attached to.
    Thanks for stopping by my blog 🙂

  10. Jennifer @ Feminist Fairy Tale Reviews

    I love Barbara, Annabeth, Liesel, and Matilda as well! I’ve only read the first Unearthly book, but I remember liking Clara quite a bit. And Penryn definitely kicks ass!!

  11. Annabeth is such a great pick! She is so strong! I haven’t read a lot of these so I guess I need to! I love it when the girl characters are strong (or at least try to be) What a great pick for the free week! Thanks for stopping by my TTT this week as well!

  12. Love this idea and love the female characters you guys picked! I’d definitely add Hermione from Harry Potter and Jo from ‘Little Women’!

  13. I love this list so much! I like that there are some superheroes are on this one as well 😉 I love Matilda and always will. Although she is young, she is strong and of course, a bookworm too <3 Liesel, Violet and Annabeth would also make my list!