Postcard For Reader + TIME

Top Ten Favorite Female Book Characters

Okay, okay, this Top Ten Tuesday was supposed to be top ten favorite all-time characters, but I have so many favorite characters that I had to split the list into two! Now, I know I did this a while ago, but the list has changed slightly since then -- and even for those who haven't, who doesn't like talking about their favorite characters!?

Honorable Mentions: Aurelia (Aurelia), Jane Eyre (Jane Eyre), Hermione Granger (the Harry Potter series)

10. Ophelia
Book: Hamlet
Author: William Shakespeare

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"Hamlet" is the story of the Prince of Denmark who learns of the death of his father at the hands of his uncle, Claudius. Claudius murders Hamlet's father, his own brother, to take the throne of Denmark and to marry Hamlet's widowed mother. Hamlet is sunk into a state of great despair as a result of discovering the murder of his father and the infidelity of his mother. Hamlet is torn between his great sadness and his desire for the revenge of his father's murder.

I have SO MANY FEELINGS about Ophelia. I love how she can be interpreted in so many ways and how we don't really know anything about her but we know everything that matters and just she's fabulous and Shakespeare is fabulous and I love this story.

09. Katniss Everdeen
Book: The Hunger Games
Author: Suzanne Collins

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In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV.

Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

I've always loved Katniss. Her loyalty to her family, her strength and will to survive, and her unwillingness to live in a world that sucks are all traits that I admire. (Plus her ability with the bow!) Jennifer Lawrence's interpretation of her in the movie cemented Katniss onto this list. I can't not admire her.

08. Beatrice Smith Shakespeare
Book: the Theatre Illuminata series
Author: Lisa Mantchev

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Bertie Shakespeare Smith is not an actress, yet she lives in a theater. She’s not an orphan, but she has no parents. She knows every part, but she has no lines of her own. That is, until now.
Enter Stage Right
NATE. Dashing pirate. Will do anything to protect Bertie.
COBWEB, MOTH, MUSTARD SEED, and PEASEBLOSSOM. Four tiny and incredibly annoying fairies. BERTIE’S sidekicks.
ARIEL. Seductive air spirit and Bertie’s weakness. The symbol of impending doom.
BERTIE. Our heroine.
Welcome to the Théâtre Illuminata, where the actors of every play ever written can be found behind the curtain. They were born to play their parts, and are bound to the Théâtre by The Book — an ancient and magical tome of scripts. Bertie is not one of them, but they are her family — and she is about to lose them all and the only home she has ever known.

I dare you to read Eyes Like Stars and NOT fall in love with Bertie. She's creative; she's got a great sense of humor; she's determined; she's got great friends; she's not willing to take the crap of the people around her; she loves the theater and the Theatre. So much love for her!

Plus her hair is always an awesome color.

07. Luna Lovegood
Book: the Harry Potter series
Author: J.K. Rowling

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, Harry, Ron, and Hermione are on the run from Lord Voldemort, whose minions of Death Eaters have not only taken control of the Minister of Magic but have begun to systematically - and forcibly - change the entire culture of the magic community: Muggle-born wizards, for example, are being rounded up and questioned, and all "blood traitors" are being imprisoned. But as Voldemort and his followers ruthlessly pursue the fugitive with the lightning bolt scar on his forehead, Potter finally uncovers the jaw-dropping truth of his existence.

One of the few side-characters that made my list, Luna Lovegood is BAD-ASS, and I will not speak to anybody who tells me otherwise. She's one of the smartest and most clever witches in the book - look at how easily she learns and adapts to things! She never stops being who she wants to be, and she doesn't change just because other people want her too. Her quirkiness is adorable, and I adore her.

06. Alexia Tarabotti
Book: Soulless
Author: Gail Carriger

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Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.
Where to go from there? From bad to worse apparently, for Alexia accidentally kills the vampire -- and then the appalling Lord Maccon (loud, messy, gorgeous, and werewolf) is sent by Queen Victoria to investigate.

With unexpected vampires appearing and expected vampires disappearing, everyone seems to believe Alexia responsible. Can she figure out what is actually happening to London's high society? Will her soulless ability to negate supernatural powers prove useful or just plain embarrassing? Finally, who is the real enemy, and do they have treacle tart?

I think part of the reason I love Miss Tarabotti so much is her chemistry with Lord Connal Maccon, but you can't help but love her in her own right, too. She refuses to give in to the society around her, completely dominates everybody and everything with her trust parasol, AND manages to do what's right for the world and for people even without a soul. She's fabulous!

05. Elphaba Thropp
Book: Wicked
Author: Gregory Maguire

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Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

I love Elphaba from the musical just as much as Elphaba from the book. Both are caring and kind and want to do what's right; both refuse to accept living in a world where things are inherently wrong; both are badass and magical and could kick some seriously ass if they so chose to. She's another character who refuses to change just because it's convenient for those around her.

04. Elizabeth Bennett
Book: Pride and Prejudice
Author: Jane Austen

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When Elizabeth Bennet first meets eligible bachelor Fitzwilliam Darcy, she thinks him arrogant and conceited, while he struggles to remain indifferent to her good looks and lively mind. When she later discovers that Darcy has involved himself in the troubled relationship between his friend Bingley and her beloved sister Jane, she is determined to dislike him more than ever. In the sparkling comedy of manners that follows, Jane Austen shows the folly of judging by first impressions and superbly evokes the friendships, gossip and snobberies of provincial middle-class life.

Elizabeth is one of, if not my favorite, Austen heroine. She's sassy and bold for her time period. She tries to do what's best for her family without compromising her own life. And she gets Mr. Darcy! *swoon*

03. Rhiannon
Book: The Lost Years of Merlin
Author: T.A. Barron

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So begins the tale of the strange young boy, who, having washed up on the shores of ancient Wales, is determined to find his real home and his true name. One day he will become the greatest wizard of all time, but he knows nothing of this now.

Rhiannon is the only other side character - besides Luna - to make it to my list, and I adore her. She's the antithesis of the future Morgana Pendragon to young Merlin. She's kind and smart and in-tune with the environment and is loved enough that she's the only Fincayaran allowed to keep her wings. She's just awesome!!!

02. Lessa
Book: Dragonflight
Author: Anne McCaffrey

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To the nobles who live in Benden Weyr, Lessa is nothing but a ragged kitchen girl. For most of her life she has survived by serving those who betrayed her father and took over his lands. Now the time has come for Lessa to shed her disguise—and take back her stolen birthright.

But everything changes when she meets a queen dragon. The bond they share will be deep and last forever. It will protect them when, for the first time in centuries, Lessa’s world is threatened by Thread, an evil substance that falls like rain and destroys everything it touches. Dragons and their Riders once protected the planet from Thread, but there are very few of them left these days. Now brave Lessa must risk her life, and the life of her beloved dragon, to save her beautiful world. . . .

Oh, my first bad-ass female heroine! You gave up everything - the Hold you had worked your ass of to rescue, your freedom, your ability to choose where you were going in life - to go help save Benden Weyr, and ended up becoming the greatest Weyrwoman of all time. (All. Time.) You're badass and smart and clever and if I can become half the woman you became, I will be quite content with myself.

01. Jacky Faber
Book: the Bloody Jack series
Author: L.A. Meyer

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Life as a ship's boy aboard HMS Dolphin is a dream come true for Jacky Faber. Gone are the days of scavenging for food and fighting for survival on the streets of eighteenth-century London. Instead, Jacky is becoming a skilled and respected sailor as the crew pursues pirates on the high seas.
There's only one problem: Jacky is a girl. And she will have to use every bit of her spirit, wit, and courage to keep the crew from discovering her secret. This could be the adventure of her life--if only she doesn't get caught...

Mary Faber. Jacky Faber. Ship's boy. Little fairy. Midshipman. Fine lady. Puss-In-Boots. La belle jeune fille sans merci.

You are my favorite character of all time. Yes, the plots you are getting are ridiculous, and your character development is being ignored terribly in that last book, but everything you do, you do with a full heart. Your love of your crew is seconded only to your love of Jaimy, and your love of Jaimy is seconded only to your love of the sea. You always do what you think is right, no matter what the cost, and I love you for that.

What are some of your favorite female characters?

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Top Ten Favorite Female Book Characters + TIME