*Please note: This blog post was written a while ago. My thoughts, opinions, and writing skills have changed since then. Any posts written before 2020 should be assumed to not fully reflect my current thoughts, opinions, and writing capabilities unless otherwise stated. If you would like clarification on my thoughts/opinions about any specific points mentioned in this post, feel free to reach out to me.*
Happy March, y’all! Sorry for not blogging in ages. Because International Women’s Day was earlier this month, I decided I’d round up five of my favorite books that feature strong female characters. I tried to pull books from a variety of different genres, with contemporary and fantasy and classics, so hopefully all of you can find something you like! If you get a chance, I definitely recommend you to read all of these. I will leave the links to them on Goodreads if you want to check any of them out.
1. Me Before You by JoJo Moyes
It is rare to have a contemporary novel that has a very strong female character. Although many books do have intelligent and powerful women/girls, the stories are so often centered around their relationships with guys. Me Before You is a romance novel because it follows the relationship between Louisa and Will. However, it is so much more than that. What made it different for me is that even in exploring their relationship, JoJo Moyes made it about Lou and Lou discovering herself–and not just about the love between her and Will. The whole book is about how Lou grows into a strong woman and learns how to cope with the things that life throws her way–even though she often shows her weaknesses, she still perseveres and I think that’s what makes this book so inspiring to other girls and women.
2. The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh
The main character, Shahrzad, is the epitome of “strong female character.” From the very beginning, she sets out to avenge her best friend’s death and consistently shows her boldness throughout the book. She stands up to Khalid and is able to delay her death night after night, and I think that’s all the justification you need. What else do I need to say? Boom. Strong female character right there. (Go read it!! This book is amazing)
3. Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen
Lizzy Bennett is pretty much the OG strong female character. She is a complete BOSS and I love her. First of all, she stands up for what she believes in–whether that be herself, her family, or her friends. She’s not afraid to shirk society norms even if it means she could get in trouble or not get the money that everyone else cares so much about. And second of all, she is the queen of rejection. Potentially rich cousin comes to offer her marriage? No thanks. Handsome rich man with a gorgeous estate comes to offer her marriage? She makes sure that he changes himself before she agrees. Also, what makes this book even more amazing is that it was written by a woman in the late nineteenth century.
4. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling
The Harry Potter series features so many amazing, strong, powerful, intelligent women. (See: drawing of Hermione from Jim Kay’s illustrated edition of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets). You’ve got Hermione, obviously, who is so strong and smart and without whom Harry and Ron would not have survived a day at Hogwarts. But then there’s all these other females in the stories too. From Lily Evans to McGonagall to Molly Weasley to Nymphadora Tonks to, like, every other female character…They are all SO. AMAZING.
5. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard
Mare from the Red Queen series is honestly such an independent, amazing girl who comes into her own. Even from the beginning she proves that she doesn’t need to rely on anyone else (I was actually really annoyed by her stubbornness in the beginning). Thrust into the world of fighting and secrecy, she is able to rise up to the challenge and become this powerful leader.
These are just a few of the books I’ve read with strong female characters. Do you guys have any you want to mention? Leave them in the comments below!