1. Kay Scarpetta: A forensic anthropologist, a coroner, and crime solver, Kay Scarpetta is an educated woman who works in a male-dominated field. She shows that women who are over thirty are still forces to be reckoned with.
2. Beatrice “Tris” Prior: Tris may be a teenager, but she’s a lot braver then men and women twice her age. She makes the decision to be true to herself even if it hurts her family and understands that people shouldn’t be labeled.
3. Mary Russell: Russell will always have a special place in my heart because she’s a woman who doesn’t think of being female as a reason not to become the partner to fictions first and only consulting detective. While she falls firmly into the Mary-Sue trap during the first few novels in the series, she is beginning to prove herself to be a stellar detective in her own right.
4. Scarlett Martin: I just read this book, and Scarlett Martin has become one of my favorite YA characters. She’s slightly awkward, makes mistakes, and tries her best. She’s the kind of person that I wish I’d known in high school.
5. Anita Blake: Anita is a pretty strong woman: she raises the dead from their graves, fights monsters that range from the vampires to were creatures to zombies. Yet she’s still vulnerable. She admits to being terrified in a fight. and she sleeps with stuffed penguins.
6. Hermione Granger: Hermione might be one of Harry Potter’s best friends, but she’s also a brilliant witch in her own right. She plays a huge role in Harry’s struggles against Voldemort. Plus she shows that the smart, know-it-all in class can be pretty darn strong
7. Scout Finch: Scout shows that you’re never too young to do the right thing, even if it’s an unpopular choice. She also is a great example of how our family shapes us as we grow up.
8. Sam: Sam refuses to let her past define her. She understands that she made mistakes, and she does her best to learn from them. She’s still not perfect when Charlie meets her during his freshman year at high school. I love her because she has grown, will continue to grow, and strives to be herself.
9. Irene Adler: Irene Adler has been portrayed so many times over the years that it’s hard to remember who she was when she appeared in “A Scandal in Bohemia.” She wasn’t a hardened criminal who nearly ruined a member of the Royal family out of malice. She loved him. And while that may seem like a cliche reason for a woman to commit a crime, the reason I included her on this list is that she was the only woman in Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s stories to outsmart Sherlock Holmes. That is a feat in itself.
Who are your favorite female characters? How have they influenced you? And are there any awesome women I should read about? Let me know in the comments below.