Bookish Friends

Strong Female Book Characters to Admire

March 8th is International Women’s Day. What better way to celebrate than with some of my favorite female book characters. Each of the powerhouse ladies who have made this list have something I admire or have taught me a lesson in my reading. These are books and characters that I go back to time and time again, and there’s a reason for that.


As for which book Elphaba comes from, feel free to take your pick. I do own Gregory Maguire’s full series, and also some more “promotional” books from the musical.

Elphaba was different. Because she was different, she was ridiculed. People almost automatically believed the worst of her, just because of the way she looked. However, she knew that she was better. She was able to find love and be better and prove other people wrong.

Lesson: Be who you are, regardless of what others may think of you.


For starters, I called her “Hermoine” in my head for YEARS until I heard someone say her name out loud. Apologies, Ms. Rowling.

Hermione was the girl we all looked up to growing up. Growing up with these books, her character proved that it was okay to be smart. It was possible to “throw down” with the boys and be tough.

Lesson: There’s nothing more powerful than learning.


My girl from Ella Enchanted. She was so far ahead of her time in the realm of feminism and female empowerment. Though cursed and forced to obey everything commanded of her, Ella was able to break free, push her limits, and separate herself from the curse. If she can overcome that, you can overcome just about anything.

Lesson: No matter what the obstacles, you choose your own destiny.


Ophelia is a recent find from The Mirror Visitor series. She denied two arranged marriages because it wasn’t what she wanted. She worked hard until she was the best at her job and had mastered her family talent. Then, upon a third forced marriage (unavoidable due to political reasons), she stood her ground and set boundaries. She upheld her end of the bargain and stood by her word in her own way.

Lesson: Love can come when you least expect it. Also, trust your instincts.

Delilah Bard

Lilah is just a straight up badass. Unfortunately, being a woman in her London is likely to get her killed, so she assumes the identity of a man. She fights her own battles and can defend herself (and those she loves). Lilah is a risk taker and never says no to adventure. I’d like to be like that sometimes.

Lesson: Treat life like an adventure.


Six is a major badass from the I Am Number Four series. Each of the nine were given a chest and a guardian. Six lost her guardian at a young-ish age but still saved Four and the rest of the teams more times than they can count. Plus, she falls in love with the nerd (spoiler alert), which is endearing because it means she isn’t all sharp edges.

Lesson: Fight like a girl.

Looking back at this list of female book characters I admire and have connected with, I’m realizing that a lot of these ladies are from more young adult literature. Maybe these authors know something other don’t. That, or I just don’t connect with the way adult women are portrayed by other writers. A lot of the “adult” books often turn to drinking or sex and/or relationships to put some issues into characters’ lives.

Stay tuned to the blog because I’ll be sharing my favorite female authors soon!

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