There are some stories that speak to you. Whether it’s the language, plot, or characters, they have a powerful draw that pulls you in. As an avid reader, there are many stories that qualify for me. Amongst these stories are countless characters who stuck with me long after I closed the book. In honor of International Women’s Month, I want to highlight memorable female characters. These women are a few of my favorites who inspire me and are well-rounded characters. When making this list, I limited myself to one character per series. Otherwise, this entire list would be Harry Potter characters! In no particular order, here are three of my favorite female characters.
- Luna Lovegood- Harry Potter
I’m sure it’s no surprise to some that a Harry Potter character is on this list. There are some very well-rounded, unique women in the series. Luna is one of my favorite characters because of her oddities. As a nerdy, odd girl growing up in small-town Tennessee, I was the closest thing to Luna at my school. I look up to her because she isn’t afraid to be herself. In high school, this was a difficult thing to embrace. I’m still working on this, but seeing Luna proud to be herself gives me the drive to do that myself.
Luna is first introduced to us as a “Loony Lovegood”. She’s a complete opposite of Hermione, which is both hilarious and good for the friend dynamic. Luna is a bit out there, but her kindness makes her a great asset to her friends. She forms a friendship with Harry, and the others, that’s built on understanding. She is also kind to Dobby after their first meeting. Her respect for Dobby wasn’t common for wizards during this time. Luna is also very sharp. It makes sense, as she is a Ravenclaw, but many in the book don’t recognize her intelligence. In the seventh book, she plays an integral role in helping Harry find a horcrux. In the fifth book, she is a proud member of Dumbledore’s Army. She also casts some impressive spells during the Ministry battle. Luna has proven that writing multi-faceted characters is possible. Characters like Luna add a powerful dynamic to the stories they inhabit.
- Inej Ghafa- Six of Crows
Inej Ghafa is a vital character in the Six of Crows duology. Inej is a Suli girl who grew up in a traveling circus with her family. After her capture, she’s sold into slavery at a pleasure house in Ketterdam. She fought through her terrible experiences to stay strong. Her inner strength shines through when Kaz Brekker, a famous member of a local gang, enters the house. He comes for information, and when he leaves she surprises him. She channels her inner strength and speaks up, insisting that she can help Kaz. Inej sees a way out of her hell and will do whatever it takes to get out. The bravery she shows despite her circumstances is inspiring. Her story always reminds me to never give up, despite the odds thrown at you. Her guts even captures Kaz’s attention. After that day, Inej becomes a member of Kaz’s gang, the Dregs, and Kaz’s right-hand.
Through her hard work and diligence, Inej becomes one of the most feared members of the Dregs. Many call her the Wraith, because she appears out of nowhere and leaves destruction in her path. Something I love about Inej is that she’s confident in the skills that have made her famous. She isn’t afraid to use these skills to get what she needs or wants. Her dedication to being the best keeps her moving forward towards her goal of being free. Inej never gives up, even if it involves keeping the reckless Kaz safe. She is hesitant to befriend someone, but once she does Inej is a great friend. She is very supportive and kind to her friends, but isn’t afraid to call them out when they need it. Something I also respect about Inej is her strong sense of self-worth. She has feelings for Kaz that she knows he has too, but she refuses to enter a relationship with him unless he opens up. Inej knows that they both have a lot to work on within themselves before a relationship could happen. She doesn’t want Kaz to hold her back from her growth. When an opportunity arises for her to board a ship and lead a crew that targets slave ships, she takes it. Inej doesn’t want anyone else to have her experiences. She chooses to leave Ketterdam behind and do her part to make her world a better place.
- Flavia DeLuce- The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie
Flavia De Luce is a fascinating character. On one hand, she is a brilliant chemist who often solves murders with her skills. On the other, Flavia is an eleven-year-old girl who is still clueless about some areas of the world. When we first meet her, she is concocting a solution in her lab to exact revenge against her sister. It’s the perfect combination of her many sides. A chemist with an encyclopedic knowledge of poisons, and a child fighting with her sister. After her first brush with crime, Inspector Hewitt brushes her off as nothing more than a silly girl. With the fire of revenge in her eyes, Flavia resolves to solve the case to prove him wrong. As someone who once got a “revenge A” in a class because the teacher infuriated me, I can relate to Flavia. With her determination and sharp brain, she manages to solve many mysteries. After a few cases, Inspector Hewitt comes to her for information. How the tables have turned! Seeing such a strong will in a young character makes me want to work harder to match her level of determination. If people underestimate you, be like Flavia and prove them wrong.
Flavia’s personal life is both heartbreaking and endearing. The stiff-upper-lip lifestyle of the wealthy British at the time is prevalent in her house. Her father is often absent, and her sisters are often cruel. Her mother’s disappearance not long after her birth caused a rift in the family. Only Dogger, her family’s butler, and Mrs. Mullet, the cook, are a kind influence. Despite the animosity, there are many times when Flavia and her sisters ban together. Her oldest sister can be harsh, but she often sweeps in when Flavia needs her most. Through all the frustration and heartbreak, Flavia keeps moving forward. It’s inspiring to see a young character pull herself up and learn from her mistakes. She moves on, riding her bike Gladys off towards her next adventure.
Who are some of your favorite female characters? Let me know in the comments below! It was so difficult to choose only three female characters for this post. I have so many other favorites that have inspired me. In the future I will highlight more of these awesome ladies! Do you have a story with a great female character that you want me to check out? You can send me book recommendations by filling out the book survey here. Happy reading!