Book Posts

Female Character Love πŸ’— #1: Dynamics, Character Growth & Unlikable Heroines

Female Character Love 1

Hello fellow bookworms πŸ’— Happy international women’s day!! πŸŽ‰ Last year I missed the chance to do a themed post, but this time I came prepared, as I really wanted to talk about all the female characters that I love πŸ’• I was inspired by the Female Awesome Meme that I always saw around Tumblr – some super talented people were making these amazing gift sets – because I loved the different categories that were used to highlight female characters. This is going to be a part 1, as there were so man amazing categories and female characters … and they couldn’t all fit in one post πŸ˜„ That’s why today I’ll be talking about my favorite female dynamics, characters with the best growth, ‘unlikeable’ characters and characters that deserved better.

The categories are pretty straightforward, but I wanted to explain what I personally mean by two of them. As for unlikeable female characters, those are the heroines that I’ve often seen not liked and criticized, so that impression is subjective. Nevertheless, these are characters that I think aren’t universally loved. When I’m talking about female characters that deserved better, I don’t mean that they were don’t dirty by the authors, instead, I’m highly characters that have been through a lot and had a lot of bad things happen to them. With that being said, Let’s Start!

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Female Dynamics πŸ’•Β 

Female Dynamics

Iseult & Safiya (Witchlands) ➽ Obviously I had to talk about one of my favorite bookish duos! I absolutely adore Iseult and Safi’s friendship, especially as they are literally polar opposites and yet that’s what makes them work together as well. While Safi is impulsive, bold and temperamental, Iseult is calmer, calculating and more in control of her emotions.Β They are each other’s better half and there’s just so much love and support between them, it’s always warming my heart πŸ’— I also love that each girl has her own character Arc of growing into a better person, yet nothing can sever the bond between them, no matter how far they are apart (in the book it’s called a Threadfamily, so both girls are Threadsisters)!

Kylie, Della, Miranda & Holiday (Shadow Falls) ➽ One of the things I still love the most about the Shadow Falls books is the strong friendship group the main character Kylie has with other women. She’s very close to the camp’s leader and her mentor Holiday, who is like an older sister to her and one of her closest confidants. I loved their deep talks about Kylie’s strange powers, her frustrating love life, and her insecurities that emerged. Then she’s best friends with her two cabinmates that couldn’t be more different: Miranda is a quirky witch and Della is a grumpy vampire. They had a rocky start but after they grew together, they’re there for each other no matter what happens and that was beautiful πŸ’•

Enne & Lola (Ace of Shades) ➽ I haven’t read the second book in the series, which I imagine delves deeper into their relationship (I also heard it has a girl gang, so consider me intrigued πŸ‘€), but I loved what we saw of it in Ace of Shades. Enne and Lola definitely start out as more like enemies, as they meet in a tricky situation that involves blackmail, conflicting goals and lots of danger. However, I can definitely see a future friendship there, as you can kind of see at the end that Lola has come to care for Enne despite what has been going on. I love their unlikely and difficult relationship, especially as I feel like they could do powerful things together πŸ”ͺ

Ismae, Sybella & Annith (His Fair Assassin) ➽ I love me three fierce assassins who are also friends!! Ismae, Sybella, and Annith are all daughters of death, which grants them special powers and also means that they are taking on missions for their country. They studied at the same academy, which is how they got to know each other and are basically like sisters now. I loved their found family dynamic and how they supported each other. Each book in the Trilogy is focused on a different girl, but still included snippets of the others and I really need to do a reread, as I loved seeing three very different girls making such a great trio πŸ₯° Let's Talk (2)

Female Characters with the Best Growth πŸ’–

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Maya (The Star-Touched Queen) ➽ I really loved Maya and her character growth! I’m always happy to find a main character that I can really connect with and Maya was really great. She’s that mysterious, dark air around her since her horoscope promises her a deadly marriage and nothing but destruction. Therefore, the people fear and scorn her, except for her younger half-sister Gauri. Maya is intelligent and witty, something I really loved about her. She reads all the scrolls she can find, spies on her father to know what’s going on and is obsessed with all the legends and riddles. Throughout the story, she also grows a lot and her journey is about self-discovery and not making the same mistakes twice. Maya learns so much about herself, I am so proud! πŸ₯°

Ruby (Frostblood) ➽ At first it took me a while to connect with Ruby, but the more I think about it, the better I like her. As the protagonist of the story, we’re in her head the entire time and I’m glad that she was so complex and well-rounded. Ruby has a lot of flaws but that just makes her feel more real. She can be ill-tempered, impulsive and as well as selfish, but Ruby also grows a lot throughout the book. She does face her weaknesses and gains insight into her past life. I really like when the main character is confronted with their worst trait and actively changes and tries to do better.Β  In the end, Ruby is also trained and gets stronger than before. She is more in control of her ability and faces the darkness inside her as well. Oh and there’s the fact that she is super snarky and fierce, which is always a quality I like seeing in characters! πŸ”₯

Yelena Zaltana (Poison Study) ➽ It has been ages since I read Poison Study, but I remember loving Yelena, our protagonist. She’s in prison because she killed a nobleman, but did it because he was harassing and abusing her. With no one taking her word, she thinks she’s done for, but then gets offered to become the king’s food taster instead of being executed. As she takes on this chance, she also starts working with an officer and finally is able to train and improve herself. She still struggles with the abuse she went through, nut also discovers a lot about herself and finds herself with new friends and people that support her. I loved seeing her discover the inner strength that was already there and I truly need to continue with this series πŸ₯°

Emika Cheng (Warcross) ➽  I love Emika, she is street-wise and clever, as well as I character I could always root for. She is also a tough bounty hunter that tries to get out of debt, as with her criminal record she cannot make enough money. I loved that Emika had a complex background story and it made my heart hurt to read about how her life completely fell apart after her father’s death. Later her entire life changes overnight, when she get entangled in Warcross and glitches a game. As Emika is a great hacker she is hired and finds herself in a world completely different from where she came from. She undergoes some awesome character development from a loner to a team player and I for one are really proud of her willingness to trust other people to help her. πŸ’•

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Unpopular/Unlikeable Female Characters πŸ’˜

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Alina Starkov (Grisha Trilogy) ➽ From what I’ve seen Alina is definitely not the most beloved female character of the Grishavrse, but I love her so much! She has a lot of sass in her when the situation calls for it and can be funny, but also struggles with the power and burden she has to bear. Not to mention that she has the wish to belong somewhere, something I could deeply identify with. There is a lot of pressure on Alina in general and she is often left with hard choices and not feeling very understood. The fate of Ravka rests on her and it’s no easy task to keep everyone together. I have the highest respect for my girl, she’s always trying to the best she can despite her own insecurities and fears. I loved following her journey as a ‘Chosen One’ πŸ’•

Mare Barrow (Red Queen) ➽  The Red Queen Series has a bunch of unlikable female characters and I love that every character is messy and deeply flawed. Mare is the protagonist of the story and she can come across as selfish and maybe definitely mistrustful, but that’s what makes her so human. Like many heroes in YA, she’s still young so it’s only natural how she reacts to all that stress and trauma she has to go through. That makes her such a believable, complex character, something I really enjoy reading. It’s realistic, that she makes mistakes and that even her best intentions can cause trouble. Apart from that she always tries to keep strong, to keep from falling apart and I think that is very empowering, how she pushes through and does not give up πŸ’—

Twinkle MehraΒ (From Twinkle with Love) ➽  I could really understand Twinkle and get where she was coming from. She is obsessed with becoming popular and escaping her status as an outsider, so she can have the validation and attention. This had the potential to be annoying, as Twinkle was convinced she had to do everything for that dream. However, I couldn’t get mad at her, as I felt her need to be appreciated and how it often felt like the most important people in her life weren’t really paying attention to her. She, of course, had her good traits: she’s passionate, determined and ready to make film making her own and show that other Indian girls can become filmmakers. Twinkle was also funny and awkward and nerdy, which I so loved! And in the end, we saw how she developed and started to question her own obsessive need to become popular πŸ’–

Juliette Ferraras (Shatter Me) ➽ I have mixed opinions son the Shatter Me books, butΒ  I have always loved Juliette as a narrator. I couldn’t help but feel with her from the right beginning, as she endures so many horrible things in her isolation and even before was treated without love by her family when they found out what she was capable of. I also found her to be relatable. I liked that was introverted, unsure what to say around other people and generally anxious about human interactions. Juliette really did have some character development as well, there were scenes when she was breaking out of her usual behavior and truly wants to fight back. Later on, in the Series, she is in charge of herself and learns so much more about who she truly is on how she can control her powers instead of being controlled by them πŸ’•
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Female Characters who deserved better 😭

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Piper McLean (Percy Jacksonverse) ➽ I can’t say that much without a bunch of spoilers (but if you’ve read all, the books, you’ll know), but Piper had it rough. She’s a determined and strong character, who had her life upended when she found out she was a demigod and a lot of her life ultimately had been messed with. I love that Piper is a daughter of Aphrodite and proves that this doesn’t make her any less of a hero. She finds her own strengths and powers – let me tell you she’s not to be messed with! Yet even after all she went through, life still isn’t being very kind to her 😞

Adelina Amouteru (The Young Elites) ➽ I loved Adelina because her story is all about her villain origin story and how being mistreated and misunderstood all her life made her vengeful and bitter. The depiction of a negative change Arc instead of a rise to the hero was a refreshing perspective to see but also broke my heart. I could see how Adelina was slowly hardened her heart against betrayal and hurt, in an attempt to gain power when she’d always been powerless before. Her journey is captivating and ultimately satisfying but oh did that ending hurt me 😭

Cassie Sullivan (The Fifth Wave) ➽ Here’s a character who deserves SO much better! Cassie is the survivor of an alien invasion and trying her best to save her brother and make it through this horrible new world she lives in. She can be stubborn and frustrating but is trying her best, given her circumstances. Not going to lie, I hated the love interest with a fiery passion, Cassie deserved so much better than the mess he brought upon her. I generally didn’t like the end to the Trilogy, especially as Cassie deserved a better end 😰

“Verity”, Maddie & Rose Justice (Code Name Verity/Rose Under Fire) ➽ All you need to know about this Duology is that it has amazing female characters and friendships and that it’ll shatter your heart. The first book focuses on Verity and Maddie, two best friends who meet during the second world war and are basically soulmates. The ending here wrecked me pretty badly, but these two are so enduring and brave and also scared sometimes – they just feel so real πŸ₯Ί Rose Justice is a character of the second book and she ends up in a concentration camp. Her goal is to simply survive, but after everything she has been through, she questions how she could even begin to tell her story to the world πŸ’”

Let's Talk (1)What are your favorite female characters in books (and shows, movies, etc.)? What female dynamics do you like? πŸ’—

21 thoughts on “Female Character Love πŸ’— #1: Dynamics, Character Growth & Unlikable Heroines

  1. I love this post as it is talking about lots of female characters and it has great energy in this post!!
    Female dynamics are the best, women supporting women is what I LOVE to see!! I need to read this book as you’ve probably heard me say before. Some of my female friendships was in I Was Born For This as I loved Angel and Juliet!!
    I also love Emika’s journey as she learnt to work as a team and I loved the Phoenix Riders!!
    Alina is a bit hated but I do like her journey as the chosen one!! I think she is interesting!!!
    Cassie Sullivan did deserve better with the love interest and the ending, I loved the first book a lot but the way the series ended was so disappointing for me!!
    Great post and I loved this headings as it allowed you to talk about so many female characters!! ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you so much, Sophie! πŸ’•πŸŒ· I’m all here for female-driven books that feature healthy friendships as that’s what I love to read about! I also loved Juliet and Angel, especially as their friendship started online πŸ₯°

      I love all of them so much! I loved Emika and Alina’s journeys so much and how they both grew as people 😊 I’m still upset at how The Fifth Wave series ended, Cassie definitely deserved so much better!
      Thank you, I might do a Part 2 πŸ₯°

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Code Name Verity is one of my absolute favorite books, and yesss the ending SHATTERED me. I loved Verity and Maddie’s relationship. I also adore Iseult and Safiya too from the Witchlands. So many powerful female friendships ❀ One of my favorite female characters of all time is Polly from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones. It's a coming of age book, nothing too dramatic or violent happens but she is a badass to me in how she chooses to handle her life, come into herself, and go after what she wants. This was a great idea for a post!!

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    1. Code Name Verity is truly so good!! It got me so emotional and very invested in Verity and Maddie’s friendship, it’s one of my favorites πŸ₯Ί I’ve not heard of this book but I’ll have to check it out! I love a good coming of age book with great character development πŸ₯° Thank you! 😊🌸

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  3. This is a fantastic post, Caro! There are so many books I haven’t read here so I can only comment on those I’ve read.

    Piper definitely deserves better! She’s such a kind and brave soul, despite often being underestimated due to her status as daughter of Aprodithe. But despite everyone’s (and her own) doubts, she has an amazing growth and proved herself as a valuable member of the seven! And I think people don’t realize how young YA characters are- me myself just realize how young they are recently, and that’s only because I finally reached the age where I am older than most YA characters! Personally, I love Alina and Juliette. I think they react accordingly to their situation, where they have unexpected powers and shoved into the limelight as a leader, a symbol. And both doesn’t have a support system to hang on to, they found their friends throughout their journey, after many failures and mistakes, so their doubts and mistrust are pretty justified. I think they’re very realistic and I love them so much!

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    1. Thank you so much, Tasya! 😊🌸 Piper is definitely an amazing character, she goes through so much growth and I really appreciated how she made the best of her demigod abilities despite so many people underestimating them! I agree about Juliette and Alina, I love them because they feel so real and just react to the pressure that they are currently under while still trying to do their best!

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  4. Ahhh I love this idea so much!! I’m definitely a fan of girl groups and friendships between women, and I need to check out all of those books that you listed for that. And I so agree that Verity and Maddie deserved better! (I haven’t read Rose Under Fire yet but I NEED to.) Even just thinking about them makes me want to cry 😒 Wonderful post, and I’m looking forward to the rest! πŸ˜€

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    1. Thank you so much, Margaret! πŸ₯° I love female-driven stories as well and that’s why I’m especially excited for King of Fools as it promises a Girl Gang 😱 I’m so sad about Verity and Maddie, they broke my heart!! 😭 Thank you, I’m so happy to hear that! πŸ’•

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  5. I love this post, and I’m glad you’re always mentioning Witchlands, because it’s constantly on my radar this way. πŸ˜€ Ismae, Sybella & Annith are my favorites!! I love their friendship/sisterhood so damn much. I need to read Ace of Shades, and I loved Yelena’s character development and growth! πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhh, I’m so glad to hear that! I hope you enjoy the Witchlands books should you get around to reading them πŸ₯° I need to reread the His Fair Assassin books, as I loved the three of them so much! I also need to continue with the Study series 😱 Ace of Shades is sooo good πŸ’•

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  6. Oh my gosh I’ve finally found someone else who’s read Posion Study!! Yelena is one of my favourite female characters, she grows and develops so much throughout the series (which I’m actually rereading at the moment).

    I’ve not read a lot of the books on this list but that’s good, as it means I have plenty more amazing female characters to discover! πŸ’–

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  7. Omg, I loved the “characters who deserved better” category! I keep putting myself on the wait list for the Lost Hero audiobook from the library, but every time I get it, I’m in the middle of another audiobook I can’t put down! So definitely getting to that soon. But in the beginning, I really liked Piper so omg I hope nothing too bad happens to her! I’ve also had the sequel to Ace of Shades on my tbr forever. I hadn’t heard it was a girl gang, so I’ll have to pick it up. Great post! Also, happy late international women’s day. πŸ’›

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    1. I hope you end up getting around to reading The Lost Hero and the rest of the series sometime! They are a bit different from Riordan’s other series but really great! I like Piper as well, it just hurts my heart that she has been through so much 😰 I hope to read King of Fools before the third book comes out, especially as I’m curious about the girl gang πŸ˜„ Thank you!! πŸ’›

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    1. I’m so happy to hear that you like Alina as well πŸ₯° I definitely hope that people will give her some more love once the TV Show airs on Netflix! I love Code Name Verity so much, but it’s a book designed to wreck your heart – I’m still not over it 😭😭😭

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  8. Ah what a great idea for a post, Caro, I love it! I haven’t read Wildcard, but I really liked Emika in Warcross just as well and loved seeing her grow through the story, too, it was so wonderful. I’m so curious about the sequel! I also need to read The Young Elites ahh this series has been on my TBR since FOREVER, and I really liked the first book πŸ™‚

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    1. Thank you so much, Marie! πŸ₯° I’m a big fan of Emika and I love her dedication to always finding a solution. I hope you end up liking Wildcard, I wish there was a third book πŸ“š Ohh, The Young Elites is so good, I’m due for a reread as it has been a while 😊

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