Today’s Topic: Top Ten Book Boyfriends/Girlfriends (Which characters do you have crushes on?)
Hosted by: The Broke and the Bookish
Well, since I recently did this post on my favorite book boyfriends, I decided to focus on my favorite girl crushes.
In preparing this post, I realized how many great female characters are being written in fiction these days, no matter what genre you read. I’ve also noticed that some of my favorite authors consistently write memorable female characters.
I had a hard time narrowing down my list, but decided to focus not just on strong, inspirational women, but the ones that I really love. These are the women whose personalities and stories stick with me and begin to feel like old friends. So, without further ado…
Maire is a medieval Irish warrior queen who is a little less confident than she appears. From the moment she appears brandishing her weapon and painted in woad, I knew I would love her. When she defeats her enemy in hand to hand combat she also wins herself a new husband. But she’s not quite sure what to do with him and has a hard time learning how to be a wife when she’s always been a warrior. Maire is both fierce and endearing, which is a special combination.
When Gabi and LIa fall through a time portal to medieval Italy, they don’t waste anytime bemoaning their luck. Nope, these girls roll with it. Using their archery and sword skills, they quickly make a name for themselves as the She-Wolves of Tuscany, feared throughout the region. Not only are they warriors with backbones of steel, but they manage to catch the eye of a local prince and his cousin. I love how their personalities complement and encourage each other.
Who doesn’t love Elizabeth Bennett? I adore how self-confident she is. Lizzie is a loyal and loving sister, friend and daughter. She makes no apologies for herself or her family even when they embarrass her. Elizabeth is strong-willed and doesn’t allow her diminished place in society to affect her identity. And sure, she is prejudiced towards Mr. Darcy, but don’t we all secretly agree he deserves to be taken down a peg or two? Her showdown with Lady Catherine de Bourgh is an epic conflict between two forces of nature and I love how she refuses to be cowed. She’s a role model for women everywhere.
I have a special place in my heart for all of Jenny B Jones heroines, but Bella Kirkwood is my favorite. From the moment this Manhattan princess is forced to move in with her mom’s new family in rural Oklahoma, you just know her character arc is going to be funny. I mean, how does this wannabe investigative reporter/amateur sleuth even survive her new life without the latest Prada bag? Bella finds herself battling her nemesis and more than holding her own. This screwball heroine is constantly finding herself in hysterically unusual places like the cafeteria dumpster or the maxi pad factory when in pursuit of a story, but it’s all par for the course in solving crime.
Ok, PJ Sugar is kind of like the grown-up version of Bella Kirkwood complete with the desire to be a PI and being the odd-ball of her family. Everyone in town knows PJ is trouble. When she returns home after years away it’s definitely not to reunite with old flame and fellow trouble maker Boone. Nope, PJ is out to prove she is a mature and serious woman. But she can’t help but continue to find herself in one scrape after another while fighting an attraction to her new motorcycle riding boss. As with Jones characters I’ve never met a heroine written by Susan May Warren that I didn’t like, but PJ is so memorable as she seeks to prove herself in a town that won’t let her forget her past mistakes.
6. Astera Claybourne -A Lady of Independence
Ya’ll, Astera is boss! In Regency England very few women have the guts to turn down a marriage proposal from a peer of the realm, much less parade around in outdated clothes and hair. Not only that, but girlfriend is a bluestocking! Oh, the horrors. But she’s also kind and has a great sense of the ridiculous. Even though he doesn’t want to marry her, Viscount Weston sees her refusal as a challenge. I mean, who would dare to turn down this paragon of the ton?? He’s determined to tame her, but Astera is equally determined to remain free, white and twenty-one. She leads him on quite the merry chase and eventually he is forced to confront his own character flaws. Would that we all were so skilled in knocking arrogant men off their high horses.
I am in awe of Evelyn. She’s the closest thing to a superwoman I’ve met in the pages of a book. After becoming a widow shortly after her marriage, she refuses to stay safely in England while the world is at war. Instead she serves as a Red Cross nurse in the enemy occupied territory of Belgium. Not only does she work as a nurse and wait tables at her family’s restaurant in the evening, but she also uses both positions to act as an Allied spy. How she has time to work two jobs and also risk her life smuggling out information and people I have no idea. But Eve is also a saint, because she doesn’t take sides in her nursing duties, even to the point of saving the life of an enemy soldier. She is just absolutely inspiring.
There’s just something about Savannah that charmed me. Perhaps its the fact that she has something to prove to the city she is named after. Or maybe its that special relationship she has with her dad, the way she argues with her brother. Or perhaps it’s her resistance to her wealthy mother’s dreams to turn her into a beauty queen. It could also be the competitive relationship she develops with a certain curly-headed reporter. Or just maybe its the fact that when she fails, she does it big, but isn’t to high in the instep to acknowledge her mistakes. Whatever it is, she’s entirely loveable as a young woman out to make her mark on the world.
I fell hard for Dru Porter at her first appearance in her brother’s book Undeniably Yours. The teenage Dru waded fearlessly into a bar fight just for the fun of it and I was hooked. With three older brothers, two of whom are Marine veterans, it’s no surprise that Dru is tougher than all of them. I couldn’t wait to finally read Dru’s story in her own book. It is no surprise that the fierce and rebellious teenager turns into a strong and independent bodyguard. It’s also no surprise that she became a Marine vet as well. But it is how she interacts with her latest assignment, a high profile NFL player, that brings her inner depth to the surface.
Tish Ransome is one of my very favorite YA heroines. She’s feisty but loyal. Girl is the only chick in her male rock band and the only sister to a group of brothers. She dresses goth, but is still feminine and swears in pirate language. When she meets the repressed but moody Sebastian, she doesn’t let his rebuffs affect her friendliness. She is an irrepressible light to Sebastian’s darkness. Tish is not only a singer, but writes her own music as well.
Lizanne Balmaine is determined to make the man who attacked her and maimed her brother pay. So, she takes him hostage and keeps him chained in her family’s dungeon. That right there is reason enough for me to love her. But she lacks the killer instinct. That along with a few doubts as to his true identity are enough for her to release him, but not before first engaging in woman to man combat. Then he turns the tables and takes her hostage. Lizanne is hardcore brave, but she’s also a compassionate healer and it’s this dichotomy which really makes her interesting. She doesn’t shirk from taking responsibility for her mistakes. Lizanne also battles her attraction to a man who doesn’t bear the scars she remembers her attacker wearing. And despite her training as a warrior, she doesn’t sacrifice her femininity. She’s really just the total package.
Ah, Margaret. She reminds me quite a bit of Elizabeth Bennett in her prejudices towards the taciturn yet passionate John Thornton. Margaret is the backbone of her family, befriends the poor and unfortunate, and doesn’t sacrifice her opinions, even when challenged by men more educated than she. She has a way with words (my kind of girl) and never compromises her inner identity.
I just adore Marianne Daventry! Though she describes herself as the moon to her twin sister’s sun, she has much more personality and pep than she gives herself credit for. She is funny and sincere and is strong enough to drag a man’s dead weight after he’s been shot. And ya’ll. My favorite thing about Marianne is that she twirls! When she’s happy and can’t contain her emotions, our heroine throws her arms wide and spins. Who can resist a twirler?! Certainly not the much sought after Phillip, that’s for sure.
Who are some of your favorite fictional girl crushes?