Another note: read this. This is the funniest blog post I've ever read.
So. On to characters. There are some really good ones out there, characters who affect my point of view in life and in writing, and who inspire me as a person to do awesome things, or just obsess a lot. Let's make a list:
Well, we have to begin with the female giants of my favorite books. So we might as well kick it off with Harry Potter and the glorious, gorgeous, superintelligent character of Hermione.
There is nary a character to match Hermione. Starting off as the nerdy, bossy, know-it-all eleven-year-old, throughout the series, as she becomes closer to Harry and Ron, she develops into a beautiful, intelligent young woman, someone loyal and brave, willing to fight to the end for the Wizarding World and her friends. Not to mention, she pioneered the way for female characters in children's lit.
Basically, every HP girl in the world looks up to Hermione as the example for why intelligence is admirable, and all the guys who love the HP books want to marry her. Unless they're going for Ginny. Actually, there are a lot of great female characters in Harry Potter.
Hermione works so well as a character because, especially, the book nerd girls like me relate to her directly. She is our hope.
Book One: "I hope you're pleased with yourselves. We could all have been killed--or worse, expelled. Now if you don't mind, I'm going to bed."
Book Four: "Just because it's taken you three years to notice, Ron, doesn't mean no one else has spotted I'm a girl!"
Book Five: "Just because you've got the emotional range of a teaspoon doesn't mean we all have."
Book Six: "You said to us once before that there was time to turn back if we wanted to. We've had time, haven't we?"
Katniss, is, of course, the main character of the Hunger Games trilogy, and simply the most kickbutt female character in all history. Her straightforward, honest voice in the books changed the concept of first person female characters in YA.
Not only is she tough beyond anything, but she's also virtuous. All the characters notice it. Even Peeta points it out. Also, ever noticed how little she cusses in the books? Yeah. That's some legitness. It takes a lot to be a tough and virtuous character.
Admitably, I have a problem with her almost-cruelty when it comes to romance. But she shows an independence even there that is hugely admirable. And that exact lack of caring makes the fact that there is a love triangle in this series bearable. Because, as I've stated before, I don't like love triangles.
And it's not like she's a cruel person in general. Quite the contrary. She shows a motherly devotion and care towards so many of the characters in the book--Prim, Rue, even Peeta--and this exact kindness drives her actions through the entire plot of the trilogy.
Toughness, virtuousness, and kindness. That's some greatness right there.
The entire trilogy is from her perspective. That doesn't give me much to single out.
Now that we've talked about some female awesomeness, can we talk about some male awesomeness? Like the fact that the winners are in TEAM PEETA.
I can't even tell you how much I love Peeta. I LOVE HIM. It makes me so sad that he isn't real. Because he is the ultimate of guyness. The best romantic figure in all of literature.
Because here's the truth about Peeta: he loved Katniss so much he made the choice to die protecting her. Twice. He is the sweetest, kindest, strongest, most charming boy EVER. And SO good at romantic gestures. Dudes should just go read the Hunger Games to figure out how to be. Because... gosh. I can't even tell you. It makes me choke up just thinking about Peeta. That kind of love, that altruism? It doesn't happen every day. Or ever.
Honestly, I could go on with these forever, but I'll pick a few for this post.
Book One: “Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to… to show the Capitol they don’t own me. That I’m more than just a piece in their Games.”
“I remember everything about you. You're the one who wasn't paying attention.”
Book Two: "I wish I could freeze this moment, right here, right now, and live in it forever."
Book Three: “The problem is, I can’t tell what’s real anymore, and what’s made up.”
"You love me. Real or not real?"
Ella from Ella Enchanted is a good strong female character, from a very good book. I like Wanda from The Host because she displays an altruism that I relate to. Alex Rider from the Alex Rider series is pretty cool, although I can't see him in a room with any of these other characters. I just like his ingenuity. Also, Pendragon from the Pendragon series is pretty cool, although a bit untouchable. That series, which is some legit sci-fi freaked me out towards the end, but it actually comes to a good conclusion.
And of course there are a ton of other minor characters I love in Harry Potter--like Fred Weasley.
Images via harrypotter.wikia.com, thehungergames.wikia.com, and teampeeta.com.