Friday, April 11, 2014

Bookish Heroines

It's no surprise I like books. (Hi. Book blogger.)

I dearly love reading about heroes and heroines in books who are also bookish, because it's cool to see your traits and obsessions reflected in the people you read about. So your bookishness is reflected in the bookishness of the bookish people in your books. It's like bookception.

Anyway, sometimes I'm disapointed with how bookish heroines are portrayed or characterized, because they can be cliche, or I don't really believe they like books, or they just have crap taste and I judge them because I'm very grown up. So I figured I'd do a round up of some of the bookish heroines I've noticed in YA.

All hail Queen Hermione, leader of us all.

I KNOW TAHEREH IS MISSPELLED. I know how to spell it. I'm just a lazy bum who didn't want to redo the graphic at the last moment, aka the moment I realized this. My apologiesss.

So Juliette had a hideous childhood, since she has murder hands and all, so her only friends were books, and then when she was locked in prison all she had was a pencil and he notebook to keep her company.

"I spent my life folded between the pages of books.

In the absence of human relationships I formed bonds with paper characters. I lived love and loss through stories threaded in history; I experienced adolescence by association. My world is one interwoven web of words, stringing limb to limb, bone to sinew, thoughts and images all together. I am a being comprised of letters, a character created by sentences, a figment of imagination formed through fiction."

Cath is a devoted fan and writes fan fiction for the fictional fiction Simon Snow. (Say that five times fast). She takes the BOOKS R LYFE motto to heart, making her favorite book series her main hobby and passion.

This is one of my favorite Meg Cabot novels, and part of the reason was Jenny, the main character, was a total science fiction lover. Usually bookish heroines are sitting around reading Tolstoy and other insta-smart-character books, but Jenny was reading The Andromeda Strain and Douglas Addams. Totally awesome.

She may be a hardened assassin, but what I love about Celaena is how much she indulges in the pleasures of life (since she's been pretty severely deprived of pleasures). And to her, there is nothing better than a piece of chocolate Chaol cake and a big fat book. (I don't regret that typo.)

Eleanor is a Shakespeare lover. Shakespeare's plays bond her to her brother, Elijah, and she knows many of them by heart, quoting them at various times throughout Something Strange and Deadly.

I adore Addie. I really, really buy her as a bookworm, and she is sarcastic and you totally get why a lot of the time she'd rather read than deal with the craziness that is life. Especially parallel universe life.

One of my favorite fictional writers every. Jo lives books (I don't mean, you know, literally, like she's a character so she lives in a book. You know what I mean). She writes them, she hugs them, she acts them out with her sisters. She's one of the original bookish, ink-splattered heroines.

Catherine is the star of arguably Jane Austen's most underrated novel. Some people find her a bit silly, but I adore Catherine. She's young and very imaginative, and after reading far too many Gothic novels in her life imagines all kinds of ghastly secrets and skeletons and ghosts in people's closets. Which, if I were spending any time in a big drafty abbey, I would so also do.

So smart she was reading Dickens in Kindergarten, mostly because her family is so wretched that Dickens and Melville are better company. (Also can move things with her eyeballs.)

Oh, Anne Shirley, my childhood icon. Dreamer, budding writer, lover of words and books and fanciful thoughts.

THIS BOOK. Cassandra is another author-to-be, and this novel takes the form of her diary. But there are also a lot of actually bookish discussions in I Capture the Castle, since Cassandra's father is an author, too. One of my favorite scenes when I was a teen is the one where Cassandra and her sister, Rose, debate the merits of Jane Austen compared to Charlotte Bronte, of which I had Opinions back then.

These last three are from books I haven't actually read (though I've started Clockwork Angel), but I figured they deserved spots on this list:

The first 117 pages of Clockwork Angel, which is all I've read so far, have a lot of focus on Tessa's love of literature and how books get her through the tough times in her life.

Tamora Pierce is one of my all-time favorite writers, so ONE day I'll get to the Emelan books. But what I do know of Tris (grumpy, misanthropic, prefers books to people) makes me sure that she'll be my favorite of the core four characters.

Apparently Katy, in between falling in love with hot alien boys and... um, other things, I am sure, blogs about books? She's a book blogger? She's one of us.

Who are some of your favorite bookish heroines and heroes?


  1. Along with Hermione, Matilda, and Cath, another one of my favorite bookish heroines is Liesel from the Book Thief :)

    1. Wow, I can't believe I forgot Liesel! Really good suggestion.

  2. Great list! :) I do think Katniss, Tris, Eleanor from Eleanor & Park, and Clary from the Mortal Instruments series should be on here.

  3. You have the BEST blog posts. Not only are your posts super original, they are highly entertaining! Seriously, I love your blog! And tumblrs. And Goodreads. You're awesome ;)

  4. You definitely will love Tris from the Circle of Magic (and the Circle Opens.... and the Circle Reforged) series. She and Briar are my favorites of the four MCs in those books!

  5. Seeing a heroine that specifically loves science fiction makes me very happy.

  6. Excellent, excellent post, Gillian! I loved seeing your list of bookish heroines, and nodding my head when I spotted characters I've met and fallen in love with.

  7. Posts like this are one of the reasons I really do love reading your blog SO MUCH! From the graphics to the characters you've highlighted, you just made me want to run to my shelves and pull all these books off and stack them beside my bed for some re-reading. And for the few I haven't met yet? HELLO NEW BOOKS ON MY TBR.


Note: comments on posts older than 90 days are automatically moderated, so they won't show up here immediately. Thanks for commenting! :)