March 8th is International Women’s Day, and in honor of that event, I wanted to take this opportunity to talk about three women in literature who inspire me. As a disclaimer, you must keep in mind that I mostly dabble in the world of YA Fantasy, and so my choices are from that world. This is not to say that women like Scarlet O’Hara and Jane Eyre aren’t inspirational… they are simply ones that weren’t selected this time through.
Maximum Ride, James Patterson
While I generally disliked the Maximum Ride serious (or at least failed to be impressed with it) I was incredibly impressed with Max herself. She was single-minded, real, focused, and conflicted. Despite her mutation and the fact that she is a fictional character thrown into an extraordinary situation, Max reads are relatively relatable and likable. I also loved Patterson’s descriptions of flying from Max’s point of view. Made me wish I had wings. In the moments that I wanted to toss the book across the room, it was Max (max! Not Patterson’s brilliance or the other characters) that kept me reading.
Artemis Fowl, Eoin Colfer
Even when she’s soft, Holly is business. She is proud of who she is, and what she has accomplished, and she works hard to earn her stripes. She’s quick and savvy and smart, and just a generally admirable character, it’s little wonder that Artemis will always have a little bit of her with him… literally. Despite her looks, Holly is no Tinkerbell, and it’s her character that gave me hope for the mythical race of faeries.
Last, but not least –
Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, JK Rowling
Ever since the first time I read Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, I wanted to be Hermione Granger. She was like me (I thought) in so many ways – she was smart, but never beautiful, her best friends were boys, and she had something I wanted (at that age) more than anything in the world – magical powers. Even now, I admire the character and adore Emma Watson’s portrayal of her. Hermione is smart, and she made it cool for girl’s to be smart. She had leadership qualities, but is also a team player, and she is the glue that keeps the trio together. She cares about people (and mythical creatures) and she is committed and loyal. How could you not strive to be like Hermione?
Of course there are many more women in literature who are strong characters, who inspire other women of all ages to be the best person they can. When I posed the question to myself, these are the three that came to my mind – who comes to yours?