A Character List by Jemimah Halbert Brewster
Warning: this post contains some spoilers of the books and series mentioned
Tiffany Aching, from several Terry Pratchett books
First introduced in The Wee Free Men, Tiffany Aching is a 9-year-old who has lived her whole life on the Chalk, a region of green rolling hills, sheep, farmland, and ancient traditions that is Terry Pratchett’s Discworld answer to the English countryside. I first read The Wee Free Men (and subsequent Tiffany Aching books) when I was a pre-teen, and I immediately identified with her fierce determination, pride, and love for her home. Tiffany is probably best embodied by the following quotes from The Wee Free Men:
Pg 7. She was still very angry. How dare a monster turn up in her river? Especially one so… so… ridiculous! Who did it think she was?
And a personal favourite quote of mine:
Pg 25. “Zoology, eh? That’s a big word, isn’t it.”
“No, actually it isn’t,” said Tiffany. “Patronizing is a big word. Zoology is quite short.”
The teacher’s eyes narrowed further. Children like Tiffany were bad news.
To be completely honest, that’s the level of sass that I embodied as a pre-teen!
Granny Weatherwax, also from several of Terry Pratchett’s books
Granny Weatherwax is a witch of advanced but indeterminate age. She is severe but kind, and generally uses psychology (or, as she calls it, ‘headology’) over magic to influence the people she encounters. She is one of the people who quietly, efficiently, and without obvious payment run the world and everything in it. She’s a witch, through and through, and witches know things and take care of things. Rocks literally wither under her gaze. I want to be her.
Hester Shaw from the Mortal Engines series by Philip Reeve (soon to be a movie!!)
Reasons Hester Shaw is a bad-ass:
- When she was a child a man slashed her across the face with a sword, leaving her with a jagged diagonal scar across her face and only one eye
- She was then rescued and raised by a Stalker, which is essentially a killer zombie-robot
- She fell in love with a gentle, kind, bookish museum-worker called Tom whom she constantly has to rescue and defend
- She can hunt with a bow and arrow
- She’s difficult and cranky and unpleasant and needs a lot of alone time and only likes one person in the whole world. People she meets often complain that she is ugly, standoffish, and unpleasant, but it never stops her from being strong, independent, kick-ass, and bad-ass
Bridget Jones, Bridget Jones’s Diary by Helen Fielding
I absolutely love Bridget Jones’s Diary and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason. They’re fabulous tongue-in-cheek British humour, quintessentially ‘90s, and wonderfully warm romantic stories with a heroine who is sort of an anti-heroine. Bridget Jones as a character is insecure, obsessive, clumsy, a little immature, warm, and fun. Her diary chronicles her thoughts and feelings about her life, her career, her vices, her relationships, and her (often hilarious) decisions and mistakes. I love Bridget Jones because she tries so very hard to be an ‘it’ girl, to be cool and hip and young and envied by all, but it always goes terribly wrong and she ends up back where she started, still smoking, still drinking, and still counting calories, but also still loyal to her friends and tolerant of her mother.