Luna Lovegood. I like her because, even though she's been through a lot in her life (her mom dying, and being bullied A LOT), she's really strong, and doesn't let any of it get to her whatsoever. She's also one of the wisest characters in the series, and, without her, I don't think Harry would have been able to do what he did in the last book.
Alaska Young, no doubt in my mind.
That is Katniss Everdeen, because in the Hungergames she has this practicle way of thinking. She has lost her father and then in a way her mother and has to take care of her little sister, no time to cry, no time to sit around. She has to suck it all up to survive. She is really tough. Not because she has no feelings or emotions. Not because she thinks it would be cool. Because she has to be tough. And later you really see how crooked she is and how traumatized and that part is very beautifully written. Very.. natural, because ofcourse everything that happened to her was completely horrible. In other books I've read, females can be tough but then mostly because there isn't a lot of feeling to begin with. But with Katniss you see how everything affects and so you can see how much it actually costs her to be this tough.
It is something that my own character in my own stories do, (the whole 'just suck it up' part) even before I had ever heard of the Hungergames. It's something I'm attracted to.
This is so hard...I guess Nasuada from Eragon because she's pretty cool. Or maybe Lyra from His Dark Materials...Or Max from Maxium Ride...or Molly Hooper from Sherlock...I don't know!
Katsa from Graceling/the seven kingdoms series. I truly enjoyed reading Graceling and joining Katsa in her journey to finding her true self, not just the one her uncle wanted her to be and the one people believed her to be. She grew and grew into such an extraordinary character through the book. Anyone agree?
Matilda all the way. Reading about a smart, entirely capable young girl while I was one myself was super empowering and I still remember imagining that I could move things with my mind.
There are more recent favorite female characters of mine, but she was the first to have a memorable impact on me.
Lisbeth Salander from the Millennium Trilogy and the Woman from Sherlock Holmes! There are so many though....
Pride and Prejudice: Lizzie Bennet, as imperfect as she is <3
Circle of Magic (Tamora Pierce): Tris and Sandry. Both dedicated to their friends, and taking no crap from anyone. I adore the idea of young girls reading characters like these and thinking "that girl is awesome. I want to be like her"
In Death series (J.D. Robb): Eve Dallas and Peabody. Because awesome cops who kick butt and drip with sarcasm with idealistic/ tragic pasts working the mean streets of NYC as partners hits all the right notes for me.
I am currently reading a high fantasy novel called "Mistborn: The Final Empire". The main character of the series, Vin, is a strong female character who is a quick thinker and, by using her brain and her extraordinary abilities, can get out of any situation. She kind of reminds me of Katniss a bit- they both have similar personalities.
Alaska, because I thought she was a great character, and even though she wasn't the best girl (by any stretch) she is still one of my favorite fictional characters. I like her, because I kind of like those kind of girls. Not the drinking, smoking, addicted to sex type of girl, but the sporadic type, adventurous, and making me do things that I wouldn't otherwise do type of girl.
Hmm... perhaps Dagny Taggart from Atlas Shrugged for her independence, intellect and strength. On the other hand there is Kitty from Anna Karenina who is just precious.
Isabelle Lightwood from the Mortal Instruments series, because she kicks butt :)