This is my copy. Win your own.
I loved Gilmore Girls. For a ton of reasons. But one of them was that they had a character on the show – Sookie – who was overweight and it wasn’t even a thing. Imagine that. A fat person whose weight wasn’t the most important aspect of their character, and who wasn’t weird or overly awkward or stupid or gross. It’s almost like it was just a part of life to be around people of all sizes. Weird, right?
My friend Rainbow is an author. Recently her second book, Eleanor & Park came out. And there are a lot of things I love about this book – the characters are complex and realistic, the music is fantastic, the storyline is painfully beautiful. You can read John Green’s own review here. I really can’t add anything to it. Except to say that Eleanor, like Sookie, is fat and normal. Her size isn’t the issue in the story. It’s just an aspect of her like her red hair or her freckles or the way she dresses or her insecurity. Rainbow recently wrote this about Eleanor’s size. And if I didn’t love Rainbow already I’d have fallen head over heels for her right that second.
So there are a lot of reasons I love this book, but the main reason that I’m telling you about it here is because we need more stories out there in the world where characters are different in some way and it’s not the main thing about them. We need more fat characters who are just friends and people and not there for their fat hilarity. Fat characters who are funny and sad and full of love and fear and hope and cynicism. Who are not necessarily nice, but who you love with all your heart and you wish you could scoop up into a big hug and a nice, safe life. Who are complex like real people.
I want as many people as possible to read this book. Including you. So I am giving away a signed copy to one reader. Rainbow’s going to be in my neck of the woods this week so I plan to go to a couple of book signings (I may or may not be a groupie) and I’ll have a copy signed for you on Friday, once I know who the winner is.
How: Leave a comment here on this entry! I’d love to hear what other awesome female characters you love in books, movies or TV. Not necessarily fat characters, but someone who doesn’t fit the mold, who stands out as unusual, and who you find inspiring. So leave me a comment here telling me about a character you love, if you have one. If you don’t have one, then you definitely need to read this book so leave a comment either way! Make sure you include a valid email address so I can contact you.
When: Contest will end Friday at noon Pacific time, and I’ll announce the winner as soon as I can after that (bear with me as this is looking to be a very busy week).
What: One person will be chosen at random from the comments and will win a signed copy of Eleanor & Park, and probably some swag from Rainbow’s upcoming new book Fangirl (which I haven’t yet read, but I’m hoping I might get to do a giveaway for as well in the near future).
UPDATE: The giveaway is now OVER. But! Hey guess what! My friend Bethany is ALSO giving away a copy of E&P! Double your chances to win at her blog here.
going British here. on (Inspector) Lewis (airs in the US as part of the Masterpiece Mystery), the Chief of Police for Oxford is a woman (Innocent). she’s younger than DI Lewis, is always treated with respect, and her gender/age/physicality are simply not a part of deal. She’s their boss, and that’s that.
So, rather than a character (though she is quite the character!) I find Anais Nin to be an incredibly inspiring woman. From her writings to the way she lived her life, she was positively years ahead of her time. Her beliefs and appreciation for women claiming their sexuality, the importance of the mother-child relationship, and her ability to find humor and strength through life’s tragedies is astounding. I highly recommend reading Delta of Venus, well really any and all of her works! Perhaps my most favorite quote of her’s: “And the day came when the risk to remain tight in a bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.”
She’s not a fat character, but I loved Willow from Buffy the Vampire Slayer. She was geeky in the best sense of the word, and instead of hiding it, she let it shine.
I do not want to win a signed copy (I already have two!) but I had to say DONNA NOBLE. THE END.
Yeahhhhh I love Eleanor. But I don’t have the book yet, so, enter me! Others : Daisy Goodnight from the book Spirit & Dust by Rosemary Clement Moore is pretty kick ass. And, of course, Arya Stark.
I loved Sookie from GG too, for the same reasons! Her weight was never even mentioned and didn’t define her in anyway. I also love Charlie from the TV show Supernatural. She proudly lets her geek flag fly and her all her smarts, quirks, and geekness is celebrated and seen as positives. I also love how her sexuality (she’s gay) doesn’t define her character.
I think two of my fave female book characters who broke molds and defied stereotypes will always be Hermione and Luna from the Harry Potter series.
Thanks for the giveaway :)
Reaching way back to my childhood, but I loved Anne Shirley! She was so strong and spirited – delightfully imperfect!!!
I loved Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone (Laini Taylor.) Fantastic strong charachter, just beautifully written.
I so want to read this book… Thanks for the chance to win.
A character I am loving right now is Nimona, in the ongoing online comic by Noelle Stevenson. Google it and enjoy! :)
I LOVED this book so much! And I read a library copy so I’d be thrilled to own my own!
Struggling to think of a female character I loved as much as Eleanor…. Maybe Louisa in “Me Before You”?
I would love to win a copy of this book! I love memoirs and two of my favorite are Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott and May Sarton’s memoirs. Some of my favorite Barbara Kingsolver novels have complex and compelling female characters. As far as TV and movies as well as print (comics), I love Joss Whedon’s emphasis on strong female characters. Someone mentioned Buffy so I have to chime in too that Amber Benson’s character, Tara, was by far my favorite on the show.
Bethany beat me to it, but Donna Noble! Catherine Tate in anything, really. Life in general.
I, too, was a big fan of the Gilmore Girls. I’m still sad that Rory didn’t say yes to Logan even though I know it wasn’t right for her but come on…it was Logan!
However, another female character that I love is Maggie Smith as Lady Violet on Downton Abbey. She really makes the show. I love her wit and her old school nature. She is just so fun although I am sure Lady Violet would think it was dreadful of me to say so.
For a good chuckle when I’m not in the best of places (mentally), I absolutely adore Stephanie Plum from the Janet Evanovich Numbers books. Agreed, they are no literary works of art, but I once laughed so hard on a plane at 2 am that I damn near peed my pants and woke up half the plane!
I personally love Tris from Divergent By Veronica Roth. When I was reading the book, I liked how refreshing it was to read about a flawed character. She wasn’t portrayed as someone “beautiful” like other heroines. The book focused on her other qualities, which I thought was different.
OK, maybe I am voting for the obvious, but there are few characters I love as much as Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games series. She is strong and compassionate and yet willing to do whatever is necessary to save herself, her friends and her family.
Thanks for the article, zebrabelly, and for the giveaway!
Maybe cliche, but I LOVE Merida from Brave. The fact that she’s a princess but doesn’t want a prince is amazing and shows everyone that you don’t need a husband or spouse or to fit into society’s mold to live a happy and fulfilling life. And of course, I love her hair.
Frankie Landau-Banks from (obviously) The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks! She’s feminist, funny, mischievous, and still human and vulnerable. I wish we could be friends!
Molly Weasley. She was strong in so many ways, and really was a solid rock for her family.
This book has been on my read list for ages! I love all the suggestions here – especially Sookie, Tris, and Luna. I also enjoyed Katsa, Fire, and Bitterblue in the Graceling trilogy. They worked hard to develop their own values and voice.
Favorite female character, hmm this is going to sound silly but the one that inspired me as a child was Mulan from the Disney movie. I loved her fearlessness and i related to her feelings of not fitting in with her own family. She was still strong and brave enough to be herself in the end, that was a powerful message to me.
So many good choices, but my first literary heroine was Laura Ingalls Wilder – naturalist and explorer, who loved her family and had as difficult a time keeping her temper as I did.
I recently discovered Gretchen Galway from the free Kindle book list. In her novel, This Time Next Door, the main character Rose is great. She’s curvy and she embraces it. She’s sassy and smart and confident. Love her!
My favorite book character would probably be Hazel from John Green’s TFiOS. I relate to her in a lot of ways, especially health-wise. My favorite character from a tv show would be Charlie Bradbury on Supernatural. In the same way that Sookie in GG didn’t let her weight define her, Charlie doesn’t let her sexuality or interests define her. I also really wanna read E&P because a friend recommended it to me, and I haven’t read it yet.
I really love Francie from a Tree Grows in Brooklyn. I love that she reads, that she pours out her coffee every day, that she works hard. I just love that book.