‘Hunger Games’ Heroine Katniss Everdeen: Best. Female. Protagonist. Ever?

Every once in awhile, a book comes along that reminds me why I fell in love with the medium in the first place. Transports me to another time and place, forces me to cancel/rearrange all my plans until I finish, and makes me grateful for the wonderfully creative people in the world who put their brilliant words to page. Now, despite my voracious appetite for fiction and non, there have only been a handful of these wholly engrossing reads. “Harry Potter,” “Game of Thrones,” “The Mortal Instruments,” to name a few and now, “The Hunger Games.”

I’m late to the party on this, I know, but as of last weekend, I am totally and obsessively on board. Never mind the fact that Suzanne Collins’ story alone is absolutely captivating, jarring and heartbreaking all at once, but our heroine Katniss Everdeen is quite possibly THE best female protagonist ever.

Unlike all the popular leading ladies of late, this is a young woman with REAL problems. Survival, first and foremost. In Katniss’ world, there is no place for pithy talk of material goods, gossip, boyfriends; not a word about teenage angst or lingering, swoony glances across a room; she is focused on one thing and one thing only: keeping her loved ones alive. It’s so damned refreshing!

Part of the reason why this “girl who was on fire” appeals so much to me is that she has—even if she doesn’t know it at first—so many of the qualities I admire most in women: strength, resilience, intelligence, independence, self-awareness. More importantly, she is NOT perfect. At all. She struggles with the weight of overwhelming responsibility, second-guesses her actions, self-defensively pushes away her emotions, etc. When young men come into her life, as they are wont to do, Katniss’ initial resistance and self-discovery in this respect is as wonderfully perfect and touching as it is heart wrenching. She is real and raw. And she has stayed with me long after I finished what I hope to be, the final words of her story.

On behalf of women who appreciate strong, respectable, role model-worthy female characters, thank you Suzanne Collins for your wonderful work!

Do you agree that Katniss is one of the best female protagonists of all time?