Whenever I see a strong, complex female protagonist--be it in a movie, book, TV show, video game, etc.--I get really excited. Sadly, they're still much rarer than their male counterparts.
One of my all-time favorite kick-butt female protagonists is teen super-sleuth Veronica Mars (from the criminally canceled TV show---wait for it--Veronica Mars). Veronica is:
- super smart
- super sarcastic
- has an unusual job that puts her in the way of adventure and danger
- still deals with some very real teen issues like unpopularity, ostracism and much, much more
I. love. her. And the lovely, talented Kristen Bell plays her to perfection.
My other very favorite thing about Veronica Mars is Veronica's opposite: the popular, snooty, polarizing Logan Echolls. In terms of depth of character, I think Logan is a paragon. In terms of nuanced acting, I think Jason Dohring (who plays Logan) is vastly, vastly underrated and should be acting in many more things.
I often think of Veronica and Logan when I'm trying to give my characters life and depth (and a certain sassy quality I greatly admire). Interestingly enough, Veronica Mars creator Rob Thomas (no, not the one who is lonely at 3 AM) was a YA author before becoming a TV show creator. His novel Rats Saw God is on my to-read list. I'm really excited to see what kind of character work he's done in prose.