Well-written protagonists are so hard to come across. You’ve to scour through hordes of novels (and spend sleepless nights in the process, because night-time equals reading time) to find one that you can hopelessly fall in love with. Imagine if this is the case with well-written characters, what would be the process to find the sassiest personalities in between the printed pages? It’ll be lengthier, that is for sure.
But don’t worry, I have done the hard part for you eager readers; compiled down below are the sassiest, snarkiest protagonists of all times. Proceed at your own discretion though – you might adopt their personalities after reading!
- Elizabeth Bennet – Pride and Prejudice:
Wait, did you really think our beloved Lizzie won’t be here? Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet is a sensible, funny, and playful character (even emphasized by her father, Mr Bennet, in the initial pages). This classic enemies-to-lovers story often sees Lizzy’s wordy tussle with Mr Darcy, her love interest. Thankfully, while others are put off by her apparent snarky wit, Mr Darcy feels an insatiable pull towards her. Her sassiness might not fit today’s definition though – her wit is, what can I say, classic (see what I did there?).
– “Angry people are not always wise.”
– “He is a gentleman, and I am a gentleman’s daughter. So far we are equal.”
– “It is a truth universally acknowledged, that a single man in possession of a good fortune, must be in want of a wife.”
- Percy Jackson – The Percy Jackson Series:
Make way for the ultimate sassy protagonist, Percy Jackson. Source? Just trust me and read it for yourself! The titular main character in The Percy Jackson Series, Percy Jackson is the most realistic rendition of how a sassy character could be. His wit is legendary – even more impressive for 12 years old – and sometimes, endearingly stupid, when he’s in a dangerous situation (there are many).
In fact, his sass is so popular that the PJO fandom invented the word Persassy (Percy + Sassy). It is now used to describe a person who annoys and amazes you with their sass. The impact of Perssassius Jackson, I tell you! Some necessary examples –
– What horrible things would you have to do in your life to get woven into Hades’ underwear?
– (Annabeth) My fatal flaw. That’s what the sirens showed me. My fatal flaw is hubris.
(Percy) The brown stuff they spread on veggie sandwiches?
(Annabeth) No, seaweed brain. That’s hummus. Hubris is worse.
(Percy) What could be worse than hummus?
- Rosemarie Hathaway – Vampire Academy Series:
There are a lot of things going on in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series. But the part that holds it all together – and makes it better – is the sassy protagonist, Rosemarie Hathaway. She’s a vampire hybrid, i.e. a dhampir, in training to become a guardian for her vampire best friend, Lissa. Rose is undeniably strong, physically and emotionally, but her recklessness is what shines through her actions and words. That means she really isn’t afraid to tell the bad guys to fuck off (and then drive a stake through their hearts) – and it’s so endearing and fun to read! And yes, did I forget to say she’s sassy?
Some very vital examples –
– “And I thought the whole point of my education was that violence IS the answer.”
– “No one had ever called me unnatural before, except for the time I put ketchup on a taco. But seriously, we’d been out of salsa, so what else was I supposed to do?”
– “What’s going on?” he demanded.
“The usual, old man,” I replied cheerily. “Danger, insane plans… you know, the stuff that runs in our family.”
- Galadriel – The Scholomance series:
Don’t be so sceptical about the protagonist’s name; she’s actually just referred to as Gal or El. She is from Naomi Novik’s The Scholomance, a fantasy series in which the magic academy doesn’t have teachers, studies or exams – it thrives on the students’ failure. You can either graduate (by surviving) or die.
It is in this scenario that we find Galadriel, a witch shunned to the side because she could potentially kill anyone and everyone. Her obvious loneliness is so heart-wrenching that one can’t help but whisper, Kill them all at all times. However, she expertly hides behind her sassiness that seeps through each and every scene of the story. Trust me, you’ll want to adopt this smart, sarcastic and bitter protagonist!
– “I know you’re just waiting for us to put your statue up, but that’s no reason to carry on like a slab of solid rock.”
– “I love having existential crises at bedtime, it’s so restful.”
– “My anger’s a bad guest, my mother likes to say: comes without warning and stays a long time.”
- Yelena Zaltana – The Study Series:
The Study Series is not as popular as the other fantasy sagas – which is why it’s a shame to have missed out on this sassy protagonist. Yelena Zaltana is a twenty-something girl who is offered a chance to escape her execution – by becoming a food taster. Sounds simple? No! The job means she’ll be continually exposed to poison, as she’ll be tasting the meals of the Commander of the Country.
Yelena has a mysterious past and as for her present, she always finds herself in trouble. Unsurprisingly, that has resulted in her developing the snarkiest personality, with a dash of strong spirit.
Some quintessential examples –
– “Poisoned, pursued and living with a psychopath. Not what I would consider the good life. Death has its perks.”
– “Nothing like having a warrant for your execution to get a girl motivated.”
- Lucy and Joshua – The Hating Game:
Sally Thorne’s debut novel struck a chord in every reader’s heart. How so? Because The Hating Game has everything – modern-day drama, office romance, enemies to lovers – all encased in great writing style and well-paced narration. The story is simple – Lucy and Joshua are colleagues who hate each other and try to make sure the other falls on their face. Their ‘games’ come to an end when they realize there are loving feelings involved in their hate. Both Lucy and Joshua are quirky, sarcastic yet tender and caring towards each other. And their witty banter? So much better than reality!
– “What are you imagining? Your expression is filthy.”
“Strangling you. Bare hands.”
– “It’s a corporate truth universally acknowledged that workers would rather eat rat skeletons than participate in group activities.”
– “Shortcake, if we were flirting, you’d know about it.”
“Because I’d be traumatized?”
- Jane Grey – My Lady Jane:
Everyone is familiar with the tragic story of nine days’ queen, Lady Jane Grey, but this book – thankfully, gives a humorous twist to it! My Lady Jane – the first instalment in the Lady Janies Series – see the King of England, Edward, arranging his cousin’s marriage to Gifford. The catch? Jane’s soon-to-be husband is a horse… man – let’s just say it’s complicated. There are politics, conspiracies, and royal shenanigans – but that takes a backseat in front of Jane’s presence.
Jane’s a proud nerd, a feminist queen and amazingly sarcastic. This recipe of a personality connects pretty well with the light-hearted, funny rendition of history. Since Jane’s married to a horse (man?) though, expect a lot of horse jokes!
– “I asked him to change back to talk to me, but he won’t,” Jane said. “It’s disrespectful to remain a horse in the bedchamber, I should think.”
– “No horse jokes,” he said.
“My lord, I apologize for the horse joke. If you put down the book—unharmed! —I will give you a carrot.”
He brandished the book at her. “Was that a horse joke?”
If you ask me, sassiness is not a trait – it’s a lifestyle! And all these characters embody this lifestyle in a rather interesting way. May it be Persassy who tickles your fancy or the morbid sarcasm that drips through Galadriel’s narration, you’ll love to get acquainted with these sassy protagonists!Jane Grey – My Lady Jane