If there was ever a character whose looks defies any stereotype of a protagonist, it's Lisbeth Salander. She's a short, skinny, tattooed, pale girl with pierced nose and eyebrows. Yes. She is the weird looking girl that kicks butt.
When I started reading The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, I thought it was a strange thing that Stieg Larson did. Why would anyone create a protagonist like Lisbeth who was so unlikeable? Her harrowing time as a child, made her an introvert and she developed a nonchalance to social niceties. But as I kept reading, which I was compelled to even though I didnt much care for the translation, I was soon rooting for her. Lisbeth was the girl in me, who did what I wanted to do to every male chauvinistic pig and woman-abuser in the world. By the end of the book, I would have kicked down people who even spoke ill of her. Her use of intelligence to get at powerful people gave me a high. But the main thing was how she goes through all that tremendous trauma and rises like a phoenix like a true hero.
An extremely intelligent woman, she is the nemesis of men who abuse women. The Wasp, as she is known in the computer hacking circles, is a captivating character that remained in my head long after the details of the actual story got blurred and faded.
By the way, this is a great example of how a good story shines through mediocre translation.