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I'm coming out straight away and saying that in no way will this list be comprehensive. It's just not possible. There are too many great YA heroines out there for many, many reasons. It might be because I connected with them on a personal level. They're amazing strength-wise. They're amazing mentally. They're amazing in emotional strength. They could have gone through something that I applaud them for. Or that I just simply loved them as a person/character. I have too many so I'm going to list the ones that immediately come to mind.
Hermoine Granger from Harry Potter
Everyone can go home now. ALL BOW DOWN TO THE QUEEN. So she's not a queen in Harry Potter, but she's British and should be the goal of all women. I could really write a whole appreciation post about her.
- She's unabashedly smart.
- She kicks butt, but knows that she can still dress up.
- She has enough patience to deal with Harry and Ron's idiotic ways and thinking.
- She is all-around amazing. I could go on FOREVER. Too many moments to mention.
Alanna from The Song of the Lioness
She becomes a knight, fools everyone into thinking she's a guy, and becomes a leader in her own right. What else is there?
Celaena Saradothin from Throne of Glass
If anyone can kick butt, it is definitely and absolutely Celaena. But what's even greater is that while she's an assassin, she's also very "girly" with her dresses and balls. Showing the world that you don't have to be one or the other.
Nyx from Cruel Beauty
She's taking her role in this retelling of Beauty and the Beast in a whole different light.
Katsa from Graceling
Em from All Our Yesterdays
Girl has gone through some serious trauma. I loved her so much.
Katniss from The Hunger Games
I honestly debated if I should just leave her off this list because this is an automatic and resounding DUH. I'd guarantee she'll be on most everybody's lists. She deserves bullet points too.
- She volunteered for her sister and connected with tiny Rue.
- Everyone in the book might think she's heartless, but we all know she has more heart than almost everyone. Maybe too much, really.
- She outmaneuvered the Gamemakers and the Capitol.
- She fought in the freakin' Games TWICE.
- But most importantly, in my opinion, she had to deal with the aftermath of the Games and all the trauma brought down on her head. She was fighting some serious PTSD during the war in Mockingjay and then had to deal with even crappier trauma after that. Do not lessen her situations to me.
Seraphina Dombegh from Seraphina
Let's be honest, I really have to reread this since the sequel is finally coming out. But I do remember that once I got into it, I loved Seraphina. I can't wait to reconnect with her again.
Kestrel from The Winner's Curse
She is incredible at outhinking people. Plus, she bought Arin so that's another point in her favor.
D.J. Schwenk from Dairy Queen
She's essentially the reason why her family was able to keep their farm, she plays football, and she tries to get in touch with her feminine side.
Scarlet from Scarlet
Another girl in disguise book who rocked it. She became even better in the next two books too. Prepare to have Scarlet steal your heart.
Hazel from The Fault in Our Stars
Honestly, she didn't blow me away for the reasons that most people might list. Yeah, I admire her for fighting cancer and for everything with Augustus. But she was hilarious in her narrative. I know it's Green writing, but Hazel made me laugh.
Ella from Ella Enchanted
Cammie Morgan (and the rest) from The Gallagher Girls
You can't mention one without mentioning the others even though it does say heroine and not secondary characters too. But Cammie is my girl. She's a spy, a girl with boy problems, and a girl who went through some seriously twisted stuff in the last couple of books.
Mia from The Princess Diaries
She might have her issues and may annoy me to no end, but I am her #1 fan. I constantly feel the need to have the latest book in my hands right now or I will die. Keel over right here and now.
Ismae from Grave Mercy
Another assassin! And she lived in a nunnery. Even cooler.
Beauty from Beauty
All girls in Beauty and the Beast retellings deserve to be on this list.
Cath from Fangirl
She is me. I am her.
Like I said, in no way is this list comprehensive. I have listed 18 books and they are only the ones that I instantly thought of and put down. If you gave me a little more time, I could probably come up with 18 more
and 18 more after that easily. With this list, I think I mainly thought of the "strong" characters first. The ones who are applauded for being physically strong and kick butt. This is because those characters stand out more and demand attention. I'm not saying they're better than the ones that I connect to on a personal level, but logically, they're the ones I'll remember first. So there you have it.
What are your favorite YA heroines? Why?