Strangers, I friggin’ love girls. Being an out bisexual homoromantic, this isn’t really all that surprising. As a reader, my list of favorite heroines is endless and constantly growing. Thus, this tag felt like the perfect way to gush about eleven of them. And so, here are eleven girls I think are just the bee’s knees:
- Warrior Girl: Helene Aquilla from An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir. Helene was raised in a warrior society. She trained her entire life to be a Mask, the highest level a centurion can be. She is a leader and a fighter. She’s loyal to her friends and those she loves. As the Blood Shrike, she commands an entire army and is second only to the emperor. She is warrior-bred through and through.
- Girl who Fights with Her Mind: Cia Vale from the Testing trilogy by Joelle Charbonneau. Cia competes in a competition based entirely on brains. She is smart and clever. She’s studied in science, government, and more. Her intelligence has given her options many others don’t get and gets her through all the trials and tribulations of the Testing and everything after it. She fights with her brain and it’s amazing to watch.
- Girl who Fights with Her Heart: Linh Cinder from The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. From the first, everything Cinder does is for someone else. Whether she’s fighting for her step-sister or the boy she loves or defending the people of Earth and Luna, she does everything out of love. She puts others’ needs before her own because she cares for them and wants to help. She wants to give people a better life and better treatment than she ever got. She’s devoted to her cause even before she officially accepts it. She loves with all her heart and lets it guide her.
- Girl who is a Trained Fighter: Emma Carstairs from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. Emma is the first Shadowhunter Chronicles protagonist to have been raised a Shadowhunter. She trained long and hard and has already become the best Shadowhunter of her generation. She’s gifted with many weapons, but prefers her sword Cortana above all. She’s excellent in combat and can leap from great heights. And she doesn’t even need extra angel blood to be this good!
- Strong Girl of Color: Starr Carter from The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas. Starr has so much strength, I am honestly in awe of her. She witnesses her childhood best friend murdered by a cop, is threatened by a gang leader, and loses another best friend, and yet she keeps her head up high and fights for what’s right. She allows herself to feel, breaking down several times throughout the novel. She deals daily with just being a young black girl in America! She never stays down for long, by the end well on her way to a life of activism and happiness.
- Girl who Fights to Survive: Inej Ghafa from the Six of Crows duology by Leigh Bardugo. Inej has had a harrowing, traumatic past, being abducted and sold into sex slavery. She endured a year of abuse at the hands of her madame and countless men. Once she joins the Dregs, she fights daily just to stay alive. Her ultimate goal is to leave, but in the meantime she needs to survive. Armed with her six knives and impeccable spider skills, she is one force you should never bet against.
- Girl who is a Weapons Master: Diana Wrayburn from The Dark Artifices by Cassandra Clare. I really didn’t want to repeat an author, but honestly, is there a better choice for weapon’s master than Diana? She literally owned and ran a weapons shop. She obviously knows her shit. She also has to deal with the fact that she’s a transgender Shadowhunter. (She’s also black, but that isn’t an issue in the Shadow World.) She is the grandmaster of weapons and she’s a bad bitch. You can’t kill her!
- Girl who Doesn’t Conform to Gender Roles: Lila Bard from the Shades of Magic trilogy by V.E. Schwab. Lila is actually genderfluid, though that word didn’t exist in her time. She loves knives and dreams of being a pirate. She prefers pants to dresses and never says no to a challenge. She can drink with the best of them and is an expert thief. She’s a total badass, so it’s no wonder she’s a fan favorite.
- Girl with Kick-Butt Magical Powers: Feyre Archeron from the A Court of Thorns and Roses series by Sarah J. Maas. I mean, girl has the powers of every single High Lord. She’s a friggin’ marvel. Not only that, but she mastered her powers pretty quickly. As powerful as she is, it’s a wonder she could ever lose.
- Strong Girl in a Contemporary Novel: Lily Calloway from the Addicted/Calloway Sisters series by Krista & Becca Ritchie. Lily genuinely amazes me. Her recovery from her sex addiction was so empowering to watch. She overcame some of the roughest shit I’ve ever seen. Not only that, but watching her learn to love herself and not be ashamed was beautiful. She’s a not-actually-real-life-but-kind-of superhero.
- Seriously Fierce Girl: Karou from the Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy. I love Karou with my entire being. She’s witty, caring, whimsical, and serious. She’d do anything for her people, even if it’s ugly. She has blue hair and can fly simply because she wants to. She’s an artist and a lover. She protects those she cares about and fights for what she believes is right. She strives to bring an end to centuries of hate between the species. She makes friggin’ people! She’s a goddess and I love her more than words could ever explain.
Do you have any female characters you’d like to give a shout-out to? Let me know in the comments!