Recommended Reading: Strong Heroines

Yesterday as a nod to International Women’s Day I posted an interview and guest post with author Elizabeth Wein. I thought I’d continue by recommending some great YA reads that are not only fantastic stories in their own right but also feature a strong heroine.

These are just some of my own favourite reads and I’m certain there are many more out there. For even more recommendations check out this list of top heroines over at Wear the Old Coat from various bloggers (you’ll see four of my own choices included!) or Chachic’s own list of favourite heroines.

*click on the covers for reviews*



Mary Quinn – is a part of a female agency in the Victorian era where women value education and independence an earn their living as spies. Mary is quick thinking, clever, honest (as much as she can be) and readily admits that she finds a certain Mr Easton very attractive.

Sally Lockhart – is level-headed, can fire a pistol, is extremely intelligent (she later owns her own business in investments), is very stubborn, brave and values her freedom and independence.

Liesel – automatically rocks because she’s got a rebellious streak and likes to steal books. She loves fiercely and without prejudice and is one of the strongest character’s I’ve read.

Verity and Maddie – amazing women ahead of their time.

Cassandra – Not all strong heroines out there are great leaders or fighters! Cassandra has one of the most distinct, memorable voices I have ever read. She is an aspiring writer, with a dry humor, naive, and the only grounded one in the middle of an eccentric family.

Marnie – is possible the one heroine on my list who isn’t as well-known. She is hard-working, courageous, quiet, caring, intelligent. Despite her own fears she takes in and helps a deaf boy. She continues to do so even when the village turn against her and accuse her of witchcraft. She sacrifices her own happiness to keep a roof over her family and has the conviction to go against others to do what she believes is the right thing.



Puck – is another heroine who is quiet, determined, resourceful and serious. She doesn’t give up or back down , she believes in herself and will do what it takes to look after her brother.

Penryn – a heroine who can truly take care of herself and kick-ass when needed. She’s a fighter, but only when she has to be. She thinks before she acts, and is brave and determined.

Suze – another girl who can kick-butt! Suze is funny, caring and doesn’t take shit from anyone, dead or alive.

Sophie – is clumsy, awkward and will never be top of the class – a breath of fresh air within the paranormal genre, not to mention completely hilarious and adorable for it.




 Kate – is quiet, and keeps to herself, is very talented and resourceful. She is incredibly brave and also has a talking cat.

Sabriel – is a mature young woman with a lot of inner strength. She controls the dead and is highly intelligent, a leader in the making.

Lyra –  is a wild cat, fiercely loyal and determined. She will go to the ends of the earth and beyond to do the right thing and to help any friend in need.

Tesadora – is quite simply a warrior. She protects the weak and doesn’t suffer fools. She is an incredibly strong, admirable, older female leader who doesn’t make any apologies for who she is.

Hermione – bookworm, loyal, brave, with strong sense of right and wrong and passionate against injustice, not to mention the smartest witch of her age. Those boys would be lost (and probably dead) without her.



 Saba – is most definitely a fighter. She is stubborn, can more than take care of herself and doesn’t allow people to get to close to her. But beware of going after someone she does care for.

Viola – another heroine who will do anything for the people she loves and stands up against injustice and wrong-doing.

Trella – keeps to herself and only lets a few people get close to her. She is natural leader (though she’d rather not be) is stronger than most, and fights for what she believes in.



Francesca – intelligent, witty, caring. Marchetta simple writes the best heroines.

Frankie – a feminist through and through. She can run circles round the rest of her peers and puts her high than average intelligence to great use.



Anne – She’s a bit of a dreamer and likes using absurdly long words. She’s vain, impetuous, proud, and has one hell of a temper (don’t tease her about her hair when there’s a slate in her hand, is all I’m saying) and is continually getting into the most ridiculous and hilarious scrapes.

Jane – quiet, compassionate and has an integrity not often seen. Jane is true to her heart but will never go against what she believes to be right. She is passionate but values her self-respect above all.

As you can see, a lot of my top heroines have a few things in common! Who ranks as your favourite heroine?

Don’t forget to check back on Monday with a guest post by Y.S Lee, author of the Mary Quinn mysteries!


5 thoughts on “Recommended Reading: Strong Heroines

  1. This is a pretty awesome post! I love strong female heroines and there area few books that are new to me on your list. You can bet that I’m definitely adding them on GoodReads.

  2. This is a great list! Yay for the shout-outs to the Agency series (more people should read this series!), the Mediator series, and Jane Eyre. I’m glad you chose to showcase a variety of genres here, and demonstrate that each of these heroines is “strong” in one way or another.

  3. sorry for being late great i agree with viola, Saba, Penryn but i woud also ad Katniss from Hunger games .

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