My Favorite Books Featuring Strong Female Characters

I’m sure like most of you do, I always enjoy reading a story that features strong and independent female characters. I never fail to feel an intense connection with those types of characters, as I like to think of myself as a fairly strong female as well. Everyone needs to be able to find a sense of strength and inspiration from their books and I think there’s nothing better than getting that from a special character. Long after you may forget what the plot from that book was about, you’ll still be able to remember that character and what they mean to you.

And don’t worry boys, you’ll get your turn soon!


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Skyward (Skyward, #1) by Brandon Sanderson

Spensa is a total badass pilot. She never lets anything stop her from doing what she knows she was born to do. Also, her snarky comebacks never fail to make me laugh aloud.

Spensa’s world has been under attack for decades. Now pilots are the heroes of what’s left of the human race, and becoming one has always been Spensa’s dream. Since she was a little girl, she has imagined soaring skyward and proving her bravery. But her fate is intertwined with that of her father’s—a pilot himself who was killed years ago when he abruptly deserted his team, leaving Spensa the daughter of a coward, her chances of attending Flight School slim to none.

No one will let Spensa forget what her father did, yet fate works in mysterious ways. Flight school might be a long shot, but she is determined to fly. And an accidental discovery in a long-forgotten cavern might just provide her with a way to claim the stars.

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Golden Son (Red Rising, #2) by Pierce Brown

Victra is life and anyone who disagrees can fight me over it.

As a Red, Darrow grew up working the mines deep beneath the surface of Mars, enduring backbreaking labor while dreaming of the better future he was building for his descendants. But the Society he faithfully served was built on lies. Darrow’s kind have been betrayed and denied by their elitist masters, the Golds—and their only path to liberation is revolution. And so Darrow sacrifices himself in the name of the greater good for which Eo, his true love and inspiration, laid down her own life. He becomes a Gold, infiltrating their privileged realm so that he can destroy it from within.

A lamb among wolves in a cruel world, Darrow finds friendship, respect, and even love—but also the wrath of powerful rivals. To wage and win the war that will change humankind’s destiny, Darrow must confront the treachery arrayed against him, overcome his all-too-human desire for retribution—and strive not for violent revolt but a hopeful rebirth. Though the road ahead is fraught with danger and deceit, Darrow must choose to follow Eo’s principles of love and justice to free his people.

He must live for more.

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Sadie by Courtney Summers

Sadie is one of the most fascinating characters I’ve ever come across. She will do anything to avenge her sister’s death and I can totally respect that.

A missing girl on a journey of revenge. A Serial―like podcast following the clues she’s left behind. And an ending you won’t be able to stop talking about.

Sadie hasn’t had an easy life. Growing up on her own, she’s been raising her sister Mattie in an isolated small town, trying her best to provide a normal life and keep their heads above water.

But when Mattie is found dead, Sadie’s entire world crumbles. After a somewhat botched police investigation, Sadie is determined to bring her sister’s killer to justice and hits the road following a few meager clues to find him.

When West McCray―a radio personality working on a segment about small, forgotten towns in America―overhears Sadie’s story at a local gas station, he becomes obsessed with finding the missing girl. He starts his own podcast as he tracks Sadie’s journey, trying to figure out what happened, hoping to find her before it’s too late.

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Trail of Lightning (The Sixth World, #1) by Rebecca Roanhorse

I want to be a monster hunter just like Maggie when I grow up. Can I say something like that even though I’m already 28? Eh, I don’t care. She’s fierce and I love it.

While most of the world has drowned beneath the sudden rising waters of a climate apocalypse, Dinétah (formerly the Navajo reservation) has been reborn. The gods and heroes of legend walk the land, but so do monsters.

Maggie Hoskie is a Dinétah monster hunter, a supernaturally gifted killer. When a small town needs help finding a missing girl, Maggie is their last—and best—hope. But what Maggie uncovers about the monster is much larger and more terrifying than anything she could imagine.

Maggie reluctantly enlists the aid of Kai Arviso, an unconventional medicine man, and together they travel to the rez to unravel clues from ancient legends, trade favors with tricksters, and battle dark witchcraft in a patchwork world of deteriorating technology.

As Maggie discovers the truth behind the disappearances, she will have to confront her past—if she wants to survive.

Welcome to the Sixth World.

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The Cruel Prince (The Folk of the Air, #1) by Holly Black

Jude is a human living amongst the Fair Folk and she’s able to play their games even better than they are. I only wish I could be as cunning as she is.

Jude was seven when her parents were murdered and she and her two sisters were stolen away to live in the treacherous High Court of Faerie. Ten years later, Jude wants nothing more than to belong there, despite her mortality. But many of the fey despise humans. Especially Prince Cardan, the youngest and wickedest son of the High King.

To win a place at the Court, she must defy him–and face the consequences.

As Jude becomes more deeply embroiled in palace intrigues and deceptions, she discovers her own capacity for trickery and bloodshed. But as betrayal threatens to drown the Courts of Faerie in violence, Jude will need to risk her life in a dangerous alliance to save her sisters, and Faerie itself.

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Defy the Stars (Constellation, #1) by Claudia Gray

Noemi Vidal is just so cool. She’s a fighter and isn’t afraid to break the rules in order to do the right thing.

he’s a soldier — Noemi Vidal is willing to risk anything to protect her planet, Genesis, including her own life. To their enemies on Earth, she’s a rebel.

He’s a machine — Abandoned in space for years, utterly alone, Abel’s advanced programming has begun to evolve. He wants only to protect his creator, and to be free. To the people of Genesis, he’s an abomination.

Noemi and Abel are enemies in an interstellar war, forced by chance to work together as they embark on a daring journey through the stars. Their efforts would end the fighting for good, but they’re not without sacrifice. The stakes are even higher than either of them first realized, and the more time they spend together, the more they’re forced to question everything they’d been taught was true.

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Renegades (Renegades, #1) by Marissa Meyer

Technically Nova is the bad guy, but she’s still so loyal to the only family that she has even if that puts her at odds with the rest of the world. I can admire her standing by them, while also standing up to them when she knows what they’re doing is wrong.

The Renegades are a syndicate of prodigies — humans with extraordinary abilities — who emerged from the ruins of a crumbled society and established peace and order where chaos reigned. As champions of justice, they remain a symbol of hope and courage to everyone… except the villains they once overthrew.

Nova has a reason to hate the Renegades, and she is on a mission for vengeance. As she gets closer to her target, she meets Adrian, a Renegade boy who believes in justice — and in Nova. But Nova’s allegiance is to a villain who has the power to end them both.

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Honor Among Thieves (The Honors, #1) by Rachel Caine & Ann Aguirre

I love how tough Zara is and how she’s willing to to do what’s right, even when putting her own life at risk. Also, I’m just really jealous she gets to fly a sentient ship.

Petty criminal Zara Cole has a painful past that’s made her stronger than most, which is why she chose life in New Detroit instead of moving with her family to Mars. In her eyes, living inside a dome isn’t much better than a prison cell.

Still, when Zara commits a crime that has her running scared, jail might be exactly where she’s headed. Instead Zara is recruited into the Honors, an elite team of humans selected by the Leviathan—a race of sentient alien ships—to explore the outer reaches of the universe as their passengers.

Zara seizes the chance to flee Earth’s dangers, but when she meets Nadim, the alien ship she’s assigned, Zara starts to feel at home for the first time. But nothing could have prepared her for the dark, ominous truths that lurk behind the alluring glitter of starlight.

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Anne of Green Gables (Anne of Green Gables, #1) by L.M. Montgomery

Anne is the real O.G. of inspirational females. No list would be worth even reading if she wasn’t on it.

As soon as Anne Shirley arrives at the snug white farmhouse called Green Gables, she is sure she wants to stay forever . . . but will the Cuthberts send her back to to the orphanage? Anne knows she’s not what they expected—a skinny girl with fiery red hair and a temper to match. If only she can convince them to let her stay, she’ll try very hard not to keep rushing headlong into scrapes and blurting out the first thing that comes to her mind. Anne is not like anyone else, the Cuthberts agree; she is special—a girl with an enormous imagination. This orphan girl dreams of the day when she can call herself Anne of Green Gables.

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The Queen of the Tearling (The Queen of the Tearling, #1) by Erika Johansen

Kelsea is ruthless when it comes to fighting for her crown and protecting her kingdom. She is so strong willed and independent when it comes the choices she makes.

On her nineteenth birthday, Princess Kelsea Raleigh Glynn, raised in exile, sets out on a perilous journey back to the castle of her birth to ascend her rightful throne. Plain and serious, a girl who loves books and learning, Kelsea bears little resemblance to her mother, the vain and frivolous Queen Elyssa. But though she may be inexperienced and sheltered, Kelsea is not defenseless: Around her neck hangs the Tearling sapphire, a jewel of immense magical power; and accompanying her is the Queen’s Guard, a cadre of brave knights led by the enigmatic and dedicated Lazarus. Kelsea will need them all to survive a cabal of enemies who will use every weapon—from crimson-caped assassins to the darkest blood magic—to prevent her from wearing the crown.

Despite her royal blood, Kelsea feels like nothing so much as an insecure girl, a child called upon to lead a people and a kingdom about which she knows almost nothing. But what she discovers in the capital will change everything, confronting her with horrors she never imagined. An act of singular daring will throw Kelsea’s kingdom into tumult, unleashing the vengeance of the tyrannical ruler of neighboring Mortmesne: the Red Queen, a sorceress possessed of the darkest magic. Now Kelsea will begin to discover whom among the servants, aristocracy, and her own guard she can trust.

But the quest to save her kingdom and meet her destiny has only just begun—a wondrous journey of self-discovery and a trial by fire that will make her a legend . . . if she can survive.


Who are some of your favorite female characters? Do you agree with my choices?

10 thoughts on “My Favorite Books Featuring Strong Female Characters

  1. Hermione is one of my favorite female characters. Honestly the series should be about her – she is the reason Harry succeeds in defeating Voldemort!

    I also really love Ella from Ella Enchanted. I bring her up any time there’s a discussion of empowering females 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yeah, I firmly believe the only way Harry was able to defeat Voldemort was because Ron and Hermione were there to help him the entire time. Great point!

      Ohhhh, that’s a good answer too! I love Ella!

      Like

  2. Ah brilliant choices here! I love Kelsea the most because she was such a refreshing character from the ones I usually read in YA (almost close to an NA heroine) but I also liked Jude for similar reasons: she’s more of anti-heroine, and a very grey character, which I adore.
    I still need to pick up the last Tearling book and The Wicked King but the girls alone are one of their best assets! And now I have even more cool recs to add to my TBR 🙂
    Thanks so much for sharing ❤

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, Kelsea is my favorite!! And I would agree with Jude being more of an anti-heroine. It makes her character have so much more depth that way. I really hope you enjoy the sequels when you get to them! Thank you! 🙂

      Like

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