I’m a big fan of young adult novels. I’m an even bigger fan of young adult novels with smart, unique and bold heroines written with real heart.
Here are a few young adult novels with standout ladies that you should definitely check out:
Ignore the cover with fancy dresses. The book’s heroine, Kestrel, is so much more than that. Headstrong, stubborn, and with a cunning mind, she’s a kind musician torn between love for her father and for a slave who isn’t what he seems. We love her complexity and the growth of her character as the books progress. The Winner’s Curse is the first book in a gripping trilogy about war, choices and love. It’s one of those action-packed books that you just can’t stop reading.
In Six of Crows, Inej Ghafa, otherwise known as The Wraith, is a spy for Ketterdam’s dreaded gang leader, Kaz Brekker. With her wicked knives, she’s the deadliest spider in The Barrel. A skilled acrobat who likes to eat waffles, Inej named her knives after beloved saints. She’s a complex character who never loses her identity and beliefs, even when faced with the direst situations brought on by the book’s twisting plot.
I love this dystopian retelling of— wait for it— Jane Austen’s Persuasion. For Darkness Shows The Stars is old-school-meets-the-future and it is exquisite. Elliot North doesn’t disappoint as an incarnation of the original’s Anne Elliot. If we’re being honest, she’s even better. In this book, we see a hardworking young woman who traded love for duty. She’s fiercely loyal to the people under her care and would do anything to keep them safe, even if it meant letting the love of her life walk away. Don’t worry, he eventually comes back— but with a vengeance. You’ll have to read the rest of the book to know what happens next!
The Lady Katsa has been graced with killing. Her uncle, the king, uses her as a thug and bully who does all his dirty work. But does Katsa let him win? Is she truly just a girl with an exceptional talent to kill? Graceling is high-octane adventure complete with spies, tyrant kings and warrior girls. Katsa discovers more about herself while saving the world.
Manon Blackbeak is a ruthless, centuries-old witch. As heir of the Blackbeak coven, she was raised to kill, hunt and believe that she was born without a heart. But is this really what Manon is supposed to be? What does she do when she reluctantly feels kindness? As an antihero, Manon is flawless. She’s just one of the many supporting characters in Throne of Glass, but she stands out because of her sheer cunning and her many contradictions.
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