Hey, rad readers!
If you have ever read any YA fiction at all, you know that the vast majority of those books feature female leads, and typically strong ones at that! Though some of them come off cold, distant, and totally unrealistic, other heroines are extremely relatable, kick-butt, and are basically everything we aspire to be!
So in today’s post, we are going to share some of our favorite female protagonists that we feel are identifiable and inspiring! In no particular order, here is our list!
Jane Grey from My Lady Jane
Jane is so darn intelligent! I mean did you guys see the titles of the books she read in My Lady Jane!? They were insane. We must commend this girl for her ability to be so knowledgeable on so many topics. Jane’s intelligence was really her greatest strength. She didn’t let anyone make her feel small just because she couldn’t wield a sword (though she was pretty good with a frying pan haha!) or because she didn’t have some crazy cool super power! She was a normal reader girl just like us and used the more subtle skills she had to her advantage. Jane was also extremely compassionate. She wanted to help people whatever way she could even if that just meant bandaging wounds or talking to people! Plus, this girl was witty! She was always ready with a quip and we can admire a girl like that!
Hermione Granger from Harry Potter
Okay, we know we just said Jane was intelligent, but come on, we have to mention how brilliant Hermione is too! Like let’s be real, Ron and Harry wouldn’t have made it past book one if it hadn’t been for this girl. Hermione also has great priorities. While she is a goody-two-shoes in some ways, she was willing to bend the rules to help her friends! And she knows when to throw in the occasional sass for good measure.
Cleoina Bellos from Falling Kingdoms
We love a princess who saves herself! Cleo is saves herself time and time again. She doesn’t need knights in shining armor or dark brooding princes to come to her aid (which is why we love Magnus and Cleo together so much, because Magnus doesn’t save her or protect her like usual YA alpha males). On her own, Cleo fights for her kingdom, for her friends, and for those she loves no matter the cost!
Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments
Isabelle freaking Lightwood is the epitome of a kick-butt female protagonist! She is a ridiculously talented Shadowhunter and she owns it. She never apologizes for who she is. We aspire to have Izzy’s confidence. And while there are many BA heroines like this in YA, Isabelle is still so well-rounded. She has fears and hesitations (especially when it comes to love) and this makes her so relatable, which is one of the most important quality of any YA character. Furthermore, her and Simon are one of our all-time OTPs. So the fact that she chooses to love someone who is good and kind makes her an even better role-model.
(This gif gives us total Izzy vibes!)
Evelyn Wyndham from These Vicious Masks
This girl is a hoot! She is so funny and so spunky! Evelyn doesn’t allow society’s expectations of her determine what she can and cannot do. She defies them all when her sister goes missing because Evelyn knows that her love for her sister far surpasses the importance of her reputation! We love that Evelyn’s greatest motivation isn’t her love for a boy or power, but her sister. Now that we mentioned boys though, another thing we love about Evelyn is her sensibility. She doesn’t fall prey t o insta-love. In fact, she admits to still not understanding her own feelings, which could not be more relatable. We love that it takes her time to fall in love and that she wants to truly know the other person before giving her heart away. But again, we must say Evelyn is so freaking witty! We adore her humor and her quick retorts!
Helen Wrexhall from The Dark Days Club
Helen Wrexhall is one of the most refreshing YA heroines ever! She is sensible and responsible. She doesn’t make rash decisions. This may be an indicator of the regency time period she lives in, but we appreciated that she thought through the consequences before acting. Now this doesn’t mean she never bent the rules or did something that many people would have cast judgement on her for. Quite on the contrary actually, Helen fought for people even when the rest of society had given up on them. However, instead of being brash in the heroics, Helen would devise stealthy and smart plans to help those people. She was truly compassionate and cared about people whom others wouldn’t even bother to notice. Helen Wrexhall has a good heart in her chest and a good head on her shoulders!
Audrey Rose Wadsworth from Stalking Jack the Ripper
We have a theme. We like intelligent heroines! But Audrey Rose is unique in that she is a woman of science, and during a time period where women pursuing higher education and having careers were especially frowned upon. But did she let that stop her!? Of course not! She had a passion and a dream and she pursued it. We found Audrey Rose to be so unique in that we don’t often see female characters actively pursuing a career, let alone one in science/medicine. Plus, her braveness is unique too in that dissecting the dead would normally freak anyone out, but she doesn’t let that stop her from learning and discovering the truth!
Jane Eyre from Jane Eyre (that felt weird to type)
This is a classic female protagonist that deserves all of the praise. Jane endured so much in her life, and instead of complaining about it constantly, she takes what has happened to her and lets it mold her into a kind, smart, and resourceful young woman. Jane’s greatest desire is to see more of the world, to not be confined to a small sphere whether it be a good one or bad one. And Jane is so incredibly strong. She does not allow anyone, even the person she loves most, to comprise her morals or values. Jane has the confidence to stand tall in who she is. Her being patient, and ultimately her being true to herself is what allows her to make her dreams become a reality. Jane Eyre will forever be one of our biggest role models. And she isn’t even a cyborg and she is still amazing!
So those were just a few of our favorite female protagonists! We know there are loads more, so please tell us some of your favorites in the comments below!
We hope your day is full of gaining knowledge and being confident (because you all rock)!
Ash & Lo