Top 10 YA Reads That Feature Badass Female Characters

top ten tuesday


Top Ten Tuesday is a fun weekly meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is Ten Books That Feature Characters ____________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc, etc. Can’t wait to see what you all come up with!

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Okay, so I kind of cheated on this week’s topic.  Every other topic I could think of, I could only come up with 3 or 4 characters that fit the description.  I’m pretty sure I’ve done a post on strong female characters before so this time I decided to focus specifically on YA books.  The one cool thing is that since I’m constantly reading, I’m always coming across new badass female characters so my list of favorites is always changing.  My list this time contains a couple of long-time favorites but then also a lot of new favorites in the 2017 releases I’ve read.


Top 10 YA Reads That Feature Badass Female Characters




Hermione is one of my long-time favorite badass female characters.  She’s smart, feisty, fierce, loyal, kicks butt when it comes to using her magic, and she loves books so of course I adore her.



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She’s a knife-wielding thief who dreams of commanding her own pirate ship.  What could be more badass than that?  I’m really hoping Lila makes an appearance in Schwab’s new series.  I just finished Shades of Magic a few months ago and I’m already desperate for more Bard.


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3 and 4.  FEYRE & MOR from the A COURT OF THORNS AND ROSES series


Some of the fighting scenes that features these ladies were my favorite moments from this series.  Both Feyre and Mor are forces to be reckoned with, each in their own way.  Feyre, in particular, achieved badass status not just because of the powers that she learned to wield throughout the series, but also because of the difficult sacrifices that she was willing to make for the greater good.


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5 and 6. INEJ and NINA from the SIX OF CROWS series


So far I’ve only read the first book of this series, so I’m hoping the second book holds true in that Inej and Nina are two of the most fabulously badass ladies I’ve come across in my reading this year.  Loved them both!


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I fell in love with Emika from the very first scenes of Warcross. Not only is she a badass bounty hunter, but she is also a gifted hacker.  Her character is like an action hero in a video game setting. So exciting to watch her in action!


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Xifeng is a recent favorite of mine and she’s a bit different from the other female characters on my list because she’s technically a villain.  What elevates Xifeng to badass status for me is her willingness to do whatever it takes to remove all obstacles from her path to the throne.  She knows what she wants and goes for it, no matter what.  She can be a little scary at times, but I couldn’t help but cheer her on because of her fierce determination.


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This book is one of my favorite 2017 releases so far and it’s primarily because I adored Vasya, the main character of the book, so much. Brave, fiercely protective of her family, and often quite wild and even defiant at times, Vasya has all of the qualities I look for in a heroine and I think everyone who reads the book will fall in love with her.


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I loved Kady in this book because she’s what I would call a reluctant badass.  She is forced to become a badass in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds when the ship she is on is overrun by plague-infested zombies.  It’s truly thrilling to watch Kady in action in this book.

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Question:  Who are some of your favorite YA badass female characters?

30 replies
  1. Sam@WLABB
    Sam@WLABB says:

    So many awesome females on that list! Love them all. Some badass females that popped into my head: June from Legend, Juliette from Shatter Me, Beatrice from Speak Easy, Speak Love, Genie Lo. Almost all of these characters went through an evolution and came out stronger on the other side, and I always love that.

  2. Angela
    Angela says:

    I haven’t read most of these yet, but I totally agree with Hermione and I’m glad she’s #1! Seriously, I don’t know what would have happened to Harry and Ron without her!

  3. Rissi
    Rissi says:

    So glad to see “Six of Crows” and “Warcross” on this list. Book are books I’d really like to read despite the fact that they are a little bit out of my “normal” reading realm. I own a copy of the former and will probably pick up Marie’s latest at some point. 🙂

  4. Greg Hill
    Greg Hill says:

    I’m reading Six of crows now and so far Inej is probably the most interesting character to me! Emika in Warcross is awesome. Kady of course from Illuminae is great too. Have you read Gemina yet? I loved the female protag in that one also.

  5. Literary Feline
    Literary Feline says:

    Hermione is the only one on your list I’ve had the pleasure to “meet”, but all of your other books are on my wish list or TBR pile to try. I can’t wait to meet these wonderful characters! Thank you for sharing!

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      Hermione is the best, for sure, but I really love all of these characters so I hope you will love them when you meet them as well. 😉

  6. Lee @ Rally the Readers
    Lee @ Rally the Readers says:

    So many awesome ladies on your list! Hermione would be my #1 pick, too. I’m reading A Conjuring of Light right now, and I absolutely adore Lila. Her adventures definitely need to continue beyond this series!

  7. Di @ Book Reviews by Di
    Di @ Book Reviews by Di says:

    So far behind on your blog! I’m commenting like mad and still finding amazing posts I missed! Sorry!

    YES to Hermione being the top of this list!!! She’s awesome. And then Lila!!!!!!!!!!!!! PLEASE let her be in the new series – I’m desperate for news of my favourites. 🙂

    Love ACOTAR so ANYONE from that is a winner for me. 🙂

    Eek. 6oC! Also a definite favourite series. 🙂

    I need to read Warcross, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns and TB&TN so bad! Especially now I know how kickass the female characters are 🙂

    • Suzanne
      Suzanne says:

      You definitely need to read Warcross, Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, and TB & TN. All are such amazing reads. TB & TN is one of my favorites of the year so far.

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