A month ago, I posted a list of my favorite YA male characters. (And I just realized that I put two MG characters there–Nobody Owens and Klaus Baudelaire–but I have no regrets.) It just seems appropriate that I post one for my favorite YA female characters, too. But there is a slight difference with this one. Where it’s quite easy for me to know whether the male character is someone I’ll like or not, it’s not the same with the female characters. I have high standards on liking the female characters that I read. I like reading about powerful and independent young women. Those women who are quick-witted and hilariously sarcastic and not just whiny and a damsel in distress.
I’ve read so many YA books with such main female characters and it really affects my overall impression on the book–especially when it’s a first-person narrative. Reading a book narrated by whiny and overdramatic female characters makes the book even more boring.
That said, this list will consist of the 10 YA heroines that I have liked and admired. Again, in no particular order.
- Annabeth Chase (Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan)
I love Annabeth as much as I love Percy. She’s just the opposite of him. She’s calculative, clever, and very courageous (patting my self on the back for that sort-of alliteration). And like Percy, seeing her grow up from being a princessy yet clever girl to an equally clever and total badass is just wonderful.
- Hermione Granger (Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling)
Hermione probably is leading the front lines of the best YA female character of all time. At the same time, she holds the bar to which every female characters in every YA novels are measured to. Heroines such as Katniss Everdeen and Annabeth Chase have been compared to her. And in my opinion, I think the latter holds a close second.
- Sadie Kane (The Kane Chronicles by Rick Riordan)
Oh, Sadie. I absolutely loved reading her. And it’s so easy to identify her between her to-and-fro narrative with Carter since Carter is too serious. Sadie is witty, sarcastic, and very impulsive. She’s literally the girl version of Percy and in the PJATO/TKC crossover novella (must read if you haven’t!) this was confirmed. And the way she handled her love triangle, a trope quite common in YA novels, is just amazing and at times hilariously filled with sassy comments.
- Sophie Newman (Secrets of the Immortal Nicholas Flamel by Michael Scott)
Unlike her brother, Josh, I instantly liked Sophie. She was responsible and very brave. She knew what she had to do the moment Nicholas Flamel told them of their destiny. Yet at the same time, she always had her brother as top priority.
- Sophie Mercer (Hex Hall Trilogy by Rachel Hawkins)
Sophie Mercer is another sarcastic and witty character I love. She is also the second Sophie and witch in this list. She’s your average-girl-turned-VIP and I absolutely love the way she handled being in Hex Hall. How I wish I could do the same back in high school.
- Elise Benton (Epic Fail by Claire Lazebnik)
Epic Fail was the first Claire Lazebnik novel I’ve read and I absolutely loved the humor in the form of Elise Benton. Surrounded by posh people in a posh school, she jaunts on the halls of Orange Cove High School filled with cynicism and ready with sarcastic comebacks. And she wasn’t the last character I loved in a Claire Lazebnik novel.
- Miranda Bloom (Geek High Series by Piper Banks)
I could totally relate to Miranda. She’s awkward and popular on the academic side of high school. Our differences lie in her energetic personality and how she could attract hot guys.
- Piper McLean (Heroes of Olympus Series by Rick Riordan)
Yes, yes. Rick Riordan dominates this list but it’s not my fault he could come up with role model characters. Piper is another Rick Riordan character that I absolutely love. She’s beautiful not just because she’s the daughter of Aphrodite but also because of her kindness and thoughtfulness to her peers and the people she cares about. I also think that her easy banter with Leo is adorable. But I don’t root for them. I like her and Jason just fine.
- Remy Starr (This Lullaby by Sarah Dessen)
I’ve read quite a lot of Sarah Dessen’s novels and I really do like her female characters. But I like Remy Starr the most because of how fresh she is among all of Sarah Dessen’s characters. She’s funny and a party-goer yet she’s also smart and very kindhearted, though she tries to hide that.
- Izzy Brannick (School Spirits by Rachel Hawkins)
Izzy was young in the Hex Hall novels but in this one, she has grown up into a complete badass and somewhat dense, too. And I absolutely like her. I mean, that part with her being told to run laps by her gym teacher and asking him how many and not getting tired at all? Damn, I wish I had that kind of stamina.