Friday, April 24, 2015

Favorite YA Heroines

This video is all about the YA heroines I adore, organized somewhat by “personality type.” I’ve included them in “types” so that if you’ve read a book from one PoV of the same personality type, maybe you’ll like the rest in that category. I’m a huge character oriented reader and most often I continue reading in books only if I feel invested in the characters’ lives, so I thought that this could be a sort of recommendation feature.

Unfortunately I forgot to change the size on my video cam, so this is not the usual video.

First off, obviously there’s overlap in these categories. A bold heroine is often a strategist and leader too. Second off, I don’t know that I’ve “categorized” these heroines entirely correctly; I may be reacting to an author’s writing style more than the character’s personality (e.g. Sam & Before I Fall; is she really a romantic or is that Lauren Oliver’s magical realism dreamy writing style?). Third off, all of these characters ARE unique, their OWN characters. Grouping them by personality type doesn’t mean that the characters are stock figures. Not one bit. And I’m sure there are many other points to be made about this video, ha, but let’s get to the categorizations first.

Bold/Brash/Confident/Sometimes Extroverted/“Intense”:

Rose (Vampire Academy), Katsa (Graceling), Willowdean (Dumplin'), Meliara (Crown Duel), Echo (The Girl at Midnight), Sophie Mercer (Hex Hall)

Strategists/Logical Thinkers/Planners/Sometimes Unwittingly Made into Leaders:

Kestrel (The Winner's Curse), Bitterblue (Bitterblue), Tula Bane (Tin Star), June (Legend), Cath (Fangirl), Seraphina (Seraphina), Attolia (The Queen of Attolia)

Romantics/Dreamers/Idealists/Sensitive/Open to the World:

Anna/Lola/Isla (Stephanie Perkins's books), Lennie Walker (The Sky Is Everywhere), Terra Cooper (North of Beautiful), Sam (Before I Fall), Macy (The Truth about Forever)

Underestimated (see, lol, not really a “personality type”):

Tris (Divergent), Paige (The Bone Season), Lee Westfall (Walk on Earth a Stranger), Ismae (Grave Mercy), Lia (The Kiss of Deception), Agnieska (Uprooted)

Guilt-ridden/antiheroines/deep thinkers/no category I really knew(?):

Fire (Fire), Briony (Chime), Alex (Made You Up), Hermione (Harry Potter), Nyx (Cruel Beauty), Celaena (Throne of Glass), Sophie (Howl's Moving Castle), Sophia (The Glass Sentence)

In classics: Antigone, Jane Eyre, Jane Austen's heroines

Despite having written a post on why I like fantasy better than contemporary novels, every time I found myself compiling lists of favorite novels, I would see about an equal number between the two. I’d wonder, why. I definitely do like fantasy more than contemporary novels, and I think I’ve stumbled upon a reason.

Having created this list, I wonder at the lack of contemporary heroines here. I think that sometimes contemporary heroines may not be allowed to “shine” as fully as their peers in fantasy, or some personality types are missing from contemporary. Most of the contemporary stories I’ve read have featured some sort of introverted type, few with the “bold, brash, confident” exterior. And I wonder why – is it harder to pull off the moments of reflection needed in a contemporary novel if you choose a heroine who’s a little more intense?

Or am I reading the wrong books? I don’t discount this last question – I leave that to you, my readers, to tell me. And if I am, perchance recommend me some others. Because right now, I’m thinking that contemporary more easily translates to the romantic/dreamer type while fantasy, it’s harder without the character getting a lot of “hate” (e.g. Sansa Stark).

Do you think this is a useful way of recommending books / will you be reading some of these books now? Do we share any favorite heroines? Do you have any books that you would recommend to me based on the above? Let me know!


  1. Briony!! Yeah, she really landed on my own list. I find that I end up loving secondary characters more than the MCs, such as Alice from Twilight, Liraz from Daughter of Smoke and Bone series, and Asha from Speechless. There are some leading roles that I enjoy, such as Katniss from The Hunger Games and Adele from the Vampire Empire series.

  2. Ah, I do like some secondary characters more than MCs, but then I feel like if that happens, the book won't be my favorite because I'm not going to be invested enough in the MC & thus the story line. Haven't read the Vampire Empire series... I have a love/hate relationship with Katniss, but she is an interesting heroine to follow for sure.

  3. Love lia(Kiss of Deception), hermione and celaena(though i haven't started the series yet,its on my tbr list..i feel like i will like her. ) Have to read graceling too! Love strong female characters. ;)


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