There used to be a time in my life where I was able to read a book a day. Granted, that was when I was 16 and all I had to care about was doing decently in school and not to falling on my face while going down the stairs. Both of those things are still applicable, but now there’s a bunch of other crappy things that fill up my days on top of that, like something called “responsibility.” Hogswallop! Most of the books I read fell into the “young adult” category because I was one of those, and I still go hunting for books in that section to this day because it is only in YA where books written about women by women are in the limelight so frequently. Sure, there are many female contemporary fiction writers that deal mainly with women, like Margaret Atwood, Alice Hoffman and Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, but for some reason I still connect with heroines in teen fiction more. It’s probably because I’m in denial that I am no longer a teenager and I’m about to enter the adult world when May comes.

While many of the heroines I will mention kick ass in the literal sense, what truly makes them spectacular female characters is their personality and relationships that they build. I highly recommend the books that feature these amazing women, and you should read them as soon as possible.

Celaena Sardothien

In Sarah J. Maas’ What-if-Cinderalla-was-a-deadly-assassin-novel Throne of Glass, Celaena kicks some major butt. She enters a competition to become the king’s assassin in order to save herself from certain death at a labor camp, and she builds an amazing friendship with a foreign princess who is also being held captive. Slowly, we learn Celaena’s back-story, which makes her all the more awesome. If you like your fairytales with a full 180 degree twist, this book and character are definitely for you.

Rhine Ellerly

Imagine a world where girls only live until they are 20 years old, and boys 25. You are sixteen, kidnapped from the only friend you have (your twin brother), and sold as a bride to enter into a polygamist marriage with a spoiled and sickly rich boy and two other sister wives.  That is the kind of world Lauren DeStefano creates in her book ‘Wither.” Despite all of these negative turns of events in her life, Rhine still manages to persevere and grow as a person. She builds a loving relationship with her sister wives and fights to survive in a world where dying young is inevitable, while still harboring hope that she will be reunited with her brother sooner rather than later. It’s definitely worth a read.

Mare Barrow

X-Men + Cinderella + Hunger Games? Sign me the hell up! Mare lives in the slums with the rest of the populace in her kingdom that has “red blood,” while the nobility live in splendor due to their “silver blood” and the supernatural powers that come with it. But, because of an accident, it is discovered that Mare has the power to control lightning and electricity, even though her blood is still undeniably red. She is an unsafe anomaly during a time of rebellion against the Silvers by the Red Guard. While trying to figure out and control her newly discovered abilities, Mare is taken from her family and home to be thrust into the court and an arranged marriage with a prince she didn’t ask for. Oh, and she definitely kicks baddie butts along the way. Read “Red Queen” by Victoria Aveyard and you’ll find a ragamuffin girl you can’t help but root for.

Hermione Granger

Duh. I have been identifying myself as a Hermione since the age of seven and I’m not stopping anytime soon. Hermione is a boss.