12 YA Books with Fierce Female Characters

Are you ready to meet some fantastic female characters? Here are twelve YA books with female powerhouses you’ll adore.

We love books with fierce female characters! Ferocity comes in many forms, from the quiet girl who finds the strength to be herself to the bold girl who takes charge of any situation. And the best part? Reading about fierce characters helps you become stronger, too.

Are you ready to meet some fantastic female characters? Here are twelve YA books with female powerhouses you’ll adore.

Breathless by Jennifer Niven

Sometimes ferocity comes in the form of taking charge. When her parents split up, Claude feels like her life is spinning out of control. But when she meets Miah, a boy who loves nature and photography, Claude decides to sleep with him. She takes ownership of her decision, including when to have sex and how much of her heart to give away.



By Jennifer Niven

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All the Bright Places comes a compulsively readable novel about a young woman determined to write her own story--sex, heartbreak, family dramas, and all.

"A coming-of-age story that will make your heart ache." —PopSugar

With high school coming to an end, Claudine Henry is focused on four things: sex, starting college, becoming a famous wr...

The Cousins by Karen M. McManus

In The Cousins, you get two fierce women in one story. Milly is bold, assertive, and witty. Aubrey is quiet and eager to please. But both girls find their fierce side when they meet their cousin Jonah at their estranged grandmother’s resort. Even though they’re strong in different ways, together, these girls are a force to be reckoned with.

The Cousins

The Cousins

By Karen M. McManus

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER From the bestselling author of One of Us Is Lying comes your next obsession. You'll never feel the same about family again.

Milly, Aubrey, and Jonah Story are cousins, but they barely know each another, and they've never even met their grandmother. Rich and reclusive, she disinherited their parents before they were born. So when they each receive a letter inviting them to work at...

The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna

When she’s faced with the choice to suffer death at the hands of her fellow villagers or join an army of nearly immortal girls, what does Deka choose? Immortal warrior! She welcomes every ounce of ferocity as she travels to the capital and begins training for the biggest fight of her life.

The Gilded Ones

The Gilded Ones

By Namina Forna


“Namina Forna Could Be The Toni Morrison Of YA Fantasy.” –Refinery 29 

“Fans of Children of Blood and Bone, Mulan, and the Dora Milaje from Black Panther are going to adore this one.” BuzzFeed

"A dark feminist tale spun with blood and gold. Must read!" Dhonielle C...

On Sale 01.11.22

Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson

After the events of A Good Girl’s Guide to Murder, Pip hangs up her amateur detective hat and starts a viral podcast instead. But when a friend goes missing and the police won’t investigate, this fierce girl takes matters into her own hands.

Good Girl, Bad Blood

Good Girl, Bad Blood

By Holly Jackson

THE NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLING SERIES WITH OVER ONE MILLION COPIES SOLD • The highly anticipated sequel to the international bestseller, A Good Girl's Guide to Murder! More dark secrets are exposed in this addictive, true-crime fueled mystery.

Pip is not a detective anymore.

With the help of Ravi Singh, she released a true-crime podcast about the murder case they solved together last year. The podcast ha...

The Lake by Natasha Preston

Kayla and Esme vowed never to talk about that terrible night at their childhood summer camp. But now they’re returning to the same camp as counselors. When they start receiving notes threatening to expose them, they must harness their ferociousness to find out who (or what) is behind the letters.

The Lake

The Lake

By Natasha Preston

The instant New York Times bestseller!
Hot on the heels of The Twin, the undisputed queen of YA thrillers is back with a scary and suspenseful read about a summer camp filled with dark secrets.

Esme and Kayla once were campers at Camp Pine Lake. They're excited to be back this year as CITs (counselors in training). Esme loves the little girls in her cabin and thinks it's funny how scared ...

Rebel Daughter by Lori Banov Kaufmann

Even though Esther isn’t perfect, she loves her family with unrivaled ferocity. As the city of Jerusalem gets torn apart by war and rebellion, she must fight to save the people she holds dear. If you like historical fiction with fierce female characters, don’t miss this stunning book!

Rebel Daughter

Rebel Daughter

By Lori Banov Kaufmann

A young woman survives the unthinkable in this stunning and emotionally satisfying tale of family, love, and resilience, set against the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 CE.

Esther dreams of so much more than the marriage her parents have arranged to a prosperous silversmith. Always curious and eager to explore, she must accept the burden of being the dutiful daughter. Yet she is torn between her family responsibilities and her own desires.

Red Tigress by Amélie Wen Zhao

As the only surviving member of the royal family, Ana Mikhailov has no choice but to embrace her fierce nature. To survive and take back the throne, she must team up with a crime lord, venture to a new land, and raise an army. If you’re new to this series, start with the first book, Blood Heir.

Red Tigress

Red Tigress

By Amélie Wen Zhao

Fans of Children of Blood and Bone will love the sequel to Blood Heir. The second book in an epic fantasy series about a princess hiding a dark secret and the con man she must trust to liberate her empire from a dark reign.

Ana Mikhailov is the only surviving member of the royal family of Cyrilia. She has no army, no title, and no allies, and now she must find a way to take back the throne or ...

Skyward by Brandon Sanderson

Let’s not forget about Spensa, a feisty girl with big dreams going up against impossible odds. She wants to become a fighter pilot, but her family’s reputation keeps her from reaching her goals. But Spensa doesn’t give up easily, and she’s willing to outwork, out-train, and outsmart anyone who stands in her way.



By Brandon Sanderson


From Brandon Sanderson, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Reckoners series, Words of Radiance, and the internationally bestselling Mistborn series, comes the first book in an epic new series about a girl who dreams of becoming a pilot in a dangerous world at war for humanity's future.

Spensa's world has been under attack for decade...

Spin the Dawn by Elizabeth Lim

Maia is a fierce girl with big dreams and nerves of steel. When her elderly father is summoned to court, she disguises herself as a boy and goes in his place. She competes against the best tailors in the land, harnesses her magical abilities, and journeys to the empire’s farthest reaches. Faced with impossible challenges every step of the way, Maia learns to wield her wit, intelligence, and ferocity.

Spin the Dawn

Spin the Dawn

By Elizabeth Lim

Project Runway meets Mulan in this sweeping fantasy about a teenage girl who poses as a boy to compete for the role of imperial tailor and embarks on an impossible journey to sew three magic dresses, from the sun, the moon, and the stars. And don’t miss Elizabeth Lim’s new novel, the instant New York Times bestseller, Six Crimson Cranes!

“All the cutthroat competition of a runway fashion rea...

This Is My America by Kim Johnson

Ferocity can be hunting for clues about a murder and diligently writing letters every week to an organization that can help your father. With her father wrongfully convicted of murder and her brother accused of killing a girl from school, Tracy holds on to her inner strength while she searches for ways to help both innocent men.

This Is My America

This Is My America

By Kim Johnson

"Incredible and searing." --Nic Stone, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Dear Martin

The Hate U Give meets Just Mercy in this unflinching yet uplifting first novel that explores the racist injustices in the American justice system.

Every week, seventeen-year-old Tracy Beaumont writes letters to Innocence X, asking the organization to help her father, an innocent Black man on death row. Af...

The Wild by Owen Laukkanen

Female characters don’t get fiercer than this! When Dawn’s parents send her to a secluded wilderness boot camp, they’re hoping she gets her life back on track. But once she’s out in the woods with minimal supplies and a group of troubled teens, things veer madly off course. Dawn must tap into her wild side if she wants to escape this disaster alive.

The Wild

The Wild

By Owen Laukkanen

A girl is sent against her will to a remote wilderness boot camp where things aren't what they seem in this riveting and twisty paperback thriller.


Dawn isn't a bad person--she's just made some bad choices: wrong guy, wrong friends, wrong everything. But she wasn't expecting her parents to pay a boa...

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