Tuesday, 28 April 2015

Top Ten Books that Feature Girls that are Headstrong and Epic

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by the awesome folks over at The Broke and the Bookish
Want to join in? Go and check out their site for upcoming top ten lists!


So this week we were given the freedom to pick characters that were something specific, and I love headstrong, epic, won't back down kinda girls in my books. They make me happy. They make me whoop and punch the air when they do fabulous things. So I wanted to share some of my favourites!


Bianca Piper - The Duff by Kody Keplinger
Snarky, sassy, she refuses to be pulled in by the terrible ideas and stereotypes that she sees most teens fit into. She isn't afraid to be herself, to enjoy herself and to not apologise for herself. She's also vulnerable and loving and kind and wonderful, and all in all, she's a pretty epic character.


Kami Glass - The Lynburn Legacy by Sarah Rees Brennan
Kami knows no fear. Well, she does, but she refuses to let it rule her even when the adults are all cowering in their houses. She seeks the truth, is determined to get to the bottom of every mystery and is unfailingly loyal and fiercely protective of her friends, who all shake their heads in bafflement and get swept up in the hurricane that is her. She is fantastic and I adore her.


Alanna of Trebond - The Song of the Lioness Quartet by Tamora Pierce
She refused to be sent off to go and learn to be a lady and sew and simper and gain a wealthy husband, instead choosing to go off and learn to be a knight. She battles through every obstacle thrown at her and refuses to give in (apart from almost once in a moment of exhaustion.) She works out her handicaps and trains even harder with heavier weapons to counteract that and refuses point blank to let the fact that she is a girl stand in her way. She is the very definition of headstrong and epic.


Claire - The Outlander Series by Diana Gabaldon
Sucked through time to 1743 Scotland where the men are in charge and never going to listen to a woman - does Claire let that stop her? No. She rolls up her sleeves, cussing and swearing as she does so and starts to bring in some twentieth century ideas and language. She is headstrong, fiery, determined, fiercely loyal and protective and all round awesome. Epic doesn't even truly cover it.


 Kestrel - The Winner's Series by Marie Rutkoski
Can't really fight to save her life, but she has the mind of a battle general, always thinking ten steps ahead and plotting ways to handle situations. Kestrel is a fantastic heroine who shows that you don't have to be physically strong to be epic. Her mind is her best tool and she hones it and uses it to her advantage in every situation. Ruthless, but full of compassion and love, she is always trying to find her own way through life and refuses to conform to how others think she should live her life.


Lady Julia Grey - The Lady Julia Series by Deanna Raybourn
Julia has such an incredible transformation over the course of the books, from quiet and meek to a force to be reckoned with. She discovers herself, what she is truly capable of and goes through quite the baptism of fire in the process. One thing is certain from the start though, she is decidedly headstrong, determined to find her own way and refusing to fit in the cubby hole that society has dictated for her. She is resplendent and glorious and utterly, truly, epic.

Alexia Tarabotti - The Parasol Protectorate Series by Gail Carriger
Alexia is not going to let anyone or anything stand in her way, least of all a little thing like badly mannered vampires - particularly not when there is tea and cake on offer. She is bitingly witty, self assured and determined and unfailingly polite. When there is mystery and hijinks afoot you can rest assured that Alexia will be digging to try and find out what is going on - and in a corset no less! Steampunk was never so funny nor so brilliant as when in Alexia's world.


Puck Connolly - The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Puck is such a fantastically brilliant character. She knows what she wants and she isn't going to let anything stand in her way to get it. She stands up and shoulders the burdens of the family to try and save them all and she inadvertently becomes a bit of a feminist icon in the process. All male race? Pah, Puck Connolley laughs in the face of that and races anyway. She also has a truly glorious transformation from surly and grumpy teenager into confident and determined young woman, and I will forever love Puck.

Hermione Granger - The Harry Potter Series by J. K. Rowling
Hermione taught us all that it was ok to be brainy and that books were cool. She also showed us that she was the brains of the operation, that she would do whatever needed to be done for good to triumph over evil, and that she was seriously, seriously epic. Insanely difficult potion not taught until the students were much older? Hermione learns it from a book and brews it in the girls toilet. Terrible teacher stifling their learning? Hermione sets up an illegal club to learn defence against the dark arts. Oppression of House Elves? Hermione campaigns actively for their rights. Voldemort on the rise? Hermione wipes her parent's memories and sends them to another country to be safe and then goes on the run with her best friends to try and find the only way to defeat the dark lord. She is incredible. Strong, brave, but also vulnerable and full of empathy.


Hyacinth Bridgerton - It's In His Kiss by Julia Quinn
Curious, headstrong and determined. Hyacinth was my very first regency heroine and she showed me that headstrong and epic doesn't have to mean ass kicking and bad-ass. It can be feminine, wily and curious and wickedly funny as well. Fiendishly smart, outspoken, charming and vexing. She is tenacious, but incredibly loyal and kind.

So there you have it, my top ten headstrong and epic female characters. They embody headstrong and epic in so many different ways, showing that you don't have to be a stunning sword-master or able to throw down with the best to be headstrong and epic. There are all sorts of ways women can be brilliant and determined, and these are some of my favourites.

Are there any girls you think should be on here instead? Or have I inspired you to pick up any of these books and give these ladies a chance? Tell me in the comments below and link me to your own top ten lists!

67 comments:

  1. If you like cozy mysteries, I think Phryne Fisher from Kerry Greenwood's Miss Fisher Series would be a good addition :)

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    1. Oooo thank you! Adding to the to read pile now!

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  2. Yes to head strong epic ladies!! I haven't read any of these but will totally check them out now!

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    1. Head strong and Epic ladies are always a good addition to any book! I hope you enjoy any you pick up!

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  3. YAY for strong women! I really need to get to Sarah Rees Brennan's trilogy ASAP.
    Thanks for stopping by at my blog earlier :)

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    1. Sarah Rees Brennan is one of the best authors out there, and I adore all her characters but Kami has a very special place in my heart. I hope you enjoy reading them!

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  4. If you've never been introduced to Skye O Malley, the heroine of Bertrice Smalls Skye O Malley series, then you have totally missed out. Kidnapping, harems, sultans, Kings, queens, amnesia...nothing keeps this woman down!

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    1. Oh wow! Definitely going straight onto my to read list! Thank you!

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  5. I haven't read any of these books but this is a topic I am really interested in! I shall have to pick some up. Happy readings :)

    My TTT https://jazminjade.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesday-childrens-books-featuring-death/

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  6. I love your topic choice! Bianca is pretty much the reason I love the DUFF so much. She's honest and real -and hilarious. Of course I love Hermione as well. I really need to read The Winner's Curse! I'm so behind on that one. And Unspoken is one I'd definitely want to pick up as well.

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    1. Bianca is fantastic! I adore her! I stormed through the DUFF in one sitting purely for her sass. The Winner's Curse is fantastic, and one I've only recently caught up on - definitely recommend! And I am a Sarah Rees Brennan fangirl all the way, so definitely read Unspoken! More sass and brilliance!

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  7. Awesome list! I love all the books here! even though I haven't read some of them! haha.

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  8. Interesting choices..... I'm only familiar with Kestrel and Hermoine but totally agree with what you've said about both of them, very headstrong the pair of them!

    Thanks for stopping by my TTT xx

    My TTT  - Thea @ Gizzimomo's Book Shelf

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    1. You're welcome! They're such a fab pair and prove that you don't have to be physically strong to be epic and brilliant!

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  9. Unspoken and the Win.ers Circle are nooks I need to read....
    Love Hermione!
    My list http://amandanicolle.blogspot.com/2015/04/take-ten_27.html?m=1

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    1. I can't recommend them enough, they're both incredible books!

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  10. I really like your choice of topic this week! I've yet to read quite a few of these. x

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    1. Thank you so much! If you decide to pick them up I hope you love them!

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  11. I love so many of these characters, especially Kestrel, Puck, and Hermione!

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    1. They're all such awesome ladies! Thank you so much for reading!

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  12. Wow what a list! This makes me want to read Outlander :-)

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    1. Definitely recommend giving it a go, Claire is a no nonsense, feisty and brilliant heroine to take us through an incredible journey.

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    2. The Outlander series is so beyond epic it defies genre description. And the author, Diana Gabaldon is also a totally kick-butt woman. 😊

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  13. Claire is definitely and Epic character. Jamie would have been on my list of Imaginary Boyfriends, but honestly...I don't want to have to fight Claire for him. She's pretty badass. I really want to read The Lynburn Legacy, I finally bought the first two books. Great list! Thanks for stopping by Michelle's Minions!

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    1. Ha! Yeah I think she'd definitely put up a fight for him...I hope you enjoy the Lynburn Legacy, they are fantastic books with fab characters (a couple more Imaginary Boyfriends in there too!)

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  14. Love Claire from Outlander! She doesn't step down and does what she wants. I love her! And I'm now excited to read The Winner's Circle :) I just got the book from BookOutlet.com I believe it's time to crack the spine on that baby! Great list!

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    1. Thanks so much for stopping by! I hope you love The Winner's Curse & Crime, they are fantastic books, and Kestrel is such an incredible heroine! Claire really is fabulous, it's so awesome to find so many other people who appreciate how fantastic she is!

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  15. Great list! Yay for strong female protagonists! I did mine on books that feature redheads: my TTT. Happy reading!

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    1. I can't get enough of headstrong, determined women in my fiction! Excellent, I love when redheads get some proper recognition and love! Thanks for reading!

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  16. Great topic choice!! I love that you brought up how Hermione acts whenever Umbridge took over. She was pretty epic in the face of my most hated HP villain. I've also read The DUFF, but I didn't love it. I'm hoping I like the movie better since I know they changed a lot of things.

    Thanks for stopping by my list!

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    1. That's a shame it wasn't such a hit for you, I know it is a bit of a marmite book. I hope you enjoy the film! Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  17. Alexia! So awesome to see her on this list. Nice choices (at least with the few I know) and there are some books on here that I'm wanting to read so badly. Now I have to go look into The Scorpio Races and It's In His Kiss.

    My TTT

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    1. Cannot recommend either of those enough, particularly The Scorpio Races - I have a truly insane love affair with that book. Alexia had to be on the list, she is one of the most awesome headstrong women around! Thank you so much for reading!

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  18. Love your choice! Kestrel is one of the most amazing YA heroines at the moment. She's such a mastermind, would make an amazing serial killer (don't ask how that came to my mind). Hope everything will go happily for her in the end.
    I can't wait to read The Scorpio Races! I loved the first three books in the Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Stiefvater, and also Raven Boys is just awesome so I have enormous expectations.
    Lovely list. :)

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    1. She really is incredible, I hope she never goes bad you're right, she'd make a very good serial killer! I can't wait to see how everything turns out in the final book. If you loved Stiefvater's other books then The Scorpio Races will not disappoint. It's incredible. I love it even more than the Raven Boys, which is saying something!

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  19. What great choices! I think we have some similar tastes. I love Hermione; she's amazing! I've read the first Lady Julia, and I'm looking forward to reading the rest, as well as the Parasol Protectorate books. Alanna is great - but my favorite epic Pierce girl is Kel. And I wouldn't have thought of Hyacinth Bridgerton, but you're right, she fits the list quite nicely!

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    1. Hyacinth always springs to mind as the most outspoken, curious and all round determined of the Bridgerton ladies! The Lady Julia books are fantastic, I really hope you enjoy the rest of the them! And the Parasol Protectorate books too - both incredible series! I could have happily filled a list with all Tamora Pierce ladies, they're all so fantastic! I think Alanna always springs to mind for me because she was my first, but all of them are awesome!

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  20. I'm loving your list. I absolutely adore Kestrel. I think she is a fantastic protagonist and the fact that she lacks physical prowess in a society that values it makes her strengths even more amazing.

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    1. I know! I love that her skills lie with her mind rather than her physical strength, and that we see her struggle in physical combat rather than her just being modest and actually being good at that side too. Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  21. I completely agree with Alexia, Puck, and Hermoine! They're awesome! I need to read these other books! *adds them to TBR pile*

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    1. Eeee! I hope you enjoy the others!

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  22. I love mysteries - I need to check out Kami Glass. I would add Ginny Weasley along with Hermione. Ginny really grows through the books and is a fabulous female as well. And you don't want to go up against her Bat Bogey hex. ;)

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    1. Definitely recommend Kami Glass, she is fab! I had so many other girls I wanted to add in, I could quite happily have done fifty! But Ginny definitely ranks very highly (book not movie) she is fantastic!

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  23. Epic characters are the best! I love strong female leads. :-) Thank you for stopping by my blog earlier.

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    1. You're welcome, I loved your list! Gotta love strong female characters!

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  24. Great topic! I really want to read Outlander, I'm seeing it everywhere lately!! R x

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    1. It's fantastic! Both the books and the tv show are great. I started with the tv show and it got me hooked so I stormed through the books - I definitely recommend!

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  25. I don't know if my last comment posted, but Kestrel and Kami Glass are great choices! (I've only read the first book in the Lynburg Legacy series though, I miss the original cover!)

    -Cristina @ Girl in the Pages

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    1. I miss the original cover too! It was one of the books where I got both the UK and the US covers, and I was really sad when they changed it all. Now I have three different covers! It gets a little silly after a while... The rest of the series is fantastic, I hope you enjoy them!

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  26. Awesome list! There's so many books on here that I have yet to read, which is a good thing because I always love reading books with strong female leads! Thanks for sharing

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    1. I hope you enjoy any that make it onto your to read pile!

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  27. Love Hermione and Claire. THE DUFF drove me crazy :( I do like a headstrong heroine, though -- Anne of Green Gables and Jacky Faber (from the Bloody Jack series by L.A. Meyer) are two of my favorites.

    Happy TTT!

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    1. The DUFF was a bit of a marmite book for a lot of people. I adore Anne! I could have quite cheerfully done fifty instead of ten, there are so many wonderful heroines out there!

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  28. Ooooh fabulous list! I definitely agree with Kestrel! And I had no idea that Puck was a girl! I'd heard the character mentioned before, but I always assumed boy? I definitely need to read The Scorpio Races soon! Love your topic!
    Shannon @ It Starts At Midnight

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    1. Puck is technically Kate, but she's always been known as Puck (we never find out why) and she is absolutely fantastic. I love her! I really hope you enjoy The Scorpio Races!

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  29. Awesome choices - I've been seeing Kami Glass popping up several times this week and I may have to introduce myself. :)

    Check out my TTT.

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    1. Kami is awesome. Tiny, fearless, and full of sassy humour, she is an incredible heroine! I hope you enjoy meeting her!

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  30. Great choice of topic! Hermione is amazing, and I strongly second an earlier comment which recommends Phryne Fisher, she's fantastic!

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    1. I love recs, so thank you, definitely going to check her out! Thank you so much for reading!

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  31. Love your list! We both had similar ideas, but different characters. :) I agree with you about Bianca from The DUFF. I didn't always agree with her decisions, but she was still a very headstrong character. I still have The Winner's series on my TBR.

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    1. The Winner's Series is fantastic, I really hope you enjoy it! Bianca was such a breath of fresh air, I didn't always agree with her, but she really was an incredible character. I love headstrong and determined girls!

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  32. I did the same sort of list for my top ten this week and Hermione was also on it.
    Check it out here: https://jjbookblog.wordpress.com/2015/04/28/top-ten-tuesdays-2/

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    1. There are so many great ladies in fiction! Thanks for stopping by!

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  33. Great list! I've only read a Outlander and Harry Potter on that list and I totally agree with you. Love those girls!

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    1. They're such fantastic ladies! Thanks so much for reading!

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