Genre books for teens starring strong females

“Seeking recommendations of YA fiction, preferably genre. I’m a fan of Tamora Pierce and Jane Yolen. This totally includes science fiction. 🙂 If you have some non YA recommendations I’m open,” began a Facebook post of a friend looking for book suggestions. When asked what it is she likes about those authors, she said, “What I generally like about them is that they write strong willed girl characters who often question societal norms while having adventures and creating relationships. Often they make mistakes, but get the upper hand in the end.”

The perfect opportunity to help a friend and make a personalized book list in our library catalog! Here are a few selections from the list: The Lost Conspiracy

The Lost Conspiracy by Frances Hardinge
An underrated gem. If you like complex worldbuilding and characters and don’t mind a slow buildup, I super highly recommend this book! It gets better every time I read it. Hathin is a wonderful, strong, smart girl character.

Seraphina by Rachel Hartman
Dragons! Music! Homos! Debut novel and not entirely perfect, but a super solid new genre YA.

How to Say Goodbye in Robot by Natalie Standiford
If you feel like some realistic, angsty YA with some romance mixed in, this one has been flying under the radar since 2009. A boy, a girl, late night radio, teen love, punk rock.eleanor and park

Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healy
Also a YA debut, from New Zealand! Queer, spooky, smart eye on culture/race/isms.

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell
Note the bajillion holds! This was totally worth the hype, though. My heart is still recovering. Realistic, ’80s teen angst romance between a cute boy and A FAT GIRL WHO DOESN’T LOSE WEIGHT — OH MY LORD.

Graceling by Kristin Cashore
I like compelling stories about main characters having to deal with truly impoDoomsday Bookssible, untenable situations — when there’s no easy answer and they just have to fumble through and do their best. Graceling is a story like that – Katsa struggles with identity, morality, power – I find this more compelling on every read.

Doomsday Book by Connie Willis
This one’s an outlier because it’s an adult book, but the style is so driven by the story that I think it’s a good crossover too. Time travel!

See the complete list in the catalog here.

One thought on “Genre books for teens starring strong females”

  1. “The Girl of Fire and Thorns” by Rae Carson is the first book of a great YA fantasy trilogy.

    Elizabeth Moon is most often found in the adult section of the library, but most of her books feature strong heroines. “Sheepfarmer’s Daughter” for fantasy, “Trading in Danger” for scifi.

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