Whether it’s their confidence, intelligence, resilience or inner strength, we can’t help but be drawn to kick-butt heroines. We rounded up six of our favorite books with fierce female leads that inspire long after the last page.
The Great Pretenders by Laura Kalpakian
When a family falling-out forces Roxanne to choose a career path, she takes the road less traveled and becomes an agent for screenwriters. It’s the 1950s and she’s a far cry from being taken seriously. But when she sells a script by a blacklisted writer, pitched under another name, she becomes the go-to for desperate exiled writers. Brave and confident, she refuses to let men make all the rules.
Wild Boar in the Cane Field by Anniqua Rana
Tara never knew a life of opportunity or true happiness. Having been abandoned as a baby, she was eventually taken in by an adoptive mother and her maidservant who were victims of the abusive men in their village in South Asia. While all three women lived short and tragic lives, they devoted themselves to finding happiness as often as possible. This touching novel details life in South Asia and brings forward new literary heroines readers will be inspired by.
Where the Crawdads Sing by Delia Owens
When the handsome Chase Andrews is found dead in the sleepy waterside town of Barkley Cove, the mysterious “Marsh Girl” is the locals’ first suspect. Kya has been misunderstood her whole life. Nature-loving, resourceful and fiercely intelligent, she’s survived alone since she was a child. When the unthinkable happens in Kya’s natural sanctuary, her chosen life of solitude changes forever.
The Sealwoman’s Gift by Sally Magnusson
Based on real events, The Sealwoman’s Gift is the story of a pirate raid off the coast of Iceland in the 1600s. Asta is sold into slavery in Algiers, taken from her children and forced to endure a life of hardship in captivity. Her only saving grace are the folk tales from her homeland, safe deep within her memories – stories she can tell again and again to cope, persevere, and most importantly, survive.
Things A Bright Girl Can Do by Sally Nicholls
It’s a time of love and war, rallies and marches, and women are fighting for the right to vote. Three courageous young women – Evelyn, smart and privileged; May, outspoken and confident; and Nell, battered but not broken, are ready to stand up for the cause. But in these tumultuous times, how much are they willing to sacrifice?
The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas
Sixteen-year-old Starr Carter has always been in limbo as she’s pulled between her poor neighborhood and the mostly-white prep school she attends. She’s learned to acclimate to both worlds, yet she’s not sure where she belongs. When her childhood best friend Khalil is fatally shot by police, everyone wants to know what really happened. Once again Starr finds herself pulled between two worlds – as the only witness.
Educated: A Memoir by Tara Westover
Tara Westover was 17 the first time she stepped into a classroom. But that didn’t stop her from earning a Ph.D. from Cambridge University. In this beautifully written memoir, we learn the story behind Tara’s survivalist family and the extreme behaviors, violence and hardships she overcame to create her own successful path in life.