Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Female Teen Leads

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly event hosted by The Broke and the Bookish, created due to a fondness for lists. Each week they post a new Top Ten topic. After that, it's bloggers UNITE! Participate with your own Top Ten post, have fun, and get to know your fellow bloggers.

Apparently my life is meant to be a whirlwind these days. Nothing like running late on a Top Ten Tuesday when a Top 5 Wednesday is on the docket for the day. Not to mention the fact that I actually meant to do my Book Blogger Hop post Monday (it was originally supposed to be posted on Saturday) and that still hasn't happened. Between a teething child, a sick Gary, canning, farm animals, and house renovations, I'm living in constant motion and feel like I've just been spinning circles.

Today we're having the basement carpet replaced. Again. The initial carpet we had installed back in March has some serious flaws, so the manufacturer has given us a refund and we are having different carpet put in instead. As a result, last night was moving furniture and clearing out closets to let the install guys have access. It will be really nice once we get some of the major renovations finished, but this project house is sometimes a serious stress generator.

The good news is that I'm actually slowly accomplishing stuff with the garden. I finished up the last of the freezer slaw (9 total gallon bags) on Monday and got yams pureed for the Boy yesterday. I still need to figure out what to do with the remaining heads of cabbage. After that, I need to make some applesauce and then pull carrots and a few pumpkins. Canning season may end at some point. It's a miracle!

Now...I'm going to take a break and immerse myself in my happy place...books.

Today's Top Ten topic is a fill in the blank of sorts...

Ten Books that Feature Characters ________: Examples: Ten books that feature black main characters, characters who hold interesting jobs, characters who have a mental illness, characters that are adopted, characters that play sports, etc. etc.

I wasn't sure at first what in the world I was going to choose. To be honest, my choice of topics may be a bit broad reaching.'s also allowing me to suggest some great books (and series). And...I couldn't eliminate one of the primary options, so I have eleven total entries. As a result, you'll really be getting (whoa) 25 books instead of only 10. See? What a deal. a caveat, I've removed a couple of book series from contention. Though great books, they won't be included in this list...for differing reasons. First, as part of the criteria for contention, the main characters must be teenagers for the duration of the book. So, there is no Harry Potter here and there is no Jane Eyre even though it is one of my favorite books of all time. Other books won't be included (even if they're fantastic) if I haven't finished reading the entire series. Them's just the way the cookie crumbles. Maybe that will motivate me to get off my butt and finish the series. Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard or Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor.

But...even with those restrictions, I promise I have some fantastic reads in here. Some you may be familiar with, some you may have already devoured, others may have been something you just dismissed or maybe haven't heard of. In any case, hopefully I at least give you some new fantastic reads to consider.

Ready to roll? Let's do this!

Top Ten Eleven Books (and Series) Featuring Female Teenage Protagonists

These ladies differ in many ways. Some are meek, some are strong. Some find themselves along the way. Some evolve and some simply learn to be themselves. They aren't perfect. They make mistakes. And each one of them provides inspiration and education...insight into how one teenage girl can make some serious waves.

1. The Mortal Instruments Series by Cassandra Clare

Consisting of six books, this series focuses on fifteen-year-old Clary Fray and her journey into the world of the supernatural. Clare's creation of the shadowhunter world is impeccable and the series just consistently leaves you ready for more. Clary isn't the strongest of characters in the beginning, but she evolves through the series to become one fairly formidable lady.

Books in the Series:

2. The Infernal Devices Series by Cassandra Clare

That's right, Clare again. Running hand in hand with her Mortal Instruments series, The Infernal Devices is set in an earlier time, with the trilogy providing something of a prequel. However, there has been set a determined order to read the two series in...with the books overlapping one another. It doesn't really matter if you follow the order, but it does help things make a bit more sense and build in ways that don't create too many spoilers along the way. Primary lead in this series? Another awesome female character. The trilogy follows Tessa Gray and her adventures in the shadowhunter underground.

Books in the Series:

Easily Green's best work to this point (though who knows what his October release of Turtles All the Way Down will yield), The Fault in Our Stars centers on cancer patient Hazel and her relationship with Augustus Waters. It's beautiful, tragic, and inspiring. This one is a tearjerker, so have the tissues prepared. There will be all the feels.

Dystopia at its finest. A trilogy with a small pile of supplementals, Divergent is told primarily based on the view of Tris Prior in a futuristic Chicago where children are divided into factions depending on perceived skill sets. I will admit that I was disappointed in the ending of this trilogy and many fans will tell you to skip the third book altogether, but Tris is still a great teenage character and the plot line still holds quite a bit of water. Roth is a talented author...I just disagree with her choice of ending narrative.

Books in the Series:

5. The Ruby Oliver Series by E. Lockhart

This set is a bit more playful. It has colorful and unique covers and a colorful and unique protagonist. Ruby Oliver is fantastic. She's sweet, she's sassy, and she's just plain awesome. She isn't some wimpy teenage girl, though she has her moments. She (like many of the heroines in this list) evolves throughout the four book series. It's a fun, light set of reads that will put a smile on your face.

Books in the Series:

Maddy is the girl in the plastic bubble. She is allergic to everything, confined to her house in an excessively sterile setting. Despite her isolation, she is brilliant, strong, and confident. And for Olly, she's just the girl next door...a barriered, complicated, germ-free door.

Reed Larson just wants what all teens want. She wants to blend in while being herself. She wants acceptance in her new school, not judgement based upon the fact that expulsion from her prior school is what landed her there (somewhat against her will). Reed's quirky and special and secretive, but she's pretty fantastic as well.

8. The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins

Katniss Everdeen is a powerhouse. This girl is the epitome of strong female lead. She takes charge from the beginning and rocks this entire series. Collins creates a gripping narrative that will make you want to have all three books at the ready if you start reading. It's a high energy read from start to finish...and it's awesome.

Books in the Series:

9. Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay Asher

Easily the most controversial book on this list. Hannah Baker is dead. She committed suicide. Hannah is complex and a little gritty. She shares her reasons why in a series of tapes to classmates, creating intense dialogue and a window into the fragile teenage psyche. She may have succumbed to her frustrations, to depression and angst, but Hannah still has a lesson to share. She can be an incredibly inspiring character if viewed in the correct light. She is certainly not one to emulate, but she is one to learn from.

10. The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern

Celia may be destined to be molded a certain way, but she is still her own person. She won't let anyone hold her down. She is determined to make her own future, to control her own destiny. The Night Circus is magical. It's full of wonder and intrigue. It's easily among my favorite books and it's one that begs to be read again and again.

11. Amy & Roger's Epic Detour by Morgan Matson

Amy isn't anything special in the beginning. She's just another girl with another family drama. She's frozen within herself as the result of the trauma. But along the mileage of a roadtrip with a near stranger, she becomes...more. Amy thaws along the winding road and the journey is one of both pavement and internal evolution. This one is a hugger. It's a book you just want to love and squeeze and never let go.

And there you have it (whew!). A nice pile of YA fiction with awesome female teens. They're a diverse crew, but they're all the core. You can't go wrong with any of these reads.


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