The best books for kickbutt heroines

Who am I?

I grew up in the 1980s when there wasn’t consideration for representation or diversity in literature or media. If I wanted to read about a Girl of Color, inevitably, she was a slave. If I wanted to watch a TV show featuring women (of any color), they were inevitably rescued in the climactic moment by a man. As such, I grew into a reader who loves kickbutt girls of all stripes. Give me a chance to cheer on a female who’s looking for her happy ending and not about to let the world dictate how she finds that happiness (and with whom), and boy, you got me!

I wrote...

The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

By Natasha Deen,

Book cover of The Signs and Wonders of Tuna Rashad

What is my book about?

No matter what her older brother, Robby, says, aspiring screenwriter Tuna Rashad is not “stupidstitious.” She is, however, cool with her Caribbean heritage, meaning she's always on the lookout for messages from loved ones who have passed on. But ever since Robby became a widower, all he does is hang out at the house, mock Tuna for following in their ancestors’ traditions, and meddle in her life.

Tuna needs to break free from her brother’s loving but over-bearing ways and get him a life (or at least, get him out of hers!). Based on the signs, her ancestors are on board. They also seem to be on board with helping Tuna win over her crush, Tristan Dangerfield. The only hiccup? She has to do it before leaving for college in the fall. 

The books I picked & why

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The Wild Ones

By Nafiza Azad,

Book cover of The Wild Ones

Why this book?

I love this book so much, I blurbed it! In a world where women are often asked to be quiet, to make themselves small, Nafiza Azad’s unapologetically feminist book is breathtaking. Readers journey with Paheli and her collection of girls—the Wild Ones—helping to save girls from the pain they had to endure. On their journey, they seek Taraana, a boy with stars in his eyes, who once saved Paheli and now needs saving. While The Wild Ones is a fantasy, it is an unflinching look into the #MeToo movement, the tragedies and pain of being female, the saving grace of sisterhood, and the audacious power of resilience and hope.

The Voice in My Head

By Dana L. Davis,

Book cover of The Voice in My Head

Why this book?

This book tackles big topics. Indigo Phillips is grappling with the fallout of her twin sister’s (Violet) terminal illness and Violet’s decision to die on her own terms by medically assisted death. When Indigo hears a voice in her head, urging her to go to the Arizona desert to find a rock formation that will save Violet, Indigo takes the proposition to her sister. And Violet agrees—but only if the entire family comes along. The Voice in My Head gives readers emotional space to explore the complexities of grief, the bigger questions of whether there is something beyond our existence, the chains and wings of family, and the love and hurts that can pull us apart but also have the power to bind us together.

Silencing Rebecca

By Nikki Vogel,

Book cover of Silencing Rebecca

Why this book?

Silencing Rebecca hooks the reader from the first page with the disturbing question, what happened to Rebecca? From the first line, “silence has swallowed her whole,” through jumps into the past and present, Rebecca journeys on a twisting, winding path of self-discovery, identity, and heartbreak. At once devastating and heartfelt, with prose that’s plainly spoken yet evocative, silencing Rebecca is a novel that stays with readers, long after the last word has been read.

Into the Sublime

By Kate A. Boorman,

Book cover of Into the Sublime

Why this book?

I love books that keep me guessing and leave me unsettled about character motivation and story truth, and Into the Sublime gets the gold on all of those requirements and more! Amelie, a member of a thrill-seeking group, heads out with three other girls—H, Gia, and Devon—to find a lake called “The Sublime,” that’s said to reveal your deepest fears. Much like the underground cave system the girls find themselves in, Into the Sublime takes readers on a twisting tale full of tension and changing alliances, and an ever-tightening noose of dread and unease. What happened in those caves? Why did four girls go in but only three come out—and whose blood is Amelie covered in? This is the kind of book you stay up late to finish...then spend the next few days sleeping with the lights on. Lovers of psychological suspense and horror won't be disappointed.

The Changeling of Fenlen Forest

By Katherine Magyarody,

Book cover of The Changeling of Fenlen Forest

Why this book?

A herd of wild unicorns, a gloomy forest, a changeling, and magicThe Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a perfect choice for a cozy day of reading. The book opens with Elizabeth as she searches for her lost unicorn fawn. But her search takes her to a strange land where Elizabeth resembles a missing girl. So much so, that the town’s people think she’s a changeling—and dangerous. Elizabeth, with the help of a handsome shepherd, searches for the answer behind the missing girl. But is she prepared for the secrets her search will uncover? The Changeling of Fenlen Forest is a journey into loss and identity, and it’s the perfect read for days when readers want to inhabit a mysterious new world that’s full of intrigue.

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in heroes, changelings, and caves?

5,810 authors have recommended their favorite books and what they love about them. Browse their picks for the best books about heroes, changelings, and caves.

Heroes Explore 47 books about heroes
Changelings Explore 12 books about changelings
Caves Explore 7 books about caves

And, 3 books we think you will enjoy!

We think you will like Circe, Real Heroes, and A Call to Heroism if you like this list.