5 Fittest Heroines in Young Adult Fiction | Norma Hinkens

5 Fittest Heroines in Young Adult Fiction

  • December 31, 2017

It’s that time of the year again when everyone is dashing off to the gym and working it. While it’s only a fad for most of us and eighty percent of us won’t last into February, some of our favorite YA heroines are in kickass shape 365 days of the year. Here are some of my favorite fittest heroines from 2017 and why I find them inspirational, whether they’re physically, mentally, or psychologically fit.

Emika Chen – Warcross

“Warcross” by Marie Lu

She may not be your first choice for action as the heroine is a big time gamer, but don’t let the LitRPG setting fool you. With only $13 to her name, tattooed, rainbow-haired Emika is a killer hover-skateboarder and a great example of a phoenix rising from the ashes. Competitive, relentless, independent, smart, and determined, Emika excels as a badass bounty hunter tracking down bad guys for the NYPD. Evicted from her apartment and facing the daunting task of paying off her deceased father’s debts, Emika accepts a lucrative job in Tokyo investigating a chink in Warcross’s security protocol and ends up fighting for her life round the clock on the dark net and in reality. This is one psychologically fit heroine who dares to go places others fear to tread!

Diana – Wonder Woman: Warbringer

“Wonder Woman: Warbringer” by Leigh Bardugo

It would be impossible to create a list of the fittest heroines from 2017 YA fiction without mentioning Diana, Warbringer. She is a truly incredible physical specimen who exudes power, strength and fitness from every pore of her body, not to mention the fact that she is immortal and virtually indestructible. Although she hasn’t had a chance to prove herself in battle as she desires, her heroic saving of Alia from drowning proves she is no shrinking violet.

‘‘Sister in battle, I am shield and blade to you. As I breathe, your enemies will know no sanctuary. While I live, your cause is mine.’’

Indomitable and intimidating, Diana is undoubtedly the most physically fit and brave YA heroine of last year’s releases, and has little need to darken the door of a gym.

Nova – Renegades

“Renegades” by Marissa Meyer

This tenacious and mentally strong YA heroine saw her parents shot in front of her and heard her baby sister being killed.  A war survivor, an anarchist, a superhero able to put people to sleep with a single touch, and a double agent who wants to take the Renegades down, Nova possesses an undeniably diverse array of qualities. Not to mention her tech-savvy skills in inventing some very beneficial gadgetry to further her cause. But her heart is what is truly admirable about this YA heroine.

“There’s no rule that says you have to be a prodigy to be a hero,” she insisted. “If people wanted to stand up for themselves or protect their loved ones or do what they believe in their hearts is the right thing to do, then they would do it. If they wanted to be heroic, they would find ways to be heroic, even without supernatural powers.”

Catherine – Heartless

“Heartless” by Marissa Meyer

While Catherine doesn’t start out as a tough, swashbuckling protagonist, she changes dramatically over the course of Heartless to become the dark, and villainous Queen of Hearts. She’s hardly a heroine in the truest sense of the word, but she does manage to break free from her controlling parents to become the stronger, albeit contradictory and tenacious villain we love to hate but also admire. Even though her parents were not in the least supportive of her dreams and ambitions to become a baker in order to share her delectable pastries with the world, Catherine proves her ego can’t be crushed. Flawed as she is, she fights to overcome every obstacle and take her fate in her own hands, and that kind of mental stamina is to be admired.

Scarlett Dragna – Caraval

“Caraval” by Stephanie Garber

What an incredibly awesome name for the star of Caraval! Scarlett Dragna is an unusual pick for our fittest heroines list but a great example of a psychologically fit young adult protagonist. Condemned to an arranged marriage with a mysterious Count she has never met, Scarlett is desperate to get away from her sadistic and abusive father. Having lived in fear for most of her miserable existence, she risks her life to participate in a deadly game with extremely high stakes in order to save her sister, Donatella. Despite sleep deprivation, and the constantly changing rules of the game that mess with her mind, Scarlett shows extraordinary psychological strength and bravery in persisting in pursuing her beloved sister through a dangerous, magical world that not everyone survives.

How would you rate yourself as a strong heroine? Check out my post and leave a comment. 4 Signs You’re a YA Strong Female Heroine

Who are your favorite YA fittest heroines and why?

Leave a Comment: