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December 21, 2011

Guest Post: What Makes a Strong Heroine in YA Books? by Untraceable Author S.R. Johannes

Hello everyone!

I love strong, kick butt heroines in my YA books. And because the last book I read, Untraceable, featured a super awesome, independent heroine who stands up for herself and the ones she cares about and has no problem kicking butt when pushed too far, I asked the author, Shelli (S.R. Johannes) what makes, in her opinion, a strong heroine in YA. She graciously accepted to talk about this here on the blog, so, everyone, please welcome Shelli! 


What Makes a Strong Heroine in YA Books?
S.R. Johannes

When I started Untraceable, I set out to create a strong heroine. So what is a strong heroine? And how does Grace embody those qualities?

To me:
  • She needs to be tough and take care of herself. Grace knows wilderness survival and self-defense. She is tough when she has to be.
  • She can still be afraid but she works through it internally as opposed to panics. Since she’s had training, she keeps a somewhat level head. Well sometimes.
  • She has to be relatable, likable, and feminine. I wanted you to think Grace could be your friend.
  • She does the right thing when she has to. Grace puts herself at risk to help others and to stand up for what is right.
  • She doesn’t revolve around boys and she doesn’t like the “bad boy” who treats her like crap. Grace has 2 boys that like her and they treat her well.
  • She is dependable and loyal.
I personally like it when you have a strong girl in the real world. It’s easy to be strong when you have special powers. But in the real world, finding courage in situations when you have nothing is a challenge.

So to me, Grace embodies independence, loyalty, and toughness that I think we should encourage in all girls. But most of all, she is a real girl in a real world.

Some other tough girls in young adult that I like:
Katniss in Hunger Games
Billy in Devil’s Kiss
Mary in Forest of Hands and Teeth

What do you think makes a strong heroine?


I love this post! And I totally agree with Shelli - it's very important to be tough in the real world and face real threats and situations. That's where the real challenge arises. I also think that a strong heroine has to be loyal and caring - if she doesn't care enough about the people around her, she won't find it in herself to fight and face the world's dangers. For me, a strong heroine accepts her mistakes, learns from her experiences, doesn't shy away from her responsibilities. 

And I really, really love Grace! She's super awesome and I can indeed see her as a friend. I also can see her in the next year's Heroine Tourney. ;)

Katniss is one tough cookie too. And since we're on Dystopian, another heroine I really love is Tris from Divergent (no surprise there, hehe). Also, Rose (The Vampire Academy) and most recently Alex (The Covenant series) are on my favorite heroines list too. 

Ok, your turn: what do YOU think makes a strong heroine? Who's your favorite?

In case you missed it, Grace is the heroine in Untraceable by S.R. Johannes. You can download the ebook for 99 cents HERE and read my REVIEW HERE

Find Shelli (S.R. Johannes)



  1. This sounds like an interesting read. I will have to check this out some time. :)

  2. Katniss is definitely one of my favorite strong heroines. Great post. :)


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