Chess Putnam from Stacia Kane's dark and gritty Downside Ghosts series tops our list of favorite heroines. The drug addicted, self-loathing Church witch shows us that not only can she kick serious bad guy ass, but she can be a good person, too. Chess is intelligent, gifted and shows us this year that she can grow into the person that she wants to be.
Although this is really a 2011 book, I didn't find Olivia until this year, and she absolutely must make my top heroine list! Olivia Kaspen had a difficult past and learned to never let anyone get too close to her. She is imperfect - she can be selfish and manipulative, but in the end, she decides that she is better than that. Her journey takes her to a place where she makes a difficult decision to make someone she loves happy. I love her sarcastic, sardonic thoughts and her kick-ass attitude.
Are there any other UF characters that have suffered as much emotional and physical pain as Kelly Meding's Evangeline Stone? Evy has suffered physical torture at the hands of goblins and mad scientists. She has suffered emotional torture beginning with her "death." When the chips are down, Evy is the heroine who always picks herself back up and fights for her friends. Through it all, Evy is one of the strongest and smartest heroines in the UF genre. It would be a pity to see her story end now (hint, hint Ms. Meding!).
Tris is one of my favorite YA heroines. In Insurgent we see a different side of Tris. She shows us her incredible bravery in this book, even in the face of torture and betrayal. She is able to organize, analyze and physically overtake her enemies. On the other hand, she is vulnerable, and clearly has a death wish that puts her in harm's way several times. The thing I love about Tris is how she grew up in this book and realized that she wanted to live. She makes tough decisions, even though they might hurt her closest friends.
How could I leave out the heroine who has always caused me the greatest amount of grief? I will miss you, Sirantha Jax, even though I've wanted to strangle you. Jax is one of the toughest, most kick-ass heroines I have ever read about. She is strong, intelligent and has fought through so many obstacles. Jax fights through wars, the government that tries to kill her, the sociopathic episode of the love of her life, and does her best to save the universe. Jax will be forever my most missed character.
Mirian was a remarkable protagonist and a large part of what made The Silvered such an outstanding novel. She was brave, selfless and a level-headed, quick thinker who could hold her own. Despite being told her entire life that she was only a low-level mage possessing few talents, she sets off on a journey to try and rescue a group of kidnapped women, not caring that she may be risking her own life in the process. She's an admirable character that you can't help but to fall in love with.
There are so many things that make the Charley Davidson series enjoyable. The mysteries, the secondary characters (both alive and dead), the hilarious quotes that begin each chapter, the incredibly sexy Reyes and the intense relationship that he shares with Charley. But what really makes this series worth reading is Charley herself. She's a lovable protagonist with a unique ability, a goofy sense of humor, a fierce protectiveness when it comes to her friends and family, and an undeniable weakness for coffee and the son of Satan. We were fortunate enough to receive two Charley books this year and both were amazing. I'm very confident that she'll make this list again next year =)
Beautiful, vibrant, caring, dedicated to her job and her Rockabilly lifestyle. Kit Craig was a protagonist that I absolutely adored. She's a reporter who uses truth as a weapon and believes looking her best is a necessity. She's a heroine that doesn't blend in with the others and is what made this debut one of my top 10 of 2012.
I love Angel's character! She has evolved from the drug abusing, poorly educated, criminal low-life that she started out as at the beginning of My Life as a White Trash Zombie. Instead of giving up hope and accepting defeat now that she has become one of the undead, Angel is using the opportunity to turn her life around and is becoming someone stronger, more responsible, and slowly building her confidence. She's full of attitude, which I love, and she's finally starting to make friends and hold down a steady job. Angel is so much fun to read about and easily makes my list of favorite heroines for 2012.