Best Female Lead Characters

This list features books from all genres with the strongest female lead characters.
1

by
4.32 avg rating — 6,861,359 ratings
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2

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4.27 avg rating — 3,290,734 ratings
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3

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4.28 avg rating — 4,881,314 ratings
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4

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4.13 avg rating — 1,740,254 ratings
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5

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4.30 avg rating — 1,119,648 ratings
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6

by
4.14 avg rating — 2,774,869 ratings
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7

by
4.10 avg rating — 1,802,596 ratings
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8

by
4.26 avg rating — 797,556 ratings
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9

by
4.32 avg rating — 727,012 ratings
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10

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 1,359,752 ratings
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11

by
4.11 avg rating — 589,307 ratings
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12

by
4.07 avg rating — 417,416 ratings
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13

by
4.38 avg rating — 2,005,772 ratings
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14

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,168,863 ratings
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15

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,736,705 ratings
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16

by
4.13 avg rating — 968,687 ratings
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17

by
4.06 avg rating — 489,782 ratings
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18

by
4.46 avg rating — 2,314,387 ratings
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19

by
4.02 avg rating — 706,787 ratings
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20

by
4.12 avg rating — 1,608,174 ratings
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21

by
4.13 avg rating — 178,599 ratings
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22

by
4.23 avg rating — 890,976 ratings
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23

by
4.23 avg rating — 126,373 ratings
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24

by
3.87 avg rating — 1,446,915 ratings
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25

by
4.12 avg rating — 192,982 ratings
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26

by
4.23 avg rating — 561,075 ratings
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27

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,014,749 ratings
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28

by
3.42 avg rating — 743,907 ratings
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29

by
4.11 avg rating — 199,500 ratings
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30

by
4.08 avg rating — 158,999 ratings
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31

by
4.06 avg rating — 215,374 ratings
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32

by
3.79 avg rating — 907,654 ratings
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33

by
3.84 avg rating — 939,789 ratings
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34

by
4.25 avg rating — 249,519 ratings
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35

by
4.26 avg rating — 560,120 ratings
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36

by
4.14 avg rating — 560,434 ratings
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37

by
4.23 avg rating — 505,443 ratings
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38

by
4.06 avg rating — 536,171 ratings
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39

by
4.21 avg rating — 494,779 ratings
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40

by
4.06 avg rating — 711,783 ratings
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41

by
3.54 avg rating — 583,996 ratings
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42

by
3.61 avg rating — 5,336,840 ratings
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43

by
4.03 avg rating — 115,986 ratings
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44

by
4.39 avg rating — 1,239,071 ratings
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45

by
4.13 avg rating — 1,794,543 ratings
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46

by
4.27 avg rating — 407,154 ratings
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47

by
4.14 avg rating — 199,053 ratings
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48

by
4.30 avg rating — 2,748,653 ratings
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49

by
3.98 avg rating — 402,971 ratings
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50

by
3.99 avg rating — 1,096,572 ratings
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51

by
4.13 avg rating — 148,359 ratings
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52

by
3.78 avg rating — 223,787 ratings
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53

by
3.75 avg rating — 2,181,912 ratings
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54

by
3.96 avg rating — 517,186 ratings
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55

by
4.18 avg rating — 1,527,452 ratings
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56

by
4.03 avg rating — 504,097 ratings
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57

by
3.83 avg rating — 2,116,242 ratings
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58

by
3.86 avg rating — 300,280 ratings
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59

by
3.81 avg rating — 249,497 ratings
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60

by
3.88 avg rating — 221,934 ratings
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61

by
4.18 avg rating — 3,914,264 ratings
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62

by
4.05 avg rating — 224,804 ratings
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63

by
4.01 avg rating — 139,575 ratings
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64

by
3.98 avg rating — 143,561 ratings
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65

by
3.80 avg rating — 457,327 ratings
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66

by
3.94 avg rating — 621,021 ratings
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67

by
4.28 avg rating — 277,599 ratings
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68

by
3.99 avg rating — 79,883 ratings
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69

by
4.02 avg rating — 120,156 ratings
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70

by
4.25 avg rating — 820,303 ratings
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71

by
4.18 avg rating — 542,007 ratings
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72

by
3.84 avg rating — 308,997 ratings
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73

by
4.10 avg rating — 4,726 ratings
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74

by
4.08 avg rating — 1,100,816 ratings
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75

by
4.17 avg rating — 61,754 ratings
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76

by
4.20 avg rating — 282,768 ratings
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77

by
4.01 avg rating — 99,786 ratings
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78

by
3.66 avg rating — 178,516 ratings
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79

by
4.07 avg rating — 680,848 ratings
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80

by
4.11 avg rating — 90,767 ratings
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81

by
3.79 avg rating — 255,188 ratings
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82

by
3.67 avg rating — 114,406 ratings
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83

by
3.69 avg rating — 365,783 ratings
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84

by
3.98 avg rating — 69,806 ratings
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85

by
3.89 avg rating — 60,065 ratings
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86

by
4.05 avg rating — 172,371 ratings
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87

by
3.86 avg rating — 133,157 ratings
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88

by
3.79 avg rating — 122,305 ratings
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89

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 89,854 ratings
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90

by
4.44 avg rating — 458,579 ratings
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91

by
4.05 avg rating — 2,545,761 ratings
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92

by
3.79 avg rating — 241,688 ratings
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93

by
4.34 avg rating — 145,917 ratings
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94

by
4.06 avg rating — 240,223 ratings
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95

by
4.07 avg rating — 471,430 ratings
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96

by
3.87 avg rating — 228,904 ratings
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97

by
4.22 avg rating — 678,431 ratings
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98

by
3.90 avg rating — 658,130 ratings
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99

by
4.23 avg rating — 61,409 ratings
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100

by
3.84 avg rating — 40,311 ratings
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4,558 books · 5,801 voters · list created July 23rd, 2009 by Kevis Hendrickson (votes) .
353 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Kevis 1711 books
807 friends
Heather 1565 books
20 friends
Greyweather 2660 books
71 friends
Katherine 121 books
2 friends
K. 80 books
14 friends
John 748 books
49 friends
Holly 3127 books
10 friends
Shayla 1130 books
9 friends

More voters…


Comments Showing 1-40 of 40 (40 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by John (new)

John Burns Heh, now the wasp factory is in this list, does this make the whole list a spoiler?


message 2: by Rae (new)

Rae love Jane Eyre- my fav book of all time.


message 3: by Michele (new)

Michele Milliner Scout is one of the best female characters of all time!


Susanna - Censored by GoodReads The form to add books to the list is at the right-hand side of the page.


message 5: by Marion (new)

Marion Jane Eyre is the best, hands down.


message 6: by Tiffany (new)

Tiffany I agree, Jane Eyre!!!


message 7: by Teresa (new)

Teresa I like most of the female leads on here, but I've got to disagree with Katsa from Graceling. She was just a little too rough and i guess... savage (not sure that's the right word) for me?


message 8: by Nancy (new)

Nancy Brady I am sure that I haven't gotten to it yet, but what about Dagny Taggart from "Atlas Shrugged"? Or Dominique Francon from "The Fountainhead"?


message 9: by Alex (new)

Alex Perry Medea? Really? Well I suppose that's definitely an... interesting female character. Maybe a little psychotic but certainly strong!


message 10: by Lila (new)

Lila I LOVE Pride and Prejudice. I've never read Jane Eyre but I should. The gemma doyle series was the best series ever I'm really mad about the way It ended. The stephanie plum books are awesome. I also love anne of green gables.

my top picks were:

1: Pride and prejudice
2: A Great and Terrible Beauty (Gemma Doyle Trilogy)
3: Anne of Green Gables
4: One For The Money (Stephanie Plum Series)


message 11: by Koosh (new)

Koosh Mine were:

Unraveled
Duke of Shadows

Loved the female leads!


message 12: by Kimikimi (new)

Kimikimi Lila wrote: "I LOVE Pride and Prejudice. I've never read Jane Eyre but I should. The gemma doyle series was the best series ever I'm really mad about the way It ended. The stephanie plum books are awesome. I a..."

Yeah, it makes them hard to re-read :(


message 13: by Meels (new)

Meels Who's been smoking what to conclude that Harry Potter has a female lead? Main supporting character yes, but lead...not unless Harry has a secret!

Much Ado and Inkheart are debatable as well, I would say that they both have male leads with female main supporting characters.


message 14: by Kevis (last edited Sep 02, 2012 04:56PM) (new)

Kevis Hendrickson Amelia wrote: "Who's been smoking what to conclude that Harry Potter has a female lead? Main supporting character yes, but lead...not unless Harry has a secret!"

I agree, Harry Potter does not belong on this list. Now Harriette Potter would be a different story altogether. ;)


message 15: by Marie (new)

Marie Why is Twilight here? Do people actually think Bella is a good female lead?


message 16: by Meels (new)

Meels Ha! Well, in the last book, maybe, Marie.


message 17: by Marie (new)

Marie Amelia wrote: "Ha! Well, in the last book, maybe, Marie."

Having your vampire husband chew your baby out of your womb makes for good leading woman material? Bella should be left out of this list for coming up with the name Renesmee.


message 18: by Meels (new)

Meels That is the WORST baby name EVERRRRRRRRRRR!

Also, I think my idea of her as a good female lead in the last book only popped into my head in comparison to New Moon, during which I was hoping she would just die already and stop with the whining...


message 19: by Jack (new)

Jack Hi everyone,

I have created a new group called Goodreads All Sorts and I'd love for people to join it or just even just give it a look. It's a group that discusses anything and everything. There will be monthly group reads, movies, and music. There is a folder for everything you could think of. I'd really like if people could spread the word because I'd love for the group to be a success. Here is the link to the group:

http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/9...

Thanks very much,
Jack :-)


message 20: by Kelley (last edited Apr 01, 2013 03:29PM) (new)

Kelley I have looked at a number of Goodreads lists that are meant to feature strong female characters... and somehow "Twilight" ends up on every darn one of them. I have talked to some fans of the series, and even THEY acknowledge that Bella is a horrible excuse for a heroine. They have other reasons for liking it (not very good ones, but hey...). I find it hard to believe anyone would be deluded enough to call her a "Best Female Lead Character." I look at these lists because I want to read books that feature strong heroines, and when I keep seeing that book/series when I know well that Bella is as far removed as any character could be from the type of heroine I'd like to read about, well, it gets on the nerves a wee bit.

Maybe more specific criteria should be laid down -- or else some mechanism be put in place which would give voters the chance to explain their choices.


message 21: by Ann (new)

Ann Z Jane Eyre below Katniss? -.-"
This needs to be fixed, I think.


message 22: by Sheryl (new)

Sheryl Twists and turns, and finally, hope,


message 23: by SummerBlue (new)

SummerBlue How the hell does Clary Fray come before Rose Hathaway (the amazing)????


message 24: by Sara (new)

Sara Shaw vampire academy!! Roza must be here!


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Vin from Mistborn?


message 26: by Ari (new)

Ari Aria I always thought Jane Eyre was stupid as a Mexican telenovela...


message 27: by Samuel (new)

Samuel Muiezz wrote: "Vin from Mistborn?"
I totally agree


message 28: by Jason (new)

Jason I've experienced the top 50 'best females' now.

Fantastic: Matilda, Jane
Great: Gone with the Wind, Color Purple, Mockingbird, Handmaid, Alanna & Compass (though their sequels were less good)
Good: Rebecca, Coraline, Hunger, Howl, Narnia, Avalon, Book Thief, Alice, Pippi, Diary


message 29: by River (new)

River Wolfsiren I love how 5 of the 6 i voted for, are at the very very end


message 30: by Elisa (new)

Elisa M. The lack of Tiffany Aching must be reversed.


message 31: by Aubrey (new)

Aubrey Anne Frank isn't a character.


message 32: by Kelley (new)

Kelley "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest" (488) on a Best Female Leads list? Jaw, meet floor.


message 33: by Devorah (new)


message 34: by Hannah (new)

Hannah Elisa wrote: "The lack of Tiffany Aching must be reversed."

This.


message 35: by J.P. (new)


~☆~Autumn♥♥☔ Wells Alex wrote: "Medea? Really? Well I suppose that's definitely an... interesting female character. Maybe a little psychotic but certainly strong!"

At least not BORING!


message 37: by Andynjihia (new)

Andynjihia If somebody reads it because they saw it on this list, then yes. Massive spoiler.


message 38: by Erin (new)

Erin How is Friday on this list??? She is the opposite of a strong female character, feeling she owes men sexual favors for even the smallest courtesy and that isn’t worst of that book... From all evidence, Heinlein was way too sexist to be capable of writing a strong female character.


message 39: by Rainbowheart (new)

Rainbowheart Reverted title back to the original. Someone (not the list creator) changed it.


message 40: by Matthew (new)

Matthew B Roca Group! A lessor known book, but what a stunner of a female lead! So appreciate books giving women, and all of us, impressions of the kind of leadership the world needs right now. Strong women with heart.


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