Best Female Lead Characters

This list features books from all genres with the strongest female lead characters.
1408

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4.26 avg rating — 88 ratings
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1408

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4.14 avg rating — 58 ratings
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1408

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4.40 avg rating — 20 ratings
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1408

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4.22 avg rating — 45 ratings
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1408

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4.04 avg rating — 68 ratings
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1408

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 4 ratings
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1408

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3.62 avg rating — 3,231 ratings
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1408

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3.93 avg rating — 89 ratings
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1408

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3.61 avg rating — 130 ratings
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1408

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3.75 avg rating — 40 ratings
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1408

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4.10 avg rating — 39 ratings
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1408

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3.76 avg rating — 100 ratings
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1408

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3.67 avg rating — 24 ratings
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1408

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3.19 avg rating — 26 ratings
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1408

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4.47 avg rating — 5,515 ratings
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1408

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4.27 avg rating — 890 ratings
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1408

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3.70 avg rating — 56 ratings
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1408

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3.88 avg rating — 1,529 ratings
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1408

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3.69 avg rating — 16 ratings
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1408

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4.54 avg rating — 13 ratings
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1408

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3.66 avg rating — 1,833 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 22,216 ratings
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1408

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4.33 avg rating — 79 ratings
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1408

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 44 ratings
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1408

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3.88 avg rating — 50 ratings
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1408

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4.19 avg rating — 21 ratings
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1408

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4.36 avg rating — 28 ratings
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1408

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4.27 avg rating — 41 ratings
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1408

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4.06 avg rating — 6,474 ratings
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1408

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3.67 avg rating — 30 ratings
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1408

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 10,942 ratings
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1408

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3.72 avg rating — 149 ratings
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1408

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4.20 avg rating — 332 ratings
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1408

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4.17 avg rating — 12 ratings
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1408

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3.59 avg rating — 642 ratings
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1408

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4.14 avg rating — 57 ratings
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1408

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4.08 avg rating — 36 ratings
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1408

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3.60 avg rating — 20 ratings
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1408

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4.39 avg rating — 6,005 ratings
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1408

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4.56 avg rating — 9 ratings
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1408

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3.67 avg rating — 90 ratings
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1408

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3.64 avg rating — 736 ratings
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1408

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4.28 avg rating — 18 ratings
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1408

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4.50 avg rating — 4 ratings
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1408

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3.88 avg rating — 16 ratings
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1408

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 6 ratings
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1408

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3.38 avg rating — 45 ratings
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1408

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3.24 avg rating — 177 ratings
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1408

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3.69 avg rating — 16 ratings
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1408

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3.72 avg rating — 79 ratings
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1408

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3.75 avg rating — 60 ratings
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1408

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3.86 avg rating — 339 ratings
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1408

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3.85 avg rating — 536 ratings
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1408

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3.98 avg rating — 44 ratings
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1408

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3.95 avg rating — 15,792 ratings
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1408

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4.09 avg rating — 46 ratings
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1408

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4.60 avg rating — 5 ratings
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1408

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 9 ratings
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1408

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4.02 avg rating — 61 ratings
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1408

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4.88 avg rating — 8 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 8 ratings
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1408

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3.57 avg rating — 75 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 25 ratings
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1408

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3.92 avg rating — 13 ratings
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1408

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4.25 avg rating — 12 ratings
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1408

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4.16 avg rating — 15,290 ratings
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1408

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3.45 avg rating — 965 ratings
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1408

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3.55 avg rating — 815 ratings
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1408

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3.69 avg rating — 32 ratings
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1408

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3.24 avg rating — 262 ratings
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1408

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3.90 avg rating — 87 ratings
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1408

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4.14 avg rating — 160 ratings
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1408

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3.78 avg rating — 8,390 ratings
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1408

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4.20 avg rating — 20 ratings
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1408

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3.86 avg rating — 28 ratings
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1408

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4.67 avg rating — 3 ratings
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1408

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4.50 avg rating — 10 ratings
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1408

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3.89 avg rating — 888 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 86 ratings
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1408

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4.33 avg rating — 3 ratings
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1408

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3.83 avg rating — 527 ratings
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1408

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3.60 avg rating — 30 ratings
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1408

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3.69 avg rating — 39 ratings
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1408

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3.99 avg rating — 1,314 ratings
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1408

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3.70 avg rating — 69 ratings
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1408

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3.92 avg rating — 134 ratings
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1408

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3.74 avg rating — 74 ratings
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1408

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4.38 avg rating — 8 ratings
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1408

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3.65 avg rating — 17 ratings
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1408

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4.18 avg rating — 56 ratings
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1408

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3.56 avg rating — 117 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 7,241 ratings
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1408

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3.37 avg rating — 30 ratings
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1408

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4.05 avg rating — 5,652 ratings
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1408

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3.85 avg rating — 555 ratings
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1408

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4.12 avg rating — 25 ratings
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1408

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4.25 avg rating — 65 ratings
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1408

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3.62 avg rating — 116 ratings
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1408

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3.50 avg rating — 4 ratings
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1408

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3.91 avg rating — 142 ratings
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3,930 books · 4,887 voters · list created July 23rd, 2009 by Kevis Hendrickson (votes) .
282 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Kevis 1698 books
820 friends
Heather 1342 books
16 friends
Greyweather 2608 books
70 friends
Katherine 121 books
2 friends
K. 80 books
15 friends
John 577 books
40 friends
Holly 2734 books
10 friends
Shayla 1130 books
9 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-36 of 36) (36 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 Amelia (new)

Amelia 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 Amelia (new)

Amelia 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 Amelia (new)

Amelia 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 Ceccato 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 Ceccato "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 JP (new)


~☆~Autumn♥♥☽ 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!


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