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31 Times People Shouted, “YAAS, QUEEN!” While Reading

16. Delilah Bard, Shades of Magic series by V.E. Schwab

She’s a knife-wielding, gender fluid, pickpocket magician who helps save all of the known worlds. She’s fierce, determined, clever, and wonderfully witty. Lila is written in such a way that’s realistic enough to be believable, but she never loses that magical spark of wonder and excitement. —corynm2

17. Arya Stark, A Song of Ice and Fire series by George R.R. Martin

Arya is a brave person who went through A LOT and never waits around for others to deliver the justice she seeks for her family and friends. —rachalert

18. Jo March, Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

Usually female protagonists are written into a box — they either denounce all things considered “ladylike,” or they absolutely adore it. Jo was the first character who liked both and was not ashamed of it. She was unapologetically herself and I loved that, unlike many books with females at the helm, her storyline didn’t focus on finding a man to make everything better. Instead it was about sisterhood, learning how to accept her emotions, and channel them into her work. —meryska

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