The Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsGenre: YA dystopian
I’m sure Katniss needs no introduction. Other than her bone-deep devotion to her younger sister, I’m not sure I have all that much in common with her, but I loved reading about her very, very much. Considering I assumed I wouldn't like these books and only read them after catching an excerpt by mistake, it's ridiculous how many times I've reread them since then. Love me some Katniss!
Graceling by Kristin CashoreGenre: YA fantasy
Katsa probably needs no introduction, either, but just in case:
General premise Katsa is the king’s niece. Because she’s graced (has a rare magical ability that comes with having different-colored eyes) with extreme fighting skills that make her unbeatable, her uncle has used her since childhood to torture and punish people who have displeased him. While trying to atone for her brutal actions by secretly helping people, she meets Po, who is graced with combat skills that actually make him a challenging sparring partner for her. As their friendship develops and she realizes someone with similar skills is living a dramatically different life from hers, she begins to question whether she actually has as little control over her destiny as she’s always assumed.
Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn
Genre: YA SF
General premise Kira Moore is a zero. The ability to mind-read develops in early adolescence, but Kira’s never did. Since people (classmates, teachers, bus drivers, everyone she encounters) have to speak out loud to her because they can’t read her thoughts, they view her with suspicion and revulsion. But when she accidentally controls the mind of the boy she loves and nearly kills him, she draws the attention of people who want to use her and those who want to imprison her. That’s when she realizes her problems are even bigger than she thought. I love the tag line for this book:
“When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep.”
So in short, in dramatically different worlds, each teenage girl here fights against overwhelming governmental authority (and terrible odds) to change her destiny. These three characters make me very, very happy.