Guest Post: Author Jennifer Estep (plus giveaway)

Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to thank the ReaderGirls for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much!

My name is Jennifer Estep, and I write the Mythos Acad­emy young adult urban fan­tasy series for Kens­ing­ton. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psy­chom­e­try, or the abil­ity to know an object’s his­tory just by touch­ing it. After a seri­ous freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Acad­emy, a school for the descen­dants of ancient war­riors like Spar­tans, Valkyries, Ama­zons, and more.

Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, came out on July 26. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is also available now. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will hit shelves on Nov. 29.

So today, I thought I would talk a little bit about heroines in young adult (YA) books. To me, a heroine can make or break a book, especially when it comes to YA. I love reading about heroines who are strong, smart, sassy, and tough as they tackle all the challenges that life and the bad guys throw at them. To me, there’s nothing better than a story where the heroine comes into her own, realizes what makes her strong and special (whether it’s her magic, her wits, or something else), and uses her inner strength to save the day. Here are some of my favorite YA heroines:

Beauty in the book Beauty by Robin McKinley: I’ve always loved the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and McKinley’s book is one of my favorite versions of the story. I think Beauty is a great heroine because she’s able to look past the Beast’s appearance and see just how kind his heart really is.

Katsa in Graceling by Kristin Cashore: Katsa has the ability to kill people with her bare hands, and she struggles with carrying out the orders of an unjust king. But when a young girl is in danger and a horrible evil threatens to take over her entire kingdom, Katsa knows that she’s the only one who can stop it, and she puts her skills to good use.

Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Katniss is another heroine who is put to the test time and time again. Katniss is smart, cunning, fierce, and ruthless – everything that she needs to be in order to survive the deadly Hunger Games and the horrible things that she witnesses in the arena.

Nalia/Sinda in The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal: Nalia thinks that she’s a princess – until it’s revealed that she’s really Sinda, a false princess who was put in place to protect the real princess from a dangerous threat. Sinda’s whole world is ripped away from her, including her best friend, but she keeps trudging along because it’s the only thing that she can do. Slowly, Sinda figures out who she really is and the power that she has – and she ends up saving the kingdom that cast her out.

Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey from The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann Martin: I can’t tell you how many times I read the Baby-Sitters Club books when I was a kid. One of the things that I liked most about the series was how the books switched from one girl’s point of view to another, and how every girl was her own unique character. The girls had their share of problems with family, school, boys, and more, but they always stayed friends and stuck together in the end.

Nancy Drew: I also read lots of Nancy Drew books growing up – everything from the old, classic stories to the more modern, updated versions. I thought Nancy was cool because she used her brains to figure out these complicated mysteries. She was always smarter than me (and everyone else in the book), and I always looked forward to seeing how she put all the clues together at the end.

What about you guys? Who are some of your favorite YA heroines and books?

Jennifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author who also writes the Ele­men­tal Assas­sin urban fan­tasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assas­sin code­named the Spi­der who can con­trol the ele­ments of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing peo­ple and right­ing wrongs, Gin runs a bar­be­cue restau­rant called the Pork Pit in the fic­tional South­ern metrop­o­lis of Ash­land. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vam­pires, and ele­men­tals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.

Books in the series are Spider’s BiteWeb of LiesVenom, and Tan­gled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released on Sept. 27. Visit for free short stories, excerpts, and more.

GIVEAWAY! Jennifer Estep is also giving away 1 copy of Touch of Frost to 1 winner. Please answer her question above to be entered. Contest ends 8/20.


  1. Mary D
    zenrei57 (at) hotmail dot com

    I've got to definitely agree with Katniss from the Hunger Games, her strength and courage was incredible. I can't wait to read the next book in the series lol

    I'll tell you who else I think is ah-MA-zing is Massie of the Clique series by Lisi Harrison, - no matter what the provocation, alpha leader Massie NEVER lets anyone get the best of her. :D

  2. Having recently read THE HUNGER GAMES, I have to say Katniss. I always wondered if I would have the courage & strength.


  3. Katniss is definitely one of my favourite heroines of all time - brave, strong and independent.
    I also like Rose from Vampire Academy. She's snarky, fierce and a kick-ass heorine! Definitely one of a kind!

  4. I also love Katniss and Rose, but for me it all started with Tally Youngblood from the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld.

    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

  5. Katniss is definitely my favourite and I also like Katsa :)

  6. I love all the above, but I also love Clary from THE MORTAL INSTRUMENTS and Tessa from THE INTEFERNAL DEVICES. I have tons more but those are at the top.

  7. Mary -- I haven't read that series, but it sounds interesting. I'll have to check it out.

    Marybelle -- I agree. Katniss is really put to the test in the series.

    Shirley -- Katniss is a really great heroine.

    Vivien -- Westerfeld is another author I've been meaning to try.

    Jeanne -- I like both of them a lot too.

    Bwyatt -- I haven't read the Mortal Instruments books yet, but they're on my list to try.

  8. I would have to say Rose from VA. She didn't second guessed her self as much as even adult character's. Just does what's in her heart. Sure she has regrets but I love the go to attitude. Thanks for the chance to win. Rhonda

  9. O.K. I definately agree about Nancy Drew, I had the whole collection as a young girl and read them over and over. Another favorite of mine is Yuki in E.J. Stephens Spirit series, she is just a great gal and surrounded by offbeat fun friends, her favorite expression is "son of a dung beetle" which just tickles me every time I read it.
    Would love to add your herione to my list.
    lvs2dv at gmail dot com

  10. I have to agree about Clary from the Mortal Instruments series, I also liked Schuyler from the Blue Bloods by De La Cruz. Thanks for the giveaway! Artesia at comcast dot net

  11. Ohh I love her other series so this turn in the YA should be awesome! I cannot wait.

    terilhack at gmail dot com

  12. My favorite hero right now is Ash from The Iron Knight. Wow that boy went through a lot for the girl he loves. Very impressive.


  13. My favorite YA heroines has to be Tally Youngblood. She is so hard but loving at the same time. She has many flaws but she's not an idiot. Favorite books anything dystopian or paranormal and if combine them it is pure gold.

  14. Candrbeyer -- Lots of folks really seem to like Rose and the VA books. Isn't the VA spinoff series coming out soon?

    Loves to dive -- I read the Nancy Drew books over and over too, both the old classic versions and the new modern ones.

    Jkrowyn -- I've been meaning to try the Blue Bloods series too. Too many books, too little time.

    Teril -- Thanks! Hope you get a chance to check out the book.

    StuckInBooks -- I really enjoyed The Iron King. That's another series that I need to get caught up on.

    Shannon -- I love paranormal YA books too -- urban fantasy, epic fantasy, fairy tales, mythology. It's all good.

  15. My fav so far is Rose. From VA

    Thanks for the giveaway!!!

    gfc follower

    vidishamun at gmail dot com

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

  17. Vidisha -- You're welcome.

    Amy -- I haven't read Armstrong's YA books, but she's on my list to try. I've enjoyed her adult books.

  18. I love Nancy Drew

  19. My newest YA book/series that I'm loving is Ruby Red by Kerstin Geir. Thanks for the giveaway!


  20. Katniss from the Hunger Games is one of my favorites.

  21. I think Rose from Richelle Mead's VA series is a great heroine because she's a badass and she can take care of herself. She's fierce and strong.

  22. I love Clary and Tessa from Cassandra Clare's books, plus Tris from Divergent and Lena from Delirium. All of Tamora Pierce's heroies are awesome, especially Aly Homewood, and Kate and Cecy from Sorcery and Cecelia are fantastic. I could keep going, but I suppose I had better stop before I start blabbering. Thank you!


  23. Fdigsby -- Me too.

    Lolarific -- I haven't heard of that book/series. I'll have to check it out.

    Mbreakfield -- Mine too.

    Urgirlconnie -- Lots of folks really seem to like Rose from the VA books.

    Lieder Madchen -- I've heard a lot of good things about Pierce's books. She's on my list of authors to try.

  24. Pretty much all of Tamora Peirce's heroines. They are all generally clever and determined ladies.

    I also like Claire from the Morganville Vampire series by Rachel Caine. Usually smart, kind, and occaisonally gets in too deep for her own good.

    I remember loving Trixie Belden, a Nancy Drew type, except she and her friends didn't seem to be as perfect as Nancy often did.

    melorabrock {at} gmail {dot} com

  25. My favorite is generally the one I have in my hand at the moment. At this moment it is Katness & Petta from The Hunger Games.
    Got to admit I also was terribly fond on Nancy Drew & the Hardy boys.


    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

  26. Melora -- I liked the Trixie Belden series too.

    Lisa -- I really liked Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys books too.

  27. This comment has been removed by the author.

  28. My favorite heroine is Katniss from The Hunger Games. I like her because she is strong and brave.


  29. My favorite would have to be Daine from Wild Magic.

  30. I dont know who to agree with because i love them all! I really liked Katniss from the hunger games. But i loved Rose.

  31. I would have to say Rose from VA! I am looking forward to seeing how Lyssa progresses in Bloodlines!

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

  32. Some of my favorite heroines are Rose from Vampire Academy, Katniss from Hunger Games, Clary from The Mortal Instruments Series :)

    jadedlittlegirlx [at] gmail [dot] com

  33. Some of my favorite heroines are Heromine from Harry Potter books and also Clary from The Mortal Instruments. I love to read and love to try all genres. This is a new author for me and am always looking for new authors and books. Thanks for the giveaway and the chance to win.


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