(There's 11, but from 10 books - I couldn't get rid of anyone as they're all great!)
1. Kat (The Unladylike Adventures of Kat Stephenson series by Stephanie Burgis) - These are technically in no order, but Kat is possibly my favourite ever heroine. Loyal to her family, she's a wonderful friend and a ferocious enemy, as well as being brilliant at magic. Considering she's still only about thirteen in the last book, that's pretty stunning.
2. Verity/Maddie (Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein) - As always, am saying as little as possible about CNV due to being petrified of spoiling it, but anyone who's been reading my blog this year could guess this would be here. Two incredible young women with a wonderful friendship.
3. Brianna (Gone series by Michael Grant) - I could have picked a couple of people from this series, but it's Brianna who's always been my favourite. At an age when dealing with growing up is hard enough, she's also trying to control super speed, fight the bad guys, and deal with people she wasn't expecting to be interested in her having feelings for her. A stunning portrayal.
4. Larissa (Department 19 series by Will Hill) - Larissa, eternally seventeen after being turned into a vampire two years prior to the start of the series, is a kick-ass heroine with real bite. (Sorry, couldn't resist.)
5. Abby (Night of the Purple Moon by Scott Cramer) - As the leader of the kids on the island in this harrowing dystopian book, Abby does an amazing job of keeping her community together after the deaths of all the adults.
6. Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns by John Green) - I'm keeping it to one per author, so Margo edges out Green's nearly-as-awesome Alaska. Right from the moment she crawls into Q's window, dressed in black and wearing black face paint, she's a fabulous character.
7. Gloria (Flappers series by Jillian Larkin) - Hard to choose one from the central trio here, but Gloria's forbidden interracial romance with Jerome is so well-handled that I'll give her the nod.
8. Lottie Biggs (Lottie Biggs series by Hayley Long) - Lottie is a stunning creation who is just a joy to read about. Her courageous battle with mental health issues in the first book, Lottie Biggs Is (Not) Mad, is especially well-handled.
9. Meg (The Anti-Prom by Abby McDonald) - As with Flappers, this is a book with three brilliant lead female characters. Meg, who's quiet and often overlooked but really grows during the one night the book takes place in, is my favourite.
10. Princess Eilonwy (The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander) - Most of the children's fantasy novels from the 60s, 70s and 80s that I can remember had some strong male characters but relatively few really good female leads. Eilonwy bucks that trend, being far more than 'just' a love interest to Taran in this wonderful sequence.