I mean, come on. The title says it all, doesn't it? I think one of the key components in any YA novel in this day and age is having a main character - whether male or female - who stands up for themselves, stands by their beliefs, and will do whatever it takes to protect the ones they love, and they don't need a man or woman by their side to do it.
They have their flaws, of course - everyone does - but these characters speak to something deep inside us that make us cheer them on and maybe try and be like them when we're faced with our beliefs in real life. While there can be badass girls and boys, I'm going to focus on girls in this post, because girl power, y'all.