Whether you enjoy classics, contemporary fiction, or even comic books, there are fearless female characters we can all take a few nods from.

We all know that reading is good for us. Picking up a novel is the perfect excuse to set down the iPhone, turn off the TV, and escape into a fictional world that lets your imagination run loose.

What’s more, reading makes us smarter. A 2014 Psychology Today feature tells us that research shows “becoming engrossed in a novel enhances connectivity in the brain and improves brain function.”

Here at GenTwenty, we love to share inspiration we’ve gained from powerful women, and that extends to the fearless females we find within the pages of our favorite books. There are so many strong, influential women in literature that it’s hard not to be inspired.

Whether you enjoy classics, contemporary fiction, or even comic books, there are fearless female characters we can all take a few nods from.

Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling

We’re not the only ones who think Ms. Granger is a powerful female character. A witch of muggle parentage, Hermione quickly establishes herself at the top of her class at Hogwarts, practically memorizes Hogwarts, A History, and regularly mediates the occasional squabbles between friends.

An incredibly loyal friend, she always takes time to help others, like when Hagrid needs help building a case to protect Buckbeak in The Prisoner of Azkaban, or when Harry needs a research partner for his tasks in the Triwizard Tournament in the fourth book of the series.

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She holds her head up high no matter how relentlessly she gets teased for her bushy hair or large front teeth. And while we don’t exactly support physical violence here at GenTwenty, even we can admit it was pretty kick-ass that time she punched Malfoy in the face.

Related: The Magic of Harry Potter (And Why We Still Love It)

Stel Caine from Low by Rick Remender and Greg Tocchini

Mind over matter can go a long way in traversing the most difficult situations, as Stel Caine demonstrates in the comic book series Low. The series is set years into the future after the sun expands and makes earth’s surface uninhabitable. Humanity was forced to the depths of the sea and probes were sent deep into space to scope out livable worlds.

Low brings readers into the story just as humanity is running out of oxygen and those in power turn to drugs and sex as they wait out the end of humanity. Despite losing everything dear to her and undergoing horrific tragedy, Stel Caine, our fearless protagonist, never gives up hope.

Alana from Saga by Brian K. Vaughan and Fiona Staples

Another comic books series, Saga is a space epic that is often described among comic book fans as “Romeo and Juliet in space.” When two soldiers on opposing sides of an ongoing war fall in love, flee, and have a child, the entire universe seems to attempt to tear them apart.

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Their child, Hazel, narrates the epic, and shares her story as her parents traverse foreign planets, escape from terrifying creatures, and ultimately fight to keep their child safe. Alana is Hazel’s kick-ass mom who will go to any lengths to protect her daughter in a world that aims to destroy them.

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen

Jane Austen’s classic novel, first published in 1813, introduces readers to kick-ass protagonist Lizzy Bennet. At a time when floor length dresses are required attire for women, and marriage to a wealthy husband seems to be her only hope in securing a comfortable future, Bennet smartly mocks the social conventions of her time. Her sense of humor, independent thinking, and resistance to the easy way out are all qualities to admire even 200 years later.

Reading is a great way to escape into a new world, view the past under a new lens, or build empathy for favorite protagonists. There are remarkable female literary characters in every genre, and this list barely scratches the surface.

Tell us your favorite kick-ass ladies from literature in the comments below.