These female characters that I'm focusing on may either be the protagonist, or a love interest from a male POV book. All of these characters are from books releasing in 2012.
Whitley from A Midsummer's Nightmare - Whitley is a great character who
is struggling from her father's sudden engagement that he didn't tell
her that. She is clearly a broken character, but she is one that
readers will root for. I wanted her to be able to get better and
reconcile with her family and become happy again.
Coley from Live Through This - Coley is a strong and amazing character.
She is dealing with some tough stuff in her life, yet she is still able
to put on a brave face. Her romance with Reece is very sweet and cute
Quinn from If I Lie - Quinn is a great character. She endures many
tough things in the book. She is bullied for being a cheater, and she
made a promise to Carey, so she can't even tell anyone that she didn't
really cheat. She is very strong and it is a great experience to read
Emme from Take a Bow - Emme is a great musician and a great friend to
both Sophie and Ethan, and later, Carter as well. It is amazing to
watch her become more confident and learn how to sing in front of people
along with writing the songs.
Sid from What Happens Next - It is clear in the book that what happened
to Sid has had a large effect on her, but she doesn't let it ruin her
life. She also has a slowly progressing and sweet relationship with
Corey. She struggles with whether or not she should tell her secret,
and she finally does in an emotional scene.
Jess from 34 Pieces of You - Jess is one of the three protagonists in 34 Pieces of You, and I loved her character. Of the three, she was definitely my favorite. When Ellie died, it was a huge loss to her, but since no one knew what Ellie had meant to her, much of her grieving had to be done in secret. She had clearly been affected by what had happened to Ellie. Jess was just an all-around amazing character.
Harper from Something Like Normal - Harper is a great character, and even though she isn't the protagonist, she is still well-developed. Harper has her reasons to be mad at Travis after what he did to her at the beginning of high school. A lie told by him led to rumors that completely ruined Harper's reputation. Despite this, she is able to forgive him, and the romance between the two is so sweet and amazing.
Taylor from Second Chance Summer - Since Taylor's dad is ill with a very serious form of cancer, she is obviously dealing with a lot. She's a strong character, though she has had a habit of sometimes running from her problems in the past. During this summer, she has to face all her problems again since she had some major issues with her best friend and first boyfriend last time she went to her summer house. She manages to be strong through her dad's illness too, despite knowing how it will end.
Allie from Breaking Beautiful - When her boyfriend Trip dies in a car accident, Allie has so many feelings, and one of them is relief. Trip had been abusing her, and she hadn't told anyone this. Throughout the book, she struggles to get past the abuse. Everyone thinks that Trip was perfect, so if she told them the truth, they would be shocked. The other people in her small town treat her like a grieving widow. There is another boy that she becomes interested in, but she is worried about what others would think. Eventually, she ends up dating this boy anyway.
Bria from Wanderlove - In a way, Bria is really trying to escape her problems. She had recently broken up with her boyfriend after she made it into an art program and he didn't. It was clear from his reaction that he thought his art was better than hers. She wants to go to Central America, and she wants to make sure that she's only with guys she doesn't care about in the future. She decides to ditch her tour group and go off backpacking. This is one of her first impulsive decisions. Throughout the book, she tries to leave the old Bria behind so there can be a new Bria.
Echo from Pushing the Limits - Echo has many problems since her mother gave her horrible scars not too long before. She is traumatized by this, so she has to see a therapist. She is trying to get over what happened with her through the whole book. It is great to watch her growing stronger.
Katie from Smashed - Katie has a lot of problems in her life. She has a dad who left her, and a mom who is basically never home. Also, she has a drinking problem, too. During the summer, she gets to know Alec, a guy who ends up causing some problems for her. She realizes that she is in a bad situation with him, but at that point, it is too late. Her drinking continues to spiral out of control, until she is finally forced to get help. She really is a great character, despite all her issues.