Friday, March 8, 2013

Strong Heroines in YA

 I initially wrote this post ages ago right before TSKOA released for another website. They never published it, so I've reclaimed it. Enjoy!

When you think of YA heroines, who pops to mind? Bella Swan? Katniss Everdeen?

While Katniss is pretty badass as far as the games are concerned, she really falls short as a person. She spends a lot of time moaning about her situation (especially in Mocking Jay). Bad things keep happening to her and she chooses to hide in a closet instead of meeting them face on and trying to figure out a solution. She runs from her problems until she can't run anymore, until she is forced to participate. In the end, most of her choices are made for her, and she just kind of accepts them with little argument.

Bella Swan is far from heroic. She often gets herself into trouble and must be saved by her knight in sparkly armor over and over again. Her entire life revolves around one man and she practically goes insane when she can't have him. She falls apart and nearly destroys what few friendships she's built. To make matters worse, he is condescending and often treats her like a child, both problems she doesn't seem to see through her overwhelming veil of obsession.

One of the few truly strong female characters I can think of is Hermione Granger, and she's not technically a main character. It would seem there is a dearth of kickass heroines in young adult fiction. This is a strange phenomenon to me, considering the audience. The young women who read these novels are impressionable and need strong heroines to look up to. They need someone who will do what's right in the face of all evil. They need someone whose driving force goes beyond finding Mr. Right and getting married and having babies. They need someone they can learn from, someone who will teach them to be strong and stick to their guns, someone who will show them that even though the world may crash down, good will still triumph. They need a role model that they can relate to.

That is what I had in mind when I set out to write The Seven Keys of Alaesha. It started with a simple phrase: “Edith Myers had just about had enough.” I knew Edith would be young; she's only 17. But she has a fierce heart and a strong mind. She faces down a bully on her first day at a new school and eventually breaks through the hard shell the bully has put up to discover the deeper person behind it. Edith finds a key that could lead to a war between two worlds, and while she may want to crawl in a hole and let someone else deal with it, she stands up and takes what's coming head on. She has her share of fears, mind you, but she doesn't let them destroy her. She uses them, embraces them, and becomes a better person because of them. And she may just find love along the way, but it doesn't define her. She is her own women, and she is kickass.

What do you think? Are we lacking strong heroines for young women to look up to? Who are some of your favorite kickass heroines? 

Buy TSKOA: Amazon, Smashwords, Barnes and Noble

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.