Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Guest Post: Fictional Girl's who Kick Butt

Today I have a special guest blogger-my friend and co-worker Abby! Abby is an aspiring YA author and she recently said she was in a writing slump. So what better way than to get her back to writing than writing a guest post about her favorite kick-butt female characters! I can't wait until we all see Abby's writing in a bookstore someday!

Hey all you GreenBean fans out there! I am very honored to be guest-posting on Sarah’s blog today. Or is it guest-blogging? I don’t have a blog (yet) so I am not very in on the blogosphere lingo just yet. But I love blogs, and I keep up with tons of them, so you’d think I would know all about it. Anyway, my name is Abby and I work with Sarah at the library. Incidentally, her husband, Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan, is my writing Critique Partner.

When I became Mr. GreenBeanSexyMan’s Critique Partner, I was excited for several reasons. 1. He is writing a fantasy novel (and reads lots of YA too), and I am writing a YA fantasy novel so I can actually get some great constructive criticism from someone who knows the genre, 2. He’s not my mom or my best friend so he’s not biased and 3. His wife is the most awesome YA librarian around, and may just read and (yikes!) review my book on her blog!! If anyone knows YA books, it’s Ms. GreenBeanTeenQueen. Um, just look at her awesome name. Only a totally cool YA librarian could come up with that name.

Anyway, what I want to talk about today is Girl Power. Okay, okay, I know its all Spice-girly and stuff, but I think it’s very important when it comes to YA literature. I’ve always been drawn to books that feature strong girls. Be they physically strong, or just really independent and smart. I’ve come up with a list of totally kick-butt girls that can hold their own against any boy wizard or demigod they may come in contact with. Some were my role models growing up, plus I’ve snuck in some from today that are still my role models even though I am (way) past my teen years. These girls have taught me that you can be an awesome main character in your life- not just the sidekick.

Lessa
What She’s In:
The Dragonriders of Pern series by Anne McCaffrey

Why She Kicks Butt: Lessa pretty much single-handedly brings back the Dragonriders in the first book of the series to battle the flesh-eating spores that fall from the sky called Thread. She is the leader of the Dragonriders along with her totally awesome Queen Dragon, Ramoth. I read this series in middle school and it really helped shape my view on what a leading female character should be, and I still compare many female leads to her to this day.

Sabriel

What She’s In: The Abhorsen Series by Garth Nix (specifically Sabriel)

Why She Kicks Butt: Sabriel is taking over her father’s position as the Abhorsen-her job is to walk into death and keep the dead from crossing over into her world. She is fiercely independent, although a bit shy and an outcast, making much of her journey by herself with only a cat to accompany her. Of course there is a boy, but she is clearly the one in charge. She literally kicks a lot of dead things’ butts too.

Mia Thermopolis
What She’s In:
The Princess Diaries series by Meg Cabot

Why She Kicks Butt: Mia may not physically kick anyone’s butt, but she totally kicks some mean environmental booty. And that’s big in my book! She is super smart (even though she doesn’t think so), and fights for what she believes in, even if it means taking a few wrong turns along the way. She always learns an important lesson, and seems to be a better person because of it. Plus her rantings and ravings in her diary are super funny.

Katniss
What She’s In:
The Hunger Games series by Suzanne Collins

Why She Kicks Butt: In a semi-apocolyptic/dystopian future, Katniss is the sole provider for her mother and sister. She is elected to participate in The Hunger Games in which the contestants fight to the death in order to try to win comfort for their starving families. She is a hunter, scavenger, and survivor. Her exterior is tough and independent, and she really knows how to hold her own against the thugs and warriors trying to kill her. She is the one I’d want to have my back in a fight any day. Or to be my partner when I’m lost. Or to be my strategist. Basically, just having her around me at all times would be nice.

Buffy Summers
What She’s In: various Buffy books and the Season 8 comic by Joss Whedon

Why She Kicks Butt: Well, she’s the Vampire Slayer. Need I say more? Buffy not only kicks some serious vampire butt, but she also slays the metaphorical demons of high school, family problems, and friendships. She juggles a home, a sister, best friends, various jobs, various boyfriends, as well as saving the world pretty much every day. If that’s not multi-tasking, then I don’t know what is.

Of course all these girls have their own trials to pass, and problems to solve. They are in no way perfect, but that’s what’s awesome about them. They show their flaws, and let us know that you don’t have to be perfect in what you do. You just have to believe in yourself. I picked these girls because they don’t just sit back and whine all day and wish they were oh, say, a vampire. Sure, Mia gets a little whiny, or Buffy gets a little preachy, but ultimately, they are independent and take charge of their lives. I hope some of these girls have or can inspire you in the same way they did me. These girls are my inspirations for my own totally awesome kick-butt characters. If this list isn’t your cup ‘o tea, then who is? What characters inspire you, or have become role models to you? Or how about just some awesome female protagonists that you love? (Oh, and it doesn’t have to be fantasy- that’s just mainly what I read)

Much thanks to Ms. GreenBeanTeenQueen for lending me her space to ramble on about how awesome girls are!

12 comments:

  1. Well done with this post! I loved reading it. I love to read books with some kick ass girls in it. Always fun to watch Buffy, I havent read the books, but the show was AWESOME. She can totally kick ass and is such a cool role model. Elizabeth, from Pride and Prejudice is one of the rolemodels I like, she totally speaks her mind and isn't afraid to do it!

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  2. Fantastic guest post, Abby! I am a big fan of the Hunger Games and really liked Katniss. I haven't read the Abhorsen series or the Dragonriders of Pern but I will have to check them out.

    When I was a teen I really admired Aerin, the MC from The Hero and the Crown by Robin McKinley. I really liked how brave she was. It was a nice change from the female characters I usually read about back then. I am happy to see a greater number of strong female characters in YA lit now compared to when I was a teen. I hope that trend continues to grow.

    Best of luck with your writing! I hope you will have the chance to do more guest posts for GreenBeanTeenQueen in the future.

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  3. I liked Daine from the The Immortals series by Tamora Pierce. She was feminine, could talk to animals, and used a wicked cool bow and arrow.

    Good luck with your writing! Hope to see your book reviewed soon!

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  4. Elizabeth is pretty awesome-especially since she speaks her mind in a time when women didn't typically have a say-love that!

    And Aerin does totally rock-The Hero and the Crown is a great book.

    I haven't read The Immortals series, but talking to animals would be very cool.

    I would add Katsa to the kick butt girl list-she rocks!

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  5. Ooh, those are all great girls! I love how Elizabeth spoke her mind as well, and I totally forgot about Daine from the series by Tamora Pierce. I think I only read the first book, but I remember she was really interesting. I haven't had a chance to read Graceling yet, so I didn't put Katsa down, but I hear she is really fierce. I keep up with Kristin Cashore's blog (I promise I'll get that book read soon!) and she seems really cool.

    Thanks for the compliments and ecouragement!

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  6. You should read Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynn Barnes when it comes out. She would make a great addition to your post.

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  7. Oh! I ADORE Sabriel. She totally does 'kick butt.' And I agree completely about Katniss, too. I was just going to say that Cimorene from Patricia C. Wrede's Dealing with Dragons does too - but then I thought about it, and most of Wrede's female characters fit the category. Have to love that.

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  8. Omg, I totally almost put Cimorene on there! The Enchanted Forest series was one of the first fantasy series I read and really got me hooked on fantasy. I remember wanting to be just like Cimorene. I think thats the time I started drawing dragons and unicorns a lot too.

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  9. I LOVED Suze in Meg Cabot's Mediator series too. She truly did kick butt. It's not easy saving your town from ghosts while still keeping that spark alive with your dead boyfriend.

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  10. Great post. I loved Sabriel and Katniss too. I'm an aspiring fantasy writer too, though I'm writing mid grade. I don't have a blog either. Good luck with your book. A good critique partner is so important to the process.

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  11. I'm glad Katsa has been mentioned in the comments. That girl is HARDCORE. Dang. And there are so many more I could mention that I adore, though this list is fantastic. Katniss and Sabriel will always be dear to my heart.

    And seriously, good luck with your writing!

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  12. Oh, I've been meaning to read the Mediator series!

    Again with Katsa- I really need to read that book! I know I got it in several times at the library, and had to return it after not reading it for three weeks. Seriously, my TBR pile is huge and I keep checking them out and then checking them back in because I didn't have time to read them!


    Thanks again for the encouragement, and Andy is really a great critique partner!

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