While getting my booktube binge this morning, thinking and crying about books I don’t have, I came across readbyzoe’s video on her favourite fictional females. Inspired by her video celebrating ladies in fiction, I thought I’d do the same.
When it comes to YA, female characters can be tricky. They tend to fall into stereotypes that they can’t climb out of, falling for every trope like a plot hole. While male characters get diversity, female characters get that samey-ness. But then some books have corkers of characters, ones that stand out, ones that are real. Here are my fave fictional females from some fantastic books!
Lila Bard from A Darker Shade of Magic and A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab
Lila Bard is a one woman force who lets nothing stop her. She wants to see everything in the world(s) and nothing will get in her way. A thief in her home city of Grey London, Lila breathes independence, adventure, and sarcasm. She’s androgynous, preferring trousers and fancy coats and masks over dresses and she’s so ready for anything. I love her, all other characters in the Shades of Magic series loves her. Don’t tell me otherwise.
Vida from Never Fade and In The Afterlight by Alexandra Bracken
So I googled ‘Vida from The Darkest Minds’ and immedietely saw this picture. This is how I picture Vida, a sharp tongued cynic who likes to make everyone feel shitty and annoyed. But she’s not a girl from the main character just to hate; she has personality, a story, and quickly becomes apart of the main group despite not appearing in The Darkest Minds. She’s strong, powerful, and has an effect over every character. We all need a Vida to bring us back to reality.
Blue Sargent from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefavater
While The Raven Cycle is one of the most aesthetically pleasing YA series I’ve ever read, Blue Sargent has become the bookish poster girl of the tumblr aestheticism. A fierce feminist and headstrong, Blue shares her home with psychics, holding a dark destiny that is soon to happen in the last books (in which we all cry over). I think Blue defies a lot of tropes that female MCs seem to have in buckets, one of them being a friend of the boys; a girl who seems to only have male friends because girls have ‘too much drama’. In reality, that’s not a thing, and if a girl does say that, she’s probably got a little internal misogyny going on. But not Blue, Blue is so self-aware and girl empowering that having primarily male friends does nothing to change that.
Frances Janvier from Radio Silence by Alice Oseman
This is Karla Crome. Alice Oseman, on Tumblr (her fave place to dwell) mentioned that if she were to fancast Frances, Karla would be her gal.
Oh Frances, you are so relatable. While I’ve long left school behind, Radio Silence reminded me how stressful school can really be. Especially on people like Frances, who haven’t the foggiest what they want to do with their life. This book also has some great boy/girl platonic friendships and Frances and Aled are just the sweetest non-sexual team you ever did read. I wrote a super long review praising Radio Silence should you wanna browse.
Helen Harris from Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
While I only gave Ready Player One four stars, I’d definitely give the character of Helen Harris five. Without spoiling anything, the very presence of Helen squashes any idea of what a ‘gamer’ looks like. Gamers are not just aggressive, heterosexual white boys (although they are the loudest). Helen is gay, and uses the Oasis as a means of escape from the oppression and prejudices she receives in real life. She questions and calls out people with problematic views, and is so vital in a story like this. Ready Player One is literally nerd boy satisfaction, and so when Helen was introduced, I was giddy at the thought that those gamers would read this book and see and understand a character like Helen. Representation ftw!
Rosalie Hale from The Twilight Series by Stephanie Meyer
Now, I’m not a massive fan on the Twilight books. I’m also not a fan of the way Rosalie is portrayed in the films. However, I love Rosalie from the books, mainly because she is the only character with common sense. Bella is a Mary-Sue; everyone loves her instantly and swear by their lives to protect her for no reason other than ‘she’s dating Edward’. But Rosalie is the only one looking at the big picture, the only one who sees how much danger Bella puts the family through and how stupid everyone else is. She’s meant to be a bitch, people are meant to be annoyed by her, but no. Rosalie Hale cares for her family, is wary of strangers, and has her head screwed on. [FANART BY ALICEXZ]
This list would no doubt grow over time, and I might make it a series. I may even do a post on my favourite male characters. Who do you love who maybe I haven’t mentioned?