February 13, 2018

Galentine's Day with my Favorite Heroines | Top Ten Tuesday

Top Ten Tuesday is a list-based meme hosted by the amazing Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl. If the meme sounds familiar, it was formerly hosted by The Broke and Bookish.

Happy Galentine's Day!  Since I am a rebel (and by that I mean single and slightly bitter), my Top Ten Tuesday is not going to focus on love and other sappy stuff as it was supposed to. Instead I am going to celebrate a much more important holiday, Galentine's Day.

For those who have not had the enlightening experience of watching Leslie Knope celebrate this holiday on Parks and Recreation, let me educate you. The day before the mushy gushy holiday on February 14 is dedicated to the power of female friendship and the awesomeness that is being a woman, regardless of whether or not you have a significant other. Galentine's Day is about girl-power and self-love, not about crying while watching The Notebook with a pint of Ben and Jerry's as your only companion.

To celebrate this wonderful day, I am sharing with you some of my favorite, kick-butt heroines from YA lit.

1. Lila Bard

Lila only gets more and more awesome as the series goes on. She discovers an entire realm of magic parallel to her own world, and she just rolls with it. Instead of falling ill to female vapors or other fainting disorders that were common from women of the time, Lila fights her way into Kell's heart and the reader's heart as well. She is a survivor of terrible circumstances who still with dreams of grand adventures. 

2. Inej and Nina from Six of Crows

Six of Crows has an amazing cast of characters, however, Inej and Nina steal the spotlight. While Kaz is busy dealing with his moods, Inej carries out the plan despite all of the sacrifices she has to make. Nina is not afraid to use her femininity as the power it is. I also greatly admire Inej since she recognizes her worth and does not want to settle in a relationship. 

3. Vhalla from Air Awakens

Vhalla is a butt-kicking bookworm who has the power to literally destroy an entire kingdom. She is thrown into a world of magic and blows all of the sorcerers away (yes, you should appreciate the pun). Throughout the trials and tribulations of honing her magic, Vhalla refuses to give up.

4. Katsa from Graceling

Katsa can kill a man with her bare hands. She has been able to since she was eight years old. However, despite her unbeatable strength, she refused to kill. Katsa not only has physical power, but also the strength of character that sets a good example for future female warriors. 

5. Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone

It would be an understatement to say that Karou goes through a lot in the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series. It would also be an understatement to say that she is the epitome of impressive female heroines. Not only is she incredibly sassy, but she is also creative, dedicated, and selfless. She lives and breathes magic in a world that dismisses the very thought of miracles. Karou is not your typical female character, and not only because of her naturally blue hair. Instead of falling into a trap of angst and lovey-dovey distraction, Karou decided to actually solve some problems, which I infinitely respect.

6. Annabeth from Percy Jackson and the Olympians

I am going to start a petition to rename the series to Annabeth and the Olympians. Really though, she can fight, think, and even design buildings. She is the definition of a strong, independent woman. Without her, Percy would not have even survived the first book in the series. Without her, Camp Half-Blood would be a desolate hole in the ground. Without her, the world as we know it would be overrun with Greek monsters and monstrosities. 

7. Cinder, Scarlet, Cress, and Winter from the Lunar Chronicles

Not only does this series have one admirable heroine, but FOUR. The series subverts the traditional view of princesses as helpless damsels in distress to show that princesses can be heroines too. In addition, Meyer's diverse cast of heroines is a good starting point for inclusion in YA science fiction. 

8. Nazafareen from The Fourth Element series by Kat Ross

The Fourth Element is one of my favorite underrated books, and my favor is mostly due to the awesomeness that is Nazafareen. She started as a humble nomad trying to leave her past behind and evolved into a Water Dog who is bent on avenging her losses. Nazafareen is only Water Dog picked from her tribe and one of the few female warriors as well. Even though she is a country girl stuck in a metropolis of powerful men, Nazafareen makes her place in the world as a fierce warrior.

By the way, the first ebook in the series, The Midnight Sea, is free on Amazon as of the publishing of this post on February 13.
Are you celebrating Galentine's Day? Who are some of your favorite female characters? Do you think that female characters are underappreciated in YA?

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