Today’s guest post is for the book tour for YA paranormal “Spelled”. Enjoy the guest post!
The “Plucky” Heroine
“Spare me the plucky heroine, who overcomes all her obstacles while staying optimistic.” That is the tweet that keeps playing through my mind. I won’t repeat who uttered this venomous sentence, but I can’t seem to stop thinking about it.
The woman responsible complained that the leading ladies in Young Adult Fiction are almost incessantly heroic despite their circumstances, and that she’s gotten tired of the phenomenon. It made me think that perhaps there has been an increase of this type of YA in the last few years. When I think back on the books I read when I was younger, and even a few still high school, the heroines tended to be weak in the face of danger, often failing in the last crucial moment and needing to be rescued by the young men they’ve spent the whole book fighting for. The stigma was not only backwards, but almost reckless on the part of the writer as it planted the idea in young readers’ heads that this was somehow inherently the gender roles of the world. Girls were meant to fight emotionally, boys physically. That’s what we were taught to expect and even enjoy. That final conclusion when the girl is snatched from the brink of death by the boy was the long-awaited pay off of the story.
In a post-Katniss literary world, the idea of a faint heroine is almost laughable. Perhaps we can credit Suzanne Collins with the turn-around, or perhaps she was just the pinnacle in a long-await movement, but whatever the case, we now she girls standing up for themselves in YA. This is the exact kind of role models we need in YA. It’s the duty of YA writers to create characters that act as guides, since we write for the age group we do. If we are teaching young women to do anything other than respect and value themselves, I believe we are letting them down. I debate with myself about the necessity of the boy-girl dynamic in YA at all, but I don’t think it’ll be going anywhere anytime soon. We just have to aware of the message we’re sending when we put such a heavy emphasis on romance over the characters growing as individuals.
In short, I believe it is not only more engaging, but necessary to have the “plucky heroine,” who inspires all readers to look for the bravery and strength inside themselves, instead of waiting around for someone else to save them. Hopefully I’m not alone in that.
Author: Kate St. Clair
Genre: YA Paranormal
Magic runs thicker than blood.
16-year-old Georgia Sayers may have just found out she’s descended from two of the most powerful witches in history, but others have known for a long time, and are hunting her. Can she protect her siblings from them before it’s too late?
Kate grew up in Austin, TX, before she attended boarding school in California. She was accepted to the Chapman University Creative Writing program before she wrote SPELLED – Amethyst, Book One, released on April 1st 2014. SPELLED is a paranormal YA series published by Black Hill Press. When she’s not writing, Kate is riding horses, walking her dogs, or playing with her pet pig, Miley.
Buy from publisher: http://blackhillpress.com/book/spelled/