Let me just say first that I love books. I love character development, and I love watching characters grow over the course of a story into something they didn’t know they could be. It’s exciting, entertaining, and pretty much the only reason I read a story.
I want the girls in my stories to be strong, tough women that can take care of themselves. I am not saying they have to start out that way–heck that would be kind of boring, and I’m not really sure where the plot would go after that. But, I am saying that I want to see them learn to be a kickass version of themselves.
YA has taken a lot of flack lately for talking down to girls and teaching them to devalue themselves based on a boy.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this, because those are two books I really like, and when I read through them, I just didn’t see it. But, as I read what people have to say and start to really examine the stories, I can see why people think that. It’s definitely a matter of opinion, though, because you could also look at Hush, Hush or Twilight and see girls fighting for love against ALL odds. That’s pretty cool if you ask me, and it makes me happy to think in this time where more than half of marriages still end in divorce, the teenage audience wants to believe in unfaltering love.
That kinda rocks.
The thing is this… we can’t tell kids what to read, and we can’t tell them what to be into. The reason they love these girls is because they see them as versions of themselves. The meek girl sitting quietly in the back of the classroom finally gets her day to shine, and what is a reader if not the girl with her nose in a book?
So, I feel like when I tell a story I want to combine those things, I want the reader to identify with my characters so–you know she doesn’t feel like she’s reading about some hottie cheerleader that she already hates, but in the end I want to see my main character take charge of the situation and save her friends, her true love, her dog–whatever. I just want to see her be a badass, because it gives me hope.
And hope is what reading is all about.