A couple weeks ago, I posted an article about chick lit and why books are trending more toward female protagonists (http://www.rodewayoflife.wordpress.com/2013/04/11/chick-lit-why-is-it-so-popular).It triggered such an incredible response that I decided to share my top five favorite books where girls do much more than simply get the guy.
Fave #1: The Uglies series
I thought this series was a good blend of action and romance. The main character wasn’t so hardened and tough that she sounded like a man, but she wasn’t a weak little powderpuff, either. I felt that I could relate to her as she struggled her way through a dark and twisted society. The world was unique and believable. But best of all, a girl that most people had written off at the beginning became a legend by the third book. It was hard to put down.
Fave #2: Little Women
I know, this is on the other end of the spectrum, and Little Women isn’t known for its action-packed plot. But when you break it down, the story is a familiar one. Jo, who I consider to be the main character, doesn’t quite fit in with the dainty world of women in her society. She wants much more than it can offer her. When she receives a proposal that makes perfect sense, she rejects it for the hope of something better–but she’s not exactly sure what that is. It’s not until the end when she finds the fulfillment and the self-approval that she’s always longed for. Her fight for freedom of expression in a male-dominated lifestyle makes Little Women a “girls rule” book in my mind.
Fave #3: The Hunger Games series
You knew this one was coming. Suzanne Collins actually switches the male/female cliches on their head. Katniss is the strong, unyielding, and calculating girl who is forced to make some tough choices to protect those she loves. At the other end of the sprectrum we have Peeta, who is more quiet, uncertain, and unresolved. Their relationship seems unlikely in the first book–after all, only one of them can survive–but the romance is masterfully done. Collins’ balance of action and romance is intriguing as well as disturbing.
Fave #4: The Mistborn series by Brandon Sanderson
Yep, another genre hop. Sanderson is one of my favorite fantasy authors because of his strong female characters. But he takes it a step further and actually makes the main character a girl in this series–and he does it incredibly well, for being a man. Vin is one of my all-time favorite characters. Her story is typical. She begins at the lowest place a girl can be, and eventually finds the power within herself to do the unthinkable. Watching her grow as a person and confront each challenge head-on is something fascinating to watch. Sanderson’s plots and world-building are highly acclaimed, but I think it’s his characters that make him a best-selling author several times over–specifically his true-to-life and intriguing female lead, Vin.
Fave #5: The Divergent series
This one is a more mainstream example of a kick-butt teenage girl with something to prove, but Tris still retains a few redeeming qualities. She feels like every girl who is trying to find her niche and make a difference in the world, but with a remarkable ability to isolate herself from her past. She can’t, however, separate herself entirely from her family because they’re still a part of her. Watching her struggle with that, as well as the dynamics of the group she’s been forced to join, makes for an interesting “girls rule” plot. I’m excited to read the third book in the series.
There you have it–five “girls rule” books that will have you cheering. You’ll notice that I didn’t include Twilight on this list. Personally, I don’t think Bella is a “girls rule” kind of girl. She seems more like an “I rule” kind of person to me, and I didn’t particularly care for her character. What do you think? Is there a book that you believe should have made the list? Leave a comment below.