Best Books for Weird Teens.
I’ve noticed an unpleasant trend in YA books. They are filled with young women who lack agency, who believe their first love is to be their only love, who are controlled by the men around them. Obviously, there are those that aren’t – and those are the books I want to talk about today.
THE RULES: Every YA book in this post will:
- Feature a woman/girl as one of the main characters
- That woman may have a romance, but it won’t be the defining thing of her life
- She lives her life for herself, even if it requires hard choices
My choices may not be yours, and thats fine. Feel free the recommend your favourites, ideally within these rules. THIS IS A TWILIGHT FREE ZONE. I LOATHE those fucking books and the message they send to young women, and I have no wish to get in an argument on the subject. Besides, this man can better explain my hatred. Read all of them.
Some of these books are older, some are newer. If you have a teenagerl, you could do worse.
So, first things first. Literally ANYTHING by Tamora Pierce. The first ones I read were the Alanna books, and while I think they seem a little obvious to me now, at the grand age of 26, at the time they were a revelation. A girl! Who sword fights! Who’s a hero! and changes the world! Who makes hard choices! Who is still feminine and desirable! AND SHE HAS SEX! WITH MORE THAN ONE PERSON! HOLY SHITBALLS YES. Buy her stuff, like, now.
For something a bit more modern, I was quite impressed by Starters by Lissa Price. The young woman in there is brave and dedicated, not just pushed around by the plot. She goes ahead and makes stuff happen. For my full review, check here.
Nation by Terry Pratchett has a male and female main character, and is a wonderful exploration of humanity, imperialism, religion, atheism and cultural differences. It is often sad, and often funny, and as with all Terry Pratchett books the characters are doers. Good for boys and girls.
The Wind on The Moon by Eric Linklater: A bit of a sad story behind this. My godmother used to read this to me when I was a kid and staying round her house. I looked for it for years, having forgotten the name, and after she died it became even more important to me. Eventually, my google fu came through and I found it. The story of two sisters and the messes they get into. It’s of it’s time, but it’s a beautiful book that talks about bravery, freedom and taking responsiblity for your messes.
There are more, I’m sure of it. So why don’t you give me yours? Remember the rules, and please try to explain WHY you think it’s such a good book. NO SELF PROMOTION PLEASE, it’s bad manners.
(note. I am away in Wales with no internet access this week. Comments may not be posted till I get back)