Judging from the mediocre successes of Allegiant, The 5th Wave, and that of the more recent Nerve, Young Adult novels and their cinematic counterparts appear to be losing steam. Then again, it’s not entirely fair to compare said works to the likes of Harry Potter, TheHunger Games, and (SIGH) Twilight. After all, who can predict if a book – or a potential franchise – will end up being a hit?
Nonetheless, a valuable lesson can be learned from the root of these so-so movies.
I’d like to believe that audiences have not only caught onto the many tropes that plague the YA scene, but refuse to accept them any longer. On that note, here are my top picks for things that dissuade me from picking up a book based on its surface alone.
We at the Daily Geekette believe strongly in equality among the nerds. As many articles have been created to pay homage to the “Strong, Female Protagonist,” we thought it only fair to celebrate some strong male protagonists. Here are the men who come to mind when we stop and consider, just what makes a protagonist strong? In a woman, the desired qualities seem to be emotional resilience, intelligence, and sarcastic tendencies. Do those qualities stay desirable when the table is flipped? Keep reading to find out.
Goku – Dragon Ball & Dragon Ball Z submitted by Brianna Murch
Goku, one of the most iconic characters from action anime, started out as an innocent-looking orphan in the woods and became the biggest hero. He teamed up with a brainy girl on a quest and DIDN’T fall in love with her (shocker!). He did accidentally get engaged to another girl along the way but that’s because he thought marriage was a tasty food. Goku is dedicated to his family – his family being the entire planet Earth whose behind he has to save every other week. And just when you thought he was already the pinnacle of physical strength, a new baddie comes on the scene and Goku unlocks NEW levels of power to beat them!
Bruce Wayne submitted by Kayla Farber
To me, Bruce Wayne is the epitome of a strong, male character. He definitely overcomes past tragedies, including the death of his parents. He fights for justice for his community using not just brute strength, but intelligence, his tragic backstory, and all his money. He definitely doesn’t put his romantic interests before saving the day, which is awesome. No “Women in Refridgerator Syndrome” here.
Rupert Giles submitted by Sarah Wanger
Buffy the Vampire Slayer is by far one of my favorite television shows. Its strong female lead kicks some major butt, and with the help of her friends, is unstoppable. The show makes me go through a whole string of emotions each time I watch it: Fear, excitement, anticipation, loss. I’ve cried for both positive and negative reasons while watching all 7 seasons. But my favorite character is not, in fact, Buffy Summers — it’s Rupert Giles.
Giles is the librarian at Buffy’s high school, and is the one who introduces her to her powers as the slayer. He’s her Watcher — her guardian and guide to unlocking her potential. While seemingly a nervous fidgeting bookworm, Giles always points Buffy and the gang in the right direction. He even struggles with his role in Buffy’s life — singing a song called “Standing” one episode about potentially being in her way of growing. If his loyalty, knowledge, love, and strength doesn’t put him on the “Strong, Male Protagonist” list, I don’t know of anyone else that should be.
Jacob Black submitted by Deanna Farber
Jacob Black has consistently been one of the strongest male characters in modern young adult literature. He starts off in Twilight as weak and impartial, but as the series moves forward he becomes stronger both physically and mentally. Of course, being a shapeshifter also helps a little with this but it is clear that he gained a voice. While Bella shows no interest in dating him, Jacob does not back down from what he wants. He uses any means necessary to kiss Bella and is not at all deterred by her physical protestation when she punches him in the face. He finally gets her to kiss him “by choice” when he uses his wits to convince her of it. Jacob is obscenely loyal to Bella through all four books and only falters in his loyalty after he imprints on Renesmee. Jacob Black is a man who stands out in a world full of women. Twilight has been constantly burdened with strong women that it’s a rare chance for a male character to shine, and Jacob Black indeed shines.
Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya submitted by Hope Kim
If we’re talking strong male protagonists, Kazuto “Kirito” Kirigaya of Sword Art Online has to make the list. As a “beater” or beta-tester for the eponymous video game, Kirito is nearly invincible. Like most heroes in harem-based anime, he is both charmingly oblivious and reckless when it comes to love – that is, if you define “love” as having multiple girls drape themselves over you while everyone else basks in the utter glory of your own awesomeness. Even outside of Aincrad and Alfheim, Kirito is as two-dimensional as a character can be.
Honestly? I think the series would have been much more interesting if it’d been about the bromance between Kirito and Klein, but that is neither here nor there.
Kylo Ren submitted by Kayla Farber
Though Ren is not a protagonist (yet?), he is a strong male character. This is a man in a position of power who does not have a romantic interest, isn’t afraid to show his emotions, and stands up to his enemies when he feels he’s in the right. Though he is a loose cannon, he saves his most emotional moments from being known by waiting until he’s in the privacy of his own quarters, with no one to hear him except the skull of his dead grandfather.
As tongue in cheek as some of these are, I think these make a really interesting point. How these men see women/treat women plays a role in whether or not we see them as strong. Another recurring theme from the above passages is that many of them are single. This is a quality also seen for strong female characters, such as Furiosa from Mad Max: Fury Road. Physical strength is an outstanding characteristic of many of these men. Likewise, we love that Katniss can be a BAMF with the bow and arrow, and Black Widow can take down any opponent. That being said, is it important for girls to have female role models? Yes. Can we agree that “strong female protagonist” is not superfluous with “role model?” I hope so! At the very least, I think we can all agree “strong female protagonist” is absolutely meaningless.
So the big day is looming and you still don’t have a special someone to share it with. You’ve exhausted the dating possibilities in the mundane human world and have consigned yourself to being forever alone with only your cat and your never-ending TBR pile for company. Why not take a leaf out of our favorite paranormal romance books and try to catch the attention of a vampire, werewolf, faerie, or other magical hottie this year? Looking through the stories of some of our favorite fantasy YA heart-throbs I’ve compiled a list of the most likely places and techniques for landing yourself a sultry supernatural S.O. Continue reading How to Snag a Supernatural Date this Valentine’s Day→
Hi, my name is Deanna and I’m a fan fiction addict. Unlike many addictions, and contrary to many people’s opinion, fan fiction is not a bad addiction. Fan fiction has definitely received a reputation for bad writing, bad characters, and misinterpretations of stories. While I won’t argue that those don’t exist within fan fiction sites, I will defend fan fiction and the right of people to read and write it without being ashamed.
Fan fiction is a tool that can be used for readers and writers to expand and learn more about their reading and writing abilities. So many authors start out by writing fan fiction, and may not have learned to believe in their writing abilities if they hadn’t. There are also many opportunities for people of any age to try out their editing abilities for other’s fan fictions. These are just some of the benefits to come from fan fiction, other than the ability to further explore worlds and characters that you love.
In celebration of Halloween, this month’s Gal-lery is going to spotlight The Daily Geekette’s very own staff– I’m going to delve into their costume past and find out what sort of fancifully-garbed outlooks they have for future costumed endeavors!
Banned Book Week has arrived. Initially, I intended to write a post showing that the list of banned books from each year features more women authors and books with female protagonists, but to my surprise, every year the split is pretty much 50/50.
Vampire fiction is a thriving genre, producing numerous titles a year and taking up a good portion of the YA shelves of your local bookstore. From Sookie Stackhouse (perhaps better known as the Trueblood series on HBO) to Vampire Diaries, vampire romances are now as commonplace as gravestones at a churchyard. But what great works shaped the genre into the way it is today? Who were the pioneers of vampire fiction? And who took it down roads it had never been before? The following is a list of must-reads/must-watches to understand the nature and history of vampire fiction as a whole.Continue reading The Vampire Literary Canon – 7 Books and Shows that Shaped the World of Vampire Fiction→
First confession, I love vampire fiction and I’m not ashamed to admit it. I grew up on Anne Rice novels and planned my teenage existence around Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Lost Souls, The Lost Boys and pretty much any vampire novel I could get my hands on warmed my little goth-girl heart. And then the current vampire craze started and I want to enjoy it, but I just can’t. It’s just too frustrating. Continue reading Vampires Shouldn’t Be Your Friend→
Within the spectrum of all literature, good mothers are hard to come by. It gets even more difficult to find good moms within the sci-fi/fantasy genres. Why? Well, people seem to be under the impression that a dead, missing, or negligent mother makes for a better story.
However, there are some really excellent moms in sci-fi/fantasy books. I’m going to share with you some of the women I see as great moms, some moms picked by other Geekettes, and some moms that my own mother picked out! Without further ado, The Best Moms in Science Fiction and Fantasy Literature: