Greetings and salutations! First of all, I want to thank the ReaderGirls for having me on the blog today. Thanks so much!
My name is Jennifer Estep, and I write the Mythos Academy young adult urban fantasy series for Kensington. The books focus on Gwen Frost, a 17-year-old Gypsy girl who has the gift of psychometry, or the ability to know an object’s history just by touching it. After a serious freak-out with her magic, Gwen is shipped off to Mythos Academy, a school for the descendants of ancient warriors like Spartans, Valkyries, Amazons, and more.
Touch of Frost, the first book in the series, came out on July 26. First Frost, a prequel e-story to the series, is also available now. Kiss of Frost, the second book, will hit shelves on Nov. 29.
So today, I thought I would talk a little bit about heroines in young adult (YA) books. To me, a heroine can make or break a book, especially when it comes to YA. I love reading about heroines who are strong, smart, sassy, and tough as they tackle all the challenges that life and the bad guys throw at them. To me, there’s nothing better than a story where the heroine comes into her own, realizes what makes her strong and special (whether it’s her magic, her wits, or something else), and uses her inner strength to save the day. Here are some of my favorite YA heroines:
Beauty in the book Beauty by Robin McKinley: I’ve always loved the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale, and McKinley’s book is one of my favorite versions of the story. I think Beauty is a great heroine because she’s able to look past the Beast’s appearance and see just how kind his heart really is.
Katsa in Graceling by Kristin Cashore: Katsa has the ability to kill people with her bare hands, and she struggles with carrying out the orders of an unjust king. But when a young girl is in danger and a horrible evil threatens to take over her entire kingdom, Katsa knows that she’s the only one who can stop it, and she puts her skills to good use.
Katniss in The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins: Katniss is another heroine who is put to the test time and time again. Katniss is smart, cunning, fierce, and ruthless – everything that she needs to be in order to survive the deadly Hunger Games and the horrible things that she witnesses in the arena.
Nalia/Sinda in The False Princess by Eilis O’Neal: Nalia thinks that she’s a princess – until it’s revealed that she’s really Sinda, a false princess who was put in place to protect the real princess from a dangerous threat. Sinda’s whole world is ripped away from her, including her best friend, but she keeps trudging along because it’s the only thing that she can do. Slowly, Sinda figures out who she really is and the power that she has – and she ends up saving the kingdom that cast her out.
Kristy, Claudia, Mary Anne, and Stacey from The Baby-Sitters Club series by Ann Martin: I can’t tell you how many times I read the Baby-Sitters Club books when I was a kid. One of the things that I liked most about the series was how the books switched from one girl’s point of view to another, and how every girl was her own unique character. The girls had their share of problems with family, school, boys, and more, but they always stayed friends and stuck together in the end.
Nancy Drew: I also read lots of Nancy Drew books growing up – everything from the old, classic stories to the more modern, updated versions. I thought Nancy was cool because she used her brains to figure out these complicated mysteries. She was always smarter than me (and everyone else in the book), and I always looked forward to seeing how she put all the clues together at the end.
What about you guys? Who are some of your favorite YA heroines and books?
Jennifer Estep is a USA Today bestselling author who also writes the Elemental Assassin urban fantasy series for Pocket Books. The books focus on Gin Blanco, an assassin codenamed the Spider who can control the elements of Ice and Stone. When she’s not busy killing people and righting wrongs, Gin runs a barbecue restaurant called the Pork Pit in the fictional Southern metropolis of Ashland. The city is also home to giants, dwarves, vampires, and elementals – Air, Fire, Ice, and Stone.
Books in the series are Spider’s Bite, Web of Lies, Venom, and Tangled Threads. Spider’s Revenge, the fifth book, will be released on Sept. 27. Visit www.jenniferestep.com for free short stories, excerpts, and more.
GIVEAWAY! Jennifer Estep is also giving away 1 copy of Touch of Frost to 1 winner. Please answer her question above to be entered. Contest ends 8/20.