Behind the times

In an impressively out-of-touch article for the Guardian, Imogen Russell Williams gushes over the "thrilling rise" of the YA anti-heroine, a phenomenon she seems to think is recent. Behold:
"Antiheroes don’t feature in a lot of kids’ or young adult fiction. Likability, someone to root for, victims of clear-cut injustice – classic main characters tend to the plucky and put-upon, à la Harry Potter or Sara Crewe. And dislikable, amoral, even monstrous girls are especially few and far between – girls in fiction, as in real life, it seems, are under more pressure from their readership than their male counterparts to be “nice”. Where are the female Tom Ripleys – or even the Patrick Batemans – of YA*? At long last, I’ve noticed some mean girls – not quite a monstrous regiment, but a sinister strike force, at least – popping up in YA and older middle grade (MG) fiction."
Um... okay? Except for all those books, from Harriet the Spy to Gossip Girl, that feature totally kick-ass anti-heroines? YA literature might not be overflowing with straight-up murderous female characters (although they're totally out there!), but there are loads of complicated, interesting heroines who are the furthest thing from mealy-mouthed saps.

*Also, where are the male Thomas Ripleys or Patrick Batemans of YA? She realizes those aren't YA books, right?
Posted by: Julianka


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