Since the age of three, sixteen-year-old Evelyn Winters has been trained to be Daughter of the People in the underwater utopia known as Elysium. Selected from hundreds of children for her ideal genes, all her life she’s thought that everything was perfect; her world. Her people. The Law.
But when Gavin Hunter, a Surface Dweller, accidentally stumbles into their secluded little world, she’s forced to come to a startling realization: everything she knows is a lie. Her memories have been altered. Her mind and body aren’t under her own control. And the person she knows as Mother is a monster.
Together with Gavin she plans her escape, only to learn that her own mind is a ticking time bomb... and Mother has one last secret that will destroy them all.
Renegade by J.A. Souders, the first in the Elysium Chronicles, is set to release November 13, 2012 from Tor Teen. You can add it to Goodreads or pre-order your copy from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or IndieBound.
Strong female characters. Three words that set off a flurry of debates. What exactly is a strong female character or a SFC. What does it mean to be one? Do you even want to be one?
I’ve read quite a few of these debates online and almost always I’m disappointed. Not with the debate itself, but with the definition of a strong character. Almost always the SFC is defined as cold and calculating, cruel, not sexually appealing or the opposite, too sexy to be real with no brain and almost always very “manly” or even sometimes referred to as a lesbian—like that’s a bad thing.
Take for instance the actress, Michelle Rodriguez, who’s pretty much been typecast as the “tough girl.” Even though she’s incredibly sexy, they always dress her up and put her in parts that are “manly” and then kill her off. Because everyone knows that a completely badass female with a brain, who doesn’t necessarily need the hero to save her is disposable. (*sarcasm alert*)
Can we see the problem I might have with this definition? Why can’t a feminine female be strong? Why does the female lead always have to be a damsel in distress? And if she’s strong, why does she always have to come across as shrew? Or unattractive? Or being referred to as a lesbian? For that matter, what does it matter if she is a lesbian? Why is that a bad thing? Can’t she be straight and strong? Or “weak” and lesbian? Why must we always follow the tropes set before us?
And come to think of it, what exactly makes a character strong? Male or female? The circumstances? Their ability to kick butt? How they wield a gun?
What makes them weak? Letting the male lead protect them? Or open doors for them? Being irresistible? What? Is there even a “right” answer?
In my opinion, there isn’t a right answer, but I thing we need to spend more time defining what makes someone “strong” then focusing on how to define a strong female character and what to do with her.
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