Not every heroine can be Katniss from the Hunger Games, Avlyn from Configured, or Tris from Divergent. While that would be too perfect, of course, there are some YA heroines out there who can grate on our nerves, whether she’s in a fantasy, dystopian, or contemporary setting. Here’s a list of ten things we think YA heroines need to stop doing.
1: Stringing Two Guys Along
Just pick a guy already! Poor Jacob, getting strung along by Bella. He’s so there for her (and doesn’t look like a dweeb, either) only to get shoved aside when her vampire boyfriend comes back.
2: “I’m not pretty.”
This girl has every guy in school drooling over her, from the Chess club guys to the immortal rock star…but she must be plain! Okay, sometimes a heroine’s worry about her looks are part of the plot, but when it’s not necessary, it makes us bang our heads on the wall.
3: She’s too self-sacrificing
Remember when Bella risked her life to run to her mother’s aid, and it turned out her mother wasn’t even in danger? (Turned out great for her, didn’t it?) Why love a character who can’t think for five minutes? She won’t stay alive long unless her boyfriend…oh, wait. See the next item.
4: She lets everyone else guide her life
The main characters we read about should act. They should do things. Bella just runs in circles, waiting for Edward (or the guy she’s stringing along) to bail her out when she gets in trouble. Eye-roll fest, anyone?
5: She’s selfish.
Okay, so the Uglies series gets a pass with the whole “I’m not pretty” thing. That’s kind of important. But Tally’s selfishness does not. When denied her operation to make her pretty until she turns in her best friend to the authorities, so does what any “great” friend would do–she seeks out her friend to turn her in! How awesome is that?
6: She’s catatonic and can’t deal with adversity
How many months are you going to curl up in a ball after your boyfriend leaves, Bella? Come on. Breakups suck, but there are other guys out there who aren’t fighting back an urge to kill you.
7: She falls for some creep
Ah, Bella. You want to date a guy who sneaks into your room at night and watches you sleep? If my crush did that, the only one I’d be sleeping with is my baseball bat.
8: She lets the bad boy treat her like dirt.
“Girls, a boy might yell at you, send you mixed signals, demand to know where you are all the time, but you know what? It’s your job to fix him! It’s your responsibility to get him to treat you better.” Um, no.
9: She hates every other girl ever
Okay, some novels, like The Selection, have their reasons. It’s that special snowflake who’s different from all the other girls, and wants to punch them all, that makes us want to roll our eyes. Ever notice Snowflake only has guy friends? How realistic.
10: Her whole world is her love interest
Look at Bella’s circle of girlfriends. Oh, wait. They aren’t there because she only spends time with her boyfriend. Or those who can keep her close to her boyfriend. You know, that’s not healthy.
Okay, okay Bella. We get it and are inclined to forgive you a bit. It can’t be an easy decision when you are choosing between your immortal soul mate and a hot werewolf who doesn’t seem to own a shirt (***fans self***).
And I’m not sure any of us would think that much more clearly if we happened to find out that there was a legion of vampires who thought we were better off dead. It’s a stressful situation.
But next time, we challenge you to do a little better. You’re a vampire now! Hold your head high.