Guest Author Post: TIGER’S CURSE Author Colleen Houck Talks Strong Female Characters

This week on Lytherus we’re featuring author Colleen Houck with reviews of her books, an exclusive interview, book giveaways, and for today’s treat, a guest post. Colleen talks about her love of strong female protagonists and their influence in YA and literature in general. Take it away Colleen!

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I recently wrote a blog post about my favorite heroines of television and movies and sadly I could only think of a handful. In recent years though heroines in literature are stepping into the spotlight and it’s an exciting thing to see.

My favorite female character is Scarlett O’Hara. In the movie Gone With the Wind she starts off a spoiled plantation girl determined to have everything. As the story progresses we see her change, becoming a woman determined to save what is most important to her. The object that she loves the most shifts through the book but her inner strength and dogged conviction never falter. What I learned from her is that a true heroine never gives up.

In True Grit we see a young woman determined to avenge her father by finding and killing the man who murdered him. Never does she falter or doubt her course and whether you agree with her decisions or not you have to admire her unwavering strength.

Another of my favorite characters is Meg Murry from Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time. As a youth I admired Meg’s bravery in overcoming strange worlds and fighting to save her little brother and rescue her father.

But these books were written many years ago. Are there any current young adult books that give us heroines to admire? My answer is yes!

I’ve been reading young adult novels almost exclusively for the past few years and I’ve found a rich landscape of amazing young women in these books. In fact, almost every young adult novel is written in the point of view of an interesting, dynamic, and strong young woman.

Some of my favorites are…

  • Grace Divine from Bree Despain’s Dark Divine series.
  • Jacinda Jones and her twin sister Tamra from Sophie Jordan’s Firelight series
  • Amy Martin from Beth Revis’ Across the Universe series
  • Tally Youngblood from Scott Westerfeld’s Uglies series
  • Katniss Everdeen from Suzanne Collins’ Hunger Games series
  • Grace Brisbane from the wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater
  • And Lyra Belacqua from His Dark Materials series by Philip Pullman

These are just a few samples of the many exciting female characters that are gracing the pages of today’s young adult books. These women inspire me as they sacrifice themselves for the benefit of others, pick up weapons, and head into danger.

As many YA books are being optioned for film and television the possibility that we will see young women of character who take destiny into their own hands is a triumph. For years women have been in supporting roles or just serve as arm or eye candy. Even being cast in the role of a Bond girl is changing as we see smart, sassy, and tough as nails women begin to come into their own.

Thrilling stories are waiting, some just around the corner.

It’s a great time to be a heroine.

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Thanks Colleen! Stay tuned for more Colleen goodness later on this week. Curious to know more? You can follow her on twitter at @colleenhouck, and check out her website at tigerscursebook.com

Posted on by Lauren Zurchin



  • a smart guy

    While I like having strong female characters, YA books are becoming female narrator only. I am a guy and as such, like male narrators. I don’t want heavy romance every time I open up a YA book. While I enjoy female narrators, can I at least have a few strong male narrators please.

    • http://www.lytherus.com Lauren Zurchin

      Have you heard of Ready Player One? I just finished that book and it was a lot of fun to read. Video game theme and lots of amazingly awesome 80′s pop reference. Main character is a guy, and it was a great read and comes highly recommended across the board! 

      • a smart guy

        Finally got around to reading that book. It was awesome! A Delorean with Ghostbusters stickers; yes, please! Thanks for the great recommendation.

        • http://www.lytherus.com/ Lauren Zurchin

          Thank Mike, he got me to read it. Yes, the book was awesome. Glad you enjoyed it!

    • a smart guy

      Sounds interesting, I’ll look into it. Thanks for the idea.

  • KJ

    Don’t forget Tris from Divergent!