Not gonna lie, I’ve been struggling with content for this month, and a lot of it has ended up focusing on my writing, which I’m also struggling with right now, so rather than today’s original post (which I’ve rescheduled twice now before finally putting back into my drafts, so maybe it wasn’t meant to be just yet!), we’re going to do a book tag! I saw it over on Zezee with Books, who had some uncertain sleuthing about where it originated, but may have been La Voix Du Livre. Zezee’s doing a book tag week for her birthday, and since mine’s at the end of the month, I figured why the heck not, let’s jump on that train!
your favorite female author
Oh, this one’s so easy for me because Maggie Stiefvater is also my favorite author in general. Truthfully, there are a lot of women authors that I could list here–Leigh Bardugo, VE Schwab, Laini Taylor, Cassandra Clare–but Maggie’s the one I’ve loved the longest, and the one I’ll always hold closest in my heart.
I first discovered her books back in 2009 when Shiver was newly published, and I made it my mission to force every single one of my friends to read it. I can so clearly remember handing it off to a friend and saying, “If you don’t read this, I can’t talk to you anymore.” This was back in the day before Maggie’s following was huge, too, and Twitter was still something I used obsessively, so I also remember tweeting her to say that I was single-handedly going to help her take over the world. I can’t remember what her response was, just that I was utterly exuberant at the fact that she’d noticed me.
Fast forward over the years, and I’ve gotten a lot better at talking to her rather than mumbling at my shoes. I’ve read every single book she’s published, most of them within days of their release. When All the Crooked Saints came out, I desperately asked my friend if she would swing by the concert venue I was at on her way home so that I could bring it with me and start reading. (She did because she’s amazing.) I’ve trekked to New York to attend her writing seminar, taken the most stupid pictures ever with each new TRC book, and reread Shiver more times than I have any other book. (One of my cats is even named after Grace Brisbane!)
Maggie’s books are a bright light in dark times for me, and she’s long been my favorite author above all else.
your favorite heroine
Immediately, my brain went into overdrive and just screeched
Someday, when I reread Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor, I’m going to have to do it in the privacy of my own home because I actually screech that out loud when I’m reading it, and well. That’s embarrassing. I love a lot of women characters, too, and there may even be one out there that I love more than Karou, but she has become someone that I search for in other characters outside of Taylor’s books, in the hopes that I might find someone to love even half as much.
a novel with a feminist message
There’s honestly so many that could go here, but I’ve got to go with Girls of Paper & Fire by Natasha Ngan. Not only is that series truly one of the best I’ve ever read, with the most exceptional example of a perfect middle book, it made me want to rage in all the best & worst ways. Like, fuck smashing the patriarchy, let’s commit arson. There were times when I had to set both books aside and just do something else for a few hours because WOW NOPE, and that’s because Ngan has written her characters in such a way that all of their experiences feel so steeped in what’s happening to women right now, and it just struck so many damn chords with me. Her characters are ones that stand above the patriarchy, too, that fight against men belittling women based purely on their gender, and the rage that it imbues also makes me feel so damn powerful.
a novel with a girl on the cover
There’s so many! Here are my three recent favorite covers that made me feel powerful just by proxy of being a woman:
There are so many reasons to love the cover of B*Witch by Paige McKenzie & Nancy Ohlin, and, let me tell you, there’s so many reasons to love the inside, too. This book was an utter delight, and I’m so sad that there’s not going to be a million more books with these characters. It may have taken me forever to read You Should See Me in a Crown by Leah Johnson, but not for lack of just absolutely dying over that cover because damn Liz Lighty! Every time I’m feeling a little meh, I’ll just give myself a Liz Lighty kick in the ass and tip my chin up to grin at the world. And yes, I’m going to talk about The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad in the below question, too, because I can’t help myself with the glory that is that cover.
a novel featuring a group of girls
Oh, The Wild Ones by Nafiza Azad isn’t out yet, BUT LOOK AT THAT COVER! I have literally no idea what this book is about, but Azad became an auto-buy with The Candle & the Flame (what are you doing right now, stop reading this post and go read that instead), so I probably won’t even read the summary for The Wild Ones before I fall head over heels in love with it. It just looks so damn gorgeous, and I could honestly probably pick it for half of these questions, ugh!
a book with a lgbtqiap+ female character
Oh again, there’s so many! Here’s my top three recent favorites:
I don’t think I’m going to forget the experience of If It Makes You Happy by Claire Kann for a long time. This book just opened up something inside of me that I knew was there, but didn’t know I needed to explore, and I felt so seen and so embraced by this book. It was beautiful in so many ways. Beyond the Black Door by AM Strickland is one of the very few ace MCs in a fantasy that I’ve had the privilege to read, too, and I really wish there were more! I loved being able to see the growth through discovering the MC was ace, and it made for such a more complex story since we got to focus on the plot and internal conflict a lot more. And then there’s Court of Lions by Somaiya Daud, which I was anticipating for what felt like actual lifetimes before it finally came out, and I don’t even mind the way because it was glorious.
a novel with several female points of view
To be fair, Daughters of Nri by Reni K Amayo only has two POVs, but they’re the most badass sisters ever that I think they deserve a little spotlight here. Plus, the series title is The Return of the Earth Mother, and the covers on these books, holy shit, they’re just the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen. These are so full of women empowerment and uplifting one another that I can’t not scream about it at every given chance.
a book where a girl saves the world
Again, I’m going to go the Karou route and just pick the first name that screeches into my brain via a chaotic money dance:
Don’t even start with me over Fie, holy MAGIC. Fie’s right up there with Karou, and wow, now I’m daydreaming about them teaming up and taking on the whole world, and I may be short-circuiting right now? I love Fie something fierce, and I was honestly looking at my bookshelf the other day and wondering if I had time to reread The Merciful Crow duology because damn, talk about one of the best books I’ve ever read.
a book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male MC
Uhhhhh, okay, this one might actually be a little hard because a lot of the books that I read have women MCs.
lol @ my brain that just went “oh, The Thief has a male MC!” Sweetheart, you love Eugenides more than the entire world, sit down.
I give up. This is impossible. If I like a side character better, I’m generally not a fan of the overall book, so if it’s got a male MC, I probably like them more than all the other characters if it’s a book that I like. And, honestly, out of the six pages that I scrolled through on my Goodreads, I want to say they were either mostly female-led or they were multiple-POV books, so multiple MCs.
a book written by a male author featuring a female character
Oh gosh, ahahahaha, this is the most impossible question, I think I probably read ten books in total by men in a year. Maybe twenty? That seems excessive. And, let’s be real, eight of those ten are Tolkien, so that doesn’t help in the slightest.
I’m also kind of giving up on this one? Because while I am going to list The Old Guard by Greg Rucka, I’m talking about the movie more, and that’s really a Gina Prince-Bythewood reason. But Andy is probably up there with my favorite women characters, and she was originally created by Rucka, so I’m counting it.