Divergent premiered this weekend and it was a box office smash. However this time around I didn’t feel the same level of hype for Tris as I did for Katniss and Bella. Are you exasperated or excited about this flood of sci-fi/fantasy YA novels? A part of me is excited, a part of me is bored. I love this new trend of strong female leads and I can’t help but be a sucker for dystopian societies but the parallels between these stories are often too similar for comfort. It’s like being a female lead means you must be in some kind of love triangle or that all of these, albeit highly intelligent and courageous, teenagers seem to be mysteriously or inexplicably chosen to be saviors of society?
None of this, of course, comes as a surprise, these themes and motifs are common tropes in literature and follow the classic “mono myth” patterns about a hero’s journey. While typically these heroic tales are reserved for males we’re stoked on all the female heroines who are now able to embody not just emotional but physical strength, resiliency, courage and complex personalities. Sure, not all of these books are our favorite (cough—Twilight—cough) but they have paved the way to prove that in publishing and in the film industry people want to see strong women, people will pay to experience the stories of strong women and we want more!