In today's society, it is nearly impossible for teens to find a role model among the emaciated models and unrealistic characters of reality television shows and movies. Fortunately, authors of the twenty-first century are conjuring up female characters worthy of discussion and admiration. I've decided to highlight one of these characters every week in my newest meme, Queens of Literature. Each post will focus on a fictional heroine from a book I have read who possesses the qualities of a truly incredible woman.
The sixteen-year-old daughter of the city's most notorious (and dead) crime boss.
Who is she?
Anya Balanchine, from Gabrielle Zevin's Birthright series, is one of my favorite fictional heroines. It's difficult to find stand alone quotes that describe her strength and intelligence. The book as whole develops her fierce personality. While she is flawed, her efforts to protect her family at all costs and live up to her father's legacy are inspirational.
I chose Summer Glau to represent Anya. Anya's hair is supposed to be nearly black and curly, but other than that, Summer is very close to my mental image of Anya.
What had Daddy once said? "Games change, Anya, and so do players."
I was not a person who ran.
"There are other people who love you and count on you, Anya. Think of Natty."
"I do think of her. All the time."
I let myself feel good and sorry for myself, but only for a second. Daddy always said that the most useless of all human emotions was self-pity.
Then again, I did not sound like a girl who could slice off someone's hand with a machete either. But I had been that kind of girl, and if the situation called for it, I knew I could be again.
"Why don't you pick on someone your own size?" I asked the boy. In point of fact, the boy was three inches shorter than Natty. Up close, I could see he was younger than I had thought- maybe eight or nine years old.
"I'll shoot you," the boy said. "I'll do it."
"Yeah?" I asked. "I'd like to see you try."