As you will discover the longer you follow this blog, I am a huge fan of tags even though nobody ever tags me because I am a smol, smol blogger, and I was SO excited to discover the Feminist Tag, because I am a former gender studies major, major feminist, and books + feminism theme obviously speaks to my soul. I discovered it via a new blog I found, Aurora Libralis, who used it for women’s history month, but I am borrowing it just for fun because again, tags + feminism + books = me happy :)) This tag was originally created in French by La Voix Du Livre and translated into English by Clemi’s Bookish World.
1 // your favorite female author
This is a tough one because I read mostly women, and thus most of my favorite authors are women. I’ve also noticed I have more favorite books than favorite authors, which I don’t know if that is weird or not?? But anyway, I would have to go with Jandy Nelson for this. She’s only written two books, but they were both equally good, and, therefore, she has yet to write a book I haven’t loved. So, she get’s the coveted title of Shayna’s Favorite Female Author.
2 // your favorite heroine
Yet another hard question, because I read mostly books about women. If I had to choose, I’d probably go with one of my childhood favorites, Lyra from The Golden Compass, which is probably my favorite series. Even though she is young, Pullman makes her such an interesting, nuanced, vibrant character, which is probably why this series seems to be enjoyed by readers of all ages.
3 // a novel with a feminist message
Whenever I think of the phrase “feminist book,” the first two books that pop into my head are always Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens, which I’ll talk about later, and Jennifer Donnelly’s first YA novel, A Northern Light, which I listened to on audio about 100 times as a kid. This book deals with so many issues relating to women and womanhood so well, and I think a lot of them could still be relevant to contemporary women though it’s a historical fiction novel. Maddie’s character journey is definitely a feminist one, and is all about finding power within yourself to live the life that you want to live, and I think that is a lot of what feminism helps people do.
4 // a novel with a girl on the cover
This could be so much of YA but I’m going to go with a recent release, The Belles, for this one, because it also has a feminist message and is very fitting for this tag. I had somewhat mixed feelings about this book, but given that I have literally dreamed about it and appear to regret not taking it with me when I moved, clearly it made more of an impression on me than I thought. Dhonielle Clayton’s first solo book deals with beauty standards through a fantasy lens, and I really enjoyed the sumptuous world-building of Orleans and how twisted and dark it got. Though I may not have loved it at first read, it definitely left an impression on me and I will most likely be reading book 2, which I hope has more Edel, who is obviously the most interesting and best Belle.
5 // a novel featuring a group of girls
Libba Bray’s Beauty Queens is an obvious choice for this one, and could be used as the answer for pretty much all of these prompts. I read this when it came out and Sarah Palin…happened…and it was such a cathartic, hopeful read that really made me feel better at the time I read it. It is a very diverse book that successfully satirizes many issues that girls still face, and I think if I were to reread it it would still be relevant.
6 // a novel with a queer feminine character
Ahhhh, yes, I get to use Let’s Talk About Love, which I forgot the title of for a hot second while writing this post. I absolutely adored this book, which features a black, biromantic asexual (possibly gray-sexual) protagonist. Alice is such a delightful character and totally stole my heart. She works in a library and has a passion for aesthetics and design, which made me like her even more.
7 // a novel with different feminine pov
For this one, I am going to have to go with A Torch Against the Night, the second Ember in the Ashes book, since it has both Laia and Helene’s POVs. Since it still has Elias’ POV I’m not sure if it counts completely, but I don’t read a lot of multi-POV books and thus have limited choices. I am very excited for A Reaper at the Gates and more Helene, though. She is such an interesting character and I hope she gets more page time.
8 // a book where a girl saves the world
Um, most YA books? YA is full of fierce women who save their various worlds, and it is great. One I read (or reread) most recently is Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi. I didn’t like this one much when I reread it because for the most part Juliette reaaaaaally got on my nerves, but she does have character growth and become a stronger and more independent person by the non-end of the series. Hopefully I’ll like her better and she’ll be less annoying when I get around to reading Restore Me.
9 // a book where you prefer the female sidekick to the male mc
I honestly can’t think of any for this one. This is partially because I admittedly read mostly books by and about women. This is not something I have made any concentrated effort to do; it just tends to be what I gravitate toward.
10 // a book written by a male author featuring a female character
For some reason the first one that popped into my head is The Fault in Our Stars. I am not a huge John Green fan and don’t like him for a lot of reasons, but apparently he is still in my brain (and admittedly on my shelf; I still haven’t read Turtles All the Way Down since buying it). I am hoping I will like the MC in Turtles more than his other books.