Archives for : YA

On Love Triangles


Left: Jennifer Lawrence Right: Liam Hemsworth Below: Josh Hutcherson

Left: Jennifer Lawrence
Right: Liam Hemsworth
Below: Josh Hutcherson

Hey, guys! Do you like my new glass house? Isn’t it beautiful? Well, gonna start throwing stones now, so remember to duck.

Yes, I know, it is hypocritical for me to write a blog post discussing love triangles, especially when it’s focused on one of the most successful book-to-movie franchises in history. That being said, Mockingjay Part 1 gave me a subject I want to discuss anyhow. Spoiler alert for The Hunger Games novels. Sorry.

My sister-in-law and I went to see Mockingjay last night and we came to the scene in what remains of District 12 where Katniss and Gale are in her victor’s mansion and Gale recalls when she kissed him after he was recovering from being whipped. Katniss kisses him, and Gale bitterly remarks that he knew she’d do that because she only pays attention to him when he’s in pain. My sister tapped me on the arm and made a face, pointing at Gale, and I knew why. We later discussed how she felt about Gale’s bitterness at being rejected by Katniss, and I agreed, but I told her I did feel a little bad for him—not because he was rejected because that’s a part of life, but because Gale is an example of a character who is too closely tied to a love triangle and that’s why that scene made him so unlikable.

I feel as if Gale—and this is strictly based on the film adaptation of him—is propped up by the love triangle and doesn’t stand on his own as a character without it. That’s a problem in the writing. His whole existence is wrapped up in Katniss, whether it’s her actions in District 12, her actions in the Games, or her actions after the second revolution happens. I told my sister I kind of wanted Gale to understand that Katniss wasn’t in love with him at the end of the first novel and then just become her ally for the remaining two books because he isn’t given the right amount of attention thanks to the love triangle. He’s not a bad guy, after all, but the reason Gale’s confession about the kiss was so teeth-clenchingly bad is because it’s such small potatoes in the grand scheme of the rest of the film.

I kind of wanted Katniss to turn to him and say, “Dude, we’re in a WAR. They are bombing innocent people into oblivion. I’m the sole symbol of this war and I don’t have time to tend to your wounded male ego. I don’t have time to fall in love, okay? Suck it up.” That sounds harsh, but seriously, having a second romantic subplot in the middle of a war torn saga is unnecessary.

I really think a better source of conflict for Gale and Katniss would have been the propaganda and her position as the Mockingjay. For instance, what if Gale’s recollection of District 12’s bombing became more popular than Katniss’ other appearances? What if they were considering him for their new symbol, which meant Katniss’ leverage to get Peeta back would be defunct? That could have been a better way for them to be at odds instead of Gale being a sourpuss that Katniss is in love with Peeta. As it stands, he just sounds like one of those whiny boys who post on Facebook about getting ‘Friendzoned’ all the time when it shouldn’t matter. Sure, one sided romance is a bitch, but if someone truly loves you as a friend, you should be respectful of their feelings and simply love them anyway. If it’s too painful to do that, then be an adult and tell them that you can’t continue the friendship because of your feelings and bid them adieu. Don’t mope and whine about it because all you’re going to do is make your friend feel like crap for something they have no control over.

Mockingjay’s love triangle is something I feel isn’t a natural part of the narrative. I think that Collins needed an easy way to create tension between characters, and she chose this one. I think Gale could have come across a lot better if he wasn’t in love with Katniss. After all, he’s a strong, handsome, dedicated human being and we don’t get any of his backstory in the movies, and only a little bit of backstory in the books. He is very underdeveloped and so everything kind of slides into the negative category by the time we get to Mockingjay. He shouldn’t be pouting and throwing tantrums because she’s not in love with him. He should be supporting her after all the horrible things she’s seen and done. He should have been the one to race to her bedroom when she had nightmares, but he wasn’t.

I also think this love triangle might have been easier to digest if we knew with absolute clarity how Katniss felt about him, or why she cared for him. It’s not the same as her relationship with Peeta, which was forged in the kiln of the Hunger Games. Katniss is an extremely solitary person and she appears to like Gale because he’s easy company. If we saw more about his actions, his ideals, and how she relates to them, then maybe it would have made more sense for there to be a triangle. After all, Gale was actually right. Katniss didn’t have any romantic feelings for him, and only kissed him out of comfort because she didn’t know what else to do. There is a such thing as platonic love, after all, and I think that’s what Katniss has for Gale. Granted, kissing him on the lips was pretty misleading, but hey, she’s a teenager, she didn’t know any better.

For me, the love triangle in this series falls short because it is so damn obvious that Katniss is going to end up with Peeta that there was no point to drag it out across all three books, and subsequently, the films. It’s not a triangle when it’s just unrequited from one guy while the other two are wrapped up in their own little love bubble. It clogs up an already complicated story with needless bickering and stressing over something that in the grand scheme of things will not affect the ending. Katniss has far too many issues to worry about settling down with someone, especially when they could all be blown to steaming bits by the Capitol at any time. I feel sympathetic towards Gale just because I’ve had crushes on guys who didn’t reciprocate before, but I didn’t wander around behind them like a puppy begging for attention just to suit my own needs. Friendship should mean more than that to him and that’s why his character starts to deteriorate in the final novel and film.

Love triangles in general, however, can work if you write them with enough weight behind the characters. I think it’s crucial that the two love interests vying for a girl or guy’s attention can stand up on their own and just happen to be in love with him/her instead of all their actions being directly tied to the main character. For instance, The Dresden Files didn’t have the typical love triangle situation between Harry, Susan, and Murphy. When Harry started noticing he might have feelings for Murphy, Susan wasn’t around. When Susan came back, Harry was focused on her and didn’t waffle back and forth between the two. Murphy respected his boundaries and didn’t bring up the shift in their friendship. It was balanced. Both of these women had their own separate lives to lead, and we hardly even saw both of them in the same book. It worked because we didn’t dislike Harry for being indecisive because it was never portrayed that way. He loves Susan for a particular set of reasons, and he loves Murphy for a particular set of reasons, and they don’t intersect. That works well for the series since the stakes are always so high and Harry doesn’t have time to worry about his heart when he’s trying to keep some monster for ripping it out of his chest.

For example, in my own series, I sort of made a list of pros and cons for Michael and Belial as Jordan’s main love interests. Michael is who she is in love with, but Belial is that dangerous little voice in the back of her head reminding her she could just be selfish instead of having to work at her relationship. Belial has a lot to offer Jordan if she went in that direction. She’d be sacrificing her marriage and her friendship with the angels if she chose him, but he would give her a life that she couldn’t experience otherwise. Additionally, Michael and Belial’s entire lives don’t hinge on Jordan’s every action, and that’s because I think it’s important they have their own agency. The boys also have a complicated past with each other that’s going to come up in The Holy Dark, and that’s something I think is lacking in Mockingjay between Gale and Peeta. I’d have to reread the novel, but I don’t remember them interacting with each other very much, and it does damage to the love triangle if the only interactions between the competitors is them fighting over the main character.

Love triangles are complicated and overused. That’s fact. However, it doesn’t mean they are impossible to pull off, nor does it mean authors should stop writing them. I do think YA leans too heavily on them, but when done correctly, it can be an enticing addition to a narrative that helps you learn more about the three people involved and forces the protagonist to make a hard choice. I think that’s the reason why they exist and why they’re so prominent in fiction. Like anything else, it just needs to be used in moderation.

…think fast! *throws stone*

P.S. While I’ve got you here, She Who Fights Monsters will be free this Thursday on Christmas. Spread the word or grab yourself a copy!

Spotlight and Review – Second on the Right by Elizabeth Los

Second Cover

Good afternoon, everyone! Today I have the honor of being the first stop for Elizabeth Los’ fantasy novel, Second on the Right.

Second On The Right

Elizabeth Los

Spawned from an ancient promise, treachery and intrigue follow the protagonists through our world and one lost to the waves. Bound by an invisible bond, they are thrust into a fantastical world of pirates and demons.

James Benedict is a just man haunted by evil. Pushed to the edge, everything stripped from him, a new man arises . . . a man whose name strikes fear into the hearts of all who hear it: “Captain Hook”.

Eileen Davis was a timid woman. Through a fateful cruise she finds herself in the company of the Captain of the Mistral Thief. With his guidance, and the meddling of the local barista, she eventually finds her inner strength.

Will the two of them unite through time to fulfill the promise of their ancestors or will tempers ignite leading all to failure?

Genre: Fantasy


Purchase Links

CreateSpace | B&N | Smashwords | Amazon US | Amazon UK | iBooks

Excerpt #1

The night grew its darkest, just before dawn, when every man aboard the Mistral Thief heard a strange triumphant crow. Benedict shot up with a start.  Recognizing the familiar sound, he grabbed hold of his sword and burst out onto the deck. He could make out the figure of the boy, Peter.


He heard the sound of his crew, spooked by the noise of what shouldn’t be on board a ship. They scurried to light the deck lamps. As the light grew stronger, Benedict could see more clearly a petite figure on the mast, hands on hips, weapon at the side. Glancing back to the deck, he saw James coming from below. Benedict decided to hold off on approaching the figure, knowing of James’ desire for revenge. He kept a watchful eye, fully aware of James’ tendency to act on impulse.


“Peter,” James said in a low growl. “Show yourself!” he shouted.


“That crow. I’ve heard that before,” Benedict commented.


Peter alighted onto the railing with such ease and grace it irritated James. He gave a slight bow, as if observing the niceties. Pulling one of two bags from his belt, he held it up in his hand. James held the sheath of his sword with his hook, struggling only momentarily to hurriedly unsheathe it.


Peter laughed and shook his bag, “Need a hand?” He laughed even more, causing chills to run through James.


James advanced towards him, but stopped short. Peter had reached into the bag he had been holding and had removed a rotting hand, with fingers missing. It was all too familiar to James: his right hand. James and Benedict cringed, disgusted at the sight.


Peter tossed it at James, who jumped back in disgusted. The splat of soft, wet flesh hit the wood, matching the feeling in the pit of their stomachs. Laughing, Peter spun up in flight, and landed back down on the deck, retrieving the hand. Pieces had been left behind from its initial fall.


“No? Much happier with a hook, are we? You’re welcome,” he sneered. “There’s one who would appreciate a hand, yours, in fact.” He floated to the railing to glance at the waters below. “Come, take a look. I promise I won’t bite,” he grinned, taking several steps away to allow James to draw near.


James and Benedict cautiously took a glimpse. What they saw was the shadowy shape of an enormous crocodile.


James said to him, “Impossible.  They can’t grow that large, can they?”


Benedict had no response. He had never seen one that large. In the water, the crocodile, nearly twenty meters long, ticked and hissed. The sounds were eerily similar to a clock.


Benedict and James peered down again at the beast. The crocodile thrashed and clawed its way partially up the side of the Mistral Thief. Sweat dampened James’ brow. Benedict looked at Peter, who was now dangling the remaining portion of what he assumed was James’ right hand over the side of the ship. The crocodile leapt from the water, greatly desiring either the hand of James or James himself.

Both James and Benedict cringed, though it was James that moved away from the railing. The scratching of the crocodile’s claws on the side of the ship seemed to make him tremble. Peter laughed maniacally, and tossed James’ hand to the crocodile.


“You’ve been using it for bait?” James looked at Peter, horror and disgust evident on his face. “This is all a game to you.”


Pan. He hasn’t aged. Should I tell James? Benedict thought. His eyes shifted in James’ direction. He needs to know.


James pointed his sword at Peter. “What do you want?” He shouted.


Peter unsheathed his knife, circling around the deck. James followed suit. Occasionally, Peter would tap the end of his sword. However, Benedict knew James was a man of indomitable courage. James held his sword steady, firmly in his left hand, his hook slightly hidden behind him. His eyes were cold as steel. At that moment, James appeared to be in complete control of his emotions and actions. Benedict couldn’t help but beam proudly at what he had done for James.


“What do I want?” Peter asked himself thoughtfully. He looked back at James, his eyes glowing faintly red. “I want you to pay,” but he stopped. “Then again, perhaps you are suffering a bit. After all, I’m finding your son to be a delicious addition to my lost boys.” He ended this with a slight hiss.


“I’ve done nothing to you,” James replied. “I believe you’re the one that will pay for taking my family.”

Benedict subtly moved closer to James. He could see how the boy was manipulating James, using the loss of Eileen and Robbie to rile him to the point of pure rage. Benedict knew all too well how easy it was to make James angry.


“Jas,” he said in quiet warning, seeing James’ shoulders rise and fall more frequently.


James voice wavered, “What areyou?”


Benedict hesitated to offer his knowledge. What would it serve but to merely fan the flame the boy had started. Quietly he said to James, “Me thinks he’s Pete, a boy I met years ago. Feeds off humans.”

“Explain, please,” James murmured to Benedict, not taking his eyes off Peter.


“Not quite o’ changeling. Thought ta be mere legend, but I’d seen it with me own eyes. A powerful creature, though from what world, I’m not sure. Feeds off tha young, slow and sure ta stay alive. No doubt, yer boy be one he’s feedin’ on,” he explained.


Peter held a penetrating gaze at Benedict. “Oooohh. You’re a rather smart one, aren’t you? But I am at a disadvantage. You seem to know me, but I do not recognize you.” The boy’s face scrunched up in contemplation until he seemed to have an epiphany, “The one who set me free! You’re so…old!”

James looked over at the captain. “You set him free?” he whispered angrily. “Why am I not surprised?”

Benedict did his best to avoid eye contact. He knew he would have to explain all of this later. Perhaps he’ll forget. Not likely though.


“It’s true.” Peter said with a grinned. “I did feed on her. The red hair had to go.” He made a violent motion as he spoke.


“Jas,” Benedict warned, seeing James tense, the muscles in his jaw tightened.


James waved him off, stepping forward.


Peter continued. “Her white skin, so soft and supple. Her screams of terror and pain, delicious. Oh, she was wonderful!” He paused for a moment, then finished, “Particularly the chewy center within.” With the last sentence, his wicked eyes fell on James.


James screamed in anguish. He charged for Peter. Benedict reached out to stop him, but he was too slow. Peter flew up to the top of the mast. James, whose momentum had gotten the better of him, teetered at the rail. The crocodile waited eagerly below. James grunted in an effort to push himself back.

Peter howled in laughter, pointing, mocking and pantomiming actions as if he were James falling over the railing. James ran to the ropes, set to climb. Benedict shouted, but James didn’t hear. Not being heeded, he and a few crewmen pounced on him, holding him down.


“Take him ta me quarters!” he barked at the bo’sun. They held James, who thrashed violently. It took five men to drag James into the captain’s quarters and slam the doors shut. Benedict addressed Peter, “Ye best be leavin’ now, or ye be facin’ mywrath.”


Peter shrugged off the threat. “I have no quarrel with you, old man.” He jumped off the mast, floating high above. “Tell himI’ll be waiting, in Neverland.” And he flew off.


Benedict rubbed his sore eyes. “I’m gettin’ too old fer this.”


At his quarters, Benedict’s hand stopped at the door. James’ screams of rage could be heard from within. Benedict opted to take his time. Making a course adjustment, he continued towards El Tiburón.


Author Bio

Elizabeth uses writing as therapy, her release from everyday stress. At night, after work and once the children are finally tucked in bed, for the fifth time, she sits at her laptop and lets her imagination flow.


Elizabeth has produced short stories, one of which will be published in an anthology. She’s had fun writing a Sherlock Holmes fan fiction story, A Case of Need, based on the BBC’s Sherlock. By July 2011, her first novel, Second on the Right, had been completed. She spent several years polishing the story in order to provide a high quality product to the public. Second on the Right is her first professional novel.


Author Links



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 My Review:

Very few authors have the talent to take something legendary and classic and put a creative spin on it, but Elizabeth Los is one of the privileged few. All the great things about storytelling are present–compelling main characters, a sprawling world to go frolic in, gripping sexual tension, and a twisty-turny-timey-whimey ball of peril as the cherry on top. The language is lovely and the descriptions are more than easy to picture. I especially found myself wrapped up in the setting, which is so easy to feel as you read. It also smacks of the more traditional methods of writing, which can be a double-edged sword. 

One is reminded slightly of the Harlequin novels, but more like a faint memory than an intentional homage. The pacing is also a bit slow, but the payoff is more than worth it.

Review: Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis

Afternoon, my darlings! I’m currently working on promoting other authors in my same genre as well as book bloggers, so today we’ve got an old friend of mine from my Athens Writers’ Group–Kaitlin Bevis! She’s the author of the Daughter of Zeus series, starting with Persephone, which I had the pleasure of reading and reviewing.


Kaitlin Bevis spent her childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with her, she rewrote it. She’s always wanted to be a writer, and spent high school and college learning everything she could so that one day she could achieve that goal. She graduated college with my BFA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing, and is pursuing her masters at the University of Georgia.

Her young adult series “Daughters of Zeus” is available wherever ebooks are sold. She also writes for and Athens Parent Magazine.




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Twitter: @kaitlinbevis


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Persephone: 07/06/12

ISBN 13: 978-1-61937-243-6


203 Pages

58,876 words


There are worse things than death, worse people too.

The “talk” was bad enough, but how many teens get told that they’re a goddess? When her mom tells her, Persephone is sure her mother has lost her mind. It isn’t until Boreas, the god of winter, tries to abduct her that she realizes her mother was telling the truth. Hades rescues her, and in order to safely bring Persephone to the Underworld he marks her as his bride. But Boreas will stop at nothing to get Persephone. Despite her growing feelings for Hades, Persephone wants to return to the living realm. Persephone must find a way to defeat Boreas and reclaim her life.

Read Reviews on Goodreads:





        The branch crashed in front of me, scraping my legs. I ran for the parking lot as fast as I could. The frost closed in, surrounding me. I’d never been claustrophobic, but as the frost cut off my escape path with a solid white wall, I panicked.

Fog rolled in, like cold death, cutting off my view of the park. It curled around me, brushing against my face, arms, and legs. I turned back to the tree and ran faster, my dress tangling between my legs as the fog and icy wind blew against my skin.

The parking lot is the other way! my mind screamed. The other way was cut off by a mountain of ice. I felt as if I was being herded. By ice?

I slipped on the icy ground, falling face first into the frost. Ice crept up my toes and along my legs. I thrashed and screamed. I felt the fog becoming a solid mass above me, pinning me to the ground. The ice piled around me. Am I going to be buried alive?

I dug my nails into the frigid snow in front of me and tried to claw my way out of the frosted death trap. I was so panicked I didn’t feel it when my nails broke against the impenetrable wall of ice, leaving red crescents of blood welling up on sensitive skin. An hysterical sob worked its way out of my throat as I gouged red lines into the ice. The ice was above my knees, snaking its way up my thighs. I shivered.

Shivering’s good, I reminded myself. It means your body hasn’t given up…yet. The cold was painful, like a thousand little knives pricking my skin. A violent tremor went up my spine, sending waves of pain through me.

“Help me!” I screamed, knowing it was futile. I was going to die here.

Except I couldn’t die. Could I? Mom said I was immortal, but was that all-inclusive? Did I have a weakness? Was snow my Kryptonite? If I got hurt, would I heal or would I be trapped in an injured body in pain forever?

I suddenly didn’t know if immortality was a good thing or a bad thing. The cold hurt. I was kicking, screaming, and clawing my way out of the frost, but for every inch I gained a mountain piled around me. I thought I heard a man’s laughter on the wind, the sound somehow colder than the ice freezing me into place.

The ground before my outstretched hand trembled. The shaking increased. The earth lurched beneath me. The surface cracked and the sound was so loud that for a moment all I could hear was high-pitched ringing in my ears. The ground split into an impossibly deep crevice. My voice went hoarse from screaming as I peered into the endless abyss, trapped and unable to move away from the vertigo-inducing edge.

My Review:

It’s a daunting task to tackle the massively long and twisted hallways of Greek mythology, but Persephone is one of the few novels that does it well. The urban fantasy genre, especially with a concentration in YA, has many different kinds of attempts to modernize the gods, and this book is one that hits all the right angles.

Persephone is quite easy to relate to as a character. It’s even easier considering that, unlike most urban fantasy novels, she isn’t a rich, high-flying social butterfly that lives in New York. The grounded setting in Athens, Georgia (where I spent my college years and believe me, I miss it) and the fact that she’s shy and wracked with self-doubt makes it very easy to slip into the story. As soon as the action kicks off, we’re whisked away into worlds that only the vast imagination of the author can navigate.

Hades’ characterization is also well done, and it’s essential because the two of them do most of the heavy lifting in the novel. He does often slip into the typical charming bad boy stereotypes, but it’s justified being lord of the underworld and all. For me, he was a lot more rounded and likable as the novel progressed. It could be said that there’s enough deep waters there to fuel his own set of stories since Persephone’s life is brief and he’s been around for centuries. Food for thought.

The supporting cast was also well done, and that’s something I always look for in an urban fantasy novel. It’s not always about the leading lady. No one’s an island. Everyone has some kind of people in their life to help them make it through and it’s nice to see a story where it’s not all about dead parents who never loved the protagonist or someone’s parent getting remarried to and there’s all this angst about the new parent (I’m looking at you, Anita Blake.)

The only drawback for potential readers would simply be Persephone’s personality. It’s very hit or miss. Some readers will like her wide eyed innocence while others might find it grating. It all comes down to personal taste.

Overall, it’s a delightful read that is definitely great for younger readers. Check it out.


On Katniss Everdeen

Catching Fire is blowing up the box office right now, and I couldn’t be happier about it. I saw it last week and that’s why I’ve decided to take a moment to examine our beloved Catnip.

My opinion of Miss Everdeen in general is that she is a bad ass. I actually quite like her, more than I’ve liked a lot of girls in modern day young adult fiction, post-apocalyptic or not. Suzanne Collins has done one of the rarest things in the YA genre in recent history—wrote a bestselling novel series with a well-developed female protagonist and the love story is actually a stealth parody and criticism of typical YA fare.

If you’re read the books, you know what I’m talking about. Katniss, to be frank, doesn’t give a shit about romantic love. She struggles with the very idea of it, and certainly its relevance to her life considering the fact that she’s in the middle of a war that she inadvertently caused. Don’t get her wrong: Katniss loves her family, and she loves Gale, and she unknowingly loves Peeta, but all of those types of love aren’t the one that we normally see in YA. And that, to me, is beyond refreshing. Katniss is forced into a love story and every inch of her rebels because it’s not what is important to her, and I think a lot of girls feel that way. Some of them just don’t have the burning desire to have a boyfriend, and some of them find the very idea of it exhausting. This is a voice that we haven’t heard in recent times with the rise of stupid, codependent women making millions, particularly Bella Swan and Ana Steele. Katniss is and always has been fiercely independent, and one of the main struggles for her is playing the role that society and the Capitol have forced upon her.

I love that Katniss is all rage and defiance instead of a bundle of insecurities who needs to be protected by some quaffed up stalker with a crush. I love that almost all of the main events in The Hunger Games series are a direct result of something she did. Katniss does what a main protagonist should be doing—creating, advancing, and fulfilling the story. Many stories in YA make the mistake of having the plot happen TO the protagonist instead of BECAUSE of the protagonist. My most prominent example is Clary Fray of The City of Bones series. I read the first novel and as I mentioned before, I’m not really a fan of her. She is largely deadweight from the beginning to end of the first novel, and while she might get better later on, it was so tiring that I found myself not wanting to see if she ever grows a pair of ovaries and takes charge. A lot of teen stories can learn from Katniss’ example because people tend to think that YA is all about hormones and paranormal romance and schmoopy love stories, but that isn’t true. There are some kick ass ladies hidden in these pages who need attention. That’s why I’m so thrilled that the Hunger Games is doing so well.

However, let me also say that another reason why I like Katniss is that she’s so screwed up in the head. I’ve come to calling her “Robotniss” in my head, which is why I get irritated when people call Jennifer Lawrence’s performance wooden. That’s not her acting, folks. That is actually Katniss Everdeen. She has the emotional range of a Bengal tiger that’s been slapped in the ass with a baseball bat. Most of the time, Katniss is brooding over the ruined District 12 or feeding her family or how’s she’s going to survive. She actively manipulates Peeta because it’s what she has to do in order to make it out alive. She can’t falter. She can’t stop and wonder about her true feelings for him, or for Gale. This is life or death. Ain’t nobody got time for dat.

My brother told me that from a guy’s standpoint, Katniss is a bit of a cocktease, especially when it comes to Gale, and while I sort of agree with that a bit, it’s also why I think it’s so important that people read the book and watch the movie. Katniss represents something more than what society really wants to think about. It’s not so much about her being a “tease” than it is being a girl who doesn’t want what people think she should want. She has bigger fish to fry, and the last thing on her mind is deciding if she needs a boy to spend the rest of her life with. People need to hear that. Our society still has ridiculous standards for girls, especially ones my age. By the tender age of thirty, you’re expected to have one of two things, if not both: a successful career or a family. If you don’t have one or the other, you’re considered a loser. That well and truly sucks. No one’s path takes that amount of time to get going, and no one can live up to expectations like that when you consider how different each woman is from one another. Like Katniss, maybe some of us don’t want a relationship. Maybe we’ve got more to worry about. And maybe, just maybe, that’s okay.

After all that women have been put through over the years, I’m beyond happy to see Katniss Everdeen up on that big screen kicking ass and taking names and breaking box office records. It is a statement to the world that you can’t make excuses any longer. Women are awesome. We can carry a story. DC has been whining that they can’t make a Wonder Woman movie because people won’t go see a movie with a female hero as the main character, and now we can take the box office records and shove it down their stupid throats. $161 million dollars opening weekend. Read it and weep, sexists and misogynists. Our XX chromosomes are worth all that money, and will continue to be for years to come, so you’d better get ready.

So thank you, Catnip, and thank you, Suzanne Collins, for being voices to a cause that we should be fighting and will continue to fight for decades to come. The Hunger Games novels are by no stretch perfect, but they are a message that needs to be heard. We’ve got a long fight ahead of us, but I get the feeling that the odds are in our favor this time.