February 22, 2013

Guest Post: Robin Benway's Top Ten Female Characters in Books, Film and TV

Hello my peeps!!
I'm very happy to host Robin Benway on the blog today. Last year I read her book The Extraordinary Secrets of April, May and June and I really liked it. 

Robin Benway has a new book coming out called Also Known As,which I'm dying to read and I hope my copy gets here soon! - and today she's sharing her Top Ten Female Characters in Books, Film and TV

Without futher ado, here you go: 

1. Ramona Quimby
When I was a kid, I felt like Ramona a lot. I wished I could crush someone's paper owl with my bare hands, metaphorically speaking. I wanted to go outside and roller skate when it was raining and color the biggest picture in the world. I totally sympathized with her frustrations with Howie and Willa Jean Kemp because let's be honest, those kids were pretty annoying. I loved how she always wanted something to happen beyond the normal, boring routine of everyday life, and how, because of her, it often did.

2. Leslie Knope from "Parks & Recreation"
Is it possible to love a fictional character as if they were a real person? I would vote for Leslie Knope tomorrow. I would seriously move to Pawnee, Indiana and register to vote because I think she's the best. She's passionate, she's a wonderful friend ("Ann, you beautiful, rule-breaking moth"), and she loves waffles! She's also a hoarder, but hey, who doesn't have a flaw or two?

3. Little Orphan Annie
Can we just discuss this resourceful little orphan for a moment? (I am, of course, referring to the 1982 movie version starring Aileen Quinn, aka The Movie of My Childhood.) She escapes from an abusive workhouse of an orphanage and manages to get adopted by abillionaire? During the Depression? And she can sing and tapdance her way into people's hearts? And oh hey, why don't you just rescue a stray dog while you're at it, Annie? And thwart your kidnappers and have a freaking ELEPHANT at your welcome home party? During the Depression??? (I'm still not okay with the fact that Miss Hannigan was at said party, but that's a different blog entry altogether.)

4. Claire Huxtable from "The Cosby Show"
Whoever messes with Claire Huxtable is a fool. She raised five kids while working full-time as a high-profile Manhattan trial attorney, loved her husband, and helped put on huge family lip synching shows for her in-laws anniversary. And remember when she told Elvin where he could put his macho attitude? (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpEj00g9CyE) Well done, Claire.

5. Lorelai Gilmore from "Gilmore Girls"
I feel like Lorelai is me. There, I said it. Not because I had a baby at sixteen (I didn't) or because I run an inn (I don't), but because she talks too fast, drinks too much coffee, says the wrong words and does the wrong thing and still manages to make everything work. And I love love love her relationship with Sookie. And Rory. And her mom and dad. And I'm fine, it's just something in my eye.

6. Tami Taylor from "Friday Night Lights"
The hair and the y'alls (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vihYkEAQ_DY) and the ability to somehow shepherd a herd of high school kids into adulthood while raising her own two daughters? Please. I loved Tami because she represented what so many women do every day: raise their families, foster their communities, and work full-time. Also, I plan on memorizing the safe-sex speech she gave to her daughter and using it on my own kids one day because it was perfect. Y'all.

7. Angela Chase from "My So-Called Life"
I think Angela is one of the few characters I can watch twenty years later and still feel like I can relate to her. There's nothing about her words that feel dated or silly. Sure, it was filmed in the early 90s when everyone was wearing plaid and Doc Martens, but every single line of dialogue still resonates with the teenager in me. Why was there no second season? Excuse me while I weep.

8. Matilda Wormwood from "Matilda"
The little bookworm that could! Matilda was the first character I discovered who liked reading as much as I did, i.e. she was my Hermione Granger. I also loved how she outsmarted the adults, including her nincompoop parents, by using only her brain. Like, literallyher brain. She was telekinetic! 

9. Judy Blume
I tried to think of my favorite Judy Blume characters, but it was a too-many-way tie. Margaret? Deenie? Davey Wexler? Sally J. Freedman (as herself, of course)? So I know it's bending the rules because Judy Blume is very much a real person, but she's on the list. Anyone who can come up with the characters she's invented can be an Honorary Fictional Hero, too.

10. Claudia Kishi from "The Baby-Sitters Club"
I was either a Stacey McGill (even down to imitating her handwriting in sixth grade) or a Dawn Schafer type of girl, but I think Claudia was always my favorite because she was nothing like me. I loved how she excelled at art, not school, and never really tried to change that. It was just who she was, take or leave it. I hope she's living somewhere amazing now, like Soho or Shoreditch in London or Paris, drawing and painting and eating all the candy stashed under her pillow. 

So that was it!! 

More info about Also Known As (to be released on February 26th, 2013)

Being a 16-year-old safecracker and active-duty daughter of international spies has its moments, good and bad. Pros: Seeing the world one crime-solving adventure at a time. Having parents with super cool jobs. Cons: Never staying in one place long enough to have friends or a boyfriend. But for Maggie Silver, the biggest perk of all has been avoiding high school and the accompanying cliques, bad lunches, and frustratingly simple locker combinations. 

Then Maggie and her parents are sent to New York for her first solo assignment, and all of that changes. She'll need to attend a private school, avoid the temptation to hack the school's security system, and befriend one aggravatingly cute Jesse Oliver to gain the essential information she needs to crack the case . . . all while trying not to blow her cover.

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