Femme Friday | Madeline

MadelineI’m going to start with saying how much I always wanted to be like Madeline growing up. Madeline always did what she wanted, she was free to go where her heart desired. She lived her life asking for forgiveness instead of asking for permission. I love doing this, I hate asking for permission to do something. I would rather get in trouble for taking the initiative and explain my reasonings. As a kid though, you don’t always get this blessing.

Living in the orphanage, like Madeline, most children wouldn’t feel as free to run and explore as she does. She pushes the boundaries, but learns from her own mistakes and I think this is where I get jealous. When you get to learn your lessons first hand, without the coddling and bubble wrap of parents and guardians you would get to learn things faster, therefore making you more mature at a younger age. Pros and Cons though I guess.

Through Madeline, we learned manners, how to listen and how to be a great friend, among many other things I’m sure. Madeline and her little yellow friends have become an icon and I am so grateful to John Bemelmans Marciano for continuing her stories and allowing our future children to grow with her as I have.

Femme Friday – June – Legend by Marie Lu

June is that carbon copy female character, the self-reliant, smart, beautiful kind. She is also strong and courageous, the kind of girl we all want to be. You can’t help but love and relate to her. June starts out very naïve, under the care of her brother and his friend who are very protective; with working for the government they have that power. After the death of her brother (and the catalyst) you see June start to change, a growth and maturity that I thought was unusual for a book character but true to some cases in real life. I loved watching her step up and take control of her life, watching her piece together the clues and make her own choices despite the situation being new to her. I hope that one day, when I am faced with a situation like June was that I will step up to the plate and charge head first (with a little caution of course) at the challenges up ahead.

I will be honest though, through the book ‘Legend’ June goes through a few things I wouldn’t dare! Now, I don’t know if you all do this, but it doesn’t matter what the description is in the book I always seem to picture some of my own personal traits (particularly height) as my own. So here I am picturing this tiny, petite girl getting into a boxing ring! Okay, it isn’t exactly described like that in the book, it may even be a little worse but never the less this tiny girl jumps in the ring to try to gain some street cred. Would I ever jump into a fight? Very unlikely! Would I ever work undercover and chase a criminal? Also unlikely. That doesn’t mean that I didn’t enjoy reading about it though, I think I almost enjoyed it more that she grew confident enough in herself and her job to take on tasks that I would have been hesitant about.

The piece that always gets me though is .. if I would never take on these tasks, why do I always picture the characters like myself?

Femme Friday | Emily Fields, Pretty Little Liars

Emily is the quiet one, shy and modest. She is an amazing swimmer, scholarship worthy. She has one big secret that she keeps though, she is bi-sexual and is in love with Alison DiLaurentis.

Being the sensitive and compassionate one, Emily often gets walked on. The girls take advantage of her easy-going, naïve nature. You can imagine how being bi-sexual is difficult for her, her family being a conservative Christian. You can imagine how important it is to her that no one finds out that she is interested in women, and especially that she had ever been interested in Ali. Once her family finds out they try to ‘train’ her out of her sexuality, telling her it is wrong and sending her for courses to rewire her brain.

Despite being my least favourite character (just for the lack of storyline), I feel like we get to see the most growth from Emily. We get to see her come into herself as the series continues and really becoming happier with herself and the possibilities in her future. She still works hard to please the others around her but she realizes that ultimately, the person that needs to be happy is herself.

We do get to see relationships between Emily and both male and female characters in the book. It is clear after a few books which gender she favours and I felt happy for her with this decision.

I do have to say that in the show they made Emily’s character a lot more dynamic, she is much more passionate and is a little more grown and mature than we see her in the books. I was actually not disappointed with this decision on their part. Either way, she is definitely, a supporting role.

Femme Friday | Minevera McGonagall |Harry Potter

Since I knocked off a Throwback Thursday post a few months ago with one of the world’s most popular book series’, it was only fitting that I touch on some of the female characters, for a Femme Friday post. I was tempted to do Hermione (and I will eventually), but one of the standout lead females in my opinion, is Professor Minevera McGonagall.

When I was in high school, and reading Harry Potter, I drew a lot of parallels between Harry & co’s relationships with their professors, and the relationships I had with my teachers. In a sense, they’re an extended family. Sometimes, they even become family (because you see them more frequently than your own). McGonagall reminded me of a few teachers I encountered over my high school career. A bit of a tough as nails, rough around the edges woman, who always tried to do right by her students, even in the face of extreme conditions.

She becomes a prominent figure in the trio’s life throughout their time at Hogwarts, and I’d go as far as saying that she steps into Lily’s shoes to be a surrogate mother to Harry, in times of need – One of my favourite scenes (book & movie both), is when Harry discovers that Uncle Vernon never signed his permission slip to attend Hogsmead, and Harry requests McGonagall to sign it instead.

McGonagall teaches not just her classes on transfiguration, but also important life lessons to her students, even if it’s in a somewhat roundabout way. She is their first introduction to animagai (when she transforms from a cat, into a human), she is the first to praise her students when they triumph, and she is the first to defend them, even when the student’s may actually have been breaking the rules. The world needs more teachers and professors like McGonagall.

Femme Friday | Spencer Hastings | Pretty Little Liars

Spencer, Spencer, Spencer, Spencer, poor girl just can’t catch a break! Well, I guess technically she isn’t innocent. This is one liar that I don’t think I would want as a friend.

Pretty and intelligent but she gets a little crazy, she is completely obsessive and very jealous of her sister Melissa. As the first book continues, you can see that Spencer at least has soul and feels guilty for the things that she does to her sister and yet the feud continues.

The feud between the Hastings sisters is similarly portrayed in the book vs TV versions, however, I felt a little more sad for Melissa in the book. It may be because I read the book first but I really think it is because I just didn’t connect with Spencer the same ways in the books. She was easy to hate.

I am on book 9 in the Pretty Little Liar book series and I still am not sold on Spencer. I really WANT to like her and I’m not sure if it is her sense of entitlement, or her attitude; whatever it is, I just can’t seem to make those connections that would make me want to stand by her side.

I wonder if it was Shephard’s idea to make her like this or if it just happened. Who know’s maybe it is just me that feels this way?! Let me know if you think this is out of line, but now you all know. My least favourite liar, and the one I would blame: Spencer Hastings.

Femme Friday | Aria Montgomery, Pretty Little Liars

Aria, Aria. Okay, so I will say this again. I am doing this character review based from the books. I found Aria to be the character that was changed the most from the book version to the show version so you may see some differences.

Aria, a tall (ballerina type figure) artistic oddball. Said, in the first book, to have dark, blue-ish hair and not fit in to the stereotypes of Rosewood. Returning from their move to Iceland, Aria had to get settled back into the small town way and seemed to be having a tough time with it all. During a sign of weakness (and perhaps even rebellion) she went into a bar to get herself a drink. Really, I think this is where her story truly begins, along with a relationship with a man much older than her. We soon find out this man’s name is Ezra, an avid reader and oddball himself, also soon to be Aria’s English teacher.

This is the one flaw that bothered me most with her character. While showing signs of immaturity, she met a mature man. Now suddenly, not only does she play the older character convincingly enough to sway him but also becomes a pretty solid, responsible character throughout the rest of the series. I feel like this happened too suddenly, that something else should have been a catalyst for this, or some signs showing.

Throughout the series Aria is seen making lots of responsible decisions, acting as adult as she can, and is even less rebellious (I am a little sad about this, I feel like some rebellious attitude may have done the series well). She becomes increasingly artistic and handles family situations with class and dignity (to the best of her ability of course … -A is always there to ruin these things for her).

When I think of Aria as a role model, I think of her appearance, strong and yet respectful (she doesn’t let it all hang out). I think of her maturity, and her easy come, easy go attitude; I also think of her wise nature. Aria would make a great best friend if she wasn’t being attacked by -A … even with -A, you would definitely want Aria on your side.

What do you guys think of Aria? Even the show version of Aria? Let me know!

Femme Friday | America Singer (The Selection Series)

America starts as a very modest teen girl in the series. I found her to be a very true character, one with an honest heart. What I loved most was that throughout the entire series her heart stayed the same, she was true to herself and her friends.

Her strength made me laugh (even out loud at points) and her stubbornness towards the people she was supposed to cater to was respectful at times (and silly/stupid at others). She was easily relatable, making mistakes and learning from them along the way. Most girls would be honoured to be in her place and yet she felt torn to leave her family, despite knowing it was the only way she could truly help and support them financially.

Throughout the journey we see America go from an uneasy, awkward girl, to a strong and delightful (sometimes pushy) woman. She stands up for what she feels is right, despite being told over and over that it is not her place. She proves herself worthy of the crown slowly, gaining our trust and respect as she works through all the hardships thrown her way, even proving to herself that she was ready to take on such daunting responsibility.

I found this series, although a light read, still has a lot of heart and can inspire girls to be true to themselves, if America were a real person, I would be her friend.