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Sixteen-year-old Mia Winterborne is destined to be special. Details are sketchy, though, as her dad disappeared with all the answers when she was five. Mia only knows that she’ll inherit her kickass superpowers on her seventeenth birthday. Helping Mia prepare for her anticipated ascendancy is Loie Bryce, her best friend and eternal sidekick extraordinaire. The girls’ intense friendship has never wavered until now, when Andreas arrives in Salcey Ridge. They both fall hard for the British hottie, who quickly becomes a fixture in their lives. When they discover that Andreas is not who he appears to be, the frightening reality of Mia’s powers finally hits home. The nearer Mia’s birthday draws, the more the danger escalates and long-buried lies are exposed, putting the girls on a path that they never expected.
Bring On the Heroines
by Augusta Blythe
I’ve noticed in my many years of reading and writing that I gravitate toward a certain type of female protagonist. Hint: I’ll take Katniss Everdeen over Bella Swan any day of the week. She doesn’t necessarily need to be handy with a bow and arrow, but she tends to have either qualities I recognize in myself or qualities that I wish I possessed. She’s someone I find myself rooting for, no matter what.
In my first book, Winterborne, I deliberately made Loie a more passive personality at the start so that we can watch her grow into the strong, confident girl we know she’s capable of becoming. Even she wants to be more like her best friend, Mia. She simply doesn’t know how until circumstances force her in that direction. Let’s face it, if hellhounds are chasing you, you don’t stand there, wringing your hands and worrying about making an actual decision. You run. In the sequel, Ravenstoke, we get to meet that more confident girl and see how she faces life’s latest fantastical challenges.
My preferred heroines aren’t limited to the kickass variety. Elizabeth Bennett in Pride and Prejudice is one of my all-time favorites. Although Mr. Darcy tends to garner all the attention, Elizabeth is the real catch in that equation (if you ignore that little shack called Pemberley). She is sensible, yet not a killjoy. She is kind, but she’s nobody’s doormat. She speaks her mind at a time when women in her position were better off nodding and smiling. And bonus, there’s no insta love here. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. Mr. Darcy and Miss Bennett don’t fall in love until they actually (gasp) get to know each other.
There are so many YA novels out there now that feature strong, capable young women (or are at least in the process of getting there). These heroines are by no means perfect; they are allowed to make mistakes and still be awesome. And the fact that these books are so popular means that this type of heroine is resonating with readers, which makes all their readers kickass in my book.
Ravenstoke (Universe Unbound #2) by Augusta Blythe
In WINTERBORNE, Loie and Mia's seventeenth birthdays brought more drama and surprises than they ever expected. Now, in Ravenstoke, they are adjusting to the aftermath and struggling to keep those newfound powers in check. When Andreas is called away to England under mysterious circumstances, a new guy is sent to Salcey Ridge in his place. Cian is smarmy and cocksure and Loie wants nothing more than to unleash a hellhound on him. Unfortunately, Cian isn't the only complication in their lives as the girls must also contend with the reappearance of Mr. Winterborne himself and Loie's most dreaded fear of all - a part in the school musical. Can the girls survive the rest of junior year unscathed?