Friday, October 5, 2018

Five books about girls who don’t care if you like them or not

Claire Legrand's new book, Sawkill Girls, is a queer young adult horror novel.

At she tagged five books about girls who don’t care if they’re “likeable” or not, including:
Incarceron by Catherine Fisher

Catherine Fisher’s duology of Incarceron and its sequel, Sapphique, about a vast, sentient prison, were instant favorites when I read them years ago. Like His Dark Materials, this is a series distinguished by its phenomenal world building, as well as its precisely elegant prose and complex characters. My favorite of the two primary protagonists, Claudia, is daughter of the Incarceron Warden, and has lived a life of privilege and luxury. While trying to avoid an arranged marriage, Claudia begins to discover Incarceron’s secrets, while Incarceron itself strives to outwit her. Claudia is intelligent and strong-willed, but she is also spoiled thanks to her upbringing and doesn’t always acknowledge her privilege, even as she works to dismantle the system that allowed her that privilege. She is also blinded by a fiercely protective love for her tutor and a thirst for the love of her cold, calculating father. With this love comes an occasional selfishness that keeps Claudia oblivious to the needs and fears of others, often making her seem as cold as the father she fears. I adore these complexities and contradictions. I don’t remember much of the other, more “likable” protagonist, Finn. It’s complex, prickly Claudia whom I often find myself thinking about, years later.
Read about the other entries on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue