Happy Tuesday everyone!
I’m super excited for this week because I’m currently reading A Gathering of Shadows and picked up a physical copy of Traitor to the Throne! It’s also only two days until I can go and grab the special edition of Caraval!
As always, Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and this weeks theme is:
February 7: Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them
This week, I’m going for ten books I wish had more female friendships in them!
1. A Concise Chinese-English Dictionary for Lovers
In this tale of self-discover, Z begins her life in the UK lonely and frustrated by her lack of English-speaking skills. She could definitely have benefited from more female support and her understanding of her new surroundings would have grown faster because of it. Give the woman a girl-next-door.
2. Everything Everything
OK, OK here me out with this one. I know Madeline has strong friendships with her mother and nurse Carla, but I would have liked to see her interact with more girls her age. Her condition means she doesn’t have any friends outside of those two, and that’s (part of the reason) why she becomes so attached to Olly. But I would have enjoyed scenes with her messaging other girls online, and chatting about the books she loves (the way we all do on here!). I just think it could have added another dimension to both the story and Madeline’s character.
3. The Girl from Everywhere
The #1 thing I would have liked more in this novel was a cohesive plot, but the #2 was more women characters. I would have loved to see a female-heavy crew surrounding Nix on the ship and I think some really heart-warming and witty scenes could have come out of it. Why do most of the pirate crew have to be male in a fantasy world – surely writing fantasy frees you from the responsibilities of historical accuracy? (Although even in realistic novels, I’d take a female crew over a male crew any day. Yeah, screw historical accuracy.)
4. The Sin-Eater’s Daughter
Twylla is treated harshly in the first half of this book and I was desperate for her to have some female companionship. Everyone is either afraid or appalled by her ability and I just wanted her to have another girl she could trust and talk freely too. I actually spent the opening chapters hoping a plucky kitchen maid would befriend her and they’d run off together for a life of adventures.
5. The Vegetarian
The main character in this novel, Yeong-hye, is judged harshly by everyone for her decision to become a vegetarian, but she is especially mistreated by the men in her life. Her sister steps up to support her later on in the novel, but there is a large period of time when she has no other women around her from whom she can see solace and comfort. Perhaps if she had even just one female friend it would have changed the outcome of the novel.
6. Lord of the Rings
To be honest I would just like some more female characters in general please? I take into account the time period Tolkien was writing in, but it’s a fantasy novel! Gender roles can be removed from their usual places in society. Would it have killed him to have had more than three significant female characters, compared to the 247 (ish) male. (I’m seriously considering writing my own version of LOTR where everyone is gender-swapped, and female dragons rule the skies.)
7. High Rise
I couldn’t help but feel that all the women characters in this novel were inherently lonely, despite being surrounded by each other’s presence. Towards the end of the book, some of the women from the upper floors band together in solidarity, but this is only in the final few chapters. For the most part, they spend their lives in the high rise friendless and isolated from each other, and it was disheartening to read.
I loved this book so much and one of the things I admired the most was Nix’s independence. She didn’t need anybody else to fight her battles and didn’t think twice about going solo to save her father. But during the final battle scenes at the school, I couldn’t help but think it would have been nice for her character to have had stronger relationships with the other girls. I enjoyed her courage and independence, but also felt that, at times, she was a lonely cinnamon roll who could have benefited from some girl power. (And I like to protect my lonely cinnamon rolls.)
Etta, our main character, spends most of this novel running for her life through time and, although she has Nicholas to watch her back, I just wanted her to have some more buddies to share her adventure with. Female buddies, naturally. The only other character her own age, Sophia, seems ready to kill or double-cross her most of the time.
10. The Magician’s Apprentice
I thoroughly enjoyed this story, but I would have loved to see Tessia’s mentor be a woman. There could have been some wonderful dynamics as she learned to control her power in a predominantly male-driven magician’s world. Either that or give Tessia another girl friend who she can talk magic with and bounce ideas off.
This post is mostly just me wanting to give my sweet cinnamon rolls a network of support and love from other women, but I should also clarify that I don’t dislike male characters. Far from it, in fact. (Unless they’re the villain or a douchebag.) I love reading books about platonic f/m friendships and enjoy watching romance bloom between a girl and guy, but sometimes I just feel the number of m/m friendships outnumbers the f/f ones, and wish there were more of the latter.
What did you guys write about for your TTT this week? Drop me a link in the comments!