Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Tuesday Ten: Rebellious Characters

This week's topic from The Broke and the Bookish is literature's rebels, defined as "those people who stood up for what they believed in despite the cost of doing so." I really love this topic yet had a surprisingly difficult time with it and wasn't sure how well many of the people I chose actually fit the bill, because a few of my rebels are a bit different than you might expect.

In no particular order...

1. Stargirl
Jerry Spinelli
Stargirl was just so different and the first time I read this book, back in fifth grade or whatever, I didn't quite get it. She just annoyed me. It wasn't until years later when I reread the book that I saw the genius of Stargirl -- this is definitely an out-of-the-ordinary character who in the end refuses to be anything different than who she is. Total rebel girl.

2. Julia James
Ally Carter
This cute, clean romance novel is my favorite Ally Carter book. Julia's rebel streak comes in when the single woman self-help guru, famous for writing books helping erase the stigma of living the solo life falls in love... and then has to decide how to handle her personal life and the career that she still loves. She's such a great character (and a rebel!) not only because of how she handles the possibility of having a boyfriend in her life, but also how whole-heartedly she believes in all of her self-help stuff. I'm sad this book is out of print (and that more people haven't read it!)

3. Guy Montag
Ray Bradbury
The reasons for this one are obvious and if you're someone who, for some crazy reason, hasn't read this book -- I suggest you get on that STAT. That means right away.

4. Peeta Mellark
Suzanne Collins
I love pretty much everything about Peeta and his character is refreshingly consistent, but the reason I think of him as a rebel is because of how startlingly honest he is throughout the Games. Not just honest to Katniss and Haymitch, but to everybody, including television interviewers and the bloodthirsty public. It's kind of insane, honestly.

5. Rhett Butler
Margaret Mitchell
Again, do I really need to explain this one?

6. Atticus Finch
Harper Lee
Atticus is maybe my favorite rebel -- or at least my favorite good-guy-in-the-face-of-badness -- character in all of literature. Not only does he defend a man that nobody else will, knowing full well that winning the case would be a miracle, but he does it while teaching his children the difference between right and wrong, and that the right thing is often difficult.

7. Aunt Peg
Maureen Johnson
Alright, I know Aunt Peg is never actually alive in these books, but I couldn't let a little detail like that stop me from including her in the list. Aunt Peg is artistic in the craziest, most stereotypical crazy-wandering-woman sense of the word. She rebels against everything that's expected from her and even in death she makes her inheritance into a zany game for Ginny.

8. Melanie Hamilton-Wilkes
Margaret Mitchell
I know sweet little Melanie isn't what people think of when they hear "rebel," but she does defy expectations quite a few times. (The main one I can think of is when she suggests putting flowers on the graves of fallen Union soldiers.) Continuing to be friends with Scarlett is a defiance throughout a good part of the book but Melanie, though sweet, never backs down.

9. Julianna Baker
Wendelin Van Draanen
I love Juli. She's awesome. Her rebelliousness comes in the form of, mostly, refusing to allow a sycamore tree that she loves to be chopped down, and her commitment to this is amazing, even if it makes her an outcast among her peers.

10. Frankie Landau-Banks
E. Lockhart
I won't bother explaining this one because if you've read the book it's obvious. And if you're a YA fan who hasn't read this book then all I can say is WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR?


  1. I agree with your comments on Melanie from Gone With The Wind. She can be an irritating little priss, but she as backbone. Still, Rhett and Scarlet = AWESOME!

    My Top Ten Rebels

  2. I keep seeing Frankie Landau-Banks on the lists. I guess I'll have to check it out. I have Stargirl on the shelf as well.

    Check out my list at The Scarlet Letter .

  3. I think more Katniss Everdeen more than Peeta...