Special Feature: Top Ten by Tawny Stokes, author of LIONS AND TIGERS AND BOYS

My Top 10 Female Characters in Pop Culture of Last Year

By Tawny Stokes

A big part of writing Lions and Tigers and Boys involved creating the character of Dani Gale, who I hope readers will love as much as I do. With that thought in mind, I thought I’d share with The Librarian Talks’ readers my top 10 female characters in pop culture from last year while I was writing and editing my latest YA paranormal romance. Now, in no particular order, check out my top choices:

June/Offred – The Handmaid’s Tale (actually the entire female cast)

The Handmaid’s Tale is by far my most favorite TV show right now.  And that has everything to do with the strong female characters portrayed.  The lead June/Offred played by the remarkable Elizabeth Moss is the toughest woman on TV.  She suffers constantly, but remains hopeful, remains fierce in order to fight for her daughter and for herself.  Every female character is outstanding on that show, including Moira, June’s BFF, poor tortured Offglen, the ferocious Aunt Lydia, and the misguided Serena Joy.

Diana Prince – Wonder Woman

I can’t remember the last time a movie made me so ridiculously happy. The moment Diana Prince walked onto the screen, I was hooked.  I loved that she was fierce and strong, and skilled in combat, but also feminine, and funny and charming and so delicately innocent.  

Elisa – The Shape of Water

If you haven’t seen this movie, I urge to go see it immediately.  It’s one of those movies that totally take you by surprise.  The big part of the film’s charm comes from the lead character Elisa.  She’s mute, lives in an old rundown building, takes care of her older neighbor, and works as a cleaning woman in this secret government installation.  Without a word spoken, this woman is fierce and doesn’t let anyone bully her.  She’s kind and loving, and takes the biggest risk of her life for love.

Zelda – The Shape of Water

Elisa’s friend and co-worker Zelda is a strong, no-nonsense kind of woman.  She’s Elisa’s protector and holds one of the biggest hearts in the movie.  I loved that she was so loyal to her friend, and believed in her and what she wanted to do.  Every second of her on the screen was perfection.

Joyce – Stranger Things

Stranger Things is one of my most fave TV shows ever.  Now, I love me some Eleven. She’s parts adorable and fierce.  But it’s Joyce that is the heart and soul of the show.  For someone so little, she packs the strongest punch.  She shows that a mother’s love is the boldest, strongest type of love ever to exist.  It is unshakable and unconditional.  Joyce is that unmovable rock who will always be there to support you no matter what.

Lorraine – Atomic Blonde

This was definitely in my top movies of 2017.  The movie is an action packed spy thriller set in the months right before the Berlin wall came down.  The main protagonist Lorraine is the coolest, sexiest bad-ass to have ever worked for British intelligence.  She makes James Bond look like a Girl Scout.  I loved everything about her character.  Her kick-ass skills, her wardrobe, the way she spoke, and the vulnerability she tries to hide.

Queen Elizabeth – The Crown

Not sure why, but I love shows and movies about royalty especially historical ones, but when I first started The Crown, I wasn’t quite sure I was going to like it.  The Queen is still alive, you can see her on TV, and read about her.  But within minutes of Claire Foy’s portrayal of Elizabeth I knew I’d be hooked.  And I can’t get enough of Queen Elizabeth.  To see all that she went through to be regent, all that she had to give up and deal with. She was and is a pretty interesting woman.

Madeline, Celeste, Jane and Renata – Big Little Lies

Big Little Lies is one of those shows that is packed with incredible talent playing very strong and interesting personalities.  Every one of these women characters stood out.  Each with their strength and their flaws and vulnerabilities.

Annie – Bellevue

Now Bellevue is one of those hardly seen Canadian TV shows, that I believe is getting a US debut soon.  This show is exactly the type of dark crime drama that I adore.  And at its center is the main protagonist Annie. She is a very flawed woman, who drinks too much, makes bad decisions, but at her core she is a loving mother who is just trying to do the best she can while doing what she does best, and that’s solve crime.  Anna Paquin delivers the performance with a ferocious vulnerability, that I think only she can portray.

Starr Carter – The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas:

I didn’t read a lot of current books this past year, but this one I did read and I’m sure glad I did.  It is equally a heartbreaking and engagingly well written novel with a likable protagonist in Starr. She is strong, and brave as she navigated the two worlds she is a part of. This is a book I wish every young adult and adult of all color and creed would read.  It’s an important book and a fabulous read.

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About Lions and Tigers and Boys:

The last thing a girl as awkward as Dani Gale should be doing is trying to learn the high wire. Yet that’s exactly where Dani ends up—at OZ, the Oswald Zinzendorf School of Circus Arts. Trying to overcome her shyness is near impossible when her new partner—the hottest guy she’s ever laid eyes on, and whose touch seems to give her poise she thought impossible—also seems to be sabotaging her progress. 

The last thing Cai Coppersmith needs is a distraction, especially in the form of the new, cute shy girl. He needs to focus on trying not to shape-shift into a tiger on school grounds, and completing his mission to keep Dani from winning the school’s high-wire competition. In fact, the entire safety of OZ is relying on Dani not succeeding. But there’s something about the girl that draws him in. She has magic, he can feel it. So he’ll do what he can to protect her, even if it means pushing her away. 

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Tawny Stokes

About Tawny Stokes:

Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

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Author Website: www.tawnystokesbooks.com

Author Twitter:  @Vivi_Tawny

Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Tawny-Stokes-Vivi-Anna-Author-202358929804134/

Author Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/vivi_tawny/

Author Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/866822.Tawny_Stokes


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