Happy May, friends! I’m not dead, I’ve just been insanely busy. I’m going to try to be better about posting, and I figured I’d start with a post about moms in YA lit, since, y’know, it’s coming on Mothers Day here in the US. We’ll focus mostly on spec fic, since that’s what I read and review.
SPOILERS FOR: Fairest (Marissa Meyer)
I just finished reading Fairest (volume 3.5 of the Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer , so let’s start with Horrible Moms.
From what I’ve seen, Horrible Moms in YA spec fic fit into the categories of Disinterested Moms and Cruel Moms. Somehow, Levana manages to be both.
Horrible Mom: Levana. Technically a stepmom but also a daughter.
Levana is a daughter only in the strictest sense of the word. She barely knew her mother. In one of the few descriptions of her, it says that she could rarely be bothered with her children. So, on a scale of 0, (“literally the worst mom in literature”) to 10 (“omg I want her to be real so she can be my mom”) I give her a 1.
As a stepmom, Levana is… um… ok, here come the spoilers. She tries to kill her niece, but she gets her stepdaughter out of the room so the stepdaughter won’t die also. So….. um… -6? The stepdaughter hates her from the beginning, cries whenever L. is around.
Similarly Horrible Moms:
- Ivy, from Fire and Hemlock by Diana Wynne Jones She’s mostly aware that she has a daughter, but she’s too busy fighting with her ex to care.
- Mina in Girls Made of Snow and Glass by Melissa Bashardoust. Basically the stepmother from Snow White, but more humanized. The author did an amazing job building her back story and I actually ended up liking her better than Lynet, the Snow White character.
I’m not going to go into all of the rewritten fairy tale stepmothers, but they’re a part of this category as well.
Great Moms in YA Lit?
So, guys, I’m having a problem. I can’t think of a really great mom in YA spec fic to write about. Do you think it’s because the kids of really great moms don’t have to go out into the world as teenagers and save everything?
I thought about the mom in Hunger Games, for example. She was sweet and did her daughters’ hair for the Reaping and everything, but she was kind of useless in terms of keeping the family afloat.
Thoughts? Do you know any great moms in YA lit that I’m missing? Comment below.