As many of you probably know by now I am competing in YA Sisterhood's YA Heroine Tournament and I could use YOUR help! I am Tessa's advocate (from Cassie Clare's "Infernal Devices" series) and for the next 24 hours Tessa is going head-to-head with Kaylee from Rachel Vincent's "Soul Screamers" series. I would appreciate it more than you could imagine if you could head over to YA Sisterhood's blog and vote for TESSA! You can follow me during the tournament at:
Tessa Gray, a sixteen year old American is sent to live with her brother in England after her guardian, her Aunt Harriet, passes away (both of Tessa's parents passed away when she was three years old). Upon arriving in England she learns that things are not what they seem- her life especially.
Her world is turned upside down when she is kidnapped and discovers that she has the ability to shapeshift. Upon being rescued from her kidnappers she befriends the London Institute's Shadowhunters including, but not limited to, Will, Jem, Charlotte, and Henry, alongside the Institute's staff including Thomas, Agatha, and Sophie.
Alongside the British Shadowhunter's Tessa attempts to thwart the Magister, a man hellbent on destroying the Shadowhunters through the use of clockwork creatures.
Tessa is by far one of the most genuine and modest female YA characters in my opinion, especially when it comes to her looks:
"Nate, with his fair good looks, was the one in the family generally agreed to have inherited her moth's beauty, but Tessa had always been perfectly content with her own smooth brown hair, and steady gray eyes. Jane Eyre had had brown hair, and plenty of other heroines besides. And it wasn't so bad being tall, either..." (Clockwork Angel, pg. 17)
She is inquisitive and open-minded. She loves to read just as much, if not not, than all of us and she can often be found quoting all of her favourite books:
"He didn't know what books meant to her, that books were symbols of truth and meaning..." (Clockwork Angel, pg. 97).She is by far one of Cassie's most unique and mysterious characters (In "Clockwork Angel" we are told that she appears to be a warlock, however her true identity- or a better approximation of her identity- is revealed in "Clockwork Prince").
She can outsnark even the snarkiest of characters, Will Herondale included:
"Perhaps she's a girl who's fallen madly in love with me and persists in following me wherever I go."Speaking of Will Herondale, she has two of the most swoon-worthy YA male characters vying for her attention (and she never lets that knowledge go to her head).
"My talent is shape-shifting, Will, not acting" (Clockwork Prince, pg. 87).
She takes everything in stride. Her clockwork angel pendant is one of the most kick-butt pieces of jewelry in the world of YA books (see "Clockwork Prince").
Let's pretend that the Dirty Sexy Balcony Scene is an attribute ;)
What Makes Tessa a True Heroine?
She is genuine and always remains true to her character. She is kind and has a big heart. She's still able to love those who aren't always worthy of being loved.
She is selfless beyond belief- she is willing to do the right thing even if it means hurting herself in the process. For instance, in the case of her brother:
"Nate was not like other people... He had a beautiful innocence about him that had to be protected at all costs. And Tessa had tried. She and her aunt had hidden Nate's own weaknesses from him, the consequences of his own flaws and failings. Never telling him of the work Aunt Harriet had had to do to make up the money he had lost gambling, of the taunts Tessa had endured from other children, calling her brother a drunk, a wastrel. They had hidden these things from him from being hurt" (pg. 352).
She doesn't look down upon anyone (ie. Sophie occupying a lower social status than herself, Jem being ill)- she gives everyone the benefit of the doubt without doing so in a naive way. She is brave and willing to do what she needs to do without complaint.
She is not dependent upon the males in her life. She doesn't play on the boy's feelings for her- manipulating them to do what she wants.
She is eager to learn about the new world that she is thrown into. She doesn't jump into things without any thought- she isn't careless, nor is she afraid to ask for help.
Why Should YOU Vote For Tessa Instead of Kaylee?
I know, I know, this is where I am supposed to convince you why Tessa is a better heroine than Tessa, but I am not going to. I cannot tell you how much it pains me to see these two girls go head-to-head- both Cassie Clare and Rachel Vincent have been my top favourite authors for years and I love both of these girls so much and I truly believe them to both be heroines and legitimate role models for young adults (especially young females).
If you really think about it, both girls have so much in common- both are selfless beyond belief (especially when dealing with the drug addicts in their lives), both haven't had the easiest of lives (losing loved ones and discovering that their lives have essentially been lies), both make those around them better people (case in point, the bad boys in their lives) and both are willing to put others well being before their own.
I think that you should vote for the female character who you believe to be the strongest heroine (and even if you vote for Kaylee, I will wholeheartedly support your decision)!
Anything You'd Like to Add?
For those of you who do intend to vote for Tessa I just wanted to let you know that Stuck in Books, Letters Inside Out, Cassie Claire, and myself (the girl's advocates) have some incentives for you. Find out all of the details HERE!