Superpowers, Trauma, and Best Friends: Books for When You’ve Finished Season 1 of Jessica Jones

When I was five, I went as Batgirl for Halloween. Not Batman–Batgirl. As a redheaded ass-kicker, she was the ideal superhero for Kindergarten Annie. Unfortunately, the store only sold Batman costumes, so that’s what I wore, even though it obviously wasn’t the same costume.

I’m still a big fan of female superheroes. (Seriously, Buffy was a major part of my middle/high school experience.) So of course I binge-watched the recent Jessica Jones series, and there was a lot to love–female ass-kicking superhero, lots of action and mystery, and also a fascinating look at trauma and recovery and a fantastic central female friendship.

Of course, all of that reminded me of the amazing YA novels I would recommend as follow-ups to fans of Jessica Jones. Here are a few titles to add to your reading list in your post-binge-watch life:

If you liked Jessica Jones for its depiction of trauma/abuse survivors:

  • Fault Line by Christa Desir: I kept thinking, “Wait, is Christa on the JJ writing staff?” Her debut novel is a powerful take on sexual assault, survival, and anger.
  • All the Rage by Courtney Summers: also about sexual assault, a great look at the idea of who ‘deserves’ to be saved.
  • And We Stay by Jenny Hubbard: quiet but compelling story about surviving a relationship turned abusive, with some excellent poetry.
  • Far From You by Tess Sharpe: with their losses, addictions, sharp wit, and detective skills, I think Jessica and Sophie would get along really well.
  • Pointe by Brandy Colbert: Theo reminds me a little of Malcolm–dealing with abuse and self-harm, and I want to give both of them big hugs.
  • Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein: Rose and the Rabbits survive Nazi medical experimentation in a concentration camp; a very intense story of trauma and survival.
  • Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen: Scarlet carries a lot of guilt associated with her previous abuse/loss.
  • Monstrous by MarcyKate Connolly: fantasy, but the theme of being used as a weapon in an abusive relationship is powerful here.

If you liked Jessica Jones for its strong female friendships:

  • Behind the Scenes by Dahlia Adler: Ally and Vanessa have been best friends forever, and Vanessa’s a real celebrity–this is totally Jessica and Trish!
  • Dumplin’ by Julie Murphy: Willowdean and Ellen’s friendship goes through some rocky patches as they grow up, but they always have each other’s backs.
  • Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: without other family support, these are sisters who would do anything for each other.
  • Open Road Summer by Emery Lord: another famous/not-famous pair, Reagan and Lilah’s friendship is so similar to Jessica/Trish’s in its strength between two seemingly very different people.
  • Lumberjanes by Noelle Stevenson, Grace Ellis, Brooke A. Allen, Maarta Laiho: friendship to the max, indeed, even when facing some seriously weird supernatural stuff.
  • Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: even thinking about Julie and Maddie’s friendship guts me.

If you liked Jessica Jones for its irreverent girls with super powers:

  • Croak by Gina Damico: Lex and Jessica would totally hang out in the reaper cafeteria.
  • Daughter of Smoke & Bone by Laini Taylor: a supernatural world lurking behind a contemporary urban setting, with great quips from Karou and questions of whose side is ‘good.’
  • Hexed by Michelle Krys: lots of narrative twists and turns, and no one in Indie’s life is safe.
  • Sekret by Lindsay Smith: even as a psychic spy in the Cold War, Yulia struggles against government control and to understand her own abilities.

Any other reading suggestions for post-Jessica Jones life? Share them in the comments!

Links Galore

All the links I’ve been hoarding:

Quote of the Day

Daniel Tiger. Photo by Greg Dunlap from Stockholm, Sweden
via Wikicommons

If you could only sense how important you are to the lives of those you meet; how important you can be to the people you may never even dream of. There is something of yourself that you leave at every meeting with another person.”–Fred Rogers

It’s been a tough month for a lot of wonderful people I know, so I wanted to share this fantastic quote by one of the all-time best people. No matter what you’re going through right now, remember that you matter to so many other people.

More about Mister Rogers here.

Links Galore

Lots of good links to start the week:

TLT’s Doctor Who Week and How I Learned to Unabashedly Love Sci-Fi

Today I’m over at Teen Librarian Toolbox as part of Doctor Who Week, talking about how Doctor Who helped me finally admit that I’m a sci-fi fan. In very short, my thoughts on sci-fi before Who:

My thoughts on sci-fi after Who:

Click through for the full post, which has more explanation about genre and feelings, and also gifs! Make sure to check out the other posts in Doctor Who Week, too, and keep an eye out for my second post at TLT (coming on Friday).

Links Galore

Lots of link-y goodness:

Friday Fifteen

Happy November, everyone! What better way to start the month off than with a few book reviews in fifteen words or fewer?

1. The Tales of Beedle the Bard by J.K. Rowling
A fun read in companion with Harry Potter 7. “The Tale of the Three Brothers” especially feels like a real folktale.

2. Both Sides Of Time by Caroline B. Cooney
Romance and time travel in Victorian New York. Reread this a lot as a kid.

3. The Sunnydale High Yearbook by Christopher Golden and Nancy Holder
Season 3 was the best, and I was totally the target audience.

4. A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man by James Joyce
Can see why it was so influential, but never connected to Stephen Dedalus.

5. Where’s Waldo? by Martin Handford
In a world where red-striped shirts rule, one man stands alone…in a huge crowd.