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Genderflipping Our Fave YA Series

Genderflipping Our Fave YA Series

We love J.R.R. Tolkien as much as the next gal, but you can't deny: Middle Earth, for all its forests and dragons and magic and wizards, is also kind of a sausage fest. But for a few stray elves and the occasional woman warrior, pretty much every character in Tolkien's fantasies is a guy — and that's especially true in The Hobbit, in which the quest to retrieve the Arkenstone from beneath the Lonely Mountain is basically a nonstop bro-cation, except dangerous, and with dwarves.

Which is fine, of course. A little alienating, maybe, but not that big of a deal (although we appreciate Peter Jackson inviting some female characters into the plot). But here's a solution we never thought of: what if you just genderflipped Bilbo Baggins, and made him a lady hobbit?

It might sound crazy, but one adventurous citizen of the Internet gave it a try (upon request) while reading the book to her daughter. And get this: it totally works. Turns out, Bilbo is just as cool a hero when he's, well, a she. Which got us thinking! Because hey, what if the main characters in some of our favorite YA books underwent spontaneous sex changes? Would the books still work? Would they get better? Or would things get weird? LET'S FIND OUT.

I Hunt Killers
Barry Lyga's series about the son of a serial killer is a blast to read—but if protagonist Jasper Dent became Jasmine Dent, the books' dark edges and twisty mysteries wouldn't be any less thrilling.

Gallagher Girls series
We love Ally Carter's series about a prestigious spy school full of bright young women—but genderflip it, and you basically get a whole bunch of Agent Cody Bankses in training. Which sounds pretty fun, you've gotta admit.

Divergent series
Tris's transformation from a doubtful Abnegation member to a fearless leader in Dauntless is compelling in part because of the way it bucks certain gender stereotypes. Would Tris make as interesting a hero if she were a guy, instead of a girl?

Hush, Hush
This romantic fantasy series about a girl who falls for a fallen angel can feel a little bit tired, just because there are sooo many supernatural love stories already out there. But if the angel, Patch, was a she instead of a he, things could get very interesting.

And on a similar note, we didn't exactly love Stephenie Meyer's vampire romance the first time around. But turn Bella Swan into Bernard Swan, an awkward, clumsy, quiet guy who's right at the center of a big, bold, homoerotic love triangle between psychic vampire Edward Cullen and shirtless werewolf Jacob Black, and…well, let's be honest, we'd read that in a hot second. And then, we'd read it again.

Which book or series would you like to see genderflipped?

Topics: Books
Tags: books, gender, ya novels, fictional characters, the hobbit, good ideas

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About the Author

Kat Rosenfield is a writer, illustrator, advice columnist, YA author, and enthusiastic licker of that plastic liner that comes inside a box of Cheez-Its. She loves zombies and cats. She hates zombie cats. Follow her on Twitter or Tumblr @katrosenfield.

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