The very first heroine to be extolled for her admirable traits is Bella from The Shameless Hour, which is book four in The Ivy Years series, written by Sarina Bowen.
Why is she worthy of this honor?
Bella is a complete bad-ass. She owns on her sexuality and doesn’t care about the judgment of others. She chooses who and when she is going to sleep with people, and she firmly believes that just because a female likes to sleep with different people, just like men, doesn’t make her a slut. Her character is completely anti-slut shaming, which I love.
Why do I love her?
She is fantastic! Sarina Bowen has created a character who has a huge heart. She is kind to her friends and strangers alike, and her character is brimming with life. She exudes self-confidence and doesn’t apologize for who she is or what she wants. What really sealed the deal in regards to my admiration of this character is her fight. Bella is severely traumatized after a party at the football house on campus, and it forces her to withdraw. Through the help of Rafe, her love interest in the book, and Lianne, her friend from across the hall, Bella takes back her dignity and self-worth from those who stole it from her. She is a character who finds worth from within instead of from others.
- Her friendship with the hockey team
- Bella and Rafe’s one-night stand
- Running for the first time
- Getting her revenge
- Befriending Lianne
- Howler monkey sounds
- The hockey boys rallying around her
- Bella’s withdraw from her extrovert personality (I know this is weird, but I felt like her reaction really showed the effects of slut-shaming)
- Hockey skates
- Renegotiating Christmas gifts
If you have not read any of The Ivy Years series, this needs to be rectified as soon as possible. The men and women of these series are fantastic, and I devoured the whole series in days. Bella, however, endures extreme emotional turmoil, and her strength and ownership of who she is shines through to teach the reader the consequences of slut-shaming and the reward of being confident with who you are.