Penna from Rebel by Rebecca Yarros
Rebel is one of my absolute favorite heroines ever!! EVER! She is everything I would want in a role model for my own daughters. Rebel is fierce and a badass athlete, dominating a male-centric sport. She works hard for her role on this world and never backs down from a challenge. She is passionate and goes after what she wants with abandon. Penelope is intelligent, loyal, and kind. She has a huge heart that wants to heal and forgive, and she works tirelessly to get back the parts of herself that she has lost. Rebel and Penelope make up who Penna is. These two different names represent the strength and vulnerability readers find in her character, and I found that I admired every single courageous part of her. There is not one aspect of her that I disliked, and there must be more Rebels not only in books but the world.
Rebel’s Letter to All the Girls (Written by Rebecca Yarros):
To the Girls—
To the girl who thinks she can’t, just because she’s a girl…
You can get dirty.
You can kick the football.
You can fly the fighter jet, join the army, go to law school, swim with sharks, or ride motocross in the X-Games.
To the girl who thinks she can’t break the gender barrier…
You have to.
Because every time we crush the wall that divides the pink from the blue, as if that has any bearing on who we are as individuals, we pave the way for the girls who come after us.
To the girl who wants to embrace her femininity…
You can play with the dolls.
You can bake the cakes.
You can have a tea party with all of your friends, real and imaginary.
You can wear the dresses, the pretty shoes, the bows—all of it.
I personally love high heels.
That doesn’t make you any less of a badass.
There is no “right way,” to be a girl.
You can also wear those same pretty dresses on a dirt bike—If you want to.
Be whatever you want, and be it for yourself.
That’s the thing about being a girl. None of us are exactly alike, and each of us are capable of achieving our wildest dreams, no matter if it’s to win the baking competition, or an X-Games medal.
To do that, we need only two things:
Faith in ourselves and faith in each other.
When we break the gender barriers, when we stand on the podium in a male-dominated sport, or take the political reigns in a male-dominated world, we show the next generation that it’s not just possible for women to stand as equals: it will become the norm.
When we respect and encourage the dreams of other women without judgment, bias, or jealousy, we crush the box others think defines us. We break the rules we never agreed to play by. We see each other not as sporty, or sweet, or girly, but as strong, individual women.
Women who can accomplish anything.
Voice your dreams.
Scream them to farthest corners of the world.
Give them life.
Give them your sweat, your tears, your time.
Don’t be ashamed if they don’t fit what others have assumed—the assumption isn’t your error—it’s theirs.
Peel off the sticker they labeled you with at birth, and define yourself.
It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks, anyways.
Take the step, break the walls down.
If not for you, then for your daughter, your sister, your mother, or the little girl staring up that night sky, whispering her dreams in the quiet of her own heart.
Be her voice, too.
To the girls who think you can’t, just because you’re a girl…
You can. You will. Not in spite of being a girl.
But because you are one.
And girls rule.
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She’s Penna Carstairs.
The Renegade they call Rebel.
FMX-treme Magazine’s sexiest female athlete of the year.
There’s no rule in extreme sports she hasn’t broken,
No gender barrier she hasn’t demolished.
She’s the woman I met in a bar in Vegas.
The woman I illegally BASE jumped for.
The woman I spent one insane, incredible night with.
But now I’m screwed.
Or rather…not screwed.
Because the woman I can’t get out of my head is the one woman I can never touch again.
I’m Dr. Cruz Delgado—the youngest professor on this campus,
And Penelope Carstairs just walked into my class.
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About REBECCA YARROS
Rebecca Yarros is a hopeless romantic and a lover of all things coffee, chocolate, and Paleo. She is the author of the Flight & Glory, Renegades, and Legacy series. She loves military heroes, and has been blissfully married to hers for fifteen years.
When she’s not writing, she’s tying hockey skates for her four sons, sneaking in some guitar time, or watching brat-pack movies with her two daughters. She lives in Colorado with the hottest Apache pilot ever, their rambunctious gaggle of kids, an English bulldog who is more stubborn than sweet, and a tortoise who might be faster than the bulldog. They recently adopted their youngest daughter from the foster system, and Rebecca is passionate about helping others do the same.
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