How do I combine a discussion on "bad" girls in YA lit with one on The Vampire Diaries? Well, by discussing why I love vampire Elena from season 4. (Side note: obviously there are spoilers from season 4. Sorry about the title - couldn't think of another non-spoiler one that was as effective.)
One of my pet peeves about season 4 in The Vampire Diaries was the emphasis on curing Elena of vampirism. Even in the beginning--before she'd turned off her emotions, before she'd killed a bunch of people, they still wanted to cure her. I might understand why Stefan had wanted that when Elena couldn't keep blood down, but I didn't understand why their insistence on the cure continued after it was shown that she *could* drink blood. And I didn't understand why that bothered me until both Damon and Stefan had jumped the wagon and decided that they wanted to give Elena the cure. Until Elena became Vampire Elena, Elena-Without-Emotions.
Vampire Elena isn't strictly a "bad" girl. She's also got the qualities of a kick-ass sort of heroine who has her own powers and an ability to take care of herself regardless of the cost. And yet the others treat her as if that's not true, as if she's become something that must be changed. Because she was pure, innocent Elena before and only that version was acceptable? Because both guys were looking to her for their salvation when no girl could provide that? Is that the societal constraint of "bad" girls? That ultimately others want to fix them, mold them back into non rule breaking forms?
Here's to hoping that Vampire Elena has at least another season.
Were you a fan of Vampire Elena? What did you make of the cure hooplah from season 4? If not Vampire Elena, who else makes your list of great "bad" girls in YA lit? What do you consider a "bad" girl, and if the "badness" similar to that which defines "bad" boys?