Mean Girls in Young Adult Fiction

There are people who would prefer that the stereotypical mean girl, who so often appears in young adult fiction, would go the way of the dodo bird.  But why?  Literature is sprinkled with femme fatale characters who use their beauty and charm to manipulate.  They lie and deceive.  They bring a certain magic to the story.  Like the femme fatale, the mean girl serves much the same purpose.

The teenage years are a time of growing and maturing.  It’s also the time when many teens are at their most vulnerable.  Having a mean girl allowed me to use her as a tool – one that could expose my main character’s insecurities.  Jenna is a typical teen.  She’s the new girl in school.  She’s dealing with all the baggage that comes with a move – finding her place in a new social environment while mourning the loss of the security of her former life and friends.  Mean Girl Melissa helped to propel Jenna’s story.  She made sure Jenna felt out of place.  She possessed a confidence that Jenna lacked.   Because of her, Jenna had to grow.  She had to become a young woman who knew her own self-worth. 

But what of the mean girl?  Why do we typically choose to describe her as popular and beautiful?   After all, we all know girls that are not only popular/beautiful but sweet and kind.  So why the stereotype?  There are a variety of reasons but one reason sticks out for me.  In our society, looks are valued; females tend to compare themselves to their peers.  Most people can relate to the girl who is all too aware of the pimple that blemishes her face or the hair that refuses to cooperate.  We know what it’s like to feel as though we don’t measure up.  The mean girl is beautiful because she has to be.  She’s the picture of perfection, a contrast to the main character’s self-perceived shortcomings.


Interview with D.S. McKnight, Author of Of Dreams and Shadow

The Children's and Teens' Book Connection

D.S. McKnightD.S. McKnight has enjoyed a varied career—from working as a radio DJ on a small AM station to serving as president and co-owner of a marina, until Hurricane Ophelia took aim at the Carolina coast.  Currently, she works at an insurance agency as well as hosting her blog – Novel Notions.  

It is her love of the North Carolina coast that fueled her desire to write.  Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (book 1) is her first novel.  

You can visit the author’s website at:

When did you begin writing?

I have been writing since I was a teenager – poems, lyrics to songs, and short stories –  words that were only seen by me.  When I reached my forties, I realized I had neglected myself.  My days were spent working, getting my children to and from practices and games, helping with homework, etc. …

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Book Tour!

Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (Book 1) is going on tour with 

Pump Up Your Book Tours.  

I’ll be visiting some really awesome blogs so stop by!

PUYB Tour Schedule A

Divider 9Monday, May 5

Guest Blogging at Bibliotica

Tuesday, May 6

Book Featured at Laurie’s Paranormal Thoughts and Reviews

Wednesday, May 7

Book Review at World of My Imagination

Thursday, May 8

Guest Blogging at Lori’s Reading Corner

Friday, May 9

Book Review at Pink Fluffy Hearts: Diary of a Coffee Addict

Monday, May 12

Book Review at Book Club Sisters

Tuesday, May 13

Book Review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Wednesday, May 14

Interview at The Children’s and Teens Book Connection

Book Featured at I Heart Reading

Monday, May 19

Book Review at Crazy Four Books

Thursday, May 22

Guest Blogging at CBY Book Club

Monday, May 26

Book Review at Emeraldfire’s Bookmark

Tuesday, May 27

Book Featured at Mom With a Kindle

Wednesday, May 28

Book Review at Queen of All She Reads

Friday, May 30

Book Review at Ashley’s Bookshelf

Book Review at Bound 4 Escape

Author K.C. Stewart

Busy – That’s probably the best word to describe K.C. Stewart. She is the author of The Hailey Holloway Series and I’m pleased to introduce her to you.


K.C. Stewart 


I thought writing a book would be the hard part. Oh was I ever wrong. The hard part is what comes after the words have been put on the page, and the edits have been made, and the betas have read, and the editor has said it’s crap. The hard part is when you’re holding a beautiful bundle of hard work and you have to package it with the right cover, format the hundreds of pages you just read over and over during the edits, and actually tell people that you wrote a book.


Out of everything the last part was hardest for me. Writing was my dirty little secret. Was being the operative word there. It was hard for me to talk about it with anyone other than my editor. But as time went on she told me I had to come out of the writer’s closet and great the world. I did so, reluctantly. I’ve since spread out my arms and yelled from the top of the social media mountain that I am an author. 


Now that we have gotten that out of the way let me tell you a little about myself. I’ve lived in the same small Pennsylvania town all my life. I did take a shot at city living during college, but Philadelphia and I never really got along in the long run. I’m more of a rural girl than an urban one. I went to school for photography, ignoring all of those “job prospects are low” and “maybe you want to have a backup just in case…” from teachers and guidance counselors in high school. To be fair, I had absolutely no idea what I wanted to do back then. However, if my 18 year old self could see me now I’m sure she’d call me a nerd and question my sanity. (You read? Pffft. Freak.)


The best part about being a photographer is it introduced me to the world of books. In the winter, the studio is all but dead. It was suggested I bring a book to read. I ended up reading through them faster than I could buy them. It was a life changer. Then I got my first nook. Mind. Blown. Who knew I could read so fast? Reading became my escape from the world. I ditched my cable and invested in a big fuzzy blanket and a cat…or three.


I didn’t start writing until I was invited into the super secret world of Facebook Role Play. Ok, so it’s not so super secret if you know where to find it. But I had no idea that part of Facebook existed. I was positive that I couldn’t string along a sentence, let alone a scene, and I was right. My first few months of RP were shameful. I would not wish my early writing upon my nemesis. But like most things, the more I wrote the better I got. (You were right piano teacher whose name I don’t remember. Practice does make perfect.) Soon writing as an already developed character wasn’t enough. So I made my own. Then writing scenes just wasn’t doing it for me anymore. So I wrote longer, more in-depth scenes, which turned into chapters and into a book.


Now I’m going to be honest with all of you. I never thought I’d finish it. I started it and it kinda just sat there for a few months. In that time I decided that my life needed a change. You know when they say it’s not too late to go back to school. Well, they are right. I was accepted into Clarion University’s online Library Science program. Apparently working full-time and being a full-time student wasn’t enough for me. So I opened back up that word document and began to seriously write my manuscript.


And it flowed.


And it was beautiful.


Now I’m writing a series while taking classes and working. Somehow it all fits together in a complicated puzzle, even if some of those pieces are held together with gum and duct tape.



Copywriter by day, nerd by night, Hailey Holloway is living the post college dream. Her life may not be flashy and exciting but it’s enough for her. After a late night at work, Hailey stumbles upon two dragons brawling in the middle of Philadelphia. In an act of kindness and lapse of sanity, she comforts the dragon who was left behind to die. In doing so she inadvertently invited the soul of Dacea into herself for safe keeping. Hailey just wants to live her life as simply and quietly as possible but with the voice of a disembodied dragon in her head, she has little hope of achieving her goal.

Dacea will do anything to be free of Hailey, a human who is moments from checking herself into a psychiatric ward. He is grateful to be alive, but at what cost to his sanity? The dragon world is in upheaval. Green is at war with Red, and he is of no use to anyone while stuck with Hailey.

The solution to their problem is not without its risks. But just how far will Hailey go to be free of the dragon? 


Spark Excerpt:                      Image


Hailey sat up in her bed and gasped for air. With its blaring alarm, her bedside clock announced that it was time to wake up. She hit the off button and because she couldn’t shake the dream she had been having, Hailey held out her arms and checked for any red marks, but she found only her porcelain skin. “Ugh.” She groaned as she rested her head in her palm. It had just been a horrible dream; one she had been having on a nightly basis. There was no fire, no smoke, and no dragons. “That’s the last time I eat Mexican before bed.”

“Not this again.” A deep voice grumbled in her head.

Hailey squeezed her eyes shut. “I will not talk to the voice in my head. It is not real.” She repeated her recently acquired mantra, punctuating each word.

“Every morning it is the same thing. Hailey, you need to get over this already.” He sounded frustrated, not that she cared. The voice had been with her ever since the unfortunate event in the nearby park three weeks prior. “The sooner you accept what has happened, the sooner we can figure out how to fix it.”

“LA LA LA LA LA.” Hands covered her ears as she crawled out of bed. “I can’t hear you.”

He sighed in her head. “Why don’t you believe what is right in front of you?” 

Because what was right in front of her was a crazy person who had voices in her head, she answered mentally. Hailey turned on the shower, set in her ways of ignoring him. She dropped her shirt on the floor but quickly covered her breasts with her arms.

“Crap. Close your eyes.”

“Excuse me?”

“I said, close your eyes. I need to shower.”

“You are infuriating.” He bit out.

“Nonsense, I am delightful. You on the other hand have no manners. I need to shower and don’t want you to watch.” She shifted uncomfortably, unsure where she should look when she spoke to him.

“It’s nothing I haven’t seen before. In fact a little peek is the least you can do for the headaches you’ve caused me.”

“Headaches I’ve caused you? What about me Mister! Do you think I want to hear your critique of absolutely everything I do, have done, or will do in the future? Just close your eyes and leave me be.”

A moment of silence passed before he grunted out “fine.”

“Are your eyes closed?”


“How do I know that? You could just say they are but really be watching me shower like a creeper.” Hailey shuffled her weight back and forth as the cool air chilled her bottom.

“I guess you will just have to trust me.” He said amused. 


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