May 24, 2014

YA Heroines and Disney Princesses

So, as y'all know, I'm a big Disney fan, especially of the princesses and their movies. (And at this point, you're all probably saying, "Why, Emma, I had no idea!") And one Friday night in April when I watched Frozen and Tangled back to back, I started thinking about YA heroines that remind me of the different Disney princesses. 

Snow White
  • Sky from Searching for Sky.  Both are thrown into new environments and find new families.  Also, I found both Sky and Snow to be a bit naive (which isn't entirely a bad thing).
  • Lara Jean from To All the Boys I've Loved Before.  The romance in TAtBILB is quite different from Snow White's romance, but both are essentially love stories at their core.  Also, I found both Snow and Lara Jean to be inherently kind and goodhearted.

  • Juliette from the Shatter Me trilogy.  I personally feel Shatter Me is a Cinderella story (except less about a prince falling for a humble servant girl).  And if you've seen Cinderella's later movies, there's a good deal of character development and growth that proves she's not as weak as some people think.
  • Miri from Princess Academy.  Princess Academy is definitely a Cinderella story where the prince will pick his bride from all the girls in the land at a ball.  I do think Miri and Cinderella shared certain character qualities, too - hard-working, clever, intelligent, hopeful, and determined.

Aurora/Briar Rose
  • America from The Selection trilogy.  Aurora was definitely a hard princess to find a match for because, unfortunately, she's only in about 18 minutes of her film.  However, I chose America because both girls are musical (Aurora has a beautiful voice, and America plays many instruments).

  • Cress from Cress.  Both heroines long for a different world, which they end up in.  They also fall head-over-heels for a guy.  Plus, they're both kind of known for their hair.

  • Cammie from Gallagher Girls.  I recognize a lot of Belle's spirit in Cammie, at least at the beginning of the series.  They're both smart, brave, caring heroines.
  • Lady Ada Averley from the At Somerton trilogy.  Ada loves books and learning just as much as Belle.  Also, both want more than just a comfortable marriage.  They want adventure (albeit in different ways - Ada wants to go to college, and Belle wants an adventure, which she gets).
  • Gigi from Smart Girls Get What They Want.  A bit of an outcast - or at least ignored - Gigi, has the same smarts as Belle.  She also depends on her friends and realizes appearances aren't always what they seem.

  • June from Legend.  I had trouble finding a match for Jasmine, but a friend's brother helped me out.  He recommended June, since she's quick-witted and independent - definitely qualities Jasmine possesses!

  • Kestrel from The Winner's Curse.  One of the main connections I found between Kestrel and Pocahontas was the whole star-crossed lovers thing.  John Smith and Pocahontas couldn't be together, and things didn't look good for Kestrel and Arin.  Also, Kestrel wants to save her people, although she is intrigued by and kind to the Herrani.  Bonus: Grandmother Willow is a mother figure to Pocahontas like Kestrel's nurse was to her.

  • Scarlet from Scarlet.  I could list any number of stories where the heroine disguises herself as a boy, but I'll stick with one of my favorites: Scarlet by A.C. Gaughen.  Of course, Scarlet's and Mulan's reasons are very different, but I still see similarities, particularly since they're both brave, loyal young women.

  • Caymen from The Distance Between Us.  Caymen and Tiana are both hardworking girls who care about their mothers.  They are sassy and both fall for boys who are "out of their league" (one being the heir to a hotel empire, and the other being a prince).

  • Lucy from The Geography of You and Me.  It's pretty hard to match Rapunzel's personality, but I felt both she and Lucy had a longing to travel and they were both pretty alone when they were young (Lucy mainly had her brothers while Rapunzel only had Pascal).

  • Ismae from Grave Mercy.  Any girl who can kick butt and has a crossbow on her book cover would probably be a good friend of Merida's.  They'd bond over weapons, poisons, and annoying boys/men.

  • Eva from Relic.  Both girls had one sibling, whom they loved dearly but lost (Eva's brother died, while Elsa runs away).  Then both heroines go on an adventure of sorts to either live up to their brother's name or find their sister.  Bonus: Eva's world reminds me of the Inuit and Sami cultures, the latter of which had influence on the creation of Frozen.

  • Cath from Fangirl.  Both have sisters?  Check.  Both are a bit shy and introverted? Check. (Although Elsa is a bit more extroverted once she's back in Arendelle.) Both have social anxiety?  Check.  Both break out of their shells to some extent?  Check.

So there you have it.  Disney princesses and some YA heroines that are similar to them.  I'd love to see more heroines like Jasmine, Snow White, and Aurora, though.  They don't all need to be like Mulan, Belle, and Merida.


  1. Half these books I haven't read, so I can't say how good of a match they are or aren't. #shame Of the ones I am familiar with, I think I like your picks. Though I'm not sure I agree with Aurora -> America.

  2. This is such a great idea for a post! I agree with a lot of these choices, I think Katniss from The Hunger Games would be a cross between Merida or Mulan. Merida because they're both archers forced to meet conventions that they don't want to meet, and Mulan because Mulan and Katniss both volunteer themselves in place of a beloved member of family! These are great comparisons, really well thought out :)

    Katrina @ Chased By My Imagination

    1. Yes! I definitely think you're right. :)


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