Literary Characters Who Got Revenge Living Their Best Life

Posted by Danielle Mohlman

(source: ABC)

When Arie aka the worst Bachelor to ever grace our television screens proposed to and then broke up with Becca in the season finale, it took everything in our power not to destroy our TVs and call the medium completely dead. After remembering that there’s a lot of amazing television out there and that Arie’s season was a devastating blow to an otherwise successful franchise, we turned our thoughts to the literary. As Becca Kufrin takes on the role of Bachelorette, she’s showing us that sometimes the best revenge is living your best life. Here are our favorite literary heroines who live by the same dictum – if not a little more revenge-y.


Tina Fontana in The Assistants by Camille Perri

When an accounting error in her boss’ expense report comes out in her favor, Tina Fontana’s first thought is to correct the mistake and move forward. But then she thinks about everything she’s done for Titan Corporation – the years of making dinner reservations at restaurants she’ll never set foot in, the bottles of wine she’s poured at meetings that cost more than her rent, all the rules she’s followed. And for what? So, when Tina pays off her student loan debt with the expense report error and gets away with it, she starts thinking bigger and bigger until she’s someone she no longer recognizes. But this new revenge-seeking Tina is ballsy and debt-free. And she kind of likes who she’s become.


Xiomara in The Poet X by Elizabeth Acevedo

When Xiomara’s ultra-strict mother finds her poetry notebook and the not safe for church poems within, she destroys the writing and pages with more inferno than an actual burning fire. After a lot of anger and despair on Xiomara’s part – totally understandable, considering all of her creative work was just destroyed – she rebuilds herself and gets revenge the best way she knows how: by creating even more poetry and performing it in the high school poetry slam competition. It’s a creative high point, one she gets to share with everyone around her. And when her mother comes around, that reconciliation is even sweeter than could ever be imagined.


Mel in The Animators by Kayla Rae Whitaker

When Mel’s mother doesn’t give her a stable childhood, she doesn’t lash out. She turns her life into art, painstakingly animating her life frame by frame in her brash and unapologetic way. It’s a choice that rewards her with work, grants, and awards – not to mention an inseparable working relationship with her partner in crime Sharon Kisses. (Yes, that’s her real name. Yes, she hates it.) But it’s also a choice that results in a non-relationship with her mother later in life. But as far as Mel is concerned, great art is the best revenge.


Allie in The Power by Naomi Alderman

When Allie’s foster father rapes her as her foster mother cooks dinner downstairs, the only thing she wants to do is run. But when she discovers her power to electrocute with just a touch, she decides to harness it – not just against the men who wrong her, but men worldwide. She creates a new religion, gathering powerful followers in her wake. She’s out for blood, sure. But she’s also out to ignite the power within young women worldwide.


S in Woman No. 17 by Edan Lepucki

In an effort to emulate and simultaneously make commentary on her mother, Esther (or S for short) decides to mimic her mom’s life choices – down to the profession she held in her 20s (nanny) and her drinking habits (increasingly reckless). Before she knows it, she’s not taking revenge on her mother’s entire existence. She’s taking revenge on the world of contemporary art itself. She is an art project.