Who Would Win in a Young Adult Novel Battle Royale?

YA Heroines Battle RoyaleSummit/Lionsgate/Warner Bros/Summit

A new challenger appears! 

Just when The Hunger Games was getting comfortable at its place at the top of the young adult novel food chain, the Divergent series has come to give The Hunger Games a run for its money, and maybe become the new top dog in town. In Divergent, Shailene Woodley plays Tris, a teenaged member of a future version of Chicago that separates people into five factions based on their personalities, and as in all young adult novels, it’s up to her to save the world. So how does Tris stack up with heroines from other novels. We wondered what would happen if Hermione from Harry Potter, Katniss from the Hunger Games, Bella from Twilight, all got into a Hunger Games-style battle royale. So down goes the gauntlet. Which Young Adult novel heroine would win in an all out, knock-down, drag-out battle for book-to-film adaptation bragging rights?


The pesky know it all, and loyal companion to the boy who lived, Harry Potter.

Weapons: Magic wand, bottomless purse full of plot contrivances

Strengths: Hermione has the distinct advantage of knowing everything that has to do with everything. She can pull out a life-saving piece of knowledge, or the exact necessary magical gadget for any given situation faster than you can say “deus ex machina.” Also, she knows freakin’ magic which should, you know, help considerably.

Weaknesses: This is a fight after all and Hermione Granger is much more of an idea person than a fighter. Throughout the books and movies, we see her mostly on the sidelines of the action, while Ron and Harry do most of the fighting. She would easily outsmart any of the other combatants on the list, but if things come to fisticuffs (or, to be more precise, wandicuffs), she might be in a spot of trouble.

Grade: 7 out of 10. Hermione is like the Sun Tzu of this list. She dwarfs the rest of the field in terms of intellect and strategy, but she doesn’t have the killer instinct like the rest of the YA heroines. Magic is obviously a huge advantage, but we doubt she’d ever cast out an unforgivable curse if things get really dire.


Bella Swan is the love sick protagonist of The Twilight Series

Weapons: Vampire strength, extreme yearning, shiny skin

Strengths: In the latter half of the series, Bella is turned into a full-fledged vampire, and her transformation comes equipped with all the benefits that come with being a member of the undead: increased strength, super speed, sharp fangs, sparkly daytime tan. All the classic vampire powers are there. Honestly, it would be terribly difficult for any of the other fighters to best Bella Swan… well, except for one thing…

Weakness: Bella would be the top dog in this fight, if it she weren’t so darn distracted all the time. Seriously, she spends so much of her time hemming and hawing between Jacob and Edward, or just staring vacantly at things, she probably wouldn’t notice arrows being flung at her. It also doesn’t help that she’s easily entranced by shiny objects like Edward’s sparkly abs, disco balls, and jingling keys. She’s also constantly tripping or falling over everything so there’s that.

Grade: 6 out of 10. Given her super vampire powers, Bella would and should absolutely wreck her competition in the battle, but she spends so much of her time pre-transformation not doing much besides pining for her would be suitors. We don’t know how much of an actual fight she would put up if she really had to get her hands dirty.


Katniss Everdeen is the central character in the latest YA explosion The Hunger Games.

Weaponry: Bow and arrow, the country’s affection

Strengths: Katniss is an incredibly gifted archer who can sink an arrow into a dastardly career tribute at 500 paces. She also has a steely determination to do what’s right, and is wonderfully resourceful when push comes to shove, as it often does in her frequent brushes with death.

Weakness: For all of Katniss’ strengths in the arena, she isn’t the most sociable, or even likeable, person to be around. She has a pretty prickly personality, and even though her dispostition changes ithroughout the series, she’s never what we’d call charismatic. In addition, her pretend boyfriend Peeta is pretty useless, and she has to spend about half of Catching Fire making sure he didn’t die.

Grade: 9 out of 10. She probably couldn’t talk her way out of a sticky situation, but Katniss is a deadly fighter who will put you down in an instant if need be. This girl has a wicked killer instinct. If you want to defeat Katniss, focus your energy on Peeta. Give him an easy sudoku puzzle or a mildly difficult crossword, (basically anything not cake related) and he’ll find some way to put Katniss’ life in danger. She’ll be like putty in your hands.


The multifaceted heroine of the upcoming film Divergent.

Weapons: Knives, her hands, having more than one talent

Strengths: Being a member of Dauntless, the warrior class of future Chicago, Tris has received training in various types of weaponry, including throwing knives and guns, which makes her a adaptable fighter. She is also divergent, which allows her to control her fears in a way that the other YA heroines simply cant.

Weaknesses: Unlike the other combatants, Tris doesn’t seem to have any one debilitating weakness. She’s equal parts brave, intelligent, and selfless. Her boyfriend Four is infinitely more useful than Peeta (though he can’t bake, so score one for Peeta), and she doesn’t need to spend any time locked in a love triangle, since she only ever set her sights on one guy.

Grade: 8 out of 10. Tris’ main advantage is that her being such a well-rounded person. Her being “divergent” means she can adapt her personality to fit a number of situations. She’s not the strongest of the competitors, nor the weakest, but she’s darn capable and rests firmly in the middle of the pack


So after some brandishing of teeth, a couple nasty wingardium Leviosa’s, and a flurry of arrows, it looks like Katniss Everdeen has the advatage. She has the right mix of experience, training, and resourcefulness to topple some of the more supernaturally gifted participants in the battle. But this is just one opinion. Who do you think would win in the battle for book-to-film adaptation supremacy?