Margot McGovern


Image Credit: Ron Langman

In our first interview of season two, (and the launch of a new special series!) we sat down with author Margot McGovern to chat all things YA: from the emergence of ‘unlikable’ female protagonists (and why they’re so irresistible) to the power of transforming myths of masculine adventure for girls, we delved deep into the gender dynamics of the world’s fastest growing literary genre.

In Neverland, Margot’s own feisty and – let’s be honest – bratty heroine Kit must navigate her return to her island home-turned-boarding school and its troubled teenage inhabitants, the depths of lust and attraction, not to mention the treacherous waters of her family’s tragic past and her own history of self-harm. We like our heroines complicated, and Kit Learmonth doesn’t disappoint, so grab yourself a map and join us for our first dive into the waters of YA.

For more reading:

Jacobson, Megan, ‘In defence of ‘unlikeable’ female characters’, 5 February 2018, 

Robinson, Natasha, ‘Getting boys to love literature and reading: One school’s bid to improve English results’, 16 November 2017, 

Wilkinson, Lili, ‘Won’t Someone Think of the Boys’, 28 November 2017, 

Danielle Binks’ Twitter thread re: ‘unlikable’ female protagonists: 

And here’s some of Margot’s fave ‘complicated’ female #LoveOzYA protagonists!

Ellie Linton – Tomorrow Series by John Marsden (1993)

Louie – All My Dangerous Friends by Sonya Hartnett (1998)

Lou Connor – How the Light Gets In by M J Hyland (2003)

Taylor Markham – On the Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta (2006)

Sophie Fitzosborne – A Brief History of Montmaray  (2008)

Riley Rose – Everything Beautiful by Simmone Howell (2009)

Isola Wilde – Fairytales for Wilde Girls by Allyse Near (2013)

Frankie – Frankie by Shivaun Plozza (2016)

Clem, Kate and Addy – Take Three Girls by Cath Crowley, Simmone Howell and Fiona Wood (2017)

Adelaide – Untidy Towns by Kate O’Donnell (2017)

Grace Folley – Ballad for a Mad Girl by Vikki Wakefield (2017)

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