Recently I finished a particularly disappointing YA trilogy, and I’ve found myself becoming increasingly put-off by female heroines.
I don’t like to throw my read list around, but I gotta say I’ve read a lot of books. My current read status is around 500. Now, I’m not saying this to brag, I’m a humble person after-all (hehe), I mention this because out of the broad, diverse novels that I’ve read I have only around a dozen female heroines that possessed some serious moxie.
Personally, I relish a strong willed, badass heroine that doesn’t take shit from anyone and keeps rolling with the punches life, people, and circumstances throws her way. I enjoy that spitfire passion that a female heroine brings to the table, however a lot of authors don’t tend to make those female characters, and after reading Nicole Collet’s post Heroines in romance novels I realized that I needed to make a post about the problems with YA heroines, that can usually be divided into three groups:
The Whiner – This is the female character that cannot give up complaining about her life and why events occurred in the manner they have. They usually have the woe is me type attitude that is like acid in the eyes. She feels sorry for herself and behaves like her thoughts and feelings are unparalleled, but in all reality most people have it harder.
The Love Struck/Sick One – Ugh. I think I hate this more than any other. This is the female character that cannot function, survive, or exist without a male character. She’s basically just so love-struck that she abandons all rational thoughts or actions from her brain in order to be with the hero. Basically, these characters are pathetic and grate my nerves like Gouda cheese! Instead of focusing on oh I don’t know, surviving, saving the world, or whatever it is her character is supposed to be doing, she’s crying, chasing or falling all over some boy. She puts women so far backwards.
The Denier – This is the young woman that refuses to believe what’s right in front of her. The “I don’t believe you’re an alien, although you just took me on a spaceship and now I’m on planet Xenon,” type of chick. Or she refuses to believe that she’s the key to end suffering, a war, extinction, etc. Nope, this is the girl that has been told, shown, and explained to thousands of times but she’s still like:
It’s obvious, imo, that these authors really need to step it up! I’m tired of rolling my eyes every other page because of some stupid bull shiitake the heroine did, is about to do, or said since it’s absolutely bonkers.
But you tell me, what’s the problem with these female protagonists?!
Seeing as there are thousands and thousands of classical novels out there, it seems quite a shame to never open yourself up and experience the words and worlds of authors long since past. They showcase authenticity of historical times and allow for a closer view of ideas, ideals and thoughts first hand, from your favorite time periods (if they’re historical, of course). But sometimes undertaking these novels can be an extremely exhausting process, with the small, close spaced words and lack of sufficient dialogue that we’ve become accustomed to in our time. So, what does that mean, should we just not read them – or read and not comprehend what the writer is trying to delegate to us in words? The answer to both is *drumroll* no, because there’s another option.
Reading and listening.
Audio books were something I just couldn’t get into. I’m a severely visual person and listening to someone else read a book to me just wasn’t my thing. I love the ability to highlight, the act of holding a book and turning the pages to see my progression. These are the attributes that makes physical books so intriguing and everlastingly beautiful to book addicts, worms, and lovers alike. However, when it came to certain classical novels I just could never get into it enough to finish and it just became a permanent ornamentation of my bookshelf (aka. the pantry). So I just gave up on them, until saw an audio book on amazon and couldn’t stop listening to it!
Personally, I enjoyed reading along while the narrator…narrated the novel. I got through it so fast and understood everything – it truly was amazing. You can check out a little excerpt from the novel War and Peace here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPAlSuzRHM4&index=6&list=LL0DEPTaiGqEMy8wl5k8g1Vw
You can find free audio books on YouTube, phone apps, Audible or the new kindle and listening option. Now, of course there are many classical novels I don’t have to do this with but for the difficult ones this was a wonderful solution. Also try not to limit yourself solely to classical novels, branch out if you enjoy audio books. I hope this post finds you well and you start “reading” more classical novels.
In the spirit of Halloween I couldn’t possibly let a new novel by Stephen King slip through my fingers! Who’s Stephen King you ask? Ummmm…He’s only the King of Horror novels that’s written over 50 novels and 100 short stories, not to mention having over over 30 of said books being turned into movies like this:
and of course this:
So, yeah any book that he writes is worth reading and since Halloween is coming up it’s the perfect gift to scare yourself!
The next short story collection containing many of the previously published but hard-to-find short stories published since Just After Sunset.
1. Mile 81 – Scribner e.
2. Premium Harmony – 2009 New Yorker
3. Batman and Robin Have an Altercation – Harpers 2012
4. The Dune – Granta 2011
5. Bad Little Kid – New; Serial
6. A Death
7. The Bone Church – poem
8. Morality – Esquire 2009
9. Afterlife – Tin House 2013
10. Ur – 2009 Amazon e.
11. Herman Wouk is Still Alive – The Atlantic 2011
12. Under the Weather – Mass Market FDNS
13. Blockade Billy – Scribner e.
14. Mister Yummy – New; Serial
15. Tommy – Playboy poetry
16. The Little Green God of Agony – A Book of Horrors 2011
17. That Bus is Another World – Esquire
18. Obits – New; Serial
19. Drunken Fireworks
20. Summer Thunder – Cemetery Dance 2013