Friday, June 3, 2011

My Type of Heroine, and an Introduction to Your Next Read

She has to be:

Not always seventeen years old, a slender pale brunette with a hideous taste in cars and a preference for flannel shirts and jeans - and "falsely" modest. (Not to name names, but...certain characters boast a lot more than their authors think they do.)



It's perfectly alright for her to have both parents. Or, if she needs to have just one, please, please, PLEASE don't off the mother. If her death is absolutely necessary, then for the love of Heaven don't make it one of those cliche Disney "Mother, where are you?" moments. That has been too overdone, not to mention just sickening.

She doesn't have to be emotionally/economically/medically dependent on her love interest slash sparkly vampire and/or hairy guy passing off as a canine. If there is a love interest, it is much more fascinating and worthy to her character if sometimes she could do a fair enough job of saving HIM from himself.

Family morals aren't completely out of vogue. Just saying. The end of the story should end on a positive note, like the heroine discovering the cure for cancer or watching her crippled father take his first step. The plot isn't "a happy ending" simply because the girl and her fling are living in sin on some college campus in Anywhere, USA.

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Okay, so I might be a little too harsh, but seriously, what has happened to American authors and their originality? It seems like every next title being churned out involves some aspect of the paranormal, a weak, whining heroine who can barely tie her shoes by herself and has to be rescued by some pale, dark-eyed werebat or bloodsucking mosquito with the ability to glow in the dark from a mysterious society we only hear mentioned on page 230. 

This is another reason why I'm becoming so choosy about my reading material - especially after that whole Castle Cant fiasco last month. Even children's material this day seems to require a triple check through Goodreads, Amazon, and sometimes even word of mouth, in order to make sure I won't be stepping not into a blissful world of enchantment, but a smelly puddle of pig slop that will leave its stench on my battered imagination for days afterward.

Speaking of which, I did stumble on yet another book social networking tomorrow that might be of interest: YourNextRead.com.

I'm still having a bit of trouble figuring it out for myself, but the gist of it is that every book title you put in brings up several more (like a web of recommendations) that you might enjoy as well. Not all recommendations might be spot-on (ie. Harry Potter is connected to The Trouble with May Amelia - God knows who suggested that one), but once you have a username, you can help out by pointing out which connections don't make sense. You can also save book lists and import your GoodReads shelf - always a plus.

Of course, nothing beats being able to discover, and make your own mistakes, at your local library or bookstore, but it's always nice to find another way to organize.

As if I actually need another book social networking site.

3 comments:

Vampyre Gurls Book Blog said...

..I think it is pretty funny I heartily laughed and enjoyed this article and agreed too! Why is it funny? Look at the name of my blog! lolz..

To defend myself, I was reading and loving all things fanged waaaaaay back before most of the actors in Twilight were even born or old enough to read.

I do agree that the market has become over saturated with vampire novels. I often start many and put them down just as fast.
I only truly enjoy 5 series pertaining to vampires.
Twilight (I know, I know, I enjoy it and enjoy poking fun at it too), House of Night, Vampire Academy, Vampire Kisses, Thirst by C.Pike (not really a series in that sense of the word).

I have been a fan of what is now known as "YA Horror/Supernatural" novels all my life. Adult ones too.
I was raised more on the adult horror novels of my day than the few select YA ones. Dean Koontz, Mr. Stephen King, Anne Rice, VC Andrews (b4 death books not ghost writer ones), R. L. Stine,Bram Stoker,Peter Straub,etc.

I agree many of the YA books in this genre are popped out to bank on a profitable fad & that many of them are the same ol, same ol, over & over again.

I also read many other books in diff genre's & enjoy them as much if not more than my "things that go bump in the night" easy, relaxing, reads.

There are a ton of wonderful books out there and I feel cheated personally if I do not venture out and explore.

Wonderful article BTW. It was funny & thought provoking.

Kaye M. said...

@Vampyre Gurls Book Blog:

lol! I'm glad you weren't insulted or anything. To tell the truth, I actually wouldn't mind this influx of supernatural novels if some authors would just show a bit of originality. And yes, I do agree that it does need a lot of exploration to really find the good stuff.

Thanks so much for commenting! :)

Sara said...

I had the same reaction when I saw Laurell K. Hamilton's photo after reading five books in the Anita Blake series and they started coming out in hardcover. When I opened the back panel and saw her photo we had what you'd call an awkward moment as I realized most of what I read was self inserted mary sue fantasy. Oops.

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