Jessica Day George

Wednesday, March 1, 2006

Rant of the day

Hey, everybody, let's have a rant of the day! I've been reading a lot of YA lately, lots of new, highly recommended books, many of them from first time authors. And I have to say, what is up with this trend of clumsy, self-loathing heroines? I'm not saying that I want my teenage protagonist to be convinced that she is just gorgeous and can do no wrong, but there's a wide gulf between being shy and a little self-deprecating to being neurotic and filled with self-hatred. I just read a book which I shall not name, where the heroine was so annoying that I was actually disappointed at the end when she DIDN'T die. She whined on and on about how she wasn't good-looking and boys didn't like her, and yet no less than three guys wanted to date her. (She couldn't figure out why, and frankly, neither could I.) She was so convinced that she was clumsy that she was afraid to WALK in front of the guy she liked. When he tried to take her dancing, she became hysterical. Full-on hysterical. She needed psychiatric help in the worst way, but we were supposed to be rooting for her as our protagonist?! Good grief! I'm all for a quirky heroine, a clumsy one, a plain one, but does EVERY female protagonist in a YA novel have to be filled with self-pity, self-loathing, be convinced of her own ugliness, and so clumsy that she's a danger to herself and others? What happened to strong female role models? What happened to giving girls confidence? Good golly, people!

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