Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Are you the heroine? #2

A little while ago I wrote a post asking the question "Are you the heroine?" and interviewed my friend Bambi about it. Her responses were wonderful and gave me a real insight into the people who like to BE the heroine.

I also said:

"I'm the complete opposite. I am NEVER the heroine. I don't put myself in her shoes and I don't want to be her or try to be her. My criteria when it comes to heroines tend to fall into very black and white categories: do I like her? or don't I like her? and why? That's it.

If I like or even love the heroine, I will enjoy the book more. If I don't like or even hate the heroine, I'm more inclined to rate the book lower. For me, liking or not liking a character adds a lot of the enjoyment to the reading experience for me."

For today's post I thought I'd let you into my brain a little and tell you a bit about the heroines who work for me and those who don't. These are excerpts from reviews I've written on the books I mention below.

My heroines need to be brave.

bkCharlotte from Rock Hard by Nalini Singh

When I started reading this book and I found out who Charlotte was and what her issues were, I thought, not another battered woman story. I just seemed to be getting sent a lot of those lately, but Charlotte was different. Charlotte was brave and even when she was weak, she worked at overcoming her fears with a strength and determination that I admired. She made me want to cheer for her, where others in the past haven't before. She did falter, and falter she did, many, many times, but Nalini Singh did it with such skill that I did not feel as though I was being bashed in the head with a heroine who had issues constantly. I was able to immerse myself into the story and the courtship between her and Gabriel.

My full review for Rock Hard.

My heroines need to stand up for themselves even when the heroes are uber alphaholes and very dominating.

bkHolly from Dirty Billionaire by Meghan March

Holly is great fun too. I was afraid she's be too much of a countrified hick, but she's not. She's rather naive and innocent in some respects, especially when faced with some of Creighton's debauchedness, but she's also sassy and extremely passionate about her career. I liked her a lot more than I thought I would. She's got great backbone and as domineering as Creighton is, I liked how she stood up for herself and what was important to her. She does something, which in my book would be unforgivable and a big no-no in other circumstances, but given how Creighton behaved I laughed and thought he probably deserved it. I was surprisingly way more okay with what she did than I thought I would be, especially considering Bambi asked me what I thought of it and I gave her an rather unequivocal "no way, not acceptable" response. Given the context with which what Holly did occurred, it was acceptable to me.

My full review for Dirty Billionaire.

My heroines need to find their backbone and fight for what (or who) they want.

bkElla from Nightbloom by Juliette Cross

Ella was a heroine I had a hard time identifying with because she kept so much of herself hidden away and coming across as a rather timid mouse. She pretty much went along with the flow, didn't rock the boat and kept all the strength, passion and boldness she had locked away inside and hidden in her art (which she also kept hidden from everyone). It's also understandable considering her upbringing and what her mother has been telling her her entire life. I kept waiting for the turning point, for moments when Ella became bold. I liked there were certain things triggering her to stand up for herself, but the moment when she truly stands up for herself and grabs hold of what she wants, she does it in a glorious, spectacular fashion, and boy, did she have to work for it!! I don't think I have the guts to do what she did. Bravo!

My full review for Nightbloom.

And here are some heroines whom I have detested ... be warned ... I get a little ranty.

My heroines should not be mean and bitchy.

bkRuth from Base by Cathleen Ross

Ruth, on the other hand, has no redeeming qualities whatsoever. She's mean, opinionated, out of touch with reality and ungrateful. She also has the typical god complex that so many successful surgeons and doctors have. I don't understand why Jack likes her as much as he does, but then again, his choices are limited and she is physically attractive. It's a pity her personality is such a pill. It had a huge impact on how much I enjoyed the story. For the most part, I do not mind an independent, strong female character, but she needs to have qualities that make her likable. With Ruth those qualities don't show until almost too late, after she's been given a big dose of the reality of the world she now inhabits. After that, she shows a bravery and compassion that is admirable though I find myself hesitating over trusting her to not trample all over Jack after her behaviour in the beginning. It's not till the very end I stop waiting for the other shoe to drop.

My full review for Base.

My heroines should not be blind, prejudicial vigilantes.

bkNina from Amaury's Hellion by Tina Folsom

Let's start with Nina. I HATED her. She's out for revenge. She thinks her brother was killed by vampires so she's out to kill them to avenge him. It's stupid. She doesn't even investigate to see if her suspicions are right or wrong. She just starts tracking the vampires and killing them. Then she meets Amaury and he's not what she expects from a vampire and oh no, she needs to stay strong, she can't believe him, he's a vampire, all vampires are bad, blah, blah, blah. She also does something early on in the story which I think is pretty despicable. She tortures Amaury in order to get information out of him. While he's not badly hurt and it's only a small, short scene, I can see it coming and even when I did and it happened, it did not sit right with me. Let me say that kind of behavior, no matter her justification against the hero is unacceptable. It is never okay in my book for the heroine to do something like that to the hero. NEVER.

My full review for Amaury's Hellion.

My heroines should not be brats.

bkPia from Stranded with the Cyborg by Cara Bristol

Pia on the other hand lives up to her codename: Pain in the ass. Seriously! She was annoying right from the get go and I have a special dislike for people like her, be they male or female. Instead of me ranting about her, I'll just let my status updates as I read speak for themselves.
15.0%     "Should have known from the blurb that Pia would be a brat. I hate brats. Irresponsible. Selfish. Bratty. They have nothing to recommend them."
30.0%     "So she's less of a brat now but I still haven't found anything to like about her."
52.0%     "Way to finally realise the stupid!!"
69.0%     "I don't hate her anymore."
72.0%     "Well, there goes the little bit of like I had built up."
74.0%     "Pfft! Stupid girl."
88.0%     "Yep, that's right. Naive and stupid. Behaving like a rebellious teenager. I'm quoting here'"
95.0%     "Sheesh! After all that, that was just a little too easy."

My full review for Stranded with the Cyborg.

So there you have it. The ins and outs of what works for me when it comes to my heroines.

What about you? Any particular character traits in heroines you like or don't like?

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  1. When you read - does it seem more like you are watching a show instead of reading? That is how I feel if I am not able to put myself in the heroine spot.

    1. Yes. For me, I visualise the story in my head as it is folding. Definitely like watching a movie in my head while I'm reading.