10 October 2014

Book Banter #5: Female Protagonists

If there's one thing that annoys me about books, it's when the female characters are awful. It doesn't matter how good to concept, the writing or the ideas are. If the protagonist is female, and is annoying, I struggle to read the book. The worst thing is if the female protagonist is whiny, or has no self-confidence. Its worse if they are whiny and annoying about their relationships.

Recently I've been reading, or shall I say, trying to read Goddess Legacy (Part of the Goddess series) by M.W. Muse and Mandy Harbin. I've read the first two books, and while I think the idea of new gods and goddesses created in the likeness of old ones in today's world is a good one, the main character is really getting on my nerves. She's slow to work things out, yet is supposed to be intelligent. She cries at everything, especially anything to do with boys, and she's just a bit naive. Her problems, in my opinion, could be easily sorted if only she had common sense and wasn't mooning over men. I wouldn't recommend those books, by the way, unless you are a particularly emotional teenage girl who needs a reality check.

There are many female protagonists that have annoyed me in the past. It is mostly because they make a huge deal out of relationships or are particularly whiny and self-loathing. One such example is Bella from Twilight. She's worried about getting old and her boyfriend not liking her any more. She's clumsy in an over-the-top fashion and she's constantly second-guessing herself. 

Then there's Cho Chang. I have absolutely no idea what Harry Potter ever saw in her. She is a bit pathetic, but it's fair enough seeing as her boyfriend just died. But still, she has no personality. Since she isn't a protagonist, so I'll let her off with a warning.

I'm also not particularly fond of Katniss Everdeen. To be honest with you, I always thought she was a bit of a cow. She basically plays the boys against each other and takes three books to decide which one she likes most, and I don't think it's the best of reasons either. She's lethal and ruthless but at least she does have a heart. However, she couldn't be the Mockingjay without all those qualities.

There have been far too many female protagonists like this, and it is seriously starting to get on my nerves. I can understand why some of them are written this way, but others are just ridiculous. For all the writers out there (especially those writing YA), I'll give you a few ideas of good female protagonists. Please feel free to take notes:

Hermione Granger. She has it all. She's loyal, clever and fierce. She can definitely take on enemies, yet she has a vulnerability too. She's perfectly well rounded.

Pretty much all the women in A Song Of Ice and Fire series (Game of Thrones to me and you). They are the most well rounded ladies I've read, they each come into their own and have reasons for doing things, even if it is something terrible like killing their husband. I didn't say they had to be nice.

Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice. She stands up for what she believes in even though the norms of society says she shouldn't, as well and her mother and sisters.

Lucy Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia. She was my first major heroine. She dared to go where no-one else would and stood up for what she believed in. In my opinion she pretty much saved the whole of Narnia from the White Queen. She is 'Lucy the Valiant', Queen of Narnia after all.

Now that's how to do it right.