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Brooding YA Hero – Becoming a Main Character (Almost) As Awesome As Me


I am the brooding hero found in all your favorite books, from that lush, dramatic fantasy you adored, to the contemporary, swoony romance that made you giggle.

Brooding YA Hero was a concept dreamed up by Pittsburgh native Carrie DiRisio on a dark, stormy clichéd night for Twitter.  Broodie McHotpants, descendant of such figures as Romeo, Mr. Darcy, and a thousand literary vampires is the self-obsessed, gorgeous, mysterious, arrogant jerk who’s been the ‘hero’ of countless YA novels through out the land.  Broodie gifted his followers with such pearls of wisdom as It’s a well known fact that every successful fictional monarchy accidentally misplaces a princess every century or so.  

Now Broodie, finding himself bored and feeling rejected by a lack of Authors using him at just that moment, has written a guide for all us lesser mortals on the Art of Becoming A Main Character. He carefully catalogues the importance of Adjectives and possessing Gem Stoned Eyes. How the ultimate goal is a trilogy of books that Hollywood will turn into four movies. He even dares a trip to the Deleted Files Hall to meet characters who never made the final manuscripts to help us learn from their mistakes. Alas, his evil ex-girlfriend, Blondie DaMeanie, is out to thwart the enterprise because you know she’s Just Evil. Or is she?  Could it be there’s more to Blondie and even Broodie than meets the eye?

Aided with terrific illustrations/comics by Linnea Gear Brooding YA Hero is so on point and cutting in its dissection of the clichés of the genre that it garners equal points for groans and laughs. The more you read the more you realize that while some of the tropes in question (high school cliques, for example) may only apply to YA fiction, a great many other problems identified by DiRisio do not. Like the way White Saviors are glorified and how anything other than Anglo-Saxon cultures are too often fetishized in fantasy and syfy novels. How female characters too often demonstrate strength and independence by setting themselves up as ‘Not Like All The Other Girls’ and heaving contempt on traditional femininity and their female peers. DiRisio asks us to stretch our minds not only to what YA fiction is and can be, but toward the realms and boundaries of stories in general. And it’s funny too!

Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me
Carrie DiRisio
Illustrated by Linnea Gear