It’s not a secret that I love Young Adult novels (even though I myself don’t fall in the young adult demographic anymore, but sssssh!), but every once in a while I find myself rolling my eyes at overused clichés in the genre. Love triangles, swoonworthy heroes, the orphan who turns out to be the missing princess,… I’m sure you can name a few yourself. When I discovered Brooding YA Hero, I knew it was something I had to read.
First of all, the full title of this book is Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me. It’s based on the popular Twitter account of the same name, which is worth checking out if you like sarcasm and young adult novels.
I'm searching for the chosen one/long-lost princess/heroine, who disappeared as a baby
I'm definitely not going to check orphanages for pretty teenage girls who have suspiciously specific amnesia.
— Brooding YA Hero (@broodingYAhero) June 24, 2018
The star of the book is – of course – Broody McHottiepants, who has starred in countless YA stories as a rockstar, vampire, prince, et cetera. But lately, he just sits around waiting for an Author to call on him. That’s why he decides to write a book himself, to help other people/characters become main characters. While writing, he gets help from his evil ex-girlfriend Blondie DeMeani. Evil? Yes, because she wears makeup and high heels, and is confident. Can’t have that in female characters, right?
“My workout routine includes eyebrow lifts (for maximum quirking potential), leaping over plot holes, high-jumping to conclusions, bench-pressing my emotions to make them easier to suppress, and climbing up cliffs I’ve been left hanging on.”
Laugh-out-loud funny and thought-provoking
Throughout this narrative, we are treated to quizzes, horoscope guides and lists. All of this is covered with a sauce of sarcasm, but without being disrespectful toward the genre. It’s more of a “hey, YA, I love you, but you can do better”. The disposable side character who is the only minority representation, for example. Or how every main character must have a love interest, even in the bleakest dystopian settings.
As I said before, this book is based on Broody’s tweets. While these often make me laugh out loud, I was also a bit worried about how these short tweets would translate to a full-length book. Fortunately, this turned out great. Because of the quizzes and other interludes, the text is broken into smaller pieces instead of being one big chunk.
One small warning however: it’s best to read this book in short sittings. Too much of Broody in one go and you risk an overdose. This is the reason why I can’t give our Brooding YA Hero 5 stars, despite it being spit-out-your-drink funny and full of good advice. Not just for readers and aspiring authors. In fact, you might even find yourself thinking about your own life at some point. And a book that makes you laugh and think, isn’t that what makes it great?
“You’re always a main character, remember? Ignore anyone, and any story, that doesn’t make you feel like one.”