Not the kind Bonnie Tyler sang of in Footloose – though that is an epic song. No, I’m not holding out for a guy fresh from the fight, just a main character I can root for.
Until about two years ago, I'd say 99% of the books I read featured a main character I liked. Whether I identified with him or her, fell for them right away or developed appreciation for their plight along the way – I wanted their happily ever after.
Then something changed. I read the book everyone was reading and was sucked in instantly. About 30% in, I realized I actually hated the main character, but it was acceptable because the story was so compelling I didn’t care. I think I actually wanted him not to get the happily ever after. It was unsettling, but I didn’t think much of it. Now, two years and about 8 books with main characters I didn’t care for I’m wondering what’s up with that?
I’m not going to name titles or authors, it’s not the point I’m trying to make or discussion I’d like to open. For the most part, I loved the books despite not liking the character (narrator in most instances) so the author did a great job. One particular story had me downright hating the shallow narrator of the story, but I could not put the book down. It’s a different experience than the familiar meet the main character, love them, and hope for everything turns out okay in the end. Different, not terrible, sometimes unsettling, but not exactly bad.
Having now read quite of few of these though, I have to say I’m ready to return to my heroes. Just in time for summer vacation, beach and pool reading I will be reading reviews with a little more scrutiny and using the ‘sneak a peek’ option so readily available now before investing my time in character. I need someone to root for, emulate and maybe fall for.
Hmm – romance maybe?