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Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me Hardcover – October 17, 2017
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“Readers―and authors―will swoon and raise a perfectly arched and knowing eyebrow at this clever confection, narrated by an egotistical main character, about writing the perfect main character. With a tongue-in-cheek look at YA tropes, writers are subtly encouraged to expand the genre in a way that is more clever, more subtle, and more inclusive. I would tell you more, but Broody and I are about to meet-cute in an epilogue.” ―Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things and Between the Lines
"I smiled, I laughed, and I might have swooned! A brilliant combination of humor and clever insights. If you’re looking for entertainment or writing a young adult novel, you need to read this book." –Stephanie Garber, New York Times bestselling author of Caraval
"Hilarious and sneakily, cheekily feminist in the best way. I'm gifting a copy to every YA reader in my life." ―Sandhya Menon, New York Times bestselling author of When Dimple Met Rishi
"Whether brooding snarkily, brooding soulfully, or brooding with a side of melodramatic backstory, Brooding YA Hero embodies everything I love—and love to hate―about the bad boys of young adult literature." ―Jessica Cluess, author of A Shadow Bright and Burning
"The sentences are quippy and quotable, and the characters are laugh-out-loud hilarious but that's all just trapping to a truly thought-provoking and challenging satire on the books we love, the books we hate and the books we love to hate." ―Laura Lee Anderson, author of Song of Summer
"DiRisio brings her @broodingYAhero Twitter persona to the page in this insidery faux manual “written” by Broody McHottiepants, the sort of dangerously attractive love interest who can be “found in all your favorite books.” After the prologue leaves Broody without work―“There are so many other stories to tell, Broody,” an all-powerful Author tells him. “You don’t need to star in all of them”―he sets out to instruct readers on how to grab the spotlight like him, highlighting an array of character types, techniques, and tropes (“If you’re a supernatural creature, try to find a girl who has no idea of her destiny and obsessively follow her around,” he suggests in a section about meeting one’s love interest). An equally recognizable villain, Blondie DeMeani―Broody’s ex-girlfriend―makes appearances, letting DiRisio show another side to this oft-seen archetype: might Blondie be more than just perfect hair and eye rolls? Amid all of the self-referential, self-obsessed silliness, DiRisio nods toward the forward momentum of YA literature, which is slowly but surely moving away from the familiar heteronormative relationships, predictable clichés, overused tropes, and overwhelming whiteness." ―Publishers Weekly
"A clever, tongue-in-cheek novel that will appeal to teens with a disdain for the formulaic. A good choice for YA shelves or where satire is popular." ―School Library Journal
"A satirical look at the world of the male hero in young-adult literature . . . In short, subheaded chapters that address the audience directly, he does so, hitting on some funny moments that are also critically insightful. ―Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
Carrie DiRisio runs multiple popular social media accounts including @BroodingYAHero, and is the social media intern for Serial Box Publishing. Her speaking engagements include talks at the Carnegie Library System of Pittsburgh, Western PA SCBWI workshops, and the upcoming YALSA national symposium. She proudly considers herself a Slytherin and aspiring Disney villainess, who also loves the color pink and making people laugh with funny GIFs. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she is currently pursuing her MBA in Digital Marketing.
Broody McHottiepants is a master of all trades (Of course. Why would he be anything less than that?) His current hobbies include making bad life choices, shedding manly tears, rescuing clumsy protagonists, and, of course, gazing into everyone's eyes. This is his first book, although he'd like to remind you he's starred in many novels and movies, including your favorite one. He'd also like to remind you to let out that breath you didn't know you were holding. When he's not saving the world from a bleak dystopia, getting crowned Prom King, or falling in a love triangle, he can be found sulking in a corner.
Linnea Gear was born and raised in Cave Creek, Arizona, a small town known for its Wild West feel. She has been drawing professionally since 2013. Linnea currently lives in Flagstaff, AZ, earning a BS in Chemistry and currently splits her time between drawing concept art and drawing chemical equations.
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The sentences are quippy and quotable, and the characters are laugh-out-loud hilarious, but that's all just trappings to a truly thought-provoking and challenging satire on the books we hate, the books we love, and the books we hate to love.
The book begins as Broodie McHottiepants is dumped by an Author, so he comes to the conclusion he should probably write his own book on what he knows best- how to be himself. Hilarity ensues as he attempts to convey just what makes him so special. From time to time, his hot, confident, ALWAYS evil ex-girlfriend, Blondie DeMeani steals his notebook, offering her own opinion. I won't spoil the ending, but let's just say that there were actual tears in my eyes. Yes- this book hit the holy grail of books and made me laugh AND cry in the same chapter.
This book is surprising and sweet, but most of all, funny. Expectedly funny. Unexpectedly funny. Clever, silly, and spot-on satire. It includes, but is not limited to: a recipe, a "which main character are you?" quiz, a visit to the land of deleted characters, a chart to tell your horoscope's literary device, and much, much more.
One of my favorite parts is when it describes active voice, passive voice, and "passive-aggressive voice," which just about make me cry it was so hilarious.
Read this book. If you've ever seen a popular movie, or watched a popular TV show, or read a popular book, you will find this book hysterically observant and spot-on. If you want to learn to write or simply like to read, you will love the insight this book gives you.
As Broody himself says, "By reading this fantastic, brilliant book about me and my life, why, I'm sure you'll improve your own, at least a smidgeon."
I know I did!
The book follows Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to write his own practical guide for achieving main character status, helped and goaded by his evil ex, Blondie DeMeani. DiRisio deftly lifts the most enjoyable aspects of Broody's twitter quips into a thoughtful and comic look at how narrative is constructed and the implicit biases inherent within it while still functioning as a sincere guide to achieving one's own main character status.
Kudos to Carrie for creating such a brilliant book that everyone can enjoy.
I decided I was going to underline some of my favorite lines in my ARC as I read, and I was worried I just might run out of ink. The book is great fun, but even better than that, it rings so very true. I mean, let’s face it, there are about a million YA tropes out there that have been beaten to death—this book highlights them all, often breaking them down by genre (after all, the broody vampire has some of his own particular quirks which might be different than those of, say, the broody fantasy hero).
But, don’t get me wrong, while DiRisio might point out some of the flaws of YA fiction, she doesn’t dismiss it. It’s a satirical look at those tropes for sure, but the overall message isn’t that YA fiction is bad or wrong… just occasionally misguided? And half the fun is recognizing tropes that have been used in some of your favorite books—sometimes a trope done well can actually work, right? But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at them, just the same.
I will admit that I didn’t read this book all at once—it felt better to me in snippets rather than being the type of book that you sit down and read in one sitting. There is a kind of, sort of overarching plot that runs through the book (as Broody’s evil ex tries to teach Broody a lesson or two about what it really means to be an MC), but most of the book is just Broody’s advice—some of it is even actual writing advice that aspiring teen writers should take to heart! The jokes are awesome, but I found that if I read the book for too long all at once, they started to lose their charm. That’s when I knew it was time to put it down and read something else for a while. Always, when I came back to it, it felt fresh and fun again!
Oh, and I had a chance to check out the final copy, and the illustrations are amazing too! Linnea Gear’s style is just perfect for this book. (My one complaint is that a few of them seemed a little dark so they lacked definition—seemed like a printing issue, or just the result of black and white illustrations?)
If you’re a reader of YA, I don’t see how you can possibly help but enjoy this satirical take on the stereotypical YA Hero archetype. Be prepared to swoon over Broody, even while you laugh at him. I give the book a solid 4/5 Stars.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via ALA Annual in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***