Monday, 6 April 2015

Call Me Weird, But Kickass Isn't My Cup Of Tea

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a long time, but I didn’t know how to go about it. So, I guess I’ll just be blunt. Not that I’ve ever been good at tactfulness but one can try and hope, can he? Anyway, let’s get straight to the point, I don’t like kickass heroine.

What? Blasphemous, I hear you say. But let me explain before setting me to the cross. I’m being a tad overdramatic there, but oh well.

I actually read many a kickass heroine’s adventure, some of whom I actually really liked, for example, Rose from Vampire Academy, Kate from the Kate Daniels series, Mac from the Fever series to name a few. It’s not that I truly despise this type of character, it’s just that it’s sometimes difficult to relate to them. 



By kickass heroine, I don’t only mean a girl who *cough* kick butts (though there’s a lot of that) but all the other attributes it involve. Like being strong, independent, courageous, outspoken, extremely stubborn to the point of recklessness, selfless, have extremely special super power and often uncanny intelligence. Also often said heroine is pretty but doesn’t realize it, the unassuming beauty, as they say. 

Or they don’t care about their appearance because they have more mature interest or so the author claims, this is the uncaring beauty. 

I almost forgot another element belonging to the kickass archetype (in my opinion). Often secondary character whether they have a developed personality or not are there by design or unconscious manifestation from the author’s imagination to show the heroine’s greatness.

I don’t have any of the kickass girl’s personality traits and I don’t know many people who possess them. Is it too much to ask for more normal main character? Maybe. But the thing is, normal isn’t necessarily synonymous with boring. I loved Mac from the Fever series because at the beginning of the story, she’s just a ditsy blond who’s gotten into one mess of a situation. 

However, as the books progress, she becomes a warrior. Her transformation was a teensy tiny bit too fast for me, but I won’t complain.

I suppose that’s just a personal preference, but I like to see a weak person become strong, I enjoy following their journey, because most people aren’t born/don’t have noble qualities, don’t fulfil their full potential at all or until late in life and often not without struggle. I’m going to use the cheesiest metaphor ever, but I live for the insignificant caterpillar which to turns into a magnificent butterfly.

By the way, even thought I like normalcy, I understand that in order for a character to be the leading one there has to be something special about him. If not, there wouldn’t be a story.





Besides, strong, independent, badass, kickass are so overused. I mean, nowadays, 99.9% of heroines can be described by some, if not all of these words. I’m becoming blasé of this dose of awesomeness. Actually, I’m being a bit harsh. There is another type of chick: the quirky girl. You know the one who doesn’t fit anywhere but has something oh so special about her. And as a general rule, she’s also an unassuming beauty. I’m tired of this trope, too.

I don’t know why authors are so afraid to break stereotypes and stretch boundaries. Perhaps, they’re afraid their book wouldn’t sell well. That being said, I know that while I’m not all that fond of the kickass archetype, MANY readers likes it and look forward to it.

This is why Evie from Poison Princess was a fresh breath of air. I’ve seen many reviewers complain about how superficial she was. But, I liked that about her. She was in a way realistic. You’ve all been a teen at some point, right? Now, for how many of you having good grades, having fun with their friends, looking good, being popular and maintaining their relationship with what they thought was an amazing boyfriend was the most important thing in their life at that time? Be honest.

For my part, I know that my priorities leaned toward that side of the fence.

I’m probably in the minority about the type of heroine I like. But hey, if you know any MC that fit my description, even loosely, tell them to me. I’ll check the book they come from.


Now, tell me, what type of heroine do you prefer? Kickass or not? Don't forget to tell me why:)



Gifs courtesy of  GameraBoy at Raiders of the Lost

3 comments:

  1. I like this argument! I adore kickass heroines who move the plot along with their strong wills but like you said, they tend to blur together now. Everyone is so fixated on writing a kickass heroine that they forget to write a vulnerable person first. Someone who was once weak and sometimes that weak side peeks through the shiny armor.

    But I can't say I like to read about normal people. I mean, sure they're more relatable but I see normal people every day in the real world, and I want to escape from that boring stuff, not witness it all again. Even if that normal person turns into a kickass person, they usually don't have the expertise/experience that a person that has been kickass for several years has. :)

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    1. Yeah I get your point. That's why I read fantasy too, to ecape the normalcy (is that even a word?) of real world. I have to admit it's fun to read about a heroine who's been kickass since forever. My main problem is that nowadays kickass heroine are indistinguishable from one another. And for whatever reason authors associate being kickass with having no weakness.

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  2. I don't mind heroines that don't kick-ass... After all, Lia from The Kiss of Deceptions does not do much at all, she just stands there in the middle of the story while the story seems to go on all around her and somehow I just love her beautiful and kick-assless (hahaha okay I had to invent that word) personality. Tris from Divergent isn't the badest ass-kicker either but it's her character developpment that is wonderful. I think it just depends of the story and person overall. It's okay not to be a fan of ass-kickers, though :)

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