by Melodie Campbell (reaches for the gun in her stocking, and yes that is me and a Derringer)
I'm tired of downer books. I don't want to be depressed after reading for three hours. Bear with me: I'll explain.
problem is, most of the downer elements of grim books involve women who
are victims. Either victims of crime, or victims of a patriarchal
society. Scandinavian Noir is full of the first. In fact, most noir
novels involve a female who is murdered and often hideously mutilated.
That's so much fun for women to read.
So here goes:
don't want to read any more books about women who are abused or
downtrodden. I know there are several good books out there right now
featuring such women. Some are historical. Some are current day. It's
not that they aren't good. It's just that I don't want to read any
more of them. I've read plenty.
Imagine, men, if most
of the books you had read involved men who had been victimized or
relegated to second class status by another gender. One or a few might
be interesting to read. But a steady diet of these? Would you not find
it depressing? Not to mention, discouraging?
want to read any more books about neurotic women, or women who can't get
it together. I dread more 'unreliable narrators.' Particularly, I don't want to read a book ALL THE WAY THROUGH, and then find out at the very end that the protagonist has been lying to me. (Are you listening, Kate Atkinson? *throws book across room*) Who wants to be tricked by the author? But there's something even worse about it:
you notice that most (okay, every single one I can think of) unreliable
narrators on the bestseller lists recently are women? Does that say
something to you about how society views women? (reaches for gun in stocking...) It does to me. No more
'girl' books. (BLAM!...that felt good.)
don't want to read any more books this year with female protagonists
that are written by men. Yes, this means some of the bestselling crime
novels out there. They may be very well written. But these rarely
sound like women's stories to me. They aren't written with the same
What I want: books with intelligent female
protagonists written by women. I want more women's stories. Books I
can be proud to hand on to my daughters, and say, see what is possible?
She isn't a victim! She's someone like you.
is, I can't FIND many books like that. The bestseller lists today are
filled with protagonists who are unstable, neurotic women. Let me be
clear: a lot of people enjoy these books. They may be very well
written. They wouldn't be on bestseller lists otherwise.
I'm tired of them. I want a ripping good story with a female
protagonist, written by a woman. Hell, I want to *be* the protagonist
for a few hours.
And not come away feeling downtrodden.
Speaking of which...if you're looking for a female protagonist with wit and brains, this mob goddaughter rocks the crime scene in a very different way:
The Goddaughter Does Vegas - out this week from Orca Book Publishers!
Book 6 in the multi-award winning caper series.