Books With Interesting Female Protagonists in Mini-Reviews

March 16, 2015 Fiction, Historical Fiction, Review, Romance, Thriller, Women's Fiction 8 ★★★

Books With Interesting Female Protagonists in Mini-ReviewsTitle: A Small Indiscretion
Author: Jan Ellison
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads

The main character of A Small Indiscretion is interesting in that she’s unlikeable, which seems to be the buzzword for female characters these days. Unfortunately, while I do want to see a diversity of both male and female characters, I don’t care if they’re unlikeable or not. What I want is for them to be understandable. Unlike Grace in Unbecoming, Annie has no explanatory backstory or clear motives driving her actions. This made her decisions, especially the ones I disagreed with or found stupid or selfish, hard to put up with. This book’s saving grace was that it did make me curious. As much as I wanted to shake Annie and ask her what she thought she was doing, I wanted to find out her whole story even more. It wasn’t my favorite read though and if you’re looking for an unlikeable or just different female protagonist, I think there are better books you could start with.

21897317Title: The Magician’s Lie
Author: Greer Macallister
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

The plot of The Magician’s Lie wasn’t my favorite. The bad guy and his love of hurting people and animals was too creepy. The parts where he hurt animals weren’t drawn out and were bearable, but are worth mentioning for people like me who hate when animals get hurt in books. Overall, my favorite parts were the uneventful ones, when the focus was on Arden building her career as a magician. As one of the only female magicians, she was a trailblazer, but on top of that, she also incorporated a feminist message into the tricks she designed. I thought Arden was a fantastic character, interesting, passionate, and successful. Although I would have loved this book even more had it focused solely on Arden’s career without adding an outside antagonist, I’d still recommend it.

18812405Title: The Good Girl
Author: Mary Kubica
Links: Amazon|Goodreads|Indiebound

This book made me think a lot about how we decide who the main character of a book is, because for me, the main character in this book was always Mia, even though we almost exclusively see her from other characters’ perspectives. As other reviewers have said, the pacing of this book is a bit slow. Although I found it interesting to watch Mia’s relationship with her abductor, Collin, develop, I felt bored for the middle of the book. I started to enjoy the story a lot more towards the end as her situation began to change, but then I still found the ending frustratingly predictable. Overall, this was a fairly average read for me. The plot was slow, but occasionally interesting. Mia and Collin were fascinating characters and I enjoyed learning more about them, but the end of their story was predictable and disappointing. The writing was fairly average. I might recommend this if you particularly like thrillers


8 Responses to “Books With Interesting Female Protagonists in Mini-Reviews”

  1. Jancee @ Jancee Reads

    I very much dislike books in which the main characters are just detestable and have no redeeming value. I want a main character I can root for, relate to, and understand, even if I don’t always agree with them.

    • DoingDewey

      Me too! Unless perhaps it’s a redemption story where they get better over time, but even then, I don’t like to spend too long in the company of characters whose motivation I can’t even understand.

  2. Sarah's Book Shelves

    I felt the same way you did about A Small Indiscretion…Annie’s actions just frustrated me and there was no rhyme or reason to them. It wasn’t even like she was wild or going through a wild phase…she was timid. Made no sense to me.

    • DoingDewey

      That’s a good point! I think even just going through a wild phase would have been a believable motivation, but as is, her character and her decisions seemed contradictory.

  3. Lindsey

    The “unlikable” question is weird, right? I think you make a great distinction between unlikable and unknowable. I don’t have to like every character, but I want to see the root of the character’s pain and anger and then see how they deal with it.

    • DoingDewey

      Exactly! If I just don’t get a character, I’m not going to like reading about them, but they don’t have to be someone I’d be friends with.

  4. Charlene @ Bookish Whimsy

    Oh I hope unlikable main characters isn’t becoming popular! I do prefer to sympathize and root for the MC. It’s too bad that these books seemed a bit meh for you. The Magician’s Lie does sound pretty good to me though so I’m glad you enjoyed it the most!

    • DoingDewey

      I think they probably are. I’ve read a lot of discussion posts about how female characters are judged more harshly than male characters and there are fewer female anti-heros, and while I’m not sure I agree with that, I definitely think it’s a hot topic so the demand for books with “unlikeable” women is probably high right now. I also feel like I am seeing more books that fit that category, although it could be that I’m just noticing them more.

      They were mostly meh for me, but The Magician’s Lie was such a fascinating story, that even though it didn’t blow me away, I’d recommend it if it sounds interesting to you.

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