One Writer’s Journey

April 2, 2014

Antiheroes: Stalking through my March Reading

I don’t think of myself as an antihero kind of girl, but I encountered four of them in my March reading.  Loki’s Wolves (#1) features two antiheroes, both descendents of Loki.  From the perspective of the goody-two-shoes character they are “bad kids,” boys and girls both in trouble at school and with the law.  In this case you have to get into what it means to be descended from Loki before you understand why.

Faith Flores in Death Spiral (#3) has, for the most part, avoided the attention of the police but she’s the daughter of a dead junkie.  It doesn’t matter how smart you are, if people expect to see a stupid burnout, they see a stupid burn out.  Never mind that she’s got a mind for science and is hot on the trail of the man who murdered her mother and another woman working to get clean.  They still see trouble and Faith is just the girl to give them a healthy dose.

Last but not least, I met up with Victor Frankenstein in This Dark Endeavor (#11).  He is a twin and, while the two boys are identical in appearance, their personalities give them away.  Konrad is light and life and brings out the best in those around him, except for maybe his brother.  Driven to prove that he’s every bet as amazing as his brother, Victor is rash and more than a little self-absorbed.  He’s not the best student or the best athlete, but once he has a goal in sight he is a man on a mission.

Anti-heroes aren’t easy to pull off.  As is the case with this grouping, they are often abrasive (all of the above) and moody (Faith and Victor).  But they are also gritty and real.  For me, the tipping point comes with the goals.  If they are trying to right a wrong, prove that they aren’t all bad or stand up for someone, then I’m almost always hooked.

Who are your favorite anti-heroes?
Here is my March reading and listening (since #1 and #11 were audiobooks).

  1. Armstrong, Kelley.  Loki’s Wolves.
  2. Carlson, Melody.  Goodnight, Angels (ZonderKidz)
  3. Chodosh, Janie.  Death Spiral (The Poisoned Pencil)
  4. Craig, Christie.  Texas Hold ‘Em (Forever)
  5. Farrell, Mary Cronk.  Pure Grit (Abrams Books for Young Readers)
  6. Flagg, Fanny.  The All-Girl Filling Station’s Last Reunion.
  7. Floca, Brian, Locomotive (A Richard Jackson Book/Atheneum Books for Young Readers)
  8. Kerley, Barbara.  A Home for Mr. Emerson (Scholastic Press)
  9. Messner, Kate.  Wake Up Missing (Walker/An Imprint of Bloomsbury)
  10. Miller, Pat Zietlow and Anne Wilsdorf.  Sophie’s Squash (Schwartz & WadeBooks)
  11. Oppel, Kenneth.  This Dark Endeavor.
  12. Stewart, Melissa, Orange Animals (Enslow Publishers)
  13. Stewart, Melissa, Terrific Tongues (Enslow Publishers)
  14. Stiefel, Chana, There’s a Rat in My Soup:  Could You Survive Medieval Food? (Enslow Publishers)
  15. Ward, Jennifer.  Mama Built a Little Nest (Beach Lane Books)



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