Sunday, 15 October 2017

Sunday Street Team - Brooding YA Hero

Sunday Street Team is the brainchild of the very lovely Nori over at Read Write Love, shining the spotlight on new releases by new authors. For the October edition, I was super excited to get the opportunity to review Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (almost) as Awesome as Me. If you're into YA and you're on Twitter, you can't not have heard of this guy! I've been following Brooding YA Hero (aka Broody McHottiepants) on Twitter for a long time, alternating between laughing, rolling my eyes and laughing and exclaiming "thank you!" loudly at my phone screen for a while now, so I jumped at the chance to get my hands on a review copy of "his" book. Thanks to co-organisers Nori and Aditi for letting me be part of this tour! 

The Book

Ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend?
Or maybe you're just really confused about what "opal-tinted, luminous cerulean orbs" actually are?

Well, popular Twitter personality @broodingYAhero is here to help as he tackles the final frontier in his media dominance: writing a book. Join Broody McHottiepants as he attempts to pen Brooding YA Hero: Becoming a Main Character (Almost) as Awesome as Me, a "self-help" guide (with activities--you always need activities) that lovingly pokes fun at the YA tropes that we roll our eyes at, but secretly love.

As his nefarious ex, Blondie DeMeani, attempts to thwart him at every turn, Broody overcomes to detail, among other topics, how to choose your genre,  his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed.
The Author

Carrie Ann DiRisio is a YA writer and creator of @BroodingYAHero. She lives in Pittsburgh, PA with one large fluffy cat, and is currently pursuing her masters in business, although her true dream is to become a Disney Villainess, complete with a really snazzy gown. In addition to writing and plans for world domination, she also enjoys running, coffee, Krav Maga, and knitting.
The Review

There's a pretty simple way to work out if this book is for you or not. Go and check out @BroodingYAHero on Twitter. Did you laugh? Then get this book!

I love YA books and I love YA tropes, but I also love people giving them a poke in the ribs every now and then because, let's be honest, they deserve it.  Don't get me wrong, they're fun to read, but they're also cliche as hell and potentially quite damaging. Good YA books take these tropes and turn them on their head, or blend them into a story with other elements. Bad YA books simply put them in order and then write a plot around them. If you're anything like me, you'll be pinpointing which books the author is referencing as you read.

A lake, a mirror, your sword ... any surface can be used to sneak in some adjectives used to remind the reader of your beauty.

If there's one thing this book can't be accused of, it's taking itself seriously! But of course the hero of the piece, the guy standing front and centre of the cliches - no matter how much the book blurb tries to sell its strong female protagonist - is Broody himself. Or Broody McHottiepants, as the author has christened him.

Some Broody features come standard. These include; angst about my past, casual misogyny, a deep love of my own self importance, and really nice hair.

My workout routine includes eyebrow lifts, leaping over plot holes, high-jumping to conclusions, bench-pressing my emotions to make them easier to suppress, and climbing up cliffs I've been left hanging on.  

Even though the book was mostly for fun, I loved that the author wasn't afraid to call out some of the more damaging and dismissive cliches in YA, like killing off minority side characters and describing people's ethnicity in relations to food. There are so many laugh out loud truths !

“Did I do something wrong?” Well. That was a given. He usually did at least fifteen things wrong per book, but only in a swoony, romantic way, where all could be fixed when he took off his shirt.

The reason I don't give this book the full five stars is because I did struggle to get through the whole thing. There's no denying though that what worked so well in tweet form doesn't translate quite so well into a full book. At least with Very British Problems, the "books" are little more than novelties that are just tweet-length gems. Here, the author attempts to mix the Twitter soundbites with an actual sort-of story, as Broody attempts to write his own book while obliviously living every YA trope in existence. Either one of these approaches could have worked on their own, but the two together don't blend all that well.

Whether you love or hate YA cliches, you'll find something to enjoy in this book. Much truth tea is spilled and plenty of bestselling authors are not so subtley shaded. You'll have plenty of entertainment picking which barbs are aimed where! I found myself laughing in agreement on more than one occasion (which as awkward when I was reading in a cafe or on public transport). A must-read for fans and detractors of brooding YA heroes!

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