Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Identifying with heroines

Well, I must say that Three to Get Deadly, the third Stephanie Plum novel by Janet Evanovich, is really doing the trick for an escapist comfort read. I am just a sucker for that world. Mom has been making pot roast. Faithful Rex the hamster is always running in his little wheel. Last night Joe Morelli even brought over a pizza from Pino’s. He was there when I ordered it, and decided to surprise me.

Don’t worry, I know that I’m not Stephanie, but I have to say that my experience of identification with Stephanie is scarily complete when I’m reading one of these books, and I’ve been thinking, what’s that all about? A lot of it is obviously about her vulnerability - she's not that great a bounty hunter, and she's even scared a lot, and checks her closets when she gets home.

Of course I’ve read heroines who are so vulnerable and needy that I want to slap them. You have to have something on the plus side, too. For Stephanie’s it’s her resourcefulness, and the fact that she never gives up. Plus, she has this intense desire to be a good bounty hunter.

I don’t have to identify with a hero or heroine to love them or love a book, but when I want a comfort read, I do. So what the hell, I have decided to make a list.

Heroines I have the highest and most gratifying identification experience with during reading:

1. Stephanie Plum.
2. Harper from the Grave Surprise series. Sorry, I have a kitty on my lap, so I won't be getting up to see what the official name of the series is, but it's the other one by Charlaine Harris. I sure love this heroine. Every town she goes to, everybody thinks she’s a freak because they’re sort of scared of her, and because she makes them uncomfortable. Then she ends up helping them, because she believes in what she’s doing. And the assholes end up feeling or at least looking like real assholes. It’s an unusually satisfying series in this way. She is so easy to identify with, though.
3. Georgina from Succubus Blues. I haven’t read the new one, so maybe she gets downgraded or upgraded in relate-ability, but she has a tragic vulnerability in the first book in that she will destroy any man she loves, but she wants to love! Her wanting something badly and never getting it, and the internal struggle of that somehow makes her really easy to identify with.
4. No, this isn't a book, but how could I not put Buffy on this list?

Tomorrow: Heroines who I admire and/or am of in awe or fascinated by, but don’t fully identify with.


Sarai said...

I think that's the reason I read the Sookie books and the Weather Warden books so much. I can relate to Sookie and JoAnn. I do love and totally relate to Laura Lee Guhrke's books (her's are historical romance but I still love her characters and can relate to their reactions and flaws.)
Great List

Carolyn Jean said...

I definitely thought about Sookie for this list. Weather Warden I've never read, but was always tempted. More tempted now!

lisabea said...

Virginity aside (heh), Sookie Stackhouse.

Wendy said...

Definitely Sookie sometimes, there's probably a few more but I can't think of anyone now. I haven't read the Grave Surprise series but I really want to.

RachaelfromNJ said...

I've never read the Sookie books yet, but I really want to!

I absolutely love love love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series. I discovered them when book 8 came out in paperback and devoured the whole series very quickly.

I don't know if you've seen me mention it before but if you'd like some Janet Evanovich read alikes I know a few.

Nancy Bartholomew's Strip series featuring Sierra Lavotini a dancer/stripper at a gentleman's club. Sierra ends up solving mysteries with the help of her friends. She has a love interest that is a cop, a dog, a cooky neighbor, and likes to pretend she's connected to the mob and that she's got connections. It's pretty funny stuff in her series. I really like it alot. It's only four books though and the series isn't being continued. All the titles have the word Strip in them. She has other books in more series but I've never read them. I'm sure they're also good though.

The other author is Tori Carrington, her Sophie Metropolis series. I beleive she's up to book 4 which comes out this year. The series is still ongoing so no dissapointment there. Tori Carrington is actually a husband and wife team named Tony and Lori. They write the books together. They also write books for Hatlequin Blaze. I havent read any of those but the Sophie books rock. Sophie Metropolis is the first book in the series, then Dirty Laundry, then Foul Play.


RachaelfromNJ said...

Oh I didnt tell you what the Sophie series is about. OOPSY!

Sophie Metropolis works as a Private Investigator at her uncle's agency while he's away. She tends to get alot of small cases like finding missing pets but she's got some better cases lately.

She's Greek so it has a little bit of a My Big Fat Greek Wedding mixed with Stephanie Plum feel to it.

She has a dog, a love interest, an ex fiance who did her wrong, and it's just a really fun series. LOVE IT!