Friday, August 03, 2012

The challenging heroine

It's been a really fun time for the drunk writers over the past six months. Molly's second book in the crooked creek trilogy came out this week, and Maureen is ramping up as her YA Deviant trilogy gets close to being released.

It's been a remarkable experience watching these books, emerge from idea to first draft to finished product and along the way as critique partners, guiding what we loved and what thought needed work (not that much was needed for either of these books)

And then Molly's first and second book came out to some truly enthusiastic reviews and I nodded my head sagely and patted myself on the back for seeing the awesomeness in these books early on, and then some criticism and truthfully, and there hasn't been a lot, but what there was has been about what I loved most about these books.

Truly, I love Luc and Molly's ability to create tension between her two leads, but I loved, loved, loved Tara Jean from the first sentence describing her, to her wry, sarcastic POV voice and how she grew throughout the novel. It stunned me that not everyone felt the same.

And then the second book, I adore Victoria. This mentally battered woman creating her own place in the world and finding love and a sisterhood of sorts, (My secret is, I think I love the second book more than the first) and again, stunned that not everyone loves her the way I do.

I love when writers challenge a genre and by doing so make it more layered and complicated and fun to read. See also Sherry Thomas and Laura Kinsale.

But I think that's whats fun about interesting books. Not everyone's going to love them, but everyone probably has an opinion and they are the books that remain on my keeper shelves.


Eileen said...

I loved Tara Jean, too. Such an awesome heroine. I can't wait to see what Molly does with Victoria.

It's hard to make a difficult heroine work, I think. She's got to be something more than difficult. I mentioned being surprised how much empathy I had for the heroine in Young Adult. She's a horrible person, but I could see why and it broke my heart.

Other times, I can't get it to work. I hated the musical Chicago. I thought the world would be a better place if both Renee Zelwegger and Catherine Zeta Jones' characters had to ride Old Sparky.

Stephanie Doyle said...

Sinead - totally agree. And my secret is I loved book 2 more. I think because I was so invested in Victoria. I totally saw that in that making her a heroine for book 2 Molly was seriously going to have to take this character on a journey. And I was happy to be along for the ride.

And when you see the negative stuff (what little of it there is) I actually think it's a good thing.

So far not one review I read has said ... meh... I didn't really know what I thought. I think that speaks to what these books are trying to achieve in paving a new path in contemporary romance.

I also love the reviews that say I didn't think I was going to like Victoria in book 2... but I really came to love her.


Maureen McGowan said...

I think Molly's series has grown stronger with each book too. Really great.

Sinead, great point about Victoria building a sisterhood. I'd kind of forgotten that. (Now I want to read the book again. ASAP).

Molly is so good at layering in things. All the family stuff, and then the friendship stuff. Tori is so alone (other than her son and brother) during the first book. Isolated and cut off. And for her to build those strong relationships with other women, especially given who they are, without being spoilerish, really helps show how she builds her strength beyond falling in love.

Awesome, awesome books.

And I think I loved the Billy and Maddy book best. And readers have to wait until Feb? Jan? What's the date, Molly? To read that one. :)

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