Wednesday, October 5, 2011

I am happy to report that I'm currently reading Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children, thanks to the many great suggestions I found on last week's Road Trip Wednesday on YA Highway. It is the first book I purchased on the (gasp) Nook color I got for my birthday. If you've read my blog before, you may know that I've resisted an e-reader for years. My reaction to the Nook deserves its own post, so I'll save it. And now for this week's question:

What supporting character in a YA novel would you most like to see star in their own novel?

This is a tricky one. Is there a character in the Hunger Games who couldn't star in his or her own novel? I doubt it. The last book I read was Neil Gaiman's The Graveyard Book, a perfect start for October, and I would love to know more about ghost/witch Liza Hempstock. But my all-time, most beloved supporting character is not from a YA novel.

I love Pam from Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series. She's snarky, complicated, and fashionable. She can be cruel and caring at the same time. Pam starring in a Southern vampire/chick-lit scenario would be delicious.

This question got me thinking not just about supporting characters, but about antagonists, too. Wouldn't it be interesting to see a novel from the 'bad' guy's perspective? Because the bad guy never thinks of himself as the bad guy. In his mind, he has reasons and motivations for the terrible things he does. Kristen Cashore touches on this in Fire, her companion to Graceling, but she still has a strong, good protagonist. But what if we kicked it up a notch. What if instead of Harry Potter, we had The Invincible Tom Riddle?

I had a conversation with a group of writer/teacher/librarian types about how bad a bad guy can be in YA and still be redeemable in the end. The general consensus was that you can't have a character shoot someone or kidnap people and still end up with him as your hero. What do you think? Does it cross a line in YA to portray someone who hurts another person as a main character, even if he sees the error of his ways in the end? Would you like to read a novel with a naughty main character?

Music for today: Lions in Cages by Wolf Gang


  1. Oh yeah love the new post. I love the Hunger Games and could think of all of those characters having their own story. I know other books such as The Vampire Acadmey by Rachel Mead has a spin off series with one of the lesser characters in a new series (that I haven't had the money to get and read just yet). There are many more that come to mind and I like the idea.

    Bad guys. So I might be the wrong person to ask as I tend to like bad guys. I like a bad guy, either how evil they are is just amazing to read or you find something in them that makes you wonder about how they ended up like this. This is touchy ground but I think a bad character can be redeemable. It depends on the scene and how it's written. Murder? Was it an accident or justified? I can think of one book off the top of my head, maybe because i'm reading the 3rd in the trilogy now. Patch from 'Hush,Hush' by Becca Fitzpatrick. He's not a good guy but still as a reader the whole time I read about him I was intrigued. So to answer I love bad guys with a story who are trying to redeem themselves.

  2. Thanks for your comments, Eve. I think it's an interesting concept, because the bad guys are usually the most complex characters. But I also understand the dilemma of portraying criminal behavior as sympathetic to a teenage audience. I can't wait to read more on your blog! I was your first follower!

  3. I totally think a story about a bad guy would fly. But then again, I have odd preferences for books. A character that walks the line very well between good and bad is George R.R. Martin's Haviland Tuf.

  4. Thanks for reading, Bailey. I've only read A Game of Thrones, but I think Tyrion Lannister is the star of that book. He is certainly a little naughty!