Published by Skypony Press on October 17th 2017
Genres: Young Adult, Parody
My content rating: YA (Appropriate for pretty much all ages)
Have you ever wished you could receive a little guidance from your favorite book boyfriend? Ever dreamed of being the Chosen One in a YA novel? Want to know all the secrets of surviving the dreaded plot twist?
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, how to keep your love interest engaged (while maintaining lead character status), his secret formula for guaranteed love triangle success, and how to make sure you secure that sequel, all while keeping his hair perfectly coiffed and never breaking a sweat.
If you’ve seen Brooding YA Hero’s Twitter feed, then you pretty much know exactly what to expect from this book. Many of the witty gems that Broody shares with us on a daily basis can be found here, only he gets to expand his wisdom far beyond 180 characters.
I decided I was going to underline some of my favorite lines in my ARC as I read, and I was worried I just might run out of ink. The book is great fun, but even better than that, it rings so very true. I mean, let’s face it, there are about a million YA tropes out there that have been beaten to death—this book highlights them all, often breaking them down by genre (after all, the broody vampire has some of his own particular quirks which might be different than those of, say, the broody fantasy hero).
But, don’t get me wrong, while DiRisio might point out some of the flaws of YA fiction, she doesn’t dismiss it. It’s a satirical look at those tropes for sure, but the overall message isn’t that YA fiction is bad or wrong… just occasionally misguided? And half the fun is recognizing tropes that have been used in some of your favorite books—sometimes a trope done well can actually work, right? But that doesn’t mean we can’t laugh at them, just the same.
I will admit that I didn’t read this book all at once—it felt better to me in snippets rather than being the type of book that you sit down and read in one sitting. There is a kind of, sort of overarching plot that runs through the book (as Broody’s evil ex tries to teach Broody a lesson or two about what it really means to be an MC), but most of the book is just Broody’s advice—some of it is even actual writing advice that aspiring teen writers should take to heart! The jokes are awesome, but I found that if I read the book for too long all at once, they started to lose their charm. That’s when I knew it was time to put it down and read something else for a while. Always, when I came back to it, it felt fresh and fun again!
Oh, and I had a chance to check out the final copy, and the illustrations are amazing too! Linnea Gear’s style is just perfect for this book. (My one complaint is that a few of them seemed a little dark so they lacked definition—seemed like a printing issue, or just the result of black and white illustrations?)
If you’re a reader of YA, I don’t see how you can possibly help but enjoy this satirical take on the stereotypical YA Hero archetype. Be prepared to swoon over Broody, even while you laugh at him.
***Disclosure: I received this book from the publisher via ALA Annual in exchange for an honest review. No other compensation was given and all opinions are my own.***
Okay, today’s top ten addictions list is brought to you by none other than Mr. Broody McHottiepants himself. As you can imagine, his addictions are fascinating (well, at least to him). Take a look and find out what things Broody just can’t do without…
My Top Ten Addictions, by Brooding YA Hero.
Hi! Broody McHottiepants here, author of BROODING YA HERO: BECOMING A MAIN CHARACTER and the brilliant eyes behind @broodingyahero. I’m here with my top ten addictions.
If you know anything about me, you should know my smile is described as flawless, brilliant, beautiful, and gleaming. My eyes? They’re bright, verdant, vivid, lustrous, expressive, amazing, and incredible.
And so forth. I enjoy collecting a lot of adjectives to ensure that I’m always described as handsome as I actually am.
Much like the above, I deeply, immensely, vitally, crave adverbs, which will incredibly amplify my every action.
Additionally, adverbs helpfully allow me to modify my dialogue, like so:
“No, you can’t,” I forcefully demanded, with a great deal of force. “I demand that you don’t go to prom with him.”
8. Reflective surfaces
All the better to lovingly describe myself with all those lovely words I listed above. I’m addicted to pausing every time I see a puddle, a mirror, or even a particularly reflective window, and describing myself for at least ten paragraphs.
I like combining all three of these into my favorite addiction of them all: suppressing my feelings for at least four chapters at a time. I simply can’t get enough of my own poor communication skills. I’m so good at it!
6. Love interests
Apparently, in your world, there’s a game called Pokemon, where you collect lots of different monsters. Me? I collect love interests. As many as possible. Heck, even if they’re not canon, I’ll still take them. I’ll ship with anyone who as much as gazing my way once.
5. Personality quizzes
Perhaps more accurately, I think my author is addicted to these. Not only do we know my Hogwarts house, my Myers-Brigg type, what element I would bend (fire, duh), and what photo of a corgi eating a cupcake best describes my eye color (thanks, Buzzfeed!), but we also know my ideal home, my favorite Taylor Swift song, and at least forty-seven other gems gathered from taking these quizzes
4. Disappearing shirts
Well. It’s not so much that I’m addicted to these, it’s just that… I seem to always have them. So, I’ve gotten used to them in a way. Plus, it’s way easier to be on a book cover if you have one of them… and you’re me. It’s better put this way: I am addicted to buying new shirts, as I seem to constantly be losing mine.
3. Redemption arcs
Look. I’m a guy with some rough edges. Sometimes I do bad things, and I’m addicted to breaking the rules. But, because I’m a hero, I didn’t want to admit that as my addiction. So instead, I focused on what happened after I break the rules.
You see, I’m addicted to having a very swoony redemption arc. WHat’s more attractive than a hero who saves the day? A hero, who used to be a villain, who saves the day!
2. Running my fingers through my tousled mane
My hair has magical properties. It never tangles, even when I’ve been camping in a dystopian forest for months. It always smells like flowers or mint, and the sunlight glints off my (totally natural) golden highlights.
It’s said that if I allow you to run your fingers through my silky locks, the mysteries of the universe will reveal themselves to you.
Can’t help it. I’m addicted to everything pertaining to Broody McHottiepants, aka the best ever, aka me. I even wrote myself as the main character of my own book, just to make sure I get enough screen time. And considering that you’ve read all the way to number one, maybe you too, dear reader, are a little addicted to me.
Had to sneak one more in. (See the above note about my refusal to play by the rules.) I’m pretty addicted to you, dear reader. I love that you exist, that you enjoy my adventures, and might even be writing a novel for me to star in.
About the Authors & Illustrator
Carrie DiRisio is an aspiring Disney villainess in addition to a social media expert and owner of a ridiculous cat. She resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, where she practices Krav Maga and knitting in equal measures.
Broody McHottiepants is a master of all trades. His current hobbies include making bad life choices, shedding manly tears, rescuing clumsy protagonists, and, of course, gazing into everyone’s eyes. This is his first book, although he’d like to remind you he’s starred in many novels and movies, including your favorite one.