So Broody did what any frustrated fictional character might do when in need of some screen time and adoring fans.
He complained to everyone he knew.
Tropes, tropes, fluff, tropes. I mean, here’s the thing about Brooding YA Hero at the end of the day: it’s pretty spot on. I picked up this book solely because I found the Twitter account witty and amusing. Upon learning that there was also a book, naturally, I was curious enough to go out and by myself an e-copy. This book is filled with a lot of fluffy writing–courtesy of the main character himself–but it does actually address quite a few problems that have arisen in YA literature over the years, especially when it comes to the overbearingly white douchey male characters that readers seem so eager to fawn over every goddamn time.
What I think this book does well lies in its ability to slowly address a multitude of issues, many of which relate to diversity, in the format of ignorance, sarcasm, and irony. To put it plainly, Broody is an extremely unreliable narrator, embodying a number of disturbing pieces to his repeated characterization as he gives advice on how to become a main character. In its own way, the overbearing whiteness of the two main characters is a joke in itself, pointing to one of the biggest problems in YA books: it’s lack of diversity.
This is regularly poked at through the book, though admittedly not as blatantly as it probably should have been. In essence, Brooding YA Hero largely works as an informative text for what not to do and how to change and progress while writing your novel. It attacks, through a clever use of the subtle ignorance of the unreliable narrator and the less ignorant views of his nemesis, a number of disturbing trends that have unfortunately become rather popular in YA.
I won’t say that it’s the best book out there because it’s not, but Brooding YA Hero has a lot going for it. Not only is it decently informative, there is a small plot in the background to keep readers interested, and it does this all in a wonderfully humorous manner. Though the novel did have its rather dull moments and the lack of actual diversity in it was disappointing (though, in essence, I suspect this might have been purposeful in order to bring further light to the irony of the main character as well as the fact that he is a problem that has been perpetuated so grossly and enormously), it has a good and important message.
This book was clever, amusing, and it tackled issues that are screaming to be addressed. It’s not going to change the world, but it might change a few people. And in that, even a little progress is worth noting for it is the small steps we take that will eventually take us to the larger steps and to change itself.