Book Review: Brooding YA Hero

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

This book was a delight. I was a fan of the twitter account that it is a spin-off from and have been awaiting my copy for forever!

This book takes the YA Hero trope and makes him into a personified character. I would also call this meta fiction, as there is a plot that takes place among all the jokes and fluff. By fluff I mean there are quizzes and artwork and even a maze at one point surrounding all the self-aware jokes. The rest was insightful critique of the YA genre. And I even learned a thing or two about writing. I had never heard of the device called “Petting the Dog” before this book, for example (FYI: it’s when the author gets you to sympathize with the villain for a bit). And to think, I was a English major in undergrad!

But it really is a brilliant way to explore and showcase some of the cliches in YA literature right now. With the Brooding YA Hero as the axis, DiRisio explains other parts that make up a YA story–maybe things we love, maybe things we hate–in a way that highlights things the reader might not have considered as part of the narrative building blocks before.

The target audience for this book is fans of YA literature (waves) and teens who like writing. I’m going to donate my copy to my friend who is a grade school English teacher.

The only negatives about this book would be how big it is. It’s quick to get through but when you first see it, you feel a bit daunted. At first I was thinking “I didn’t know a twitter-account spinoff book could have so much to say.” But it really does try to be entertaining and educational. This is DiRisio’s debut novel (and part of me hesitates to call it a novel) and so I wonder why she decided to spin this spin-off as a “writing advice” (not sure what else to call it). It’s not what I was expecting, though I’m not sure what else would fit as well.  I’ll admit part of me thought that this book was just going to be  a republishing of the “best of” tweets or something. Honestly, I would have read it just for that (haha). But instead, this book went all out. Also, the fact that Blondie DeMeani kept inserting herself into the story showed that Broody isn’t too interesting on his own. But I’m pretty sure that’s the point!

Now I’m wanting on a book for @WorstMuse.

View more on Goodreads.

I received this book in exchange for an honest review. Read my policy here.

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