Dislikeable likeable protagonists
You’ve heard us talk about dislikeable protagonists in the past. But have you ever heard of a dislikeable likeable protagonist? If this type of main character intrigues you give the author Elizabeth Scott’s books a try. I recently read Bloom and Stealing Heaven which have many similarities.
Both protagonists in Bloom and Stealing Heaven feel like their lives are not theirs to control. Danielle in Stealing Heaven only knows a life of stealing with her mother. When she meets people she tells them lies about herself because she is a thief and does not want to reveal her true identity. She creates an identity for the purposes of getting information that she needs to help her mother burglarize a prominent household in the town which they are staying. Lauren in Bloom is living a life trying NOT to be her mother. She tries to be the ideal daughter for her father, the ideal friend for her best friend and the ideal girlfriend for her boyfriend. All these ideals are not really who she is and she starts to do what she really wants covertly. Lauren cheats on both her best friend and boyfriend-she has another best friend and love interest on the side. She thinks she can conceal this but the reality is she is more transparent than she thinks. Eventually the concealment and lies that these characters build up comes crumbling down in a relieving denouement. To step into the shoes of a dislikeable likeable protagonist read Bloom and Stealing Heaven by Elizabeth Scott.
For the most part I thought Bloom and Stealing Heaven were well written and compelling however, one of the problems that I had with these books was the lack of character development. Danielle seems to have dropped out of the sky and even when there are allusions to her past, they are unbelievable and topical. Moreover her past does not flesh out her character. Instead of creating a believable multi-faceted protagonist we get a semblance of a character who is written for the purpose of moving a story forward. Don’t get me wrong, I like that the characters are flawed, but in that same regard I would like to understand why they are flawed. Is their flaw only because they are unable to think and act on their own, or does it run deeper?
Anyway for more takes on these books and some insight from Elizabeth Scott check out her blog http://www.elizabethwrites.com/. More reviews and commentary about Bloom are available at the following blogs: bildungsroman, bookshelves of doom, and teenreads.com. There’s even an interview with Elizabeth at bildungsroman.
One last note, Stealing Heaven hits the shelves May 27, 2008.