The Identity Crisis Book Tag

Sophie (I love her name, btw) did a book tag this week, and while she didn’t tag anyone, I loved the tag so much? I had to do it. 🙂 It’s not like I have anything better to do then take a lot of quizzes, anyway. A plague is happening! I might as well have a bit of fun.

So, basically, I have to take a bunch of book quizzes and find out which characters I’m most like! I’m excited.

The Rules

  1. Take all the quizzes down below and record your answers somehow. I decided to just copy the text from each quiz and paste it into my post, but screenshots work too! Whatever floats your goat (Yes goat. I SAID WHAT I SAID).
  2. NO CHEATING. You get one shot to take each quiz my friends. I’m watching you. ∗Suspicious squinty eyes∗
  3. Use this post to give credit to the creator Loretta @ The Laughing Listener or tag me on twitter @LaughnListener so I can see everyone’s answers!!
  4. Tag some friends to spread the fun

(Sophie added a couple of quizzes and changed some of them, I think, so it’s a little different then how it was originally. Also, the quiz answers are in italics)

Shadowhunters

I barely remember this book. I think I read it when I was like…eleven? I thought it was dumb, but I was like eleven, lol. I’m not rereading it to find out, though!

(I chose Riverdale for the tv show and spite as my motivation lmao) (I don’t watch Riverdale but the clips I’ve seen of it were hilarious in the worst way possible and I loved them)

Jem Carstairs and Alec Lightwood!

You’re selfless yet guarded, protective and romantic. You value those around you more than yourself, and sometimes you need to be reminded to take a moment for yourself! You’re the friend that everyone loves to have around, even if you doubt it sometimes.

JEM?? I haven’t read the book he’s in. From what I heard, isn’t he the cute, sweet guy who’s always picking up the pieces after Tessa and Will’s toxic relationship? And he’s like, been poisoned or something? And Alec is the queer character, right?

I’ve never read the Infernal Devices and it’s been a really long time since I’ve read City of Bones, so I apologize if I got something wrong, but anyway, I couldn’t be happier with this result! Jem sounded like the best character in the book.

Throne of Glass

I know nothing about this book!

Chaol Westfall

You’re Chaol Westfall, Captain of the Guard: you’re loyal and dependable to the death, with a mind as sharp as the swords you wield. But watch that your sardonic sense of humour doesn’t come across as plain old sarcastic, and lighten up from time to time – who wants to be seen as a grump?

I…I guess? I don’t know who this is. Fun quiz though!

The Hunger Games

Katniss Everdeen

You are strong-willed, enduring, determined, and sacrificing. You are not afraid to speak your mind and there is no use in trying to change it, because you’re here to get down to business and to protect your loved ones, no matter who stands in the way.

As surprised as I am by this–I kind of thought I’d get Peeta–this makes a lot of sense. I think I am the most like Katniss. We’re both pretty guarded and we have a sharp, sarcastic sense of humor, I think.

Harry Potter

I legitimately have no idea which Harry Potter character I’m most like. Buzzfeed, inform me!

Neville Longbottom!!!

You’re awkward and clumsy and hate being the center of attention. But you’re brave and big-hearted and people can always trust you to help them out in a bad situation.

I mean, this does not describe me at all and Buzzfeed is wrong, but I still feel so lucky! I love Neville.

A Court of Thorns and Roses

I know nothing about this book other than what Cindy said about it! (From the youtube channel Read with Cindy. She’s hilarious. I feel like I have a good idea of what the book is about just from her.)

Amren

You are Amren. You can come of as vain, cunning, and temperamental, but under all that you can be caring. You prefer being by yourself. Nearly everyone is terrified of you and don’t want to get on your bad side, because you would make there life worse than hell. You only have a small group of friends and you would do anything for them, and them for you.

Okay, I have no idea who this is, but I feel like I’m getting a lot of the mean characters here and it’s starting to be kind of funny. In case you’re wondering, yes, most online quizzes have told me I’m a Slytherin.

The Raven Cycle

If I don’t get Gansey the quiz is wrong

Update: I got Richard Gansey!!

Ah, Gansey. You really know how to get people together and you probably have no idea how important that skill is. You’re likely invested in one particular subject or task, or you have a great interest in finding what someone might call “the meaning of your life”. Like Gansey, you’re a natural mediator. You have an almost supernatural trait which allows you to easily communicate with different kinds of people. A trait that makes you very likable amongst your peers and surroundings. Though, be careful not to hide your feelings under all that politeness. People are not made of plastic.

So, I’m not sure if the description fits me, because I’m not sure if I’m good at talking to people or not, but I definitely am a lot like Gansey in general. I love history and folklore, and I would drag my friends off on a silly quest to wake a sleeping, centuries-old king regardless of the consequences! (If I had friends, that is. XD ) But seriously, I’ve always really related to Gansey. I’m probably a mixture of Gansey and Ronan, because I like learning things but I’m also really angry a lot

Twilight

This book is such a guilty pleasure for me.

Jasper…Hale?!!!

Hey, Jasper. Howdy there! You’re quite reserved, but we know there’s a whole lot of personality underneath that icy undead skin of yours. People look to you for leadership in times of conflict — no one’s better at strategizing than you. Just remember: It’s OK to smile every once in a while.

So I am, apparently, the Confederate soldier who wants to eat people. Yay!

I’m even from the South. The quiz knew. *sobs* I’m so sorry, everyone. Is it bad that I find this hilarious?

The Cruel Prince

I hated this book lmao

I’m going to say I’m most like Madoc, though! I related to him most, at least

Jude.

You are strong and once you make a decision, you won’t back down. Your resilience is both admirable and terrifying at the same time.

Oh.

Whatever. I’m most like Madoc.

Lunar Chronicles

Fun fact! I have never read any of these books.

Winter

Step-daughter of Queen Levana. She regarded as the most beautiful person on Luna, even with three scars across her face, which are rumored to have been caused by a jealous Levana. She refuses to use her Lunar gift of glamouring and manipulation and has slowly been driven crazy as a result.

She sounds cool!

Percy Jackson

If I don’t get Nico it’s the quiz’s fault, not mine! I have related to that kid since I was a wee eleven-year-old.

Magnus Chase

You’re super resourceful and self-reliant, although this can encourage your loner instincts. But when you make friends, you stick up for them. You just do this in your own clever, funny way, avoiding conflict unless absolutely necessary. But hey, we know you’re not averse to mixing it up if you have to. The fact that you can make it all look so easy, all while focusing on diet and fitness? Teach us your ways, Einherji.

What? I don’t even know who this is. Whatever.

An Ember in the Ashes

I loved this book a lot

Elias

Like Elias, who doesn’t want the violent life of a soldier that’s been carved out for him and is fighting for his soul, you value freedom above all else.

I knew I’d get this cinnamon bun! I love this boy.

Six of Crows

I didn’t really like this book either…*hides* *I’m sorry it’s my fault* I hope I get Wylan or Inej, though. They were both really cool.

Kaz…

Okay, before I post the description, I have to say, WHAT? I’m so mad.

You are most like Kaz, a criminal prodigy and rising star among Ketterdam’s gangs. Cunning, quick-witted, and a born leader, you are a planner who leaves nothing to chance. But beware: though you excel at trickery, you’re dangerously good at fooling yourself.

Okay, okay, maybe the ‘dangerously good at fooling yourself’ part MIGHT be true, under certain circumstances. I’ll be right back, I have to become a seventeen-year-old Gary Stu mob boss and pull off a heist. (I’m eighteen, though. This is already going to be hard.)

I would like to apologize to everyone’s problematic faves I insulted! I love YA, but I love bashing YA more. This was such a hilarious and fun thing to do (I still can’t believe I got JASPER of all people, that was probably the funniest one to me).

Okay, and before I forget (because I’ve been forgetting for about a month), I am now on Goodreads! Or something. I still can’t figure out how Goodreads works, and I’ve accidentally posted a review before I was ready twice now, so that’s fun!

Anyway, I’m not tagging anyone, but if you want to do this, feel free. 😉

On Antiheroes, Antivillains, Villain Protagonists, and Tragic Pasts

I’ve been thinking about antiheroes and antivillains and what makes and breaks these character types, because I write these character types a lot. Weez and I were talking about this very issue, and I mentioned I should probably write a blog post about it or something, so here we are.

I LOVE writing this character type. I love writing unhealthy relationships. I love seeing what makes people behave that way. I love getting inside someone’s messed up psyche–I love getting inside my own messed up psyche, because it can be so satisfying to write your own problems into your characters. (That sounds self-incriminating. No I promise I’m normal now get OFF the phone with that psychiatrist.)

But I low-key hate reading these characters, it’s true.

It’s not like unhealthy characters and unhealthy relationships never work for me. Most of my favorite books have this element in them. But my most hated books usually have this, too. And I’ve been wondering for a while… What’s the difference in how this is handled? What makes this work for me and what doesn’t? And… I still don’t exactly have an answer, but I have a few ideas. Basically, this post will probably be all over the place. Sorry in advance.

A big part of it, for me, is consequences. Judging from my reading tastes, they’re not necessary, but they go a long way. No one ever seems to write consequences, for some reason. In real life, bad things have an aftermath. Most people are not smart enough to keep doing awful things and get away with it, and no one escapes the mental repercussions of bad behavior. Don’t even get me started on this when it comes to relationships. I’ve seen so many fictional relationships where there was no way the heroine would stay with the hero if the author weren’t there to keep them together (and it’s almost always the hero who’s the awful one). Whenever I feel like the the main characters are only together because the author is pulling the marionette strings, I typically start hating the story.

Don’t get me wrong. There are characters like Bella Swan and Juliette Ferrars, and their boyfriends are awful. Dictator awful. Creepy stalking vampire awful. But I never once had trouble believing that Bella and Juliette would be with those boys, because, frankly? Bella and Juliette were both insane. Of course Bella wanted her Gothic villain boyfriend. How would she be happy otherwise? It was believable in-story, if ridiculous. Yes, both relationships would be awful and disturbing in real life. But it wasn’t real life, and I never once had something break that feeling. Which isn’t to say that fictional unhealthy relationships always should be that unreal, far from it, and those two stories are definitely not perfect, but I never once felt like the authors were forcing the two characters together.

And when a character has a tacked-on tragic past, IT IS THE WORST. I HATE IT. A character is bad and the author wants to erase their culpability, so they just give them a Tragic Past.

There is a better version of this trope, in which traumatic experiences influence the character’s decisions, but doesn’t excuse them. You can trace the character’s decisions back to their trauma, but it’s not a sympathy grab. It’s not supposed to make you like the character, it’s not there to necessarily get any reaction out of the reader at all. It’s just there to explain why the character does the things they do. I like that tragic past. I love that.

Annnd then there’s that tragic past. The tragic past that feels like it’s supposed to change EVERYTHING about the reader’s preconceived notions of this character, because it’s not like they saw this coming from page one! This character has been through so much. His dad died when he was like…twelve or something. Or maybe he was eleven. I don’t care! Feel sorry for this character! Please forget all the people he tortured and killed in chapter one! You don’t remember their names anyway! Oh, he raped someone? Well, that’s okay! She wasn’t named either! (I AM feminist. How dare you.)

Being abused or having a dead relative or something like that? It doesn’t take away culpability. It can be a reason for why a character behaves the way they do, but other people, in real life, have been through the exact same thing as your character, and they don’t always end up abusing their girlfriends and murdering people. Things like injustice and deaths in the family do cause lasting harm to people, and characters very well should have some psychological damage from them, but trauma does not make people abusive. That’s ridiculous. So no, it’s not an excuse for your character, and don’t use it as one.

Honestly? Some of my favorite antiheroic characters don’t even have a tragic past. Marak from The Hollow Kingdom? He’s practically shameless about doing bad things. He’s also pragmatic, and he’s not going to do something bad for no reason. He’s sympathetic, but that’s partly because he doesn’t make any excuses. He doesn’t care whether you accept him or not. And that’s why I like him.

(Insecurity also can also go a long way to making me like an awful character, incidentally. It’s simply way more fun to watch a character do horrible things while being an insecure wreck than it is to watch a character do horrible things while being an arrogant bastard. Just a side note.)

To sum up my point: Tragic pasts only manipulate my feelings if they’re not trying to manipulate my feelings. I love reading tragic pasts, and I love reading emo characters, but both of those can just go so terribly wrong. Actually, here’s a better way of summing up my point: A tragic past is not a replacement for a redemption arc. If the heroine finds out that ‘oh, he wasn’t as bad as I thought he was! He tortured my boyfriend in book 1, but that’s okay, because we broke up later in book 2. Also, he likes puppies. No one who likes puppies can be evil,’ that…is not a redemption arc. And if you’re wondering whether that was a pointed description, IT WAS, AARON WARNER ANDERSON.

A redemption arc is a character realizing they were wrong and repenting and acting on it. Redemption is a character changing. Redemption is a wonderful thing that hardly ever actually happens in the books I read, and I want more of that.

Also, one last thing: why are most of the characters who fit this type white guys? I would personally love to have more antiheroic emo women, and I’d love to have more POC characters in general. I can only think of a few female antiheroines, and the only antihero I can think of off the top of my head who isn’t white is just…Inan. Inan is a gem. But I can’t think of any other non-white characters like this? It may simply be the books I read? I want variety and I want diversity! Is that too much to ask?

Anyway, that’s all I have to say for now! I feel like I could have said more, especially about the romance side of things, but oh well. Maybe I’ll have more thoughts later.

And a list of books I liked with this character type:

  • Cruel Beauty (one of the few books with an angsty antiheroine, and also one of my favorite books ever, and the description and setting in this book is beautiful)
  • The Hollow Kingdom (Hello my CHILDHOOD also Marak is antiheroic and actually not emo about it and it is so refreshing, this is one of my favorite books ever too)
  • Children of Blood and Bone (if Inan and Zelie don’t end up together in the next book I’m not reading, it’s all I’m saying; and I loved this book SO MUCH although frankly the ending did a number on me)
  • The Diabolic (Tyrus and Nemesis are just…wow. Read it for yourself, guys. And I refuse to read the next two books because THAT WAS THE PERFECTEST ENDING I’VE EVER SEEN. I’m just going to let it end right there and wow that blew me away I loved it.)

And for some reason I’m blanking out now and going, ‘uh…Electra by Sophocles was good? And I like Queen Maeve and Medea and Medusa and Morgan and mythology seems to like villainous girls whose names start with M? I literally cannot think of anything else and it seems like I should have read more books like this and surely I’m missing some book I loved?’ So that’s probably my cue to stop right there. Rec me any books you liked with emo antiheroes and antiheroines!