Friday, November 11, 2011

Self-Destructive Heroes--Featured YA Book PAST CONTINUOUS


How do you feel about self-destructive heroes and heroines in the books you read? Does it matter if the hero/heroine is an adult or a teen?

Our featured book today is K. Ryer Breese's Past Continuous, a Young Adult paranormal about a seriously self-destructive--but ultimately redeemable--hero. First, let’s look at the official blurb for the book, then talk some of our favorite heroes and their bad habits!

ABOUT THE BOOK: Ade Patience has done what he was told he couldn’t. He’s broken the rules, used his powers to save a life. And no good deed goes unpunished...Senior year finds Ade and his girlfriend, Vauxhall, deeply in love, indulging themselves with wild dates and exploring their newly strengthened abilities. Only Ade isn’t as happy as he should be. He’s got an itch that he can’t seem to scratch and it has everything to do with his joining the Pandora Crew, a group of radical oracles hell-bent on disturbing the peace, performing Jackass-style stunts, and spreading the mayhem.
     When Ade realizes that his involvement with the Pandora Crew is due to his absorbing some of Jimi Ministry’s abusive childhood, he discovers that the only way to rid himself of the infectious memories is to erase his past. And it just so happens that the one guy who can do that lives a few blocks down the street.
     The procedure works. The “Jimi cancer” is cleared out. But when Ade returns to his life, he finds that changing the past has changed the present. Vauxhall has no idea who he is and he has to woo her all over again. And it won’t be easy. There are three other people vying for Vauxhall’s attention. Three other guys he has to literally battle to win her back. The worst part: they’re all twisted versions of Ade.

In Past Continuous, Ade has the ability to touch a person and see their future unspooling before him like a movie reel--and most people's futures are pretty dull and predictable. When he meets a couple of guys like him--adrenaline junkies with a paranormal edge--he breaks his own vow to curb his addiction to the Buzz in order to hang onto the girl he loves, Vauxhall. The lure of the Buzz is just too great to resist, however, and Ade finds himself talked by his new buddies into beating the ultimate Buzz, death. I won't give up any spoilers, but the book is the story of overcoming our own worst enemies, which are often ourselves.


I think in my reading, one of the poster children for self-destructive behavior has been the character of Richard Zeeman in Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake series. Richard can't accept himself, and does pretty much whatever he can to get in the way of his own happiness. I loved beautiful, tortured Richard for a long time...until I reached the overload point and was just like, Dude, get over it already. You're part animal. Deal. I'm a few books behind on this series now, but as far as I know, he still hasn't dealt.


Seems like in most of the YA I've read, the characters are more victims of outside circumstances--a surprise birthright, an attack, falling for the "other" kind of guy or girl--than they are self-destructive themselves. (Okay, we could argue about whether Bella in Twilight was self-destructive or just  Too Stupid to Live, but that's an argument for another day.) 


So, I'm giving my most self-destructive character award to Richard in the Anita Blake series. What about you? Tell me the most self-destructive character you've read about, and whether you sympathized or wanted to slap 'em around a little. (I won't tell.)

THE GIVEAWAY: Want to win a copy of Past Continuous? You know the routine: +1 for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Now...get destructive.

6 comments:

  1. I'd have to go with Richard too.

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    sgiden at verizon.net

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  2. Ahaha, Richard is pretty hard to top! He's been a NO guy for so long that in the last book when he suddenly became a YES guy I was like what?! what's going on? I don't like it! :)
    Shaun from Mira Grant's series Feed is pretty self-destructive, Jill Kismet from Lilith Saintcrow Night Hunter series... God, that woman has some issues! But I love them. Can't help it.
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    impy80 at hotmail dot com

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  3. I'll go with Quinn from the Gone series. That boy is always making the wrong choice and getting himself into trouble! Thanks for the awesome giveaway! This sounds like a great book:)

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    jwitt33 at live dot com

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  4. It's weird how Richard pops into my head when I read this!!

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    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  5. +1 The most self-destructive character I've read about would be Claire from When I Was Joe by Keren David.

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    https://twitter.com/#!/aikchien/status/135623388038299648

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  6. Richard is hard to beat! Jace from TMI can be pretty destructive at times.

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    Aliasgirl at libero dot it

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