Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Blame It On The Testosterone

Come on, you know you wanted too much information about me to start out your day. ;) I have poly cystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and, as a result, have too much testosterone. This results in some annoying little side effects, which I won't bore you with, but I'm starting to wonder if it is now effecting my reading likes and dislikes. I started thinking about some of my favorite books and realizing that most of them had male protagonists as the main character. I think it's because I can relate to a male character easier. See? That's where that "too much testosterone" theory comes in.   

What are some of my favorites you ask?

Curse Workers Series by Holly Black
Cassel, is very relatable to me. He wants to be a good guy despite the family connections that would make it so easy to be bad. 

Odd Thomas series by Dean Koontz
Sigh! He's a gentleman, he doesn't know how cute he is, and he always does the right thing. K, maybe he's not that relatable, he's too perfect. But what a fun character. 

The Schwa Was Here by Neal Shusterman
Antsy is so much fun! He's kind and loyal and I'd love to have him as a friend.

Urban Magic Series by Kate Griffin
Matthew, Matthew,  he doesn't want all the trouble that's constantly following him around but he never backs down or gives up. Plus, he's so dang hilarious!

I Am The Messenger by Markus Zusak
Ed Kennedy is so great! He's honest and real. When faced with a huge burdensome task he steps up to the plate and, through trial and error, succeeds.

Getting the Girl by Markus Zusak
Cameron Wolfe is so relatable to me I can't even begin to explain it without giving away much more information than you EVER wanted to know about me.

Eragon by Christopher Paolini
Eragon has so many relatable faults but wants so much to be good and do right that I can't help but love him.

I'm well aware that some of these books were written by women so what that does to my theory I'm not sure but I do know I rarely like the female main characters. I read books with female MCs for the adventure and the cool premise and, yeah, maybe even the romantic interest, but I usually could care less about the girl and either find her too whiny, too selfish or just plain stupid! It's true, I don't have a lot of sympathy for my own sex. This makes it very hard to relate to the girl and almost impossible to actually like her.

So is it the testosterone? Is it weird that I don't like girl main characters? I'm always reading reviews about how awesome the girl was, or how relatable and even though, in public, I'm nodding and smiling, inside I'm thinking, "what the heck's wrong with me? I don't see it. I didn't like her! I didn't relate!" I'm so confused. That's not to say I NEVER like or relate to the girl, it's just very rare.

So do you like mail MCs better, and even if you do can you still relate to the girls? Like them even? And now for the fun part (for me, anyways) Any suggestions of books with male protagonist as the MC that I might like?


  1. I don't know. I have a hard time to relating to a lot of female character's who are drop dead gorgeous despite the fact that they are often clumsy, eat like linebackers yet weigh more like ballerinas, and always have two or three amazing hot guys after them. Yeah, I can relate much more to my boy Odd, I don't see dead people or ghost dogs, but I flip a mean pancake.

  2. I don't read many YA books with a contemporary setting because I can't relate to the characters. I didn't spend my teen years in angst, or burning for love, so I can't relate with the general whininess that seems to be prevalent in contemporary YA books.

  3. I relate to both male and female characters, but I like female characters because they see the guy like I do. *swoon*

    For me, it mostly depends on the story. I love Dune and while there are a lot of "main" characters, I really like reading about Paul Atreides' the most. When I read Across the Universe, I liked being in both Amy's and Elder's heads, same thing with Shiver. I just like multiple points-of-view. I also relate to Harry Potter with no problem. He's one of my favorite literary characters, same with Dumbledore and Atticus Finch.

    In short, I'm okay with both.

  4. Kate, Yeah, the eating whatever but being skinny and gorgeous is so annoying and unrealistic.

    Megan, My teen years were nothing like these books portray so I think that's just another thing that makes it hard to relate.

    Jenni, I like when we get a taste of both POVs too but I'd rather get all male POV.

  5. Jenny, I'm going to shatter some of your theories so I apologize in advance. A close friend of mine has pretty severe PCOS and she is hands down the girlies girl I have every met. As opposed to me who is seemingly normal and yet somehow I want to punch quite a few female MC's in their pretty little faces. I think some of us just have different expectations from characters. I too find that when there is a female vs male character I prefer the male one. Maybe because females tend to embody so many negative qualities to are meant make them endearing i.e stupidity, clumsiness, flakiness and the list goes on. There are very few female protagonists that I truly love. Elspeth from Obernewtyn is one of them. Maybe because she is so no nonsense. Although I get the feeling a lot of readers would find her bland. As for books with male protagonists...I've just read Leviathan which is a YA steampunk novel. It's dual perspective but the female POV is from a girl who is pretending to be a boy anyway!

  6. I often find myself getting annoyed at a lot of the female protagonists I read about too.... I'm hopeful that its usually bad writing on the author's part and not a reflection of how us girls actually are! I agree with you on Cassel though....I loved his point of view! There are the occasional female characters who surprise me (although I am drawing a blank on examples right now :P) I guess I don't mind either female or male perspectives as long as they are done right!

  7. Lan, Dang! You blew my theory out of the water! ;) I like Elspeth too and for the exact same reason.

    Natalie, Agreed. I only like the girls when they're realistic and done right.

  8. I always thought we liked the boy character BECAUSE we are girls! :) However, I too tend to enjoy the guys better because they are simply more interesting to me. I'll have to ponder your request for a book list and get back to you!

  9. I used to think something similar (well, not the testosterone stuff) because I got along better with guys than with girls, hence many of my HS friends were guys. I think this might have been because some girly personality traits annoyed me. I think maybe you're just annoyed at some of the ways girls are portrayed.

    Definitely try some John Green for a guys perspective.

  10. Suey, Yeah, there's that too. I do have too much estrogen too so who knows. The testosterone thing just worked so much better with my post. ;)

    Melissa, I've only read one John Green book. I need to read more.

  11. That's really interesting. Do you dislike the girl characters written by guys? (There aren't that many, though). I just finished Anna Dressed in Blood... it's written by a woman but with a male MC. It's very much a horror book, but I actually kinda liked it.
    And I second John Green. I really liked Paper Towns.