5 characters who make me feel lucky (not to be them)

Jennifer Lawrence as Katniss Everdeen, The Hunger Games

Sorry, Katniss, but we won't switch places with you. (Photo: Entertainment Weekly)

Recently, I’ve written a couple posts for Heroes and Heartbreakers looking at damaged heroines and the urban fantasy locales that will never make a tourist guide. The more I think on it, the more thankful I am not to be in the shoes of so many of the protagonists from my favorite books. Honestly, it might sound interesting to be a Guardian in Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series, but after reading Shadow Kiss and Blood Promise, can you really tell me you’d be willing to swap shoes with Rose Hathaway?

In that vein, I’m giving you the five characters who make me feel lucky (not to be them)*:

1. Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead)

Really, any of Richelle’s heroines could make this list, but Rose’s life is by far the most messed up. She’s been raised by a school not because she’s an orphan, but because her mother puts protecting vampires above all else. She falls for her mentor, but can’t be with him. He’s older and, well, in a position of power. When they finally give in to their shared love, he’s ripped from her and turned into the very thing they fight against. She has to hunt down and try to kill the only person who encouraged her to think of herself first, the man she loves. Not exactly the kind of life you’d want to lead. Lots of death, constant vigilance and epic romantic ups and downs.

2. MacKayla Lane (Fever series by Karen Marie Moning)

Her sister was murdered and she just wanted to make the police do something. Instead, MacKayla gets pulled into a war with the fae and has to help stop our world from crumbling, literally. She may (eventually) get Barrons, but the journey there — including the brutality associated with becoming Pri-ya — is nothing sort of painful.

3. Rhiannon Murphy (Rhiannon’s Law series by J.A. Saare)

Things never get better for Rhiannon. She finds love? It’s ripped from her. She gets transported into the future? Everyone is subjugated. She finds a way out? The future manages to follow her to the past and complicate things even more so. Really, this woman will never catch a break. On the upside: Disco and Paine.

4. Katniss Everdeen (The Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins)

Fighting to the death is just not my thing. Becoming propaganda isn’t either. Doing it all for nothing (highlight to reveal spoiler) because you sister dies anyway? Screw that.

5. Georgia Mason (Feed by Mira Grant)

We have things in common, me and Georgia. We’re both bloggers. We both have news backgrounds. She, however, lives in a post-zombie-apocalypse world. That means blood tests to get in and out of her car, home, city, etc. She gets wrapped up in what happens when becoming a zombie isn’t just a result of an attack — though it can be — but also based on science. I won’t spoil the book, but let’s say Feed is heartbreakingly good.


And just for the sake of providing the flip-side: I’d really love to by Lady Corsair from Meljean Brook’s Heart of Steel. Airship captain FTW!

Now for your turn. Which heroines would you never, ever, ever switch places with? Who makes you most thankful to be spending your days in the office?

* Because I’ve talked about Chess Putnam from Stacia Kane’s Downside Ghosts series so much — especially in those two H&H articles — we’re calling her a gimme.

22 Responses to “5 characters who make me feel lucky (not to be them)”

  1. Julie says:

    I couldn’t finish “The Scent of Shadows” because of what happened to Joanna Archer. This woman just couldn’t catch a break, it was painful to read (though I keep looking at that unfinished book on my shelf thinking I should give it another go).

    • Sue CCCP says:

      I found the first 2/3 of the book slow going, and I very nearly gave up on it, but then there is a crucial turning point and after that the book improved immensely and I’m willing to try the second one.

  2. ancameni says:

    I only have read 2/5 novel you mentioned. But i agree with you on Katniss Everdeen. I would not want to be in her shoes. Had to step in for a mother and father and support the family. Then there is that whole fighting to the death thing.
    Also Macayla Lane in the fever series: I just felt bad for her. Her sister dead, finding out about your past etc. That is hard to swallow.

    Thanks for your blogging. I enjoy it tremendously

  3. sooz says:

    I could never be Joanna Archer from Vicki Pettersson’s Zodiac series. Her first made me cry so much, I haven’t been able to read the next one, but it was also so good that I want to read more!

  4. Already two people are pointing to Signs of the Zodiac. As far as gutwrenching goes, Joanna Archer certainly has it covered.

  5. Joanna says:

    Never would want to be Katniss. However, I disagree about MacKayla. Barrons would be SO worth it;) If I were MacKayla, I would have never been Pri-ya. I would have punched the IYD button — just like I kept yelling at her to do.

  6. Kat M. says:

    Most recently, it would have to be Widdershins from Thief’s Covenant. Don’t get me wrong it’s a fun, adventurous read in the series with an awesome fantasy rogue. But if you’re her friend you have got to watch your back. Widdershins being a thief and having a loner, pagan god helping her out just draws trouble and heartache to her. I’m amazed she’s still sane after what she goes through.

  7. Laura R says:

    I adore Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels in the Magic series, but I would not want to live in aworld where I’m destined to fight a man who has lived for millennium, creates vampires, blood armor and God-only-knows what else. Sure, right now she has the love of her life, great friends and a child, but that’s only until good old dad shows up and starts trying to kill everyone, especially her.

    • Julie says:

      Oh – I would trade places with Kate in a heartbeat!! She totally kicks butt and has Curran. What more could anyone ask for?

  8. Brenda Demko says:

    Merit from the Chicagoland Vampire series had it pretty rough. She is changed to a vampire without her permission. She is attracted to a man that she despises(at first). He practically gives her away to Morgan. She starts to get somewhere with that relationship and Ethan keeps butting in, She has to move from her home to live with the other vamps, She finds out later that her father tried to have her changed without asking her. Her long ago boyfriend has kept secrets from her and know hates her, her best friend has a new life that she doesn’t quite fit into, Ethan keeps sending mixed messages, she has some major enemies, she loses her favorite person, her best friend betrays her. etc… Yeah I’m pretty sure that I’d rather read about her than be her!

  9. @Laura R – Great addition. Kate lives in the middle of a mass of craziness.

    @Brenda Demko – You know, I considered Merit for this post, but dismissed it because I think I might be willing to switch places with her. Drama aside, she gets to be a badass and remake herself — even if her hand was forced. Also, quality time with Mr. Green Eyes was a factor.

  10. Sandy says:

    Quite frankly I wouldn’t want to switch places with any character in a dystopian series, especially Katniss. Another lady I would not want to be Dru Anderson from Strange Angels by Lili St. Crow, I’ve only read the first book but I can already tell that Dru’s life is not going be sunshine and roses. Father turned to zombie and sent to come back and kill her, left an orphan and completely on her own with things that go bump in the night coming to get her and then having to deal with her only “friend” being turned into a werewolf, yeah no thanks.

  11. Chelle says:

    You have to admit that what Rose fought for, what she did, Dimitri would have done for her! She had to do it and in the end… well, in the end everything comes up roses.

  12. nods head in agreement with some of these characters. I don’t know if I could handle it being Katniss…Merit ..maybe or even Chessie

  13. Michaela says:

    A character I wouldn’t want to be, would be Tally from the Uglies series by Scott Westerfeld. Tally didn’t really seem to own her life, everyone was always making choices for her, I felt.

  14. cherry says:

    I wouldn’t want to be Dru Anderson from the Strange Angels Series. From having to kill her zombie dad to choosing between her werewolf best friend and her djamphir mentor. Her life is messed up.

  15. Candace says:

    I agree with Mac (yes, yes, the sex with JZB is undoubtedly amazing and we would all love to experience that just once – assuming a paramedic is on the standby), but think about what all that girl has gone through. Her life as she knew it was one big falsehood and her sister/BFF has just been killed as a result of their screwed up family secrets. The one man who can answer the questions for her has the worst raging case of PMS you have ever seen – oh and she just happens to fall in love with him. Um, yeah. I’ll pass.

    Katniss is a no-brainer too. Strong though she may be, the circumstances of her life are hell to contemplate.

    My additions would be Furie and Nix from IAD. I can remember when Lachlain said something about how he felt sorry for Nix and that Lycan had just spent the last century and a half being burned alive every day. Yikes. Nix – can you imagine? Lucidity is the exception, not the rule with her, because of the traffic jam she’s got going on in her head. Again, Yikes.

    And Justina from Night Huntress. I strongly dislike this character (and kudos to Bones for not driving a stake deep in her heart), but I can’t imagine having to become what she hates the very most.

  16. lian92 says:

    I woudnt want to be anyone in Distopian or Apocaliptic novels But i especially agree with Katniss , I also woudnt want to be Penryn from Angelfall SPOIlER having a Schizophrenic scary mother ,zombified sister turned Canibal no thank you. And Viola from Chaos Walking this girl went through to much loosing perents apearing on an unnown plnet where evryone want to kill her for no reoson getting shot, tochured and almost kiled from blood poisoining i woudnt survive half of it probebly.

  17. Noreen says:

    Rachel Morgan from Kim Harrison’s Hallows Series. I mean she gets beat to heck in just about every book, and no matter what she does even though she tries to do the right thing, she ends up in trouble.

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