Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Talk To Me Tuesday: Female V Male Main Characters

Talk To Me Tuesday is a new meme held by the lovely  Melissa @ I Swim For Oceans where we discuss anything and everything literary related in an open form of honesty.

I LOVE this idea for a new meme as discussions are some of my favourite posts on book blogs and including more of them on my blog was one of my goals for this year so I decided to take part. Thank you for hosting Melissa! If you want to join in and link up visit the post HERE on I Swim For Oceans.

This week's question is: Do you have a preference between male and female MCs, and why?

I have to admit that I haven't actually read many books with a male MC (scanning my bookshelves quickly I can only see one) so perhaps I haven't given books written like that a fair chance but I more naturally pick books with female protagonists. I suppose I've always thought that I would understand their thoughts and feelings better. I like reading about girly troubles e.g. friendship or activities e.g. shopping because I have experienced or felt more similar things.
 Also, in my favourite genre YA historical fiction and the boarding school books I've read a lot of, it's quite rare that the main character is a boy so I think it definitely has something to do with the choice available. I find that many children's books that I used to read more had boys as main characters if it was in the action adventure or mystery genre.

For me to enjoy a book, I have to connect with and get to know the main character and if the main character is male, it really depends on their individual personality as girls are often more emotional. The author and their writing plays a part in this too. This really applies to books told in the first person more than the third. For instance I love Goodnight Mr Tom by Michelle Magorian, which is told in the third person.

I really like books that have the best of both too for example alternating between the point of view of the female protagonist and the male protagonist. This worked really well in No Shame No Fear by Ann Turnball and the two characters narrating had a romance. 

 However, I just finished reading Annexed by Sharon Dogar yesterday, which is the story of Anne Frank's time hiding in the Annexe through Peter's eyes. I enjoyed it  and it was actually really refreshing to read a book from a male perspective.  I haven't found the main character any more difficult to relate to, however much of the book is focused on Peter's feelings at being shut  up in the Annexe and not everyday activities of a 'typical boy.'

Thinking more about this question has made me more open to reading books with a male main character and I just discovered Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman, which is in the first person. Hopefully, I will try it as part of A Tapestry Of Words' Out Of Your Comfort Zone reading challenge.

I think there need to be more books told from the perspective of male protagonists in the YA market and this might encourage more boys to read too. Although I think my favourite books will always have girl main character/s!

How about you?


  1. I definitely agree that there should be more books told by male MCs. I'm reading one right now that is fantastic, but there aren't nearly enough. I feel the few books I read from a male viewpoint are either childish and crass, or too effeminate.

    Great answer, Stephanie! Thanks for participating (did you link up?) :)

  2. Ooops, I've linked up now! I agree with what you said about books told from a male perspective sometimes being a bit more childish. I'm enjoying reading everyone else's opinions :)

  3. The only two books I've read with a boy as the narrator/main character is Paper Town by John Green and Boys Don't Cry by Malorie Blackman. Over 300 books and only 2 from a male perspective.
    OMG! Annexed looks fantastic! I love Anne Frank, so this would be exactly my thing... Please do a review for it!

  4. Have you read "Boys Don't Cry"? If not, you really should because it's amazing!

    I think I read more female MCs than male, but I do read a good proportion of male (reading one right now) and don't really have a preference. It can be easier to relate to females though.

  5. Thanks for the shout-out, Stephanie! :) Yeah, I find it easier to relate to a female protagonist and I agree with Melissa, sometimes the guy perspectives are just too crass and immature.

    Didn't realize the same man wrote for Lark Rise to Candleford and Downton Abbey! Downton Abbey sounds quite interesting, am thinking about checking it out. I think you would enjoy Lark Rise but you're right, it is in its 4th season now so you'd have to do some catching up :) I think most of the episodes are available on YouTube, btw.

  6. It's true, there are SO many more books with female MC's than male. I think that's why I gravitate to them. I do enjoy male perspectives though, there just aren't that many. One of my favorites is Sam's character from Shiver. I also really enjoyed the Maze Runner by James Dashner. I think I'm going to have to consciously look for male MC's. See if I can't get more reviews up with them.

    In the Closet With a Bibliophile

  7. I look forward to reading more on the topic in the future.
    Keep up the good work! This blog is going to be great resource. Love reading it


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