Nothing makes me reach faster for a book than seeing people complain about an unlikable character. I already know it’s going to be a woman–or girl. While literature has been steeped with unlikable men since the beginning, they get to be part of literature because they’re complicated and compelling. The male anti-hero is actually cheered for and loved. Women on the other hand get labeled annoying, unlikable, and not someone to be friends with. Sometimes it honestly feels like a woman is unlikable just for breathing, which is why I welcome with open arms all the unlikable women flooding into publishing.
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Most of these unlikable women are the main character(s) while some are not but are important characters. Some are intentionally written by authors as unlikable characters with the purpose of pushing back against sexism, while others are on this list because reviews about how unlikable they are crossed my path enough times to make me scratch my head as a reader but left me unsurprised as a woman.
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Always Happy Hour: Stories by Mary Miller: Claustrophobic and lonesome, acerbic and magnetic, the women in Always Happy Hour seek understanding in the most unlikely places—a dilapidated foster home where love is a liability, a trailer park laden with a history of bad decisions, and the empty corners of a dream home bought after a bitter divorce.
American Housewife: Stories by Helen Ellis: A sharp, funny, delightfully unhinged collection of stories set in the dark world of domesticity, American Housewife features murderous ladies who lunch, celebrity treasure hunters, and the best bra fitter south of the Mason Dixon line.
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Blood Defense by Marcia Clark: Samantha Brinkman, an ambitious, hard-charging Los Angeles criminal defense attorney, is struggling to make a name for herself and to drag her fledgling practice into the big leagues. Sam lands a high-profile double-murder case in which one of the victims is a beloved TV star—and the defendant is a decorated veteran LAPD detective. It promises to be exactly the kind of media sensation that would establish her as a heavy hitter in the world of criminal law.
Burn Baby Burn by Meg Medina: Award-winning author Meg Medina transports us to a time when New York seemed balanced on a knife-edge, with tempers and temperatures running high, to share the story of a young woman who discovers that the greatest dangers are often closer than we like to admit — and the hardest to accept.
Link to the rest at BookRiot