Alpha Heroine Challenge

The world of fiction is divided into two camps: Alphas vs. Betas. In heroine speak,  the Alphas are the doers, the connivers, the grabs-the-world-by-the-balls chicas. Beta girls, on the other hand, are the quietly introspective types with a proclivity to whine.  It is to my opinion that the best of the Alphas will always and forever be Scarlett O’Hara while Bella Swan’s moaning ways earns her a Beta Razzie and a photo of her heart-shaped mug tacked on my dart board.

Not that I don’t favor a little female ennui—in fact, I have a deep and abiding love for girly YA which is filled with Holden Caulfields a la femme (now with insert [vampire/werewolf/zombie] mayhem!!!)—but as a reader, I run with the Alpha pack. Alpha girls makes things happen. Cool things. They deflower virginal Scotsman and seduce Catholic priests. They forge a retail empire and take on the Plague. They make melodramatic vows against blood red sunsets.

Unbeknownst to myself, I’ve embarked upon an Alpha Heroine Reading Challenge, plowing through these bestselling chunksters you see before you, all, mind you, except one: Gone with the Wind. I have the movie memorized, line by line, shot by shot, but I’ve never got around to reading the book. Until now…

I’ve only gotten as far as the “You mean to tell me Katie Scarlett O’Hara that LAND means nothing to you?” scene (no, I didn’t look that up. I am a walking GWTW Wiki). I predict that it’s going to take me a long time because I like to poke my head up and inflict my Southern Belle impressions on those unfortunate souls in my real life.

Oh, won’t you join my Alpha Heroine Challenge? It has a membership of one. I realize being an Alpha is lonely as I am too feral for companions and must be kept in a solitary cage for my claws are sharp and my stare is deadly. But sometimes I like to sidle up to an equally fierce friend and purr.

P.S. What I love most about Viven Leigh’s face is the vixenish arch to her eyebrow. So much attitude. So much confidence. Since watching GWTW as a kid, I’ve exercised my eyebrow muscles and well, I don’t like to brag, but I think I will win the gold at the eyebrow arching Olympics. Any challengers? *Silence* That’s right! Didn’t think so…

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9 thoughts on “Alpha Heroine Challenge

  1. I jump around a lot on alpha and beta females in reading. I tend to relate more towards betas because in reality that’s what I am, but in a lot of cases alphas can be great fun to read. It really depends on the type too I guess. I loved Claire in Outlander, for instance. But Scarlett went back and forth between being great and getting on my nerves.

    If you like alpha females you might like Green Darkness by Anya Seton. It has one of those heroines that I sort of liked, but also annoyed me. It also features a defrocked priest and a conniving matriarch. =)

  2. What a fun post! I read GWTW before I saw the movie, and I loved them both despite their differences when I was like 13. 🙂 I don’t know what I’d think about it now though…I haven’t been able to bring myself to watch the movie in a few years, because the KKK heroism thing kinda makes me cringe.

  3. Man, I adore the movie, and like you, have it pretty much memorized, but GWTW is WAY better in book form. You just have to go into it knowing that the movie is so heavily condensed that it maybe showed about one scene in eight from the book. You’re going to LOVE it!

  4. SpottiDottie: I will definitely check out Green Darkness!

    Eva: The racism in GWTW never bothered me. I guess I just accepted it for a chronicle of the attitude of the historical time period (and the 1930’s). Granted, I don’t think a movie like that will fly if made nowadays.

    Rachelle: I’m already loving the in-depth descriptions of Ashley’s character! They always mentioned that the Wilkes were “queer folks” in the movie but never really explained it. Now I know why: they “spun brightly colored dreams,” none of them based in reality.

  5. I’ve read Outlander a million times and GWTW a few, both of them are excellent books. Claire is srong but likeable. Scarlett to me was strong and completely self-centered. Both of them are well written and feel very real. (Both books made me fall madly in love with Jamie and Rhett!)

    I’m already adding the other books on your list to my Amazon cart, I’ll take you up on the challenge!

  6. oh, and one last thing. You should add “Through a Glass Darkly” and “Now Face to Face” to your TBR list. Very good books.

  7. Wendy: Yay! A participant! I definitely need to make buttons now. I liked Scarlett’s self-centered character. Most heroines are so selfless and saintly. Scarlett was more like an anti-heroine, a historical bad girl!

  8. Loved the heroines in Outlander, Thormbirds, Forever Amber–how about Adelia from the Mistress of the Art of Death series? I got hooked on that series last year. There’s also Cahterine LeV in the Sharyn Newman series. She might be an Alpha minus, but I still love her!

  9. Hi T.Y.,

    Have you read *True Grit*? The herione is sometimes compared to Huck Finn. Mattie makes things happen. I think you’d like her.

    –Amanda

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