I love strong heroines. Whether it’s romance or urban fantasy, if the main character can’t hold her own, we’re not friends. Generally, they’re people I identify with or want to be more like. That said, some of my absolute favorite main characters—the ones who embody inner strength—I would never want to swap lives with.
You know those wicked plot twists that leave you chucking the book or crying? These heroines have run the gauntlet and get hit with one trauma after another. So, while I love them, here are my top three heroines I would never switch lives with.
And to explain why, I have to talk plot. So, spoiler land lies ahead.
Merit (Chicagoland Vampires series)
Early on I might have said I’d step into Merit’s shoes. She’s turned vampire, and she’s pretty kickass at it. She has good friends and a hot-though-asshole boss in Master vampire Ethan Sullivan. Maybe I could swing that. I wouldn’t have complained about the abrupt life switch in Some Girls Bite… probably.
But as things progress, Chloe Neill has thrown one curveball at Merit after another. Maybe Ethan has to put up a front. Maybe the other guy she dated, Morgan, was only into her for political reasons. Someone’s trying to kill her all the freaking time, and those she’s supposed to be able to trust she can’t. And, really, I wouldn’t want to have to experience the end of Hard Bitten ever. I wouldn’t wish that on anyone. As a matter of fact, I’d like to hug Merit. For days. She’s strong, and I love her for it.
Rose Hathaway (Vampire Academy series)
I read a lot of Richelle Mead. (OK, she’s an auto-buy and I’ve read all of her books.) She’s known to make things hellish for her heroines, while she balances this out with moments of extreme happiness, one couldn’t pay me enough to swap shoes with her heroines. Particularly Rose. (I know you Mead fans are thinking, “But what about Georgina at the end of Succubus Dreams?” Rose has it worse.)
This strong, feisty protector of Moroi (good, living) vampires finds herself in love with her mentor. He refuses her for numerous (and very good) reasons. Eventually, though, it just can’t be denied and they give into each other. It’s glorious. It’s what everyone was waiting for and then he’s turned Strigoi that same night. He’d said he hoped someone would kill him if that ever happened. So, Rose, having lost her lover the same night she truly gained him, sets out to find and kill the one man she’s ever loved. She finds him and he’s beautiful and charming and tries to keep her with him. And she still has to try and stake him.
Things continue to be a big romantic mess as the series progresses. It’s an achingly beautiful tale, but not even for Dimitri would I swap shoes with Rose.
MacKayla Lane (Fever series)
The heroine of Karen Marie Moning’s much-beloved urban fantasy series transforms from a naïve party girl type in Darkfever into a tough, save-the-day kind of woman by the time we hit Shadowfever. She’s resilient, she’s feisty and you can see why young sidhe seer Dani is drawn to her. But becoming Mac 2.0 involved death, pain and big-time trauma.
We may all want to see Barrons’s possessive stare, or be whisked off to a beach in Faery with V’lane, but let’s be honest, the other 95 percent of MacKayla’s time in Ireland sucks the big one. It’s a fascinating reading, but the tortuous steps Moning puts her characters through brings one assault on Mac’s psyche after another. Can’t blame the girl for wanting to stay Pri-ya.
All that said, I’d still likely be happy to jump into the shoes of Katherine “Kitty” Katt from Gini Koch’s series of the same name. And I’d slip into Sookie Stackhouse’s shoes if only to make fur babies with Alcide, then spend happily ever after with a certain Viking (I could make it happen. Let me pretend.) Power and ability to solve more problems than really anyone should have to make Anita Blake’s one I’d be willing to swap with for a bit—but I also have only read up to Obsidian Butterfly, so maybe my tune will change?
What about you? Which main characters would you never in a million years swap lives with? And is there one out there you’d be willing to go all Freaky Friday with? Do tell.
While Chelsea Mueller runs Vampire Book Club, she won’t turn down a sexy werewolf, demon or faerie. She may also have a crush on Ian Somerhalder. He’s her off-season Alexander Skarsgard.