A Review of “Plain Bad Heroines”

This book was written by Emily M. Danforth. I bought it at a major book chain based on the writeup on the back.

Earlier on this site, I reviewed a book called “The Ten Thousand Doors of January” with my big complaint there wasn’t enough back story on the secondary characters. Well, the book “Plain Bad Heroines” didn’t have this problem and that is what makes this book so good. I would give this book 5 out of 5 stars, while I gave the ten thousand doors book only 3 stars.

The plot of the bad heroines book is fairly simple. Years after two girls in the woods are found dead of a bee attack a movie is being made about the two girls. However, strange things are starting to happen to some of the crew, mainly the two actresses and the female writer of the book that inspired the movie. These three are the main characters of the book. Or should I say 3 of the 5 main characters of the book as the headmistress of the school and her special friend who is a teacher.

If you read between the lines you figured out that the headmistress and her “friend” are lesbians. A lot of the characters in this book including all the main characters to an extent, are either lesbian, bi or gay. Also, the two girls weren’t just going for a walk or to see the scenery. If this bothers you don’t get the book, otherwise I highly recommend it. One thing I like is Ms. Danforth never lectures you. She mentions the problems being gay but mentions it as a challenge to what the characters have to overcome to achieve their lives. The book’s message is how these people have to take steps to live a life they can enjoy and just be alive because societies prejudices.

Ms. Danforth does two things I love. She gives all the characters a personality even if they are on the stage only a page or two. I found the headmistress’s husband interesting even though he was mainly a plot devise.

The second thing is when things start happening on the movie set Ms. Danforth’s writing sets to mood to what is happening to the three young women, the two actresses and the writer. It is a fun book. I didn’t like all the characters at first but liked them better as I got to know them more. This is one of the keys to writing a great book which I found this one to be.

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