This is a feature my brother came up with— wherein we tackle certain topics on books, young adult or not, and give you guys the low down on our opinions of them (which, mind you, generally differ). I’ll be encoding our conversation, and if you guys have any opinions of your own on the topic, or on the heated discussion, feel free to once again make my day and comment!
My brother is seventeen, a college sophomore, approximately one year and two days older. His name is Juan (that’s pronounced like the number, one), and he’s my best friend. No matter what anyone else says.
Jasmine: Why hello there!
Juan: Nice to see you, dear reader!
Jasmine: What do we have in store for this week, bro?
Juan: Something as amusing and thought-provoking as always, that’s for sure. But just to clarify, in case you’ve skimmed through this post right here, I am NOT tall and muscular. I do not have perfect skin, either. That makes me sound like Ian Smolderhotter or something.
Jasmine: You should be thanking me– even if I do agree that Ian smolders hotter. But alright, if you insist. I was just trying to make a point. My bro right here, ladies and gentlemen, is actually a fat – ass with no redeeming qualities 🙂
Juan: Damn. Let’s just pretend I never said anything. So for this week’s feature, lil’ sis and I are going to discuss zeroes versus heroes.
Jasmine: Zeroes being the once lame and rigid, now all-powerful protagonists we all love to self-insert ourselves into (admit it), and the heroes being the perpetually breathtaking, stupefying, magnificent and jaw-droppingly handsome and ostentatious, before and after.
Juan: And during, in case you’ve forgotten. SO! In terms of protagonists, do you prefer zeroes or heroes?
Jasmine: ZEROES BABY!
Juan: Heroes it is… Baby.
Jasmine: Cue Justin Bieber song?
Juan: Nahh, I’ll just sing it.
** 5 excruciating minutes later***
Jasmine: That was nice.
Juan: Wasn’t it? 😉
Jasmine: Hell no.
Juan: FINE! Moving on, I prefer heroes because they remind me of me.
Jasmine: Your argument is invalid.
Juan: I was just kidding, mahn. Anyway, I prefer heroes because… good god, to be honest I don’t prefer heroes.
Jasmine: Agreeable cyborg, is that you?!
Juan: Uhm yeah. I can explain! I just think they’re boring. I can’t relate to them– most people can’t. I appreciate being able to put myself in the shoes of the protagonist, and see things from their perspective. When he makes a decision within realm of the possibility that it’s no less than life-changing, I’d like to think, “Oh yeah, that makes sense. I’d do that too.” You just don’t get that enough with heroes. They’re just too beautiful and mind-blowing for their own good.
Jasmine: Okay agreeable cyborg. That was totally valid. But on the flip side, I love zeroes because they’re so much more pragmatic, levelheaded, and down to earth. They’re easier to sympathize with, bleed for, and understand, and consequently, show fondness for and appreciate. I’m admittedly attracted to an entire plethora of characters that seem flawless not only in terms of exterior, but I find it hard to relate to their thought processes, and make sense of what makes them tick. But of course, heroes as love interests are adorable. I’m not going to deny completely swooning over companion novels written from their points of view.
Juan: You say zeroes are more down to earth, and all that, but why is such the case? They’ve been screwed almost their whole lives– or their whole lives, if they’re that ill-fated– and wouldn’t they be more selfish then? They’d look out for their own interests more than anything else, seek revenge for example.
Jasmine: That makes sense if you think about it. The mere fact, however, that they’ve been subservient, judged, thrown around like trash, exploited, and anything else equally demeaning, and yet, have not given up on hope and a better tomorrow– it tells me that they aren’t selfish enough. They believe in the innate rectitude of people who are capable of acceptance, people they may have yet to meet. If they were selfish, they’d just go on a personal vendetta and leave chaos in their wake. That’s not a very protagonist-like thing to do. I guess I can appreciate zeroes better because in a sense, they’re stronger. They aren’t being spoon-fed honor and glory on a silver platter, without having to do anything else but actually exist. They have to work and choose the path of sacrifice, but within reason, to achieve the recognition and love they deserve. It’s so much more satisfactory that way, if you ask me.
Juan: That makes sense. You explained it really nicely for me.
Jasmine: You are definitely NOT my brother.
Juan: However I will, say this:
Jasmine: Welcome back, bro.
Juan: Too many zeroes just “power-up” way too abruptly. It’s like a computer game, and they start from level one. Two weeks later, maybe even overnight, they’re at level max, and that’s lame. For it to work, the change has to be sure, but gradual.
Jasmine: I honestly don’t mind the sudden power-up– I mean, it’s about time they realize they’re worth more than what meats the eye! As long as they don’t lose track of their zero self, in a way, as long as they don’t make way for a new and improved, monumental ego, you’ll hear no complaints from me.
Juan: Yeah I guess that’s true. So, to conclude, my favorite types of protagonists are the smart ones. They’re way better– not that physically gifted, but they still find ways, because they have the mental capacity. They don’t necessarily have to be the zeroes that people keep squashing like bugs, and most certainly not the heroes people keep putting on a pedestal– you don’t have to go the extra mile to be a great protagonist in my opinion. As long as you’re clever, know what you stand for, and you’re not afraid to fight for whatever that is, and die trying, then I’m not complaining either.
Jasmine: Well, that just took the words right out of my mouth.
Juan: You’re welcome.
So what do you think? Have any suggestions? Criticisms of the constructive variety? Life changing praise? Comment if you do! 😀
P.S. We’d appreciate suggestions on future topics!
P.P.S. Next week, my brother and I are going to take a quick break from argument– we’re going to interview each other instead! Hope you like what we come up with next 😉