Why Snarky Heroines Rock Our World (with photographic evidence)


Why Snarky Heroines Rock Our World (with photographic evidence)

by Carly Drake

Thanks to my short and petite frame, I’m always described as “cute” and “adorable.”  Ewww, no woman should have to endure that, especially by guys.  So, to offset my stereotype, I got four tattoos and at one point had a nose ring, belly button ring, and tongue ring.  I also, until about four years ago, never wore skirts or dresses, unless I was at a wedding or job interview.  Unfortunately, a move to hotter climate ruined that resolution for me.  The point is, I’ve done everything possible to shake the “cute” label.  The only shield I have ever had that has protected me against people thinking I’m a cuddly teddy bear or, worse, a marshmallow, has been my wit.

Ahhhh, yes, snark, the first line of defense for most women.  When people—ok let’s face it, guys—won’t take us seriously because we are cute and tiny, or because we have boobs, sometimes the only whip that will keep them in line is a sassy remark.  This is why you’ll see so many heroines in books with an attitude.  As women, we may not be able to throw a punch or hold someone against a wall by their throat to make our point, but we sure as hell can take someone down a peg or two with a good zinger.

A girl with a dagger sharp wit is not a newly developed literary ploy, oh no!

Exhibit A: Shakespeare’s Beatrice from Much Ado About Nothing


Exhibit B: Jane Austen’s Elizabeth Bennet from Pride and Prejudice

JENNIFER EHLE(in all her incarnations)


Exhibit C: Louisa May Alcott’s Jo March from Little Women


Exhibit D: L.M. Montgomery’s Anne Shirley, from Anne of Green Gables.


The list goes on and I’m sure you have your favorite, but the fact remains, a woman’s tongue is often her deadliest weapon.

As drawn to these sassy girls as we all are, we are often not surprised when they inevitably find themselves in a good boy, bad boy love triangle.  Elena, Damon, and Stephan, anyone?


Or, how about Veronica, Logan, and Piz?

140313jason-dorhing-chris-lowell1_300x206(Ed: We at Escape Publishing are Team Damon and Team Logan, respectively)

What is the allure of the bad boy to our super intelligent smart-alec girls?  The answer is twofold.  One, snark is a shield, behind which a wounded person can hide.  You can either crumble after the trauma of your parents dying in a car crash that you survived, or your best friend’s death that destroys your life because your father messes up the case, OR you can put up that shield of attitude and watch as those arrows bounce off.  You’re untouchable now.

At least until bad boy comes along and he’s the only one who can see through your bluff and will call you on it.  Sure, maybe good boy can, too, but the bad boy won’t just recognise it, he knows exactly how you feel and he has the medicine to cure you.  Why doesn’t good boy’s box of tissues, pint of ice cream, and your favorite girly movie heal your wounds?  Because, darlin’, that’s what best friends are for.  Bad boy will take you out dancing, and you’ll end the night breaking into a private pool somewhere and skinny dipping.  There is nothing like an adrenaline rush to make you appreciate your life, no matter how cruddy it is.

So, while we may roll our eyes and groan every time we see our favorite smart ass heroine drop the good boy/safe life for the bad boy’s goods, those of us in the snarky trenches know—without that push, we’ll never fly.

Carly Drake loves books, but loving them is not enough — she finds she has to write them too. As a reader and as an author, she gravitates toward period pieces and supernatural works, stories that offer escape to a different time and set of rules. Mix a magical world with the drama of young adults choosing who they want to be, often conflicting with what they are, and you have a recipe for her favorite favourite brand of make-believe. A former fashion design student, a Coast Guard wife, and eternal devotee of actors from across the pond, Carly currently endures the heat of Texas with her husband, two children, and her four legged guardians.

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