Because this is where I’d say that if I read another book with what becomes an obvious Mary Sue, I’d throw it out the window.
The definition of a Mary Sue is oft-debated and up to the reader’s interpretation, but for the most part, I personally see Mary Sues as characters in stories that are interpretations of female authors themselves, but melded into these idealistic forms that core characters of the story ultimately fall for.
Over the span of the last year, I’ve read far too many novels where one of the main characters are obviously Mary Sues. I’m not entirely sure why this keeps happening to me, but I have a tendency to gravitate towards novels involving people with mental illness, are spiritually broken, or are simply socially distant from the rest of the world. This type of blueprint appears to be the primary breeding ground of Mary Sue characters, because I simply cannot stop running into them. It’s probably because I’m a romantic at heart, and I like the idea of people down on their luck stumbling across the chance romance, but it’s becoming apparent that the chance romantic interest stands a high probability of becoming a Mary Sue.
A rule I need to employ onto myself is to stop Googling authors while I’m in the midst of reading their work. I couldn’t help it most of these times, because long gone are the days in which I start and finish a novel in one sitting, and sometimes I’m curious about the author, and I Google them. The problem is that 99% of the time, I find out what they look like, and 99% of that time, these authors surreptitiously match the description of the object of affection in the book I’m reading.
100% of my instances, both the author and the romantic interests are redheads. Up for argument is whether or not I think they fit their self-imposed descriptions of “beautiful” with “piercing eyes.”
The point remains however, once the idea enters my head that the romantic interest is a Mary Sue, the rest of these books becomes kind of lame. I start judging the actions of the Mary Sue as fantasies brought to life by the author, and I roll my eyes whenever they do something tragically cliché, or when they inevitably reject the main character of the story, due to this overdramatic martyr complex.
What sucks though is how many books like this have to exist out there. After I finished one book where Mary Sue abandons the love of her life on a justifiable account of fearing for her life from her abusive step-father, but then tearfully rejects his letters and attempts to keep a channel of communication open, to end the story, I made sure to log into Amazon, and delete this particular book from the algorithms that determine future suggestions for my Kindle reading. Regardless of it not being involved in book suggestions, I’ve still managed to come across and end up reading at least two or three more books where they’re not necessarily terrible, but the Mary Sue alarms end up sounding, and tanking the rest of them
The bottom line is that, and I don’t want to sound so tremendously sexist, but it’s really making me lose faith in the next crop of female authors, because they just can’t stop using their literature as channels to bring fantasies to life by inserting perfectly flawed and quirky versions of themselves into them. I’m not saying male authors aren’t guilty of inserting Marty Stus into their own stories, but apparently I’m just not gravitating towards books written by these people.
Perhaps I should just stick to Palahniuk, autobiographies and/or books about baseball and wrestling.