There seems to be a general consensus among blog writers/commenters that Bella Swan is a useless twit. And I have to say that up until the final scene in Breaking Dawn, I totally agree. I mean, what else does she do besides just not die? Even when she's pregnant with Renesmee, that's all she has to do. Keep her heart beating while strong, capable Jacob and Edward do all the work! But, sadly, Bella isn't the only weak, simpering, annoying heroine. They're everywhere. I like to call them schmheriones. The author would like you to think that she is, in fact, a strong, admirable, intelligent female character. The character even thinks that she is strong and fantastic and ever so worthy of hero's love and attention. But usually she ends up a whining, useless, knight in shining armor needing damsel-in-distress. Here are some key characteristics to look out for. If you spot three or more, you might want to put the book down, because you have encountered a schmherione.
1. An extremely feminine name, usually constituting of a lot of e's, l's, and y's. Lily. Bella. Ella (not always. Ella Enchanted is definitely an exception to this rule). Julia. Holly. Jenny. Serena.
2. A sad situation that was thrust upon her and because of which she is unbearably miserable. Being made to move to a new home. Sent to a posh private boarding school. Homeless. Poor. Gifted with some terrible affliction that she can use to help people but which she views as a curse.
3. The uncanny ability to draw male attention despite being a) not incredibly attractive or funny b) so shy she has difficulty forming sentences around the opposite sex c) is secretly attractive but disguises it with large glasses, ill-fitting clothing and a bad haircut, all of which the male is able to see through to the gorgeousness underneath as if by x-ray vision.
4. Despite all of above qualities, somehow makes friends instantly in new situation and adapts easily to environment she supposedly hates.
5. A schmherione often displays distinctly anti-male, overly feminist views at first, convinced that she doesn't need a man or any help of any kind, but eventually finds herself weak and unable to cope with life and falls face-first at the feet of nearest good-looking male who is much more capable of handling her problems for her.
6. Sometimes a schmherione is friends with an actual heroine, a best friend who is loyal, smart, and yet always takes the back seat to the schmheroine, just because of her acne and slight weight problem or frizzy hair. (I like to think that the loyal bestie slims down and discovers Proactiv in college)
7. Although the schmheroine has no other discernible value, she has one remarkable trait or talent that sets her apart from everyone else and is therefore supposed to redeem her as a human being. (Note: It doesn't.)
I'm sure there are many more traits of a schmheroine that I'm missing, but I'm keeping my boyfriend up and he wants to go to bed (ugh, such a schmheroine thing to say!) so please, add to my list? What am I missing?