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Literature / The Girl Who Would Be King

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The Girl Who Would Be King is a novel by Kelly Thompson, the publishing of which was funded through Kickstarter.

The story follows Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever, two teenage girls with superpowers. Bonnie, after living in self-imposed isolation for years following the death of her parents in a car accident, decides she wants to use her abilities to protect people. Meanwhile, Lola kills her mother and sets out in pursuit of wealth and power, and is willing to do absolutely anything to get when she wants. When they meet, their battle will shake the world.

This novel contains examples of:

  • The Alcoholic: Delia became one after losing her powers. Lola eventually becomes one as well.
  • Alliterative Name: Bonnie Braverman and Lola LeFever.
  • Amplifier Artifact: The raven stone. Though it's not actually the stone itself, but rather the symbol on it.
  • Balance Between Good and Evil: The Bravermans and the LeFevers, forever at war, neither side capable of winning or losing.
  • Bath Suicide: Attempted by Lola, but fails because of her healing factor.
  • Bulletproof Human Shield: Lola uses Albert as one.
  • Dead Person Conversation: Bonnie and Lola's mothers appear to them in Spirit Advisor sort of way at various points throughout the book.
  • Dead Sidekick: For Bonnie, the death of Bryce
  • Death Seeker: Lola, by the end.
  • Deconstruction: Thought not as dark as, say, Watchmen, the book takes a pretty serious look at many superhero tropes. For example, Bonnie has trouble balancing her jobs, personal life, and heroics, and she had trouble getting those jobs in the first place.
  • Downer Ending: Bonnie kills Lola, but cannot alter the balance between good and evil. She will die young, one of her daughters will be good and the other will be evil, and the endless conflict will continue.
  • Dumb Muscle: Lola's one complaint about her powers are that they don't include heightened intelligence, meaning that despite her ambitions she's stuck in a dumb muscle role.
  • Flying Brick: Bonnie and Lola's powerset.
  • Friendly Enemy: Delia and Scarlett had this kind of relationship.
  • Healing Factor: One of Bonnie and Lola's powers.
  • In the Blood: The Bravermans are all inherently good, the LeFevers are all inherently evil.
  • It's Not You, It's My Enemies: Bonnie to Clark.
  • Kill the Ones You Love: Lola inevitably ends up killing everyone she cares about when they betray her.
  • Left for Dead: Happens to Bonnie and Lola twice each.
  • Meaningful Name: Bonnie means "Good"; Lola means "Sorrow". And of course there's "Braverman" versus "LaFever".
  • Morality Pet: Liz for Lola. After killing Liz, Lola goes entirely insane.
  • Mummies at the Dinner Table: After killing Elizabeth, Lola keeps her ear and talks to it like she's still alive.
  • The Nicknamer: Lola takes pleasure in coming up with demeaning nicknames for her henchmen rather than bothering to learn their real ones.
  • The Noun Who Verbed: The title.
  • Pregnant Badass: Bonnie during the final battle.
  • Rage Against the Reflection: Lola
  • Resurrective Immortality: A Braverman or a LaFever won't stay dead unless they have a daughter who can inherit their power.
  • Self-Made Orphan: Lola
  • Sensory Overload: Lola suffers this when she first discovers her super hearing, though she manages to overcome it.
  • The Sociopath: Lola
  • The Speechless: Bonnie, due to trauma from the car crash that killed her parents, stops speaking until she turns 18.
  • Spirit Advisor: Scarlett to Bonnie and Delia to Lola. However, they don't actually do much — Scarlett would like to help, but is prevented by geis from actually doing so; and Delia doesn't even want to help, and shows up just to mock Lola.
  • Super-Senses: Bonnie and Lola have super hearing and vision.
  • Take Over the City: Lola declares herself King of Los Angeles.
  • They Would Cut You Up: A recurring fear of Lola's, and the reason she is wary about killing police or anyone who might catch the government's attention.