We hear it all the time. "It's a total Bonnie and Clyde-style movie, book, TV show." And we say it with a little bit of reverence. Awe, even.
Bonnie and Clyde, the romantic robbing duo, are legendary.
But, really, who were they?
Bonnie Elizabeth Parker and Clyde Chestnut Barrow were leaders of a gang during the public enemy era -- something very similar to what Colombia went through in the eighties and Mexico is going through now: an era marked by violent criminal bands that steal and kill to further their own personal wealth and for cheap thrills. What set this particular gang apart is Bonnie. A woman. And a pretty one at that. Dillinger was sexy. Pretty Boy Floyd had the cool nickname. Clyde had Bonnie, and had it not been for her, he'd have been dismissed as the thug he really was. (Not so romantic, really. Downright scary.) Plus, two young UNMARRIED people traveling around the country together, chain smoking cigarettes created an aura of the forbidden. Hell, they were SEXY. (Plus, she was technically a married woman, having married a high school sweetheart when she was sixteen and never officially divorcing. When she was killed, she was still wearing her wedding band.)
There's been no proof as to whether Bonnie ever killed anyone. But the gang killed at least nine police officers and several civilians during their rampage across the Central US robbing small stores, gas stations, and a dozen or so banks. This gang wasn't spreading the wealth, either. "Steal from the rich, give to the poor," is Robin Hood, not Bonnie and Clyde. Basically, the fact that Bonnie was a hottie and Clyde wasn't so bad himself; the assumption they had a sexual relationship; the idea that they were a forbidden couple -- all of these things let them get by, literally, with murder and be swept up in a media frenzy of romanticism and legend. They were killed by officers in Louisiana, shooting about 130 rounds in the couple. Ouch.
Nevertheless, our mythic couple appears in modern-day movies all the time: Natural Born Killers, Pulp Fiction, even Justin Timberlake's latest futuristic movie In Time. (The last was insane to me since "Bonnie" spent the whole movie running at a full sprint in six-inch black heels. I sure hope she got paid extra for that. Her acting wasn't stellar, but how can you give the performance of a lifetime with pinched toes? Really? Could they not have found something a little more practical for her to wear?)
This is all building up to my big WANTED cover reveal this Friday (sharing the hoopla with my friends at Girls In the Stacks and A Good Addiction) in which I bought into the media myth of Bonnie and Clyde with the Robin Hood twist and turned it on the world of YA -- pairing up Michal and Josh, a high school bookie and trust-fund kid, who go from a school prank to a crime spree.
So before the big cover reveal this Friday in which YOU CAN WIN A SIGNED ARC OF WANTED, my novel that will be out May 1, 2012 (yay!), I'd like to know this: Which YA or MG characters would you pair up to reek havoc on the world whether it be for good or just plain old malice throwing in a little romance here and there? Here are my picks:
Doug Lee (the mc from FAT VAMPIRE by Adam Rex) and Dicey Tillerman (from HOMECOMING, DICEY'S SONG etc. by Cynthia Voigt)
Why? I get a little bored with sexy main characters. Yeah. I GET that it's our fantasy, but since I am into the real thing, I like real characters who look like real characters (aka, not sparkly) and are goofy and charismatic and funny and flawed and not necessarily beautiful from a media point of view; characters who struggle with their identities and are sometimes hateful and spiteful and not likeable but characters we can really relate to because of it. Plus, it'd be fun to pair Doug's overt need to fit in with Dicey's total disinterest in what people think of her. I think they'd probably end up killing each other, but it'd be fun to watch them find a way to fit together.
What about you?? Who'd you pair up and why?
And stay tuned for a cover-reveal Friday and a chance to win a signed ARC of WANTED ... Be one of the first to read it!