Top Ten Tuesday is a meme by The Broke And The Bookish. This one is a random pick from their list of previous topics.
This is a great topic! It’s just true, sometimes, as readers/viewers, we just don’t click with a main or important character. I think this is different from an evil character, or a character with a questionable moral compass, that we actually like to dislike and read about…
- Andrea from The Walking Dead (the T.V. series)… I want to mention this because Andrea in the comics is totally different – not only is she believable but she is actually an empowered female character that kicks butt in a way that isn’t so damn… preachy? annoying? patriarchal? I absolutely hate the T.V. rewrite of this chick, it is a hate that burns. She is preachy in a wishy-washy kind of way, she is constantly questioning herself and is therefore often hypocritical, she is ALWAYS a liability to the group – needing saving or, in her attempts to save others, needing saving again. There are also lots of logic disconnects with her T.V. character – all of a sudden she is a good shot (which she is in the comics) but we never get any evidence of it because she’s always missing and needing saving etc… GAH! Oy… I better stop. But Andrea, T.V. Andrea, is the worst.
- Elphaba from Gregory Maguire’s Wicked. I really didn’t like this chick – she didn’t seem to have any oomph or real character, nothing drove this girl – what did she really want? And for such an iconic figure I guess I just expected more, one way or another I wanted to admire her wicked ways or feel compassion for her being misunderstood, but I just didn’t care.
- Young Lemony Snicket from Who Could It Be At This Hour – I just couldn’t get into it. I don’t know why, I generally like this kind of POV but I didn’t like it and I couldn’t get into it… perhaps it was just that this was another intelligent boy story like Artemis Fowl and well, so many others and I was ready for something a little different from Snicket.
- Thomas from The Maze Runner was boring and inconsistent and it got irritating in a story that could have been really awesome. Watch the film.
- Clary from City of Bones – she was boring. She was the hot girl who didn’t think she was hot and was oblivious to her male friend’s “secret” feelings, oh yeah, and she was also special. Of course.
I tend not to read books containing characters I don’t like. (Also, Steph, Elphaba had loads of character so HAH!)
- Amy Gumm from Dorothy Must Die.
- Celaena Sardothien from Maas’s Throne of Glass series.
- Feyre from Maas’s A Court of Thorns and Roses.
There are many reasons I didn’t click with these characters but I can’t remember them. I just know that my dislike of them was intense enough that I didn’t finish the books/series they star in.
I usually manage to avoid books with main characters I don’t like. So my beef with the following books may be more that I couldn’t stand the book itself than that I couldn’t click with the protagonist.
- Everyone from Liesel and Po by Lauren Oliver. There wasn’t a single character I could fasten on to, and the story soon became heavyhanded and boring.
- To Dance at the Palais Royale by Janet McNaughton. The protagonist (I’ve forgotten her name) had poor judgement and (sorry!) I couldn’t empathize with her goals.
- Kyra (and everyone else) in Poison by Bridget Zinn. Little miss perfect is tragically on her own, meets an annoying boy (they fall in love), and saves the kingdom.
- Kate from The Liar’s Society series by Laura Roecker and Lisa Roecker. Kate is determined, which I enjoyed, but not nearly cunning enough to effect change or escape being manipulated by various factions. She consistently fails to learn from her poorly-planned decisions.
- Fallen by Lauren Kate. Forgot the protagonist’s name; everything about her was forgettable. What I do remember was the cringe-inducing writing and frighteningly Destiny-laden approach to romantic relationships. If the MC had had half a brain she would have GOTTEN OUT right away, but then, that would require agency, which was in short supply as well.
I’m with Steph on the Wicked question. I wanted to like Elphaba but felt that I was always placed at a remove from her, as if I was watching through a gauze curtain that blurred her facial expressions and concealed emotions and motivations. Elphaba in Wicked: The Musical, however, is another story!
Heh, I actually hate this topic! Not even sure why I picked it– I actually recommend that people go out of their way to pick up books with characters they don’t click with. Even if I didn’t click with any of the characters I listed below, I still think they were well-written characters and enjoyed reading them. The books themselves are amongst my top favourites:
- Cilla from Otherbound: [SPOILERS AHEAD] I love that she ends up growing over the novel and becoming one half of my OTP, but damn, she was annoying in the start. As someone in a position of power, I couldn’t understand why she acted so thoughtlessly. It was baffling. And every time she apologized she annoyed me even more. Now though, I kind of get it. Young, in a bubble, and in love; leaves lots of room for careless acts.
- Shadow from American Gods: I mean, are you meant to totally click with him? If you answer yes, I probably don’t trust you.
- Evie from The Diviners: I LOVE Evie. I just don’t always understand her. It’s usually pages and pages after she has done something that I get where she’s coming from. Thing is, I feel like Evie is meant to be someone you’re always trying to catch up with. Or maybe I have more of Mabel in me than I’d like to admit.
- Jace from The Mortal Instruments: Probably the only character I love to hate as much and as often. Since his life is so supernaturally screwed, his reactions are pretty supernatural too. They feel alien to me and often his behaviour is unforgivable. All the other guys in the series feel real to me, no matter how different or inhuman. It’s just this boy. He gets under my skin like no other male character.
- Shanti from Beauty Queens: Not every Indian girl is meant to reflect my own understanding of Indianness. I am actually happy for there to be a variety of brown characters to read about. I may not have clicked with Shanti but I loved watching her evolve over the book.