Top Ten Tuesday: (almost) ten characters I just didn’t click with

Top Ten TuesdayIt’s been months since I last linked up for Top Ten Tuesday! TTT is a weekly link-up hosted by The Broke and the Bookish; this week we’re discussing the characters we just didn’t click with. I don’t know about you, but I tend to have pretty strong reactions to book characters. Either I love them or I just can’t connect with them at all, and if it’s the latter, I often won’t end up liking the book, no matter how well written. In general, it’s the characters who are whiny or helpless who ruin stories the fastest for me, or those who simply do incredibly stupid things. It’s hard to click with a character when I’m facepalming at the same time!

In no particular order, here are a few of the characters that I couldn’t click with, no matter how hard I tried:

Bran Stark, A Song of Ice and Fire

I’m going to be totally honest: I skimmed Bran’s chapters. Something about them was dreary and repetitive and I got sick of reading about him and his damn crows when there was a Mother of Dragons on the loose. (Sorry, Bran!)

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Andy Sachs, The Devil Wears Prada

I actually kind of liked the movie, in a well-I’m-bored-and-this-is-entertaining-trash sort of way. But the book was horrendous. Andy just came across as a huge beeyotch and a spoiled brat. It’s hard to laugh at a character when you know that if you met them in real life, you’d just want to shake them senseless.

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Amy Gumm, Dorothy Must Die

I wanted to like this dark, twisted take on Oz, but the narrator is a self-righteous snot who spends half her time judging her fellow females and another chunk of her time being in a love triangle. This leaves very little room for her to, you know, ensure that Dorothy dies. I was actually a little shocked that a book aimed at teenage girls would include so much girl-on-girl hate–it just seems nasty and self-defeating.

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Amethyst Treasure, Treasure, Darkly

I was hoping Amethyst would be a feisty steampunk heroine, but she was so selfish and flighty that it was hard to connect with her. I liked the book okay, I was just bummed with her character development.

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Ceony Twill, The Paper Magician trilogy

This is another example of books that were fun in theory, but sort of fell short with the “heroine”. Ceony does okay for herself in the first book, but she spends most of the second making dumb decisions and consequently needing to be rescued.

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Nora Grey, Hush, Hush

Hmm…a book with a really cool concept and great cover art, but man! What a helpless, stupid excuse for a heroine! I couldn’t click at all with her personality. Where’s Katniss when you need her? I bet she would have shot an arrow right through Patch. (You can read further ranting about this book here, if you’re so inclined.)

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Will Navidson, House of Leaves

This was an absolutely brilliant project, and I give huge kudos to Danielewski for pulling it together. However, the whole time I was reading the book, I couldn’t help but wonder what the hell was wrong with Will for staying in a house that is earnestly trying to swallow him whole. What warning signs did he miss? Maybe when a room frigging appeared out of nowhere? And keep in mind, his kids are in this house too, and he basically scratches his head and says, “Boy, I’d better double-check those blueprints tomorrow morning!” (I also understand that Will is, in a way, supposed to be representative of man’s need to know and to conquer, but I still couldn’t click with him. In his shoes, I would have called a realtor and an exorcist, and gotten the hell out.)

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Unfortunately those are the only seven I could come up with, but I bet you could tell me about more! Leave me a comment and let me know: what makes it hard for you to click with a character? If you don’t click, do you automatically dislike the book, or can it still be a four-star read?

22 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: (almost) ten characters I just didn’t click with

  1. I’m not really sure what makes me connect with a character but if I’m not emotionally invested in the characters life then it’s going to be pretty hard for me to read. I’m a character loving person so even the plot is brilliant , the characters make it or break it for me.

    1. I definitely have trouble with a book if the character comes across as flat. When I can’t remember the character’s name while typing up a review, then you know I REALLY wasn’t invested in them!

  2. I have been thinking about reading the Devil Wears Prada book because I kinda like the movie, but I have seen it on enough lists this week that I am going to skip it. I don’t think I could tolerate the amount of Andy I would have to put up with haha. Great list :)

  3. I just know the book version of Devil Wears Prada isn’t for me, but I did like the movie–not enough to watch if over and over again though.

    I do and have liked books (even loved them) when I have not connected or clicked with a character. It really depends though. Sometimes, especially when I am meant to like the character, it can hurt my enjoyment of a book.

    I think it’s worse for the characters (and book) when I don’t care about them. I can not click with a character but still be interested in what happens to them. When even that doesn’t happen, chances are, I will not enjoy the book and likely not bother finishing it.

    1. Agreed. When I realize that I don’t even care to flip to the end of a book/series and find out what happens to the main character(s), I DNF. I have too many books on my TBR shelf to waste time on characters I feel so “meh” about!

    1. Thanks! I’ve run into a few people recently who’ve read the book, and it’s interesting to see how many different reactions Will generates.

  4. I haven’t read most of these books, but I agree that Ceony did make really aggravating decisions in the second and third books. It made me feel a little weird, especially in the second, because she had a romantic relationship with Emery but then kept doing things that made him have to discipline her like a child. I still liked the overall series though.

    1. Yeah, that was really weird! But I am a sucker for any kind of magic, so I still enjoyed the books. I haven’t read the third one yet though, I need to get on that!

  5. I get what you mean with A Song of Ice and Fire though I had it with other characters. It is the negative side of such a large cast.

    Ah, I’ve been looking forward to reading Dorothy Must Die. :(

    1. You might still like Dorothy–a lot of other bloggers I connect with have said they loved it. I think it might just have been a personal frustration, reading it so soon after the V trilogy, which had the same issues. But if you can ignore the downsides of Amy’s personality, then there’s really a great fantasy world to dig into! I like dark retellings so I was really pleased to see someone tackle Oz. :)

    1. Yeah, I think it changes from one person to the next for me too. For example there are characters I’ve disliked because they’re mean and crude, but other characters can somehow pull it off. Maybe it has to do with how they fit into the story?

  6. I have trouble connecting with a lot of female characters, they are way too often bratty or boy obsessed (thank god for Hermione Granger).

    I think there is still a gap between outdated female characters and over the top “Strong Female Characters” that just don’t seem natural.

  7. I think I can still enjoy a book, even when I do not absolutely click with the character. I have to say that David Hunter went on my nerves a couple of times. Haha. Although I still enjoyed reading the series very much (except of the animal cruelty).

    1. I need to go to the library and get the rest of the series! I don’t know why, I’m always in the mood for a good mystery series in the fall/winter.

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