It’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!)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.)
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.)
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?