Tuesday 1 September 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: My picks for 'Characters I Didn't Click With'.

This is a great idea for a topic. It makes a nice change from the usual 'Top Ten Favourite '...'' as it allows a chance to explore things I maybe didn't like so much. For me, characters are a huge part of the story. If I don't like them, or don't understand them, then something is wrong. I have read books where I haven't clicked with a certain character but still enjoyed the book. More often than not though, this isn't the case.

1) Joyeaux Charmand from 'Hunter'; Mercedes Lackey.

This is actually one of my more recent reads that I'm afraid I didn't enjoy at all. There were a variety of issues that I had with the book, but the biggest one was definitely the main character who narrates the story: Joy. She was the very definition of a 'Mary Sue'. She lacked the ability to have a bad word to say about anyone, showing only unwavering support for everyone: even the bad guys. Her sickeningly sweet nature, naivety and perfection at every task that she set her mind to meant that she felt very inhuman. She talked about life threatening events as if they were some kind of teenage drama and I found myself rolling my eyes at her every word.

2) Leslie May from the 'Peter Grant' series; Ben Aaronovitch.

I have actually enjoyed this series so far but for an almost inexplicable reason, I have taken a real disliking to Peter's best friend and partner in crime-solving, Leslie. I just feel like she is the kind of person you would never really want as a friend. She goes to a whole lot of effort to diminish Peter as a person and explain all the reasons why she is a whole lot better. In fact, she has a huge superiority complex! For some reason Peter seems to have a huge crush on her (though having read two books I've found he seems to want to sleep with basically every woman he meets) but I get the feeling that Leslie is supposed to be 'the one'. People may ship these two, but I think she would be all wrong for him. I'm only on Book 2 though, perhaps my feelings will change?

3) Bella Swan from the 'Twilight' series; Stephanie Meyer.

I had a whole host of problems with a few of the characters from this book (Edward, don't think that your creepy borderline abusive behaviour has gone unnoticed). Bella will always be my main problem though. I just found her to be so...boring. Not a single bit of badass was to be found within this girl, not even later in the series. Instead she was clumsy, naive and so angsty. She was so determined that the world hated and was out to get her that she couldn't see that she had a pretty good situation going on. Does she even know how to smile? I think her abuse of Jacob's affection and trust was completely unfair too. Ladies, this is not how you treat a guy whom you know has a crush on you.

4) Remy Starr from 'This Lullaby'; Sarah Dessen.

I read this book a very long time ago so don't really remember the details but what I do remember is the female romantic lead really annoyed me. I get that a slightly depressing past made her quite cynical, but she actually ventured beyond that. She was outright rude and had a real attitude problem. Of course she mellowed out later when Dexter's puppy dog eyes melted her heart, but I don't think I ever really clicked with her.

5) Nicki Clements from 'The Telling Error'; Sophie Hannah.

She was a character that I think, being wrongly accused for someone's murder, I was supposed to feel sorry for. I didn't. All she managed to achieve in the (thankfully) fairly short page space that she had was irritate me because she was just so selfish. Cheating on her frankly adorable husband, neglecting her children, being rude to strangers, and making mistake after mistake in an attempt to cover up her infidelity which it seemed she would rather go to prison for than admit the truth. I wanted to shake her by the shoulders and yell at her to pull herself together and stop wasting my time with speeches about how hard her life was.

6) Irene Dunphy from the 'Afterlife' series; Terri Bruce.

I've read the two books that have been released so far from this series, and I have to say that she's improved a little in my opinion. But when I first started reading from her perspective? I couldn't stand her. I found her decisions stupid, her attitude eye-rolling and her stubborn personality grated on me a lot. The series itself is all about self-discovery and moving forward so I feel like that as time goes on, I will grow to like her more and more. I just wish I could have felt that way from the word go, as it made the book hard to get through.

7) Claire from 'A Song For Ella Grey'; David Almond.

Yet another irritating narrator I'm afraid. I disliked this book for a whole bunch of other reasons, but Claire definitely played a big part in that. To start with, she didn't really do much. She was just a spectator who liked nothing more than to talk about how fun and free she felt with her huge group of friends travelling, getting drunk, singing and dancing all the time and generally trying too hard to be a hippie. She complained that Ella's parents didn't like her and wanted Ella to do well at school (an understandable aspiration I feel) and she was jealously overprotective when it came to her best friend. It didn't feel like a healthy relationship because of the way Claire acted.

8) Tiny Cooper from 'Will Grayson, Will Grayson'; John Green & David Levithan.

I feel like this will probably be the most unpopular of all my choices but Tiny Cooper was so annoying. I felt like every single stereotype that is associated with a gay man was laid upon him and that really didn't sit well with me. All he did was sing, dance and shout all the time, and generally make a nuisance of himself. I thought the book was supposed to be about the two Wills (who I also didn't really connect with) but he stole the spotlight. And not in a good way. It made the ending feel all the more cheesy and nauseating and I just wish that Green (whose writing I normally enjoy) and Levithan had been more imaginative and complex with his characterisation.

9) Manfred Bernado from the 'Midnight, Texas' series; Charlaine Harris.

I've only read the first book from this series and that's really where I'm going to stop. Manfred is the viewpoint that I heard the most from and his was seriously the most annoying. He was a psychic (like...a real one) but chose to rip people off anyway. He had powers yet for some reason acted sceptically when Fiji, his neighbour, revealed she was a witch. Not only that but his attitude towards women was horrendous. Every time one walked into the room he assessed whether they were his type, and imagined bedding them constantly. Despite the fact that we are constantly told he is in his early twenties, I felt like I was reading from the viewpoint of a creepy forty year-old preying on a teenager. 

10) Sasha Barton from 'How To Fly With Broken Wings'; Jane Elson.

Sasha's problem is actually pretty minor, but soon became one of the most infuriating on this list. Pretty much every sentence that passed her lips came out in the form of a shriek or a scream. Can she not speak normally like all the other children around her? Why does she have to go screeching her head off left, right and centre? She was meant to be a likeable, well-behaved example of a good child but I couldn't help but feel like I wouldn't be able to be around her for more than a few seconds without losing my mind.

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