Let’s Discuss: How Do You Feel About Books With Unlikable Characters?

Let’s Discuss: How Do You Feel About Books With Unlikable Characters?

Posted by: Lisa Parkin March 11, 2016 3 Comments

Talking about characters like they’re real life people, per usual. Nothing to see here…

Let’s Discuss: How Do You Feel About Books With Unlikable Characters?

 

There are some lovable book characters out there – like Cinder, August (from Wonder), Ron Weasley, Blue Sargent and so many others. You just want to squeeze them because they’re so cute or funny or just plain likeable.

But not every book can have a protagonist you want to be best friends with. Which is what brings me to the post topic: How do you feel about unlikeable book characters?

You know, the ones who are whiny, annoying, immature or just plain stupid. Many readers feel that way in particular about Bella Swan. And yet….Twilight is one of the most well-known and well-read YA book series.

What does this mean for you, as a reader? Some unlikeable characters are set up that way to have incredible development over the course of the novel or series, which is great.

Others stay annoying and unlikeable.

I recently read a story where one of the main characters was set up to be the villain of sorts right away. It was hard reading the story from her perspective, and for most of the novel, I struggled to enjoy the story because of how much I loathed this character.

My question to you is: Do unlikeable characters affect your enjoyment of a book? Do you avoid stories with them? And, who are book characters you first hated then came to love?

For me, I can often separate my enjoyment of a book apart from the likability of the characters. However, like in the example I listed above, they can distract or push me away from the story.

There’s an important distinction I use, too: I can think a book is well-written and worthwhile even if I couldn’t say I loved or enjoyed it.

One character who I love to hate is the Darkling from the Grisha trilogy. I mean, look at him, though. He’s easy to forgive 😉

I would LOVE to hear your thoughts – please feel free to comment below!