Top Ten Tuesday: Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

ten-characters-didnt-click

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme created by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is characters that I did not click with. I don’t really have many main characters that I don’t click with, but I’m the type of reader that finds it hard to connect to a story if I don’t like the characters. So a lot of the titles mentioned below are ones that I gave relatively low ratings to (though there are some that had such impactful stories that I fell in love with them anyway).

These are in no particular order:

America Singer (The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass):
I don’t think I need to elaborate on this choice. America is just the most frustrating main character, who seems to just have everything work out in her favour even though she’s not really anything special.

Dorrigo Evans (The Narrow Road to the Deep North by Richard Flanagan):
The Narrow Road to the Deep North was the Man Booker Prize winner of 2014, and this is a book that I actually did enjoy despite not really connecting with the main character. I gave this 4/5 stars. I thought the side characters were all so strong in this book and I preferred to read about them over Dorrigo.

Molly Barlow (99 Days by Katie Cotugno):
There was little to no character development in this book and I just didn’t like Molly at all. She never learnt from the mistakes she had made in the past and I didn’t feel sorry for her at all. I found her to be frustrating, annoying and just dislikeable.

Margo Roth Spiegelman (Paper Towns by John Green):
Manic Pixie Dream Girl. Enough said.

Greg Gaines (Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews):
This was a book that I could not connect to at all (I gave it a 1 star rating) and I think it’s mostly due to the fact that I couldn’t connect with Greg’s character. I didn’t find his voice to be that funny – in fact, in my Goodreads review I wrote “I found Greg to be a little bit boring, wimpy and emotionless“.

Taylor Gray (Risk by Fleur Ferris):
I didn’t click with Taylor at all, probably because she’s a 15 year old narrator with a very juvenile voice. This is definitely a book aimed at a younger audience, and as a 20-something year old it just didn’t click with me.

Cadence Sinclair Eastman (We Were Liars by E. Lockhart):
An unreliable narrator, with kind of an annoying and slightly juvenile voice. While I liked the concept of the book, I didn’t enjoy the characters at all.

Aaron Soto (More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera):
I gave this book a high 4.5 – 5 star rating because it gave me all the feels. But I didn’t really click with Aaron, the MC. He was a little bit boring and I couldn’t really relate to him at all in the first 100 pages of the book. I started to like him a little bit more after the first 100 pages, but he left a bad first impression.

Lief (The Sin-Eater’s Daughter by Melinda Salisbury):
Lief is one of the love interests in this new trilogy (series?)…and let’s just say, he’s not a part of the pairing that I like in this trilogy. First, his name is part of a plant; his name is foliage… But that aside, his character is very mysterious. He was very eager and persistent from the first time we meet him and I found myself thinking “what’s with this guy?” so many times throughout the book.

Charlie (Even When You Lie To Me by Jessica Alcott):
I could not stand Charlie, the MC, in this book at all. She was very broody, immature and self-deprecating. I thought she was a very pathetic character and there wasn’t any character development at all. I didn’t understand the point of the book and I gave it 1 star.

Review: Even When You Lie to Me by Jessica Alcott

9780385391160

Publisher: Crown Books for Young Readers
Release date: June 9, 2015
Format: Hardcover
ISBN: 0385391161
Pages: 352
Goodreads || Book Depository

Charlie, a senior, isn’t looking forward to her last year of high school. Another year of living in the shadow of her best friend, Lila. Another year of hiding behind the covers of her favorite novels. Another year of navigating her tense relationship with her perfectionist mom.

But everything changes when she meets her new English teacher. Mr. Drummond is smart. Irreverent. Funny. Hot. Everyone loves him. And Charlie thinks he’s the only one who gets her.

She also thinks she might not be the only one with a crush.

In this stunning debut, Jessica Alcott explores relationships-and their boundaries-in a way that is both searingly honest and sympathetic. (from Goodreads)

MY THOUGHTS

1 star

I really struggled with this book. This really wasn’t what I had expected after reading the Goodreads summary and the prologue at the beginning of the book. The plot went in a different direction to what I had expected and I didn’t understand the message of the book, which was probably why I didn’t connect with it. Although I did finish the book, I didn’t understand the point of it and I didn’t like the way the story panned out. A re-read of the book might allow me to understand the message a bit more but I definitely didn’t enjoy it enough to read it a second time. Another thing that added to my frustration, was the fact that I had received a library edition of the book from Book Depository (nothing to do with the book or the story and more to do with the description on Book Depository)…but for the price that I paid for it, I expected a proper hardcover with a jacket, and not a library edition. (The one I’ve linked above should be a proper hardcover edition).

I thought the writing in this book was unnecessarily detailed in parts and included lots of information and descriptions that weren’t crucial to the plot. This book is split into sections, one section for each month of the year. I would have preferred a book that had really focused on the important, life-changing events/revelations, rather than giving a general overview of what happened in Charlie’s life each month. We were given little snapshots into different aspects of her life but nothing was explored very deeply. We see briefly into her relationships with her friends and her family but I never got a true sense that any of these relationships had developed by the end of the book. There were issues between Charlie and her parents and Charlie and her friends that I don’t feel were resolved at all.

I also didn’t like any of the characters in the book, especially Charlie. I didn’t enjoy reading from her perspective. From the very first page, I thought she was too broody and self-deprecating. I really couldn’t stand her and I never warmed up to her. I liked Drummond a little bit better but I never got a sense of who he was. I didn’t like the infatuation/romance between Charlie and Drummond. There were also some inconsistencies in the characters, for me. For example, Lila is portrayed, at times, as a loud-mouth, dumb blonde, popular girl who enjoys acting like a bit of a slut. At other times, she’s portrayed as a super smart, potential Stanford student who has never had sex before. These inconsistencies made it difficult for me to follow and enjoy the book.

I did like the way the book ended. I thought it ended on a really hopeful note. But other than that, I didn’t connect with the book or enjoy reading it at all.