Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Didn't Click With

Today's Top Ten Tuesday topic from The Broke and the Bookish is Characters I Just Didn't Click With.  Every once in awhile I'll be reading a book and one of the characters just doesn't work for me.  I'm not talking Amy Dunne from Gone Girl level terrifying but more just annoyances.  The kind of person you try to avoid if you accidentally run into them at the grocery store.

1.  Jo March from Little Women by Louisa May Alcott - I know this is blasphemy in the book world but I never really clicked with Jo.  Maybe because I don't have a real desire to write?  It's been awhile since I read it so I can give specific examples as to why she annoyed me but I remember not liking her and feeling guilty because I knew even at 10 that I was supposed to.  I do remember what really annoyed me was the whole Jo/Laurie/Amy thing.

2.  Olivia Pennywort from The Night Garden by Lisa Van Allen - This was my first experience with magical realism and the cover is gorgeous.  I really wanted to love this one and the descriptions of the garden were stunning.  However, Olivia was so stand-offish I just never could connect with her and after awhile I lost interest in the book.

3.  Kendra Michaels from The Naked Eye by Iris Johansen - One of the things I have realized when reading mysteries is that I don't have to really like the characters to enjoy the book and this is a great example of that.  While Kendra would definitely not be someone I would want to spend time with if I'm murdered I'd definitely want her investigating.

4.  Ava Wilder from London From My Windows by Mary Carter - On the other hand some genres are so character driven that not liking a character makes the book basically unreadable to me.  Unfortunately, this one was one of them.  I didn't expect to really be able to relate to Ava but I need to be able to like her in some way and I just couldn't.

5.  Ella Preston from Sanctuary Island by Lily Everett - Ella had been trying to hard her entire life to keep everything together and it make her a little difficult to really get to know in Sanctuary Island.  However, while I wouldn't want to go to coffee with her I could sympathize with her and I liked the other characters enough that it made this book a good read.

6.  Pip from Great Expectations by Charles Dickens - When I had to read this in 9th grade I wasn't a fan.  So I decided to reread it this year thinking that surely my tastes would have evolved in the 20 years that have passed.  And they have.  I was absolutely amazed by Dickens' writing but I still wanted to drown Pip.  I get what Dickens is trying to show with Pip's character but seriously - the boy could not stop whining.

7.  Katherine Huxtable and Jasper Finley from Then Comes Seduction by Mary Balogh - These two have everything I don't like in a romance -  A physical scene with some ick factor, the not redeemed enough bad boy, zero emotional connection, and some misunderstandings.  It was readable because it's written by Mary Balogh but this was definitely one of my least favorites.

8.  Preseley Christensen and Aaron Amos from Come Home to Me by Brenda Novak - This is another one with so many problems that if it had been written by any other author it would've been unreadable.  Preseley didn't really annoy me too much because I could see where she was coming from but Aaron was just a jerk and I thought Preston deserved better.

9.  Cordelia Gray from An Unsuitable Job for a Woman by P.D. James - I really wanted to love this one.  I enjoy James' mysteries but her Adam Dagliesh books can get a little long.  I loved the idea of a private detective and I had seen this book on so many Must Read Mystery lists.  However, not only did I not like the book I ended up not caring who the killer was.  Cordelia was hard to like or to understand and there were some things she did that just seemed bizarre.

10. Mary Poppins from Mary Poppins by P.L. Travers - This is another book I wanted to love.  I love the movie and I figured with all the magic and wonder of the Julie Andrews version of Mary Poppins the book must be even more so.  But I didn't really like Mary and I didn't really like the book.  This is one of the very few times where I like the movie better.

So what characters have you not clicked with?  Are there certain genres that you find it more important to click with characters than others?  Also, please tell me someone else is not completely in love with Jo March!


  1. I haven't read Little Women in FOREVER so I can't remember how I felt about Jo. I will now never read Mary Poppins (not sure that I was going to though!) because that is one of my favorites and I can't have the movie ruined for me. Great list!!

  2. Of the books on your list I've only read Great Expectations and Mary Poppins, both a long time ago. I don't recall my feelings for Pip but Mary Poppins took a while to warm up to, she was so different from the movie version. Recently I read a romance where I seriously disliked the heroine, she was so judgmental and narrow-minded. Then there was a mystery where one of the leads was TSTL plus really annoying; I couldn't warm up to her. Sadly, she lived. :P

  3. I had to laugh about Jo March--blaspheme indeed! I did like her, but understand where you're coming from. My mom read Mary Poppins to me when I was a little and we both loved them, but I haven't read them since so don't know how'd I like them now. You did a great job telling the reasons you didn't like the characters. A fun list, Katherine.

  4. I've only read Great Expectations. I'm pretty sure I felt the same way about Pip.

  5. Hmm, perhaps Mary Poppins is one of those rare movies that is better than the book. Interesting list!

  6. How funny that you chose Jo March this week! Beth totally made my list! LOL! Happy reading! :)

  7. Jo grew on me... but Amy made my list lol :) My TTT

  8. Never read Little Women but Jo was my favorite character in the movie because she didn't fit in, she liked to write and she ended up with an older guy and though not married I like older men...lol. Mary Poppins was very different from the movie and I was like wow, she is a bit mean...lol.

  9. I just re-read Mary Poppins last year and I came away with the opposite impression! I liked the book better than the movie!

  10. I am reading GREAT EXPECTATIONS right now so your comments about Pip made me smile. My list is all Austen characters. Check it out, if you don't mind. Thanks

  11. I have a couple of those on my tbr pile. Eeps! I have characters I don't click all the way with fairly often but I tend to forget them. Not a terrible thing I don't think. lol

  12. Thisi s a great list, Katherine. I haven't read Mary Poppins but as much as I enjoy the musical version Disney put out, I never really connected with her character there either. I liked her. There was just something about her . . .

  13. I also recently tried to re-read Great Expectations. I also found Pip annoying...still.

  14. Haven't read any of the books you mentioned, so I can't agree. Although I do know that movie Poppins is much different than book Poppins. And that's one of the reasons I haven't read the book. I know I won't like it and I don't want to ruin the movie. I love Mary Poppins that way.
    Happy reading!
    Brittany @ This is the Story of My(Reading) Life

  15. Great Expectations: Pip AND Estella were so far from being sympathetic characters for me, so good call.
    As for Little Women, I'd definitely go with Amy of the 4 sisters... I know you were supposed to like her when she grew up, but she didn't win me over... Great list!!
    My Top 10: http://spinningjennysbookblog.blogspot.ca/2015/09/welcome-to-top-ten-tuesday.html