|Top Ten Tuesday is a Weekly Meme hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s theme is controversial characters. These are characters I loved, but everyone hated, or I hated, when everyone else loved. So I’ve split my list into my top five from each category.|
Controversial Characters Part One: Top Five Characters I Couldn’t Get Into, but People Rave About
Heathcliff/Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – I remember reading this book in high school and wishing I could drop into the story and be like, Catherine, honey. Lose this guy, please! I just did not get the fascination with him. He seemed dangerous and violent, and I definitely thought she could do better. But a lot of people seem to think of him as one of the top romantic heroes ever. So maybe it’s just me?
Mal/The Grisha Series by Leigh Bardugo – I didn’t start the Grisha series until after falling head-over-heels in love with Six of Crows, also set in the Grisha world. I tried Shadow and Bone soon after, and to be honest, I just couldn’t get into it. I could not understand why Alina pined for Mal. Sure, he’s a childhood friend, but he just seemed, I don’t know. Too immature for her. I was pretty excited when the Darkling was introduced, but er… yeah. That’s not going where I’d hoped, either. Can’t win ’em all I guess!
Aspen/The Selection Series by Kiera Cass – Okay. This one is a tough one for me, too. I’m Team Maxon all the way. I don’t know what the holdup is. Aspen seems like a selfish jerk to me. (Caveat: I’ve only read the first two books so far.) He doesn’t seem to care that America could be severely punished if she’s caught with him. He really only thinks about his own feelings for her. I’m not a fan.
Mare/The Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard – I REALLY wanted to like this book so much. It was okay. There were things about it I did enjoy. But I found it really difficult to connect with Mare. She complains a LOT about the way the upper class Silvers treat her lower class Reds, but at the beginning, who is she stealing from? That’s right! Her own people! Uhhhh…..???? I had a hard time respecting her convictions. Plus, dude. The way she treated her childhood bestie? (Sorry, I forget his name.) I was like come on, please let him be his own man already. Grrr.
Bella/Twilight by Stephanie Meyer – This one might not be quite fair. I liked Bella okay for the first few Twilight books. It really wasn’t until the last one in which she sort of stops having any weakness ever that I kind of wished I was reading a story about Jacob and this tribe instead. (And I was largely Team Edward prior to that.)
Controversial Characters Part Two: Top Five Disliked Characters I Loved
Noah Falls/Away We Go by Emil Ostrovski – As I’ve worked up my own review to this book, which I really enjoyed, I’ve read some other reviews that were far less favorable, many because they expected the book to be a dystopian adventure about finding a cure to the fatal Peter Pan Virus, when in fact, it’s more a personal story about the way a terminal diagnosis affects a group of teens largely cut off from the rest of the world. Whatever the case, I loved Noah and spent so many pages rooting for him to find his way.
Ed Kennedy/I am the Messenger by Markus Zusak – It seems like many people take issue with the ending of this book, which isn’t quite the same as the character, but I really love Ed. I love that he’s kind of this unlikely hero who’s sort of clumsy in love and life and really at a loss as to how to find his place until the mysterious cards show up in his life.
Shinobu/Seeker Series by Arwen Elys Dayton – This is another book that had some really strange twists and turns in it. Shinobu’s story isn’t without its own darkness, but it has probably the most hilarious suicide attempt I’ve ever read. That sounds weird. Yeah, it’s as weird as it sounds. But I laughed out loud. Not in a cruel way. Just… oh, nevermind. It was supposed to be funny, and that humor juxtaposed against the seriousness of his death wish was, for me, somehow endearing.
Clarice/Mistwood and Nightspell by Leah Cypess – You know those really snarky characters who turn out to move the story along in unexpected ways? Clarice is like that for me. I loved her in Mistwood and was delighted that she also appeared in Nightspell. She’s sneaky and conniving, but fiercely loyal, which definitely endeared me to her.
Nell Golden/We Are the Goldens by Dana Reinhardt – Again, looking at reviews, it seems like the end is the point people gripe about with this book. I actually loved that it ended the way it did. That moment was Nell’s triumph, her facing down the huge unspeakable thing she spends the entire story working up to. I think really understanding her character helps the ending make sense. Also, as a sister myself, I can identify with the worry for a sister and the grief over the changing level of closeness. Sister relationships aren’t like any other. I’d have just as a hard a time as Nell, I think, were my sister to go through something like hers did.