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Ever had to write that review on a book featuring a character you hated? One that caused you to rage and spew out words of hate against them? Great! Then this post is relatable!
There have been a number of times where my hate for a character dictated the rating. But then on the flip side, sometimes it doesn't. Even though the actions or the personality of the character are unfathomable, I find it in myself to either forgive them or overlook it. Yet this doesn't happen in all the books I read. Why is that?
Here in this post, I will guide you on a journey into my mind, and shed light on why my opinion on hated characters differ from book to book. And maybe while I'm discovering myself, you'll find that you have the exact same thoughts! Win-win. (Or not, which is fine too. Still a win-win).
Let's start with some books I've read!
Falling Into Place - The main character, Liz Emerson, was such a bully. I hated how she treated her friends, other people. Yet by the end of the novel, I was still crying over her. How, why? Did I see through her hateful actions?
How It Feels To Fly - More specifically, I did not like one of the minor characters, Zoe, because of how she constantly teased everyone at treatment camp. You know, the place where it's supposed to be safe to talk about your feelings without expecting judgment? WELL nope it isn't a safe place to talk at all apparently, especially when you have someone making fun of you at every moment. I hated Zoe. She made me so mad. But in the end, I forgave her a little. Just a little though.
The Way I Used To Be - Dealing with the hard topic of rape, there really was no way I would be criticizing the main character, Eden. Even though I was continually frustrated with her actions towards others, I didn't let that affect my rating of the book.
When We Collided - Looking back at the main character here, Vivi, I almost regret hating her as much as I did. But I just couldn't take how she acted towards the love interest, Jonah, especially when it involved putting him (and herself) in danger.
And then there are the characters that I loathe entirely.
Into The Dim - The main character, Hope, is just very judgmental of others. And I felt like she viewed herself above others, with her eidetic memory and all.
We Are All Made Of Molecules - Stewart enters Ashley's family because their parents marry. Does Ashley even try to make him feel at home? Even after everything that's happened to him? NOPE. She's a bitch (for a 14 year old). All she cares about is her social status, which apparently is ruined with having a brother like Stewart.
So, it's kind of apparent what makes me hate a character. Let's see if I can sum it up!
- Any kind of bully. I hate them all. They may be forgiven if they see the errors in their ways. Or maybe if being a bully is just a front (Though I'll probably still hate them)
- Acting in a way that is stupid, and for me, that's defined as putting themselves or others in harm's way. This includes making dumb decisions, which I have known a lot of heroines to do. The worst is when you're yelling at the character to not do the thing, but then they end up doing the thing.
- Being judgmental of others. Mostly when it comes to appearances and hobbies.
A lot of factors come into rating a book, and sometimes a character can break a book, or just not affect me at all. But here comes the real question. If you hate a character, doesn't that mean you were invested in the story? Invested in the emotions of the characters?
I personally do not have the answer to this question. For me, sometimes I hate a character so much, it affects my enjoyment of the novel causing me to rate it lower. But then other times, my investment in said character causes me to reevaluate the rating. Because I would much rather read about a character that messes with my emotions, rather than one that is just meh.
How about you? What makes you hate a character? Does it affect the enjoyment of the book?