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

I struggled with this post because I don't like saying bad things about books.  And while not clicking with a character isn't always bad per se, it can be.

I've read plenty of books with characters I didn't click with, characters that got on my nerves so much I started to feel like they deserved the bad things happening to them, and characters that made me downright embarrassed to be of the same gender as them. But I guess you can call this my unpopular opinion post because I decided to go with characters in well-known books, including a few characters everyone else seems to LOVE, because what would be the fun in a list of characters no one's heard of?

So here goes nothin'!

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted at The Broke and the Bookish. This week’s topic is:

Top Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

Hidden by Catherine McKenzie | books, reading, book covers
The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde | books, reading, book covers
The Awakening by Kate Chopin | books, reading, book covers

8. [Almost] Everyone – Hidden by Catherine McKenzie

After reading the reviews, I went into this book expecting all my notions about cheating to be challenged and to gain a new perspective. Instead, I came out with my notions even more intact than before, thinking almost all the characters were selfish.

7. Dorian – Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde

I don’t think I’m alone in this one, and I’m not entirely sure you ARE supposed to click with Dorian, or anyone in the book for that matter.

6. Edna – The Awakening by Kate Chopin

This was required reading when I was in 12th grade along with Catch-22. The teacher repeatedly said the girls liked The Awakening while the boys liked Catch-22. I apparently broke the mold. It’s been years so I don’t remember the details, but I do remember that, by the time I finished, the only thing I could think about was how selfish Edna’s actions were.

Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie | books, reading, book covers
Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen | books, reading, book covers
The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger | books, reading, book covers
Harry Potter and Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling | books, reading, book covers
The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins | books, reading, book covers

5. Peter Pan – Peter Pan by J.M. Barrie

I read this book a few years ago and was completely intrigued. But Peter Pan himself is terrifying. He’s controlling. He’s feared. He kills with no remorse. He maims his own people just so they’ll fit into the entrance of their hideout rather than making the opening bigger. He kills them when they get too old. In one part of the book, Peter purposely starts breathing rapidly because “there is a saying in the Neverland that, every time you breathe, a grown-up dies; and Peter was killing them off vindictively as fast as possible.” And he doesn’t understand the difference between real and make-believe. So I don’t dislike how he was written as a character, he just terrifies me, especially considering he’s the one everyone thinks of as the “good guy.”

4. Young Jacob – Water for Elephants by Sarah Gruen

I’ve read this book twice and thought it was incredible both times, but I just never cared for Jacob. I prefer the male POV and usually have no problem relating to male characters, but I just couldn’t relate to him. I was rooting for Jacob, but it’s just not the same thing.

3. Clare – The Time Traveler’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger

This was another book I thought was great but with a character I just couldn’t relate to. I found her crudeness and intensity a little off-putting, but, at the very least, I could understand why she was the way she was. You can’t deal with Henry’s time traveling and be fragile.

2. Snape – Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

*Spoiler Alert (Has anyone seriously not seen/read HP?)* I just started blogging and everyone is already going to hate me because of this one, haha. I love the Harry Potter series. Snape is a well written character. And that “Always” scene is beautifully done. But I think he would still have been a Death Eater if Lily hadn’t been killed. He didn’t change sides because he had some big epiphany about right and wrong. I don’t think he would’ve cared how many other people died, as long as it wasn’t Lily. He changed sides out of guilt and revenge. And I don’t think that makes him a good person. I do feel bad for him because of his unrequited love, but, on the other hand, he kind of brought it upon himself. [Insert more Death Eater ranting here.] He was also a jerk, and Harry didn’t do anything to deserve it. I know Snape did good things and put his life on the line, but, again, I feel like he wouldn’t have done these things had Lily never been killed. *End Spoiler Alert*

1. Katniss – The Hunger Games Series by Suzanne Collins

Everyone loves her, I know, but I don’t get it. The trilogy was filled with so much blood, gore, loss, violence, adrenaline, chaos, and various other emotional, intense things… but Katniss never seemed to react to any of it. I once read a book with a protagonist who was part cyborg and had an emotion-blocking chip, and even SHE had more emotion than Katniss. And emotion is what I love in books, so I just couldn’t get into her character.


Talk to me!

What characters would be on YOUR top ten list of characters you just didn't click with?


Your Thoughts


16 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Characters I Just Didn’t Click With

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  1. Cait @ Paper Fury

    Ah, I agree 1000% about Snape. I..erm, shamefully! haven’t finished reading them. But half of that is because of Snape. LIKE WHAT THE HECK?!?! How does bullying little children make him a good person?! I can’t forgive that. I’m super anti-bullying and I don’t even care if he’s had a tragic past, that’s never an excuse. I mean, for goodness sakes, in the first books, he’s Neville’s WORST FEAR. That is so beyond wrong I don’t understand why Dumbledore let him teach. *glares at everything*
    I confess I didn’t even finish Water For Elephants because I didn’t like the characters. 😛
    Here’s my TTT!

    1. Kristen Burns

      Hahaha your comment about Neville is cracking me up because I didn’t think about that, but you’re right, that IS terrible. A tragic past is never an excuse to treat others cruelly, yet it happens in so many books. I definitely recommend you keep reading anyway though!

      I didn’t relate to Marlena in Water for Elephants either, and usually not liking characters will turn me off from a book because I’m a character person, but the writing itself kept me hooked.

  2. Jazmin Jade

    I totally agree with Dorian! I left him off my list this week because I thought we were supposed to not like him and I chose to leave those kind of characters off. Great list 🙂

  3. CJ Dawn

    Great list! I thought about putting Snape and Katniss on mine. I opted for Tris of Divergent over Katniss, but I have issues with Katniss too. I liked her at first, but less as the books go on.
    Here is my TTT

    1. Kristen Burns

      Thanks! I’m planning on reading Divergent this month, but I’m kinda hesitant because a lot of people seem to dislike Tris.

  4. Alicia @ A Kernel of Nonsense

    I think Peter Pan’s true character has been altered with time, but if you really pay attention to the movies and retellings, Peter Pan comes across as incredibly selfish. He represents that part of childhood (and adulthood for many) where we don’t think about what’s best for others. I mentioned it on my reply to your comment on my blog, but Snape’s story has been largely romanticized and I find the way people view him as a victim troublesome.

    1. Kristen Burns

      The layers and meanings in the whole story of Peter Pan, including his characters, are so fascinating to me that I actually did some research about it after I read the book a few years ago. People like to admire him for never growing up because in some ways it’s a good thing, but he definitely also represents the bad things about not growing up. As for Snape, I wonder how differently people would view him if they ever had to face him in real life.

  5. espressodream

    Totally agree with on the Dorian Gray…I don’t think he’s suppose to be relatable or likable. Interesting list. I never knew about the literature version of Peter Pan until your list…that was quite an interesting read for me 😀

    1. Kristen Burns

      Yeah, I was completely surprised when I read Peter Pan, but it’s a fascinating book!