Book Reviews

Top 5 Wednesday: Most Unlikeable Characters

If I somehow manage to push out 5 posts in the next 5 days, I’ll be surprised and terribly accomplished. If not, I’ll still have managed to do one post for every week in July. That doesn’t seem like much, but anything is plenty when you’re depressed.

Today’s Top 5 Wednesday topic is Most Unlikeable (non-villain) Characters, which might be a bit of a reach for me. The thing about it is that it’s so much easier for me to pick out unlikeable characters in a show than I do in a book. In a book you end up knowing everyone’s motivations, so you tend to sympathize with them more. In a show, you only know what the directors and writers want you to know, so you make your own opinions. For me, that’s a little easier.

Yet and still, every written character is not meant to be liked.

  1. Aro from Nnedi Okorafor’s Who Fears Death

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)

The first time that Aro rejected Onye’s request for him to teach her about her powers, I knew I would never like this man. How do you let a powerful magic user run around your village untrained, and not do something about it? That is terribly criminal. And then to justify it with misogyny? Ridiculous.

Honestly, when Onye finally beat Aro’s ass, I figured she’d just be done with it. Why even go back to this man who made you feel so low? She needed the training though, so she had to bite the bullet. He never forgot that beating, though.

2.Eleanor Sung from Kevin Kwan’s Crazy Rich Asians

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)

Lord, but I hated this broad. I hated her for everything that she was and everything that she represented. Eleanor Sung was not quite a villain, though very much an antagonist, but, my God, was she unlikeable.

It’s totally understandable as to why though. She knew what it was like to be an outsider in the Young family – knew exactly how grandma Young was going to be about the situation – and she didn’t want that for her son. So she did everything in her power to stop Nick and Rachel from happening. She’s like a milder version of the Evil Rich Parent trope that we see in Korean Dramas.

Eleanor makes appearances in China Rich Girlfriend, and she’s still relatively annoying, but, for the most part, not much is done with her. Honestly, I’m still a bit bitter about that sequel, and I really hope it’s problems are fixed by a third book.

3. Bruce Banner in Greg Pak’s The Incredible Hulk: Planet Hulk

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)

I’m not a Bruce Banner fan because of Planet Hulk. I had never read or even bothered with The Hulk before reading this trade, but I came out of it absolutely hating the crap out of Bruce Banner.

I get it. He had a big, green anger monster inside of him that made him have to temper his rage or risk totally destroying wherever he was. I totally understand his want to get rid of it. However, it would have made more sense for Bruce to make peace with the Hulk, instead of allowing him to grow into an entirely separate persona that could not stand to be Bruce Banner any longer.

Bruce Banner hated the Hulk, and I hated Bruce Banner because of it.


4. Leonard Bankhead from Jeffrey Eugenides’ The Marriage Plot

(Photo Credit: Goodreads)

I started a book club with this book because I saw Jeffrey Eugenides read an excerpt from it back in 2011. My friends teased me relentlessly about how this book was a metaphor for my life, almost. It was pretty embarrassing.

In any case, Leonard Bankhead was the worst. Like personality disorders and crippling depression couldn’t change the fact that he molested a teenager. That boy needed way more help than his wife could give him, and it was stupid of her to even try. I’m pretty sure he hit her (the wife, Madeleine) at some point, and it was only the fact that she wanted to be needed that made her stay for so long.

Don’t get me wrong, Mitchell was no better. However, Leonard really wasn’t worth the crap that he put Madeleine through, and it was unfortunate that she could not see that.

The Marriage Plot is an exercise in white privilege during the ‘80s, I must say. Like, even if it had been set in the decade it was written in, only white kids with a smidgen of money could have survived it.

5. Harry Potter from J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

(Photo Credit: GoodReads)

I hated Harry in Half-Blood Prince. That whole stalking Draco thing? I thought that that was creepy as hell. Honestly, I would have been perfectly fine if Harry had stayed dead in the end, that’s just how done with him I was by the end of it.

I’m not saying that Draco Malfoy didn’t deserve to be followed in the end, but Harry was so damn obsessed with it. And he just could not understand that Draco could be motivated by something other than the fact that he was a Slytherin. Hogwarts prejudices ran so high that these kids legitimately could not think beyond their house stigmas. It was terrible.

Harry Potter will never be redeemed in my eyes. Once that angst set in, I was ready for him to go. Neville Longbottom was the savior we needed in the end, anyway.

So that’s it for today; thank you all for reading. Hopefully next month’s topic will be just as interesting.

If you would like to keep up with me and my adventures in appreciating the many different types of literature, please be sure to subscribe to this blog. If you just want to chat with me about these particular novels, make sure to hit me up in the comment section.

Images courtesy of Goodreads

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