Top Ten Tuesday: Characters We Liked That Were In Books We Disliked

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

This week’s topic sure was a tricky one. Normally I will stop reading a book if I dislike too many things about it, so it took a while to come up with ten examples of characters who fit this theme.

I’d like to thank Marianne and Poinsettia, two of the other bloggers here at Long and Short Reviews, for telling me about the first three books on this list. Their thoughts on them are in quotes below. They both helped to kickstart the brainstorming I needed to do in order to come up with other examples, and I sure do appreciate that.

1. Vampire Academy by Michelle Read.

“When I read the Vampire Academy series, I thought it was okay, but not a favorite.  However, I really liked the character Adrian Ivashkov.  He ended up being a main character in the Bloodlines series, which is a spin off.” – Poinsettia

2. and 3. John Steinbeck’s work in general, and The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks.

“My problem is I don’t read books I don’t like — if I’m not engrossed in a chapter or two, I put it down.  I suppose I could go back to school days and the books I had to read (John Steinbeck, for example … I’m from California and my teachers revered him, so I read nearly everything he wrote and hated most of it, despite the characters and stories being interesting… but I don’t like depressing books, and his were). Or books with unexpectedly sad endings ( for example,”The Guardian” by Nicholas Sparks)” – Marianne

4. The Road by Cormac McCarthy.

One of the things I disliked the most about this story was how hopeless it was. Things only got worse for the unnamed main character and his son as the plot progressed because of how impossible it was for them to find food or safety.

With that being said, I still loved the tight, loving bond the main character had with his kid. He never stopped trying to protect his child no matter how dire their circumstances became, and that made me like him quite a bit.



5. Thinner by Stephen King/Richard Bachman.

There were so many problems with pacing and plot holes that I really struggled to get into this book. It seemed like the sort of conflict that easily could have been solved at the end of the first chapter if Billy had been humble enough to apologize for accidentally killing the old woman.

What surprised me the most about Billy later on, though, was how much I grew to like him once he realized that the cause of his alarming weight loss was a curse that had been placed on him by the son of the woman he killed. I have a soft spot in my heart for any character who learns from his or her mistakes and eventually tries to fix them.

6. Push: A Novel by Sapphire.
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As I mentioned above, I really don’t like reading about child abuse. Generally, I’ll stop reading stories that are about this topic if they go into any detail about it at all.

I didn’t know that was a major theme of this tale when I first picked it up. Finding out what happened to Precious next was the only thing that kept me going once I realized just how awful her home life was.

She was a such a gentle soul that I had to find out if she’d find a way to rise above her painful start in life.

7. Sing You Home by Jodi Picoult.

The premise of this tale caught my attention immediately. There is so much room for debate about what should happen to frozen embryos after the couple who created them get divorced. Unfortunately, this was another case of major plot holes messing up something I thought I was going to really enjoy reading.

Zoe, the main character, was a talented, likeable woman no matter what was going on in the plot. I never stopped rooting for her and her new partner to find their happy ending.

8. The Casual Vacancy by J.K. Rowling.

I spent most of my childhood living in various small towns, but I just couldn’t get into a book about small town politics because of how much time it took the characters to start feuding. Slowly burning plots are not my cup of tea in general.

With that being said, Collin was a fascinating man. His struggled with obsessive-compulsive disorder were explained so clearly that I couldn’t help but to sympathize with him. I also appreciated the fact that he and all of his neighbors were written as well-rounded human beings. That is, they all had realistic strengths and weaknesses. There were no good guys or bad guys in this community, just a collection of unique people who all had wildly different personalities, interests, and goals in life.

9. Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton.

If there’s one thing this story taught me, it’s that the past can be truly disgusting at times. I was so grossed out by the descriptions of the characters who didn’t bathe or otherwise practice good hygiene that I wanted to stop reading almost as soon as I began.

Ibn Fadlan was such an intelligent and educated protagonist that I stuck around solely to find out what he’d have to say next about the Vikings.

10. Light in August by William Faulkner.

Does anyone else feel a little guilty for not enjoying the writing styles of highly praised authors? Mr. Faulkner is one of those authors for me. The ideas he wrote about were thought-provoking, but I couldn’t handle the stream-of-consciousness style of Light in August. Figuring out what was going on with the plot there was incredibly difficult for me.

I did like the way he described Joe, a biracial man who was passing for white, and Lena, a young, pregnant woman who was searching for the father of her child, though. Both of these characters were living in a time and place that wasn’t at all kind to people in their circumstances, so it was interesting to see how they reacted to the stigma against them.



  1. Adrian is my love and I adored him in everything he was in. He deserved so much better than Rose and I am glad he found Sydney 😀

  2. I also like Zoe in the Jodi Picoult book. Great list!

  3. I loved Adrian in the VA books!!

    Top Ten Tuesday

  4. I haven’t read any of these books but a few of these are definitely on my TBR.

  5. I haven’t read The Road, but I did watch the movie – a bit too bleak for me!

  6. I almost put Sing You Home on my list but I couldn’t remember if I actually liked any of the characters!

  7. The Guardian was such a sad ending indeed!

  8. I still need to read Vampire Academy. And that’s interesting about Eaters of the Dead! I saw the movie version but have never read the book…

  9. I read SING YOU HOME forever ago– actually I think that might be the last Jodi Piccoult book I read (it was either that one or HOUSE RULES). I wasn’t blown away by it (or HOUSE RULES) like I was her other books, so I decided to take a break from reading her. I guess it was a really long break!!

  10. This was a hard topic, because like you said, if I don’t like the book, I won’t like the characters all that much either. Nice picks though!

    Thanks for visiting my TTT post!

  11. I also liked Zoe in Sing You Home, though it’s not my fave Picoult book.
    My TTT:

  12. Oooh, Adrian. What a fantastic character! <3

  13. Okay so I love Vampire Academy but I know it’s not for everyone but Adrian is a fav for sure! Not familiar with most of the other titles.

  14. Your bit about the Casual vacancy makes me want to read it, when I thought my interest in it had waned.

  15. This topic was so hard. Despite being hopeless, I loved “The Road”. I had chills after finishing it.

  16. Great post! Quite a few of these are still on my TBR. Thanks for stopping by the blog earlier!

  17. I really enjoyed the Nicholas Sparks novels I’ve read. For a period of time, I was reading them as the films were being produced, but since there haven’t been any films lately, it’s been a while since I read one by him. “The Guardian” isn’t one I read either… but maybe someday! 🙂

    Thanks so much for visiting Finding Wonderland.

  18. Adrian was for sure a plus to the Vampire Academy books (even if I never finished the series).

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