This week at The Broke and the Bookish, we're talking about characters that we just didn't click with for one reason or another.
1. Pi Patel from Life of Pi (Yann Martel): Admittedly, I didn't particularly like this book. It was so hyped that I expected to be wowed, and I wasn't. Pi was okay, but he came across as preachy and super philosophical for me.
2. Stephen Wraysford from Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks): I wrote about not particularly liking this book recently, but Wraysford was one of the reasons. It seems to be set up in such away that the (spoiler alert!) break-up of his love affair turns him cold, but I could never figure out his motivation for anything. Even when he was in love, it really just manifested itself in wanting to sleep with Isabelle. I had no idea what he thought or felt most of the time.
3. Isabelle Azaire from Birdsong (Sebastian Faulks): Like Stephen, Isabelle was a mystery. She was suddenly in love with Stephen, and she admittedly had a difficult back story... but what did she like? What did she want? Why did she leave Stephen? Her motivation was never, ever explained, and then the decisions she made after the war broke out left me scratching my head.
4. Lucy from A Room with a View (E.M. Forster): I would assume this is on purpose, as Forster writes in a very cold style so as to show the morality of the times, but I found it hard to connect with the heroine or know what I wanted for her. I mean, I wanted her to leave her fiancé, but that was mostly because he was a jerk.
5. Florentino Ariza from Love in the Time of Cholera (Gabriel Garcia Marquez): Yes, he carries a torch for Fermina for decades, but he's soooo creepy, not to mention all the seductions. Break-ups hurt, but you have to move on with your life. Actually, I just don't think this book was for me, at all, even though I've read it twice.
6. Emma Woodhouse from Emma: A Modern Retelling (Alexander McCall Smith): The original Emma holds a soft spot in my heart because it was my first Jane Austen. I loved Emma. Even though she was sometimes manipulative and puahy, she tried hard, and she grew. I didn't love this adaptation though. I didn't think the story translated well into the modern era, for the most part. While it made sense for 19th century Emma to be matchmaking for penniless Harriet Smith, watching 21st century Emma try to essentially find a sugar daddy for Harriet was unnerving. It made sense for the original Emma to be sheltered and treated as the queen in Highmore, because she was. In a modern context, it just made her seem stuck up and unrelatable, in my opinion, and it was too bad.
7. Bella Swan from Twilight (Stephenie Meyers): I know she was a teenager, but I was a teenager once myself, and I never completely lost my identity in a boy. I just couldn't relate to her. Mostly I just wanted to shake Bella and yell, "Get some hobbies, woman!" :)
8. Tobi from MaddAddam (Margaret Atwood): This was a hard one as I enjoyed Tobi immensely in The Year of the Flood. I liked learning her back story and seeing her survival skills. In the third book (which I didn't like nearly as much as Oryx and Crake), Tobi seemed whiney and insecure. I didn't like how there was all this love drama with the scientists. I honestly wish Atwood had stopped at two books.
Okay, these last two aren't technically characters, but the authors themselves, but I had trouble connecting with them.
9. Ulli from Today Is the Last Day of the Rest of Your Life (Ulli Lust): I enjoyed this book, but I just wanted to wrap my arms around young Ulli and tell her to make safer choices. Maybe I just wasn't a 'real' teenager, but I was never reckless, and I had trouble relating to Ulli's lack of boundaries.
10. Cheryl from Wild (Cheryl Strayed): I understand that Cheryl had gone through a tremendous amount of heartache and difficulties before this, things that I can never fully relate to. On the other hand, I just couldn't understand why she kept making bad choices. Why did she keep running out of money because she spent it on stupid things? Why didn't she parse down her immensely heavy backpack from the beginning, when she realized she could barely carry it? Did she not realize it could literally be a matter of life and death? Maybe I'm just a boring and safe person! Oh well!