Top Ten Tuesday – Frustration Edition


This week’s Top Ten list is one that we discussed a few episodes back on Bibliophiles Anonymous – the most frustrating characters we’ve ever read. And thanks to the lovely folks at “The Broke and the Bookish,” I get to vent a little bit more.

For the most part, I don’t get frustrated with characters. I try really hard to understand what they’re going through and why they might be in a snit. But sometimes that just isn’t possible. I can still appreciate them as characters, but they frustrate me to no end.

Top Ten (or Five) Most Frustrating Characters

1. Bella Swan (Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer) – I swear, this girl made me want to throw books across the room. I have never read about a more co-dependent, mopy, teenage-angsty character in my life. I get it. You met a beautiful boy who happens to be a vampire and you’re madly in love with him. He goes away, and now you’re going to die? And then put yourself in dangerous situations because you think you hear his voice? Get over it! He’s a boy, and you’re only sixteen. You’ll live.

2. Quentin Coldwater (The Magicians by Lev Grossman) – Quentin is another angsty, “my-life-is-s0-horrible” type who really has nothing to complain about, yet does nothing but complain. Wouldn’t you be happy if you found out that magic is real and that you are going to the best magic college in the country? Oh yeah, and that Narnia (or Fillory, as Grossman calls it) is a real place that you can go visit and have adventures in? Wouldn’t that be awesome? Quentin never seems to think so. I wanted to slap him and yell, “Appreciate something!!!!”

3. Severus Snape (the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) – This one is a bit different for me, because I find this character very intriguing. It doesn’t hurt that the actor who plays him in the movies is one of my all time favorites either. But Professor Snape is also a very frustrating character, because I want so badly for him to see something good in Harry – and he never does! I get it. The girl you loved beyond all reason ran off and married your worst enemy. That’s terrible. And sure, seeing their son, who looks like James, but with Lilly’s eyes, has to be painful. But it’s not Harry’s fault. He’s not doing it on purpose! He’s a good kid and you’re a grown man.

4. Albus Dumbledore (the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling) – While we’re on the subject of Harry Potter, let’s talk about the man who held all the answers, and then NEVER BOTHERED TO TELL ANYONE ANYTHING! So many things would have been easier for Harry if Dumbledore would have trusted him with some information. Instead, Dumbledore keeps it from Harry (for his own good, apparently) and makes Harry’s journey even more difficult that it needed to be.

5. Merit (the Chicagoland Vampires series by Chloe Neill) – Granted, I’m only in book two of this series, but Merit is starting to get on my nerves just a tad. She’s upset about being turned into a vampire (fair enough) and she’s attracted to the man who turned her (complicated, sure). But she’s finally accepted her new life and moved into Cadogan House. Why is she still fighting getting together with Ethan? Why? You like him, he likes you. Will you just get on with it!

That’s it for right now. I’m sure I’ll come up with more later.

Categories: Top Ten Tuesdays

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4 replies

  1. I forgot about how whiny Quentin was in The Magicians… I really enjoyed those books, but Quentin was not a particularly likeable character. And I agree with you on Snape, too– really interesting character, but his rigidity in his opinion about Harry was pretty frustrating, especially in light of his ability to change his mind about much more major issues, like supporting Voldemort.

    • Quentin made those books a disappointment to me. I liked the concept, I liked some of the other characters, I liked the story world and magic system . . . but Quentin needed to be slapped. I kept waiting for him to get better, but he never did. I plan on rereading the first book this year with a book club, so maybe I’ll enjoy it better this time around.

      Thanks for reading!

  2. I’m really starting to think I should have put Dumbledore on my list, quite a few people have included him and I agree, Harry’s life would have been so much easier if he’d just told him more!

    • Eh, you could also argue that the books would have been less interesting if Harry found out everything right off the top. We got to discover the truth about things right along with him. But still, why on earth did Dumbledore not tell him at least something? So Harry could have a normal childhood? To make things “easier” for him? Yeah, that really worked. Still love old Dumbledore, was still devastated when he died, but that side of his personality irritates the heck out of me. 😉

      Thanks for reading!

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