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When a Character REALLY Screws It All Up

I honestly get that characters can’t be smart all the time. And they are working with less information than we have. But sometimes, they go above and beyond to make the stupidest decisions possible. Just really, really dumb. SO MANY SPOILERS (sorry).

Saba in Blood Red Road by Moira Young

You know what would be like, a really really monumentally stupid thing to do? How about unprotected sex with the villain of the story who happens to be your love interests father? If that sounds sensible to you then hey, you and Saba should get along great. Saba is for the most part this super tough super practical person. So this moment of weakness or stupidity or whatever the heck it was is frustrating. And ends about as well as you’d expect honestly.

Clary in City of Bones by Cassandra Clare

Obviously compared to Saba this is nothing. But Clary’s whole “lets try a romance with my best friend even though I know I’m not into him” thing was dumb as heck and a trope that annoys me a lot. Wouldn’t it be great if a girl could choose not to be with a guy without having to immediately start dating the nearest man whether she is interested or not? OK so things with Jace weren’t going great but would being single truly be so awful that risking a friendship is preferable? Honestly she is so lucky this worked out ok in the end because it could’ve gone so badly wrong.

Everyone in Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn?

There would be no plot without their stupid decisions so I’m grateful that they’re all just ridiculous people because this book is awesome. But still. Everything that everyone does in this book is just dumb. They incriminate themselves so hard and don’t even get me started on Amy (I do love her though – she was such a well written character).

25 thoughts on “When a Character REALLY Screws It All Up

    1. I honestly nearly dropped the series entirely cause it felt way too sudden forced love triangle and I hated it. I never like when any book has the whole “she can’t be with who she wants so anyone else will do” thing which happens way too often. Why can’t characters just happily be on their own.

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  1. Yeah Gone Girl really messed me up because I was constantly like: this guy’s the villain, no this guy’s the villain, no this girl’s the villain??? I left really liking Amy’s character and honestly disliking everyone else lol.

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    1. Honestly the part that messes me up the most is just how much I love Amy’s character. Like she is SO bad but just super interesting. In real life obviously I’d not like her but in a book she is such a brilliant character!

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  2. Oh, Clary. I tend to forgive her because she is really young and Simon is very pushy, but uugghhhh. Clary, darling, think a bit!
    -Reese

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    1. Yeah from a certain angle it makes sense? Like her world has gone upside down and Simon is the only stable part. But its still such a bizarre decision.

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  3. I haven’t read Gone Girl so yeah… can’t say anything about this one. But Saba DEFINITELY does make that one dumb decision which is so out of character for her so I was very confused while reading it… and Clary makes a dumb decision when she does that. It was also very insensitive as well >.>

    Olivia-S @ Olivia’s Catastrophe

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    1. God yes, I was reading Saba doing that and just thinking “what the heck did I just read”. It was so unlike anything else she did. And yeah Clary was being insensitive to everyone. Especially knowing how Simon felt about her and how she didn’t feel about him. It was always gonna end badly and it was selfish of her

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  4. This post was actually so funny! And I completely agree with you, everyone’s lack of common sense seriously overcomplicated Gone Girl. When I finished the book, I couldn’t think of how to articulate what I had just read.

    On a different note– this is my first time blogging in a while but I love your blog redesign!

    claire @ clairefy

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  5. So… I’ve not read Blood Red Road, but unprotected sex with a love interest’s father? How does that even happen? I think at that point I’d have to quit reading for stupidity reasons. I agree with Clary as well, she frustrated me a lot thinking back on it. Poor choices were made!

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    1. It happened fairly late in the series so by that point I was committed but yeah. Really dumb decision. Although to be fair she didn’t know he was the LI’s father or that he was the villain at the time. On the other hand that’s because she didn’t know him having met him like five minutes beforehand. Just the weirdest plot twist.

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  6. I cackled when I read “Everyone in Gone Girl”, because I was thinking the same exact thing. I usually am pretty forgiving of poor decision making, but only if the character learns and grows from it.

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    1. Absolutely. Nobody learns anything in Gone Girl. Its a great book and I love it and so much of that comes from the unlikable characters but I still acknowledge how absolutely ridiculous they all are.

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  7. I think about how dumb the characters were in Gone Girl SO FREQUENTLY, IT’S NUTS. And I judge them so badly. Then, I find myself thinking: HOW MANY PEOPLE WOULD THINK I’M DUMB IF I WAS A FICTIONAL CHARACTER? And have a laugh about it. How to survive the stupid: laugh, apparently.

    Great post.

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    1. I relate. I literally started ranting about their stupidity to my sister (who has never read Gone Girl) before this post which is what reminded me of it. I hope neither of us are Gone Girl levels of dumb but I know I’d be like the goofy sidekick at best!

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  8. My boyfriend is reading The Mortal Instruments for the first time and he keeps complaining about how Clary is ruining everything and making the worst decisions. She was always my least favorite character in those books. And YES to everyone in Gone Girl just being awful. Have you read any of Gillian Flynn’s other books? She is one of my favorite authors.

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    1. I haven’t read anything else by Gillian Flynn but I definitely want to (and need to). I’m just terrible at motivating myself with my TBR!

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  9. Oh my goodness, don’t even get me started on Clary. As much as I love The Mortal Instruments series, I always had serious issues with Clary. In fact, I used to refer to her as Little Miss Know-It-All. She was always so utterly convinced that she knew the right thing to do. Despite being brand new to the Shadowhunter world, despite being vastly under-trained, despite the odds being against her… nope, never mattered. She just always thought she knew best. Gah!!!!! Sorry, I know you’re talking about a particular decision she made but I still get ranty about Clary. LOL

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    1. No I completely agree and actually her decision to date Simon fully comes under her Know-It-All status anyway. If I was suddenly pushed into that world I’d have way more faith in the judgement of the people who have known it since birth and I wouldn’t be constantly rushing into danger. It works out OK for her but that’s pure luck.

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  10. This is such an excellent topic! I could not stop laughing at what you said about Clary because honestly SO TRUE. All throughout that book (and the series) I was completely baffled by the choices she makes (and Simon makes, TBH). Really, characters with no common sense can really make or break a book.

    Laura @BlueEyeBooks

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