Bookish Discussion · Bookish List

Eight Unpopular Character Opinions

Liiisten, I respect everyone’s opinion, I do, but sometimes an opinion makes me go ๐Ÿ˜ฏ because I just.. I cannot comprehend it. There’s nothing wrong with said opinion, no, but it surprises me because it’s so far from what I think or believe.

David from Schitt's Creek saying: I'm just having a hard time understanding.
Istg, Schitt’s Creek has a gif for everything.

Because this feeling of “I don’t get it” most often occurs regarding characters, I brought you eight bookish characters most people *love* and I can’t stand. If you love them let me know why, if not, let’s rant together. ๐Ÿ‘ฟ

Warning: There are slight spoilers in the Darkling section.

Related post: Salty Seven – Seven Bookish Things I Hate


THE DARKLING

๐ŸŸค Okay but I’m still mad y’all tried to sell the Darkling to me as this cute villain Alina should follow to the dark side. You made me excited!! Unforgivable because instead of a “let’s be bad together” dynamic between the two, there’s coercion, grooming, and controlling behavior coming from the Darkling and I’m so not here for that. He literally wants to put a collar on Alina – how the fuck is that hot!? ๐Ÿ˜ญ

๐ŸŸค Even if we disregard that, his character is inconsistent as hell. He goes from being a-okay with killing whoever to being offended by Alina believing that he has taken kids as hostages. Mate, I’m pretty sure you killed kids when you messed around with the Shadow Fold, why is taking kids as hostages worse than that? ๐Ÿค” Make it make sense.

๐ŸŸค With that being said, his goals of freeing the Grisha were great, to the extent where I was wishing he wasn’t a proper dick, because I would have 1000% rooted for him.

Related post: My Problems With the Romance in Shadow and Bone


DAISY AND BILLY

๐ŸŸค Daisy Jones and the Six was one of the most hyped novels of last year, which is baffling in on itself, but the fact that Daisy and Billy are considered complex characters by most readers makes me ashamed to, well, hate them. ๐Ÿ˜…

๐ŸŸค I expected so! much! from this novel, but what I got felt so stereotypical and boring. The conflicts between the band members, the struggles they went through, and the character types were so trope-y and, well, cheap (?) to me.

๐ŸŸค I felt like we were supposed to emphasize with these two simply because they were the protagonists. There was absolutely nothing that made them seem unique or authentic. They were walking, talking clichรฉs and I was simultaneously bored and angry because of that.


AUDREY ROSE

๐ŸŸค I hate, hate, HATE to bring her into this, because I had so much love for her at first, but boy, is her feminism performative! She is supportive of women’s rights… as long as by women we mean her.

๐ŸŸค When it comes to others, most notably her cousin in book 3, she is judgmental and high-handed; she takes up the position that men have taken up in her life: she becomes the one who controls the situation from the background. Audrey Rose does not allow her cousin to make her own choices, to make her own mistakes, instead, she conspires with a man to “solve” the situation behind her cousin’s back. Ah, and she doesn’t grow from this, as it is never called out. Smh.


CARDAN

๐ŸŸค I know that y’all will hate me for this, but Cardan is one of my least favorite characters of the past few years. I was looking forward to his character development and a deeper analysis of who he is and how certain things that were done to him shaped him, but it all felt rushed or non-existent. What was done to him became an excuse for his actions, and Black never truly addressed the extreme bullying he did to Jude.

๐ŸŸค I was never, ever down for the romance between him and Jude, and I thought it was icky and uncomfortable from beginning to end. I appreciated it when it was presented as such – during the first novel we see their attraction, but it is also made clear that what happens between them is part of a toxic power play. I have no idea how we arrived to “cute romance” from that, particularly with so little development.


ETHAN

๐ŸŸค The thing about Christina Lauren novels and me is that I always find them entertaining, but in all three I’ve read, I really disliked one of the main characters. In The Unhoneymooners that character was Ethan.

๐ŸŸค I don’t want to go into spoilers but Ethan gets away with so much – and wants to help his brother get away with so much! – that I was about ready to jump into the book and sucker punch him.

๐ŸŸค What he pulled at the end with not believing Olive? Man, fuck off. How is he end game, someone please explain!! Olive is a cute character, and she deserves better!! I’m writing a petition.


ALEX AND DARLINGTON

๐ŸŸค You might be saying, “Vera, you DNF-ed Ninth House, perhaps you shouldn’t write about it?” And look, friend, you may be right, but!! I was so disappointed in this, I feel like I have to rant. Is that fair? Okay then.

๐ŸŸค Okay, so, Alex first! I will say this – there is nothing WRONG with her, I just truly didn’t care about her character. Not for one moment was I intrigued or interested when, in fact, I loved the sound of who she was. But, in the actual story, she felt like a shell – like someone who was put into the novel for the sole reason so the novel has a protagonist, possibly one the readers can empathize with.

๐ŸŸค Many readers say that Darlington carries Ninth House, but I just did not feel that? He seemed so bland and boring – and, in a way, like the exact opposite of Alex. Which I guess was supposed to make the story interesting? But, in all honesty, I could not care less for either one of them.


let’s chat!

What are your unpopular character opinions? What aspects usually annoy you in characters? Have you read these books? Do you agree/disagree with mine?

31 thoughts on “Eight Unpopular Character Opinions

  1. I love your writing voice–so entertaining! You wrapped up your thoughts on these characters so well without really spoiling anything and I appreciate that. I think all of your opinions are valid and a lot of the points you made make sense. Even if someone doesn’t agree with your thoughts, I don’t think they could argue your logic.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I really enjoyed the romance with Alina and the Darkling because it goes against so many YA tropes. Instead of portraying the “bad boy” as hot, it shows that the relationship is abusive and not something Alina should be working for. She can’t “save” the Darkling with her love. That’s not something you see too often.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree with you about that, and I liked some aspects of the relationship because of that. That said, I didn’t think it was ultimately handled very well. Alina’s attraction to and interest in him remained until the end, and it wasn’t addressed or treated as well as it could have been. On a side note, I’ll admit that people’s love for this pairing may have negatively influenced my opinion of the relationship.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Yeah I totally agree with you on the Darkling. I read Shadow and Bone late in the hype, and considering how hyped up Alinaโ€™s and the Darklingโ€™s relationship is on book twitter, I expected it to be a whole less toxic. I donโ€™t see how anybody could ship them together. Heโ€™s a very well-written villain, but definitely should not be made out to be a heartthrob.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right?? I’m so confused. ๐Ÿ˜ People were really out there making him seem hot and a possible love interest when he *never* treated Alina as an equal. I’m so damn frustrated by this ship, and I’m DREADING the tv show, because I do think it’s a possible show-makers will try to make this pairing “hot.” ๐Ÿ˜

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  4. Well, I disagree with you about Daisy Jones, but I guess that’s what you expected anyway! I don’t know how old you are but for someone like me who is a touch younger than these characters would be today, they rang very true to me.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. As soon as I saw the first character on this list, I whispered โ€œyesssssโ€ out loud because I completely agree!! I do not like the Darkling one bit and the constant obsession with him baffles me to no end.
    Also wow, we must have the same brain, because SAME about Cardan. I donโ€™t understand the appeal of his character or the romance with Jude, and I ended up giving up on that series halfway through once I realized that I would never get it. Sigh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, someone else!! The Darkling makes NO SENSE as a hero – with Cardan, I suppose we can at least say that he changes (though, that change is terribly executed, imo) – while the Darkling never fully considers Alina his equal. I’m so excited for the SoC part of the show, but I’m not sure how I’ll bare this part of it. ๐Ÿคฎ

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  6. I completely agree with you about Audrey Rose! That third book was a disaster. Utter utter disaster. She went from semi ok to just hypocritical, selfish, and extremely annoying ๐Ÿ˜’ I was so upset with her for trying to control Lisa’s life, and for her ridiculous excuses with the mess that she made of Mephisto and Thomas. UGHHH.
    Cardan…eh? I didn’t like him much at the start, and then I kind of liked him in The Wicked King, and then I was livid with The Queen of Nothing so I don’t know. Their romance in TWK was kind of…cute I guess. In a weird twisted way. Lol, ok, I can’t really justify it. But good point about how his actions in TCP weren’t really that addressed. I understand about his brother’s abuse and all that, but… Anyway, I was livid with The Queen of Nothing mostly because he had like 10 pages in which he was actually there as Cardan. That book was just so rushed and not really done well. Honestly, I don’t think his character was explored all that deeply (it was kind of to a degree, but it could have been more), and the way TQoN was rushed made it even worse.

    Nonetheless, great post!! I loved reading it โคโœจ

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Right? Instead of evolving and developing, Audrey Rose became WORSE as the series progressed, which was so fucking frustrating. What she pulled with Lisa was disgusting, and then she never received any shit for that. ๐Ÿคฎ

      I think my main issue with Cardan is that his story and character arc could have been well-developed, especially in the course of three novels, but it just wasn’t. Like you said, the final book was incredibly rushed, and we had no chance of seeing him change. I feel like, yes, the abuse is HORRIBLE and it explains why he acts a certain way, but that means nothing if we see no development after that. Like, yes, I get why he is this way, now show me WHY and HOW he changes, and then we can talk about a non-toxic relationship between him and Jude.

      Thank you!! ๐Ÿ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I know! And then with Thomas and Mephisto too! That book was a disaster. She just dropped in every aspect, and nothing was addressed or done about it ๐Ÿ˜’

        Yeah, I see your point now. And it kind of makes me feel bad for liking him ๐Ÿ˜‚๐Ÿคฆ๐Ÿพโ€โ™€๏ธ it’s like I’ve already given him a better arc than Black did in my head, and so I’ve kind of made my peace with it. Honestly, the more I think about it, the more I realize their relationship isn’t all that great anyway. And then the third book. Sigh.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Iโ€™m scared to read ninth house bc of all the mixed reviews ahh!! also I love Cardan but yes his character development (especially in the last book…) was a tad lacking so i can see what your saying. Awesome post ๐Ÿ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

  8. i will be reading the grisha trilogy for the first time (eventually…), and I’m really excited to see how i feel about the darkling!! it seems like everyone has opinions on him, mal, and alina ๐Ÿ˜‚ this is kind of an unrelated thing to say, but i find it so funny that i don’t know anyone who loves the grisha trilogy wholeheartedly (like, everyone i know who’s read them has at least one thing they don’t like about it), yet it’s still so talked about!! also, i loved the unhoneymooners when i first read it, but my love for it has waned. the drama at the end really wasn’t it, and while i was neutral about ethan when i first read the book, i’ve come to realize that some of the things he did at the end were so yikes

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so curious to hear your thoughts on Grisha (eventually.) ๐Ÿ‘€ Okay, I’ve never thought of that, but it’s true for me, as well! I have a friend – the one who lent me her copies + the one who convinced me to give the trilogy a chance – and while she enjoyed it, she didn’t *love* it. She said SoC is so good it feels like it was written by a completely different author. ๐Ÿ˜‚ True about Ethan – I feel like the book is well-written and fun, which really carried me through it super-fast, so I get why you didn’t dislike him as much first.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. I… love this post?!?!? Such a cool idea โค

    Some of these I won't comment on bc I'm a trashy person welp.

    But I haven't read S&B yet (IT WILL HAPPEN THIS YEAR AGHHH) but I'm 99% sure I'll dislike him too. My prediction is that Nikolai will be a fave. I've thought about this a lot as you can tell. The other 1% will be for Ben Barnes though oh no. (also shh also still scared to read Ninth House bc demons freak me out)

    And then… I dnf'ed The Unhoneymooners. I just wasn't feeling it and I'm with you about Ethan. And the female lead tbh, didn't remember her name till you said it, was also not my fave. Eh just disappointing and I didn't feel like finishing it.

    And ugh don't even get me started on Audrey Rose. She is SO ANNOYING WTF. Literally book three was A TRAIN WRECK. Hated that book. Her feminism is performative. It's too in your face and not natural. She just constantly has to SAY how she's 'feminist' and it pissed me off. Thomas Cresswell carries that series on his back. Still haven't read the last book bc I don't want to get annoyed with her which I most likely will. Ugh.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahh, thank you, I’m glad you do! ๐Ÿ’œ

      Nikolai is actually a really nice character, though I wanted to punch him at one scene. This series and I were never meant to be. ๐Ÿ˜ญ Yeah, I think the female lead in Unhoneymooners was pretty boring, BUT I did like her voice – which is probably thanks to the audiobook, the narrator was great. Ethan, though.. ๐Ÿคฎ (Also, DNF-ing was probably the best choice, the ending is so utterly dumb and drama-filled and badly handled, imo.)

      Right!! Audrey Rose is a loud and proud feminist as long as she is (1) talking about her feminism, or (2) using it to stand up for herself. Any other woman comes up and she is DONE with being a feminist. Unbelievable. Oh, you definitely will be annoyed, even Thomas got on my nerves in the finale. ๐Ÿ˜ญ

      Liked by 1 person

  10. This is such a great post and I loved reading it! I have to say that I also felt conflicted about the romance in the cruel prince and didn’t…. I don’t know, I just didn’t manage to get on board with the toxicity of it all :/

    Liked by 1 person

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