Top Ten Tuesday (January 29) – Frustrating Characters

What’s that you say? I’m actually participating in a Top Ten Tuesday (hosted by our friends at The Broke and the Bookish)? Why yes, young padawan, I am! I’ve been out for a while, because in keeping with my whole “blogging should be a fun hobby” philosophy, if I think the topic is going to be too difficult or just doesn’t interest me, I skip it. But this one seemed fun. And as a slight spin, I’m going to keep these characters limited to BOOKS I REALLY LIKED. Just ‘cuz a book is awesome doesn’t mean it can’t have frustrating characters. And just because they’re frustrating doesn’t necessarily mean I didn’t like them. Plus, it seemed like more fun than just trashing books I don’t like.


Dolores UmbridgeHarry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. Oh, how I loathed Umbridge. And yes, she frustrated me. Every time she would give Harry one of her torturous detentions or take points from Gryffindor for no good reason, I wanted to throw things.

Gale Hawthorne, Mockingjay. I don’t think it’s a secret that I’m Team Peeta all the way, partially because Gale frustrated me so much in this book. He was angry and impulsive and reckless and his bad decisions had some seriously awful consequences. I still don’t see how people think he was a good match for Katniss. They would have destroyed the world.

John HammondJurassic ParkHOW many times was Hammond told that cloning dinosaurs was a Seriously Bad Idea? Many. Many, many, many. And yet he did it anyway and was somehow surprised when everything went wrong.

Mackenzie Bishop, The Archived. Yes, I seriously loved this book, and I seriously loved Mac. But she made some terrible choices. I could see why she made them, but that didn’t keep them from frustrating me, because I could clearly see that they were bad choices. You know why? Because SHE knew they were bad choices, yet made them anyway.

Nikolai Kretzsky, Between Shades of Gray. I spent this entire book wanting Kretzsky to redeem himself, and occasionally we’d catch glimmers of it — but then he’d go back to behaving like the rest of the NKVD. It made the book even more heartbreaking (FABULOUS book, if I haven’t stressed that enough) because someone we could see had the potential for good, so often chose not to.

Mr. StalasBetween Shades of Gray. Yes, ANOTHER character from this book I adore. This book is really aptly titled, because a lot of the characters really do fall into a gray area. Mr. Stalas is one of them. He’s just kind of a miserable man who almost seems to go out of his way to make life harder for his fellow deportees. Yet he’s not the one keeping them in the labor camps. Almost every time Mr. Stalas opened his mouth, I wanted to throttle him.

LiIncarnateUgh, is there much worse than a hateful, spiteful parent? I couldn’t stand the way Li treated Ana and made her feel worthless — which, of course, was the point.

Beth, Dare You ToOkay, I know this is unfair since this book isn’t out until May (and guys, if you liked Pushing the Limits, you WANT this book. Trust me), so first off, a disclaimer. I LOVED this book. And I loved Beth. But the way she pushes people away and doesn’t trust anyone is infuriating. Understandable, yes, but frustrating. Also, I very nearly put Beth’s mom on this list, but she more saddened than frustrated me.

FitzChivalry Farseer, Assassin’s Apprentice.  Again, I love this book (favorite Fantasy EVER) and I adore Fitz, but there is a whole section in there that made me want to throw him off a roof. (Heh. That is a joke that you will get if you’ve read the book). I knew his brain was being messed with, but still, I just wanted to take him by the shoulders and yell “SNAP OUT OF IT!”

Lindsay Edgecombe, Before I Fall. As Sam Kingston starts the book as an Obnoxious Mean Girl, it only makes sense that her BFF is also an Obnoxious Mean Girl. But unlike Sam, who keeps her memory of the looping day and evolves through the course of the book, Lindsay just stays an Obnoxious Mean Girl. She drove me nuts.

9 thoughts on “Top Ten Tuesday (January 29) – Frustrating Characters

  1. Javert in Les Miserables is pretty frustrating, because he is not just evil, he wants to do the right thing. Yet when offered so grace from Valjean opportunities to forgive and for reconciliation, he can’t face that he was wrong and kills himself instead rather than live in a new way. He’s the “un-Saul of Tarsus”

  2. Agree with the choice of John Hammond. So it puzzles me that the Jurassic Park movie made such a major change that he escapes rather than being eaten by the dinosaurs. Maybe this should be a new category for you, “FRUSTRATING BOOK ADAPTATIONS BY MOVIES” where the movie deviates significantly (and for the worse) from the book. I don’t know if Jurassic Park would been in my list of those, though, since despite the major changes I liked both the book and the movie.

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