Top Ten Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get

Happy Wednesday (but Tuesday for the purposes of this post) everyone! Sorry I’m late this week (but it’s due to exciting developments. Fingers crossed on those.)

As always, Top Ten Tuesdays is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. I struggled at first to really think of characters some people love that I hate, but then I remembered Cathy and Heathcliff and it escalated from there. (Spoiler warning for everything listed below.)

1. & 2. Cathy & Heathcliff, Wuthering Heights

I vividly remember my high school English teacher asking our mainly female class ‘Why do girls like Heathcliff so much?’. There was a beautifully uniting chorus of ‘We don’t.’ I spent most of the book just wanting him to calm down, stop being so overdramatic and generally stop talking altogether. How many rants about his soul can one man go on? Just chill out, Heathcliff.

Cathy. Oh, the original love-triangle Mary-Sue. Do I want Linton? But I totally want Heathcliff. But, Nelly, I AM HEATHCLIFF. But I’m marrying the other one just to torment him a bit more. Stop with your games, Cathy, and just run off and be dramatic in the sunset. That being said, I would love a modern story where Cathy and Heathcliff do get together and then suddenly realise that all they really had was drama. Just imagine the fights about who put the empty milk carton back in the fridge.

3. & 4. Clary Fray/Fairchild & Jace Who Knows What Your Last Name Is, The Mortal Instruments (beware of spoilers)

I’m seeing a theme here. Let’s just say I’ve not got much time for overdramatic couples with ridiculously obvious plot twists and love triangles. Just get together and then get on with the plot, I say.

Clary has always annoyed me, which is sad, because I feel like I should like her. But she’s just got a bit too much going on. ‘Oh my mother hid all my memories, oh I have this super cool special artist trick that no Shadowhunter has ever had, Oh my life is so ridiculously complicated’. I would really love a Clary that gets inducted into the Shadowhunter world and is absolutely terrible at it, can’t slay a demon and screws up her runes.

Jace is a modern Heathcliff if Heathcliff got tattoos and a quick wit. ‘Oh I have such a tragic backstory, my dad murdered my pet bird, I don’t know who my real father is so I stab everything to deal with my issues’. Oh, and ‘Alec is my bro for life but I’m gonna ignore him pretty much constantly and not be interested in any of his issues’. Come on man. Get it together. You could have been so much cooler than this.

This is the overarching problem with Cassandra Clare’s novels. I love the world, I stay for the world-building, I stay for the side characters. The main characters, well…

5 & 6. Tessa & Will, The Infernal Devices, Cassandra Clare  (spoilers)

I’ll admit it’s been a long time since I read these, but Tessa never grew on me, especially because of the whole Will-Jem-Tessa ‘oh I clearly only love Jem because he’s tragically dying, but Will is a mysterious bad-boy who I clearly must solve/fix’. Come on, Tessa, Will can fix himself. Don’t you need to go angst about being a warlock? (Although I did kind of love that twist. Give me a book about Tessa ‘I’ve been around forever, don’t stand in my shade, I’ve become the best warlock ever’ Gray.) The relationship with Jem always felt very forced to me, too. (Don’t even get me started on the ending.)

Will is Jace but a few hundred years earlier and a better sense of humor. It seems like DRAMA is the Herondale family heirloom, and Will did it with a bit more flair, if I’m honest. Again, though, ‘angsty family backstory that’s turned me into an overused trope’ is Will’s whole personality. Everything about him stems from that. I want to know about the Will post-drama, kicking ass and overcoming his pathological fear of ducks. (Oh, wait, no, that’s even related to the backstory.)

7. Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

Ok, this kind of feels like cheating because I’ve never managed to make it all the way through the Catcher in the Rye and also because I feel like Holden is meant to be annoying, and I gather that there may be some form of character development in there somewhere, but he is the reason I have never finished the book.

8 & 9. Edward & Bella, The Twilight Trilogy (spoilers)

If you weren’t expecting this, you’ve clearly not been paying attention. (Also think I’ve seen these two on every one of these lists so far. Well done, idiots!) Edward – see all the reasons for Will & Jace above. Bella – for once, can you save yourself? Also the whole ‘oh he can’t read my mind and my blood smells super good? I’m super special’. Also RENEESMEE. Really, Bella, just make one her middle name like a normal person.

10. Tris/Beatrice, Divergent

I’ve only read the first book, because Tris really has all the qualities that YA seems to be pushing right now – teenager girls that are special in someway, overthrow/fight some big organisation or antagonist, get a complicated boyfriend with an angsty backstory – I didn’t actually hate Tris, mainly because she was just kind of boring for me? Hence why I didn’t pick up the other books.

So, those were my Top Ten Characters Everyone Loves But I Just Don’t Get, a little bit late but here anyway. Hope you enjoyed it! Any characters you want to defend? Debate in the comments! Next week, I’ll be talking about Ten Books On My Spring TBR.

 

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