Hello Readers! I might not be the first to discuss this. Unfortunately I couldn’t find any related post to backlink but I do remember me commenting on someone’s blog on topic something like this but different. How much is it fair or unfair rating book low because of character? This question had been on my mind for long but didn’t know if I wanted to write about it or nor but then I stopped overthinking and braved myself to write it.
Characters are essential part of book and even more when story is character driven and we all pay attention to them and they are also one of the points in our rating system 50% or 70% of rating only goes after characters and it varies depending on genre. But when I saw these lines often in reviews “I didn’t like the character“, “I couldn’t relate to character“. I have seen books rated low for these reasons which made me think and gave the idea for post.
Okay let say first, I have nothing against reviewers who rate book low because of characters. Nor I’m some expert or a writer or something. I’m just curious, trying to share my view, and also trying to understand from reader who have opinions on this topic (similar or different).
When I feel it’s unfair-
When I see that “I didn’t like the character” and of course when it wasn’t explained, it instantly make me think, not all characters are meant to be likable. You won’t find any likable characters in thrillers and mostly in psychological thrillers, even in fantasy with morally grey characters. They are supposed to be that way in these genre or some stories, they are written that way.
This is really more common than that likability thing. “I couldn’t relate to character”. Are we supposed to? I have read tons of books that I couldn’t relate to, I haven’t experienced same thing as character, nothing like that going to happen or happened to me. Nothing is similar or familiar- characteristics, habits, personalities are different than me but I still enjoyed those books because I was trying to know those characters who were from different background, had different life, personality and so on. They are written to be understood the perspective. I was reading through their perspective as third person looking in their world from outside and that made all those book different for me and enjoyable.
When it feels fair enough-
I did rate book low myself because of unlikable characters in the beginning and still do but only when it falls into this points-
Character doesn’t develop until last 20 or 30% of the book or when there is no development at all.
Characters are completely annoying and jerk in whole book. (I’m looking at Mal from Grishaverse trilogy)
Characters not acting their age- I read a book this year in which woman who was 30 should be adult was making whole drama over nerd vs cool guy thing, and comparing look like she was still in school.
No depth- When character doesn’t make any impact, they feel superficial like they are just there in story to keep it moving.
‘This post is a part of Blogchatter Half Marathon.’
Thank you for reading! Let’s chat…
What do you think about this post? Have it ever crossed your mind?
Do you agree with my points or reason? Would you like to add your own points?
Do you have any different opinion?
Just in case you missed…
Everyday Magic by Charlie Laidlaw
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