#TopTenTuesday: Unlikeable Characters I Rooted For

So, we’re back with another Top Ten Tuesday, a weekly meme hosted by Jana @ That Artsy Reader Girl.

This week’s topic is Unlikable Characters You Can’t Help but Love (these are villains, criminals, jerks, etc. that make you fall in love with them anyway, perhaps because they evolve by the end or they’re secretly wonderful and have been all along.)

Whereas before I couldn’t stand reading about unlikeable characters and it’d automatically make me dislike a book, I’ve grown to be more appreciative of these characters over the years. That’s not to say that I can respect all unlikeable characters and that I still don’t struggle to get through books with such characters, but it’s not an immediate strike-out. For today’s prompt, while I don’t think I love every unlikeable character mentioned on this list, I did root for them to succeed in whatever they were doing, and they didn’t prevent me from enjoying the story (too much anyway, lol)!

**book covers are linked to my review if I’ve written one**

Connor and Marianne from Normal People by Sally Rooney
Daisy and Bill from Daisy Jones and the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Victor Vale from Vicious by V.E. Schwab
Ashley Bennett from The Black Kids by Christina Hammonds Reed
Wen Alder/Foolish Cur from The Hand of the Sun King by J.T. Greathouse

Violet from Violet Made of Thorns by Gina Chen
Chloe and Charles from Never Saw Me Coming by Vera Kurian
Penny Lee from Emergency Contact by Mary H.K. Choi
Ali and Dara from The City of Brass by S.A. Chakraborty
Vira from The Ivory Key by Akshaya Raman

How do you feel about unlikeable characters? Do you grow to love them or do you stop reading if you don’t like them? Have you read any of these books and did you also think the characters were unlikeable (lol)? Who are your favourite unlikeable characters?

42 thoughts on “#TopTenTuesday: Unlikeable Characters I Rooted For

  1. I feel like I don’t have many unlikeable characters that I have grown to like. I haven’t written mine up so I will be curious to see what I can come up with. 😂

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Dara was pretty damn irritating.

    I’m pondering my list for this one and I think I might have to tweak it, as I’m really struggling to think of characters I don’t like who I root for/love.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, actually now that I think about it more, I should’ve just left the list to Ali and not Dara because I started off liking Dara and then he got pretty freaking irritating! 😂 Ali was the opposite for me!

      Liked by 1 person

    • I think it tends to bother me mostly because I tend to like/dislike a book because of the characters. Like, it can be an interesting plot but if the characters are so unlikeable that they make it unenjoyable then… I end up finding the book frustrating! If that makes sense 😜

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I don’t often change my mind about characters I don’t like, so I chose more characters that did somethings wrong or were curmudgeons at the beginning of a book. I haven’t read any of these books, yet.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was kind of surprised that I enjoyed Emergency Contact as much as I did because Penny was really… Not likeable 😂 But I grew an understanding of her character that lifted the rest of the story for me!


  4. ooh I actually enjoy unlikeable characters, especially when its done well. I always try to go into the book knowing they are that way which makes it more fun to explore their journey. I LOVE emergency contact & felt the “ulikability” made the book even better & Vicious, a classic! Very excited to pick up Violet Thorns!! 🤩

    Liked by 1 person

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