Does disliking the main character make a book bad? || Discussion post

WARNING THIS POST WILL INCLUDE SPOILERS FOR THE HUNDRED LIES OF LIZZIE LOVETT

Hey Y’all! I’m not even sure how to start this off but recently I read The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett by Chelsea Sedoti.

The whole time I read it, I had such an issue with the main character, Hawthorn, that I couldn’t really focus on the rest of the book. Hawthorn was selfish, rude, insanely bitter and dismissive everyone else’s feelings. I wanted to reach through the book and shake Hawthorn and scream that even if someone’s life seems perfect, that doesn’t mean they deserve to have something bad happen to them nor does it protect them from bad things happening.

When they first find out that Lizzie is missing, Rush, Hawthron’s brother is really broken up about it and Hawthorn basically makes fun of Lizzie to his face only be snapped at by her mother needing to be more compassionate. Basically if Lizzie, for a single second through the rest of the book, had listened to her mother here, everything would have been different. Haw becomes obsessed with Lizzie, going to Lizzie’s job and taking over the empty position left by Lizzie and even getting into a relationship of sorts with Lizzie’s boyfriend and telling him how she thinks Lizzie ran off because she became a werewolf. At this point in the book, Lizzie is almost certainly considered dead by most and it just made me so mad that Haw was being so disrespectful! Especially since when they do find out what happened to Lizzie, Haw breaks down and cries as if she ever really cared. I had no sympathy for her and couldn’t understand how she had gotten from making fun of people and telling them they shouldn’t be upset to crying about Lizzie.

By the end of my read, I was furious and I didn’t know how I was ever going to write any sort of review for this book when all I wanted to do was beat the crap out of Haw. It really got me thinking, does disliking the main character of a book because of their actions make a book bad?

Haw isn’t exactly made out to be a villain or a bad person in the typical sense but she ruined this book for me. I honestly don’t remember too much about my read other than I kept thinking about ridiculously insane and again, disrespectful Haw was the whole time. I ended up giving the book one star on Goodreads and I fully plan to do something with it so it is no longer in my possession.

I think the main character/s can definitely make or break a book for me and if I have a huge issue with them (unless they are supposed to be a villain type) it will affect my rating of the book.

So what do you think? Do the characters and how they act affect your thoughts and rating on a book? Let me know!

20 thoughts on “Does disliking the main character make a book bad? || Discussion post

  1. Okay so I’m not reading the post because The Hundred Lies of Lizzie Lovett is still sitting unread on my shelf but I do think you can enjoy a book without liking the main character! Some characters are meant to be unlike able for various reasons but the overall story can still be enjoyable.

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  2. I find it’s tough to like a book and hate the main character especially if the story is told primarily from their point of view. If the point of the book turns out to be that the main character was unreliable or a bad person, then I can usually find some sort of balance there, but if the author was trying to make the mc sympathetic and the efforts failed with my reading, it usually makes the reading itself annoying.

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  3. Yeah, I find it really hard to enjoy a book while disliking the main character. If I stick it out (and there are amazing side characters and a stunning plot), then I can like the book well enough, but I do feel like a book can never be one of my favorites if I dislike the characters.

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  4. Having an annoying main character 100% affects my thoughts, rating and review on the story. And I mean annoying as in the whole novel, not just annoying/bad in some portions. Of course, I don’t let it be the only thing that influences me but it definitely plays a big role. For me, a main character is kind of like the door to the world the author is building. They’re what introduces you to that world and the story is based off of them. If they’re not good, it takes a lot away from the rest of the story.

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  5. For me, it depends on whether the main character is a jerk on purpose. If the MC is a jerk for a reason that furthers the plot or ties to part of the plot somewhere, then fine. The MC can be an unlikable jerk. But if the MC is just an unlikable jerk for no other reason than to be an unlikable jerk, that’s not cool and it will definitely affect my perception of the book as a whole, and the author as well if that book is the first I’ve read by that author.

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  6. Disliking the main character of a book 100% negatively impacts my opinion of the work. The main character carries so many important tasks. We see the world unfolding through their eyes. We get to know other characters through their thoughts. If you’re constantly rolling your eyes at the way the MC is narrating the plot, how can you have time to appreciate it?

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  7. Well I read a lot of books which have characters I dislike. Sometimes I dislike particular characters because of their traits, but the story of the book is interesting it makes me leave a 3 stars rating. Or sometimes, the characters have a trait that is a big no no to me (eg. over-sexualizing other characters, problematic/toxic/abusive main characters, you name it), I automatically close the book altogether.

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