Top 5 Wednesday is a great feature created by GingerReadsLainey and hosted by ThoughtsonTomes. To find out more about Top 5 Wednesday and the upcoming topics, check out its Goodreads page. This week it’s all about unlikable characters, these aren’t the villains you’re supposed to hate, these are the protagonists or side-characters that for whatever reason you just can’t stand.
Vivi – When We Collided by Emery Lord
I was not a fan of Vivi. She is almost obnoxiously happy and though you do find out why she’s like that I never felt any real sympathy for her. She’s incredibly jealous and mean if her boyfriend does so much as talk to another girl, she is reckless and when people try and ask her why she’s doing stupid or crazy things, she just says they’re trying to control her. Vivi was probably the most unlikable character I’ve encountered in a while.
Wade/Parzival – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
There was something about Wade that put my back up. He’s often entitled or thinks he’s so great since he’s the first to make a break through looking for James Halliday’s Easter egg, he’s also kind of controlling which is never a good quality. I think the main reason I don’t like him is because of the way he thinks of and talks about Art3mis. It’s creepy and if I ever found out a guy was that obsessed with me I’d run away screaming.
Shyama – The House of Hidden Mothers by Meera Syal
The main reason Shyama is unlikable is because she’s pretty self-centred. All she wants is a baby and in doing so she ignores her teenage daughter. She just thinks her daughter is being moody for the sake of it but doesn’t realise something more serious might be going on because she’s not paying anyone any attention but herself. If a characters self-centred, I’m probably not going to like them.
Étienne – Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
The main reason why I found Étienne so unlikable throughout most of the novel was because he didn’t communicate! He ends up stringing along not only his girlfriend but a friend he’s supposed to really like and care about. Plus, he’s one of those romantic leads that’s almost sickeningly perfect so that just makes him annoying.
Emma O’Donovan – Asking For It by Louise O’Neill
This is an interesting one because Emma is a really unlikable person but there’s no way she deserves what happens to her. Emma is beautiful and she knows it so she uses it to her advantage, she’s mean and bitchy to her friends, she steals from them and she always thinks she’s better than them. She is the sort of person you wouldn’t want to be friends with in school.
What protagonists or secondary characters did you end up finding really unlikable when you probably weren’t supposed to?
Seventeen-year-old Jonah Daniels has lived in Verona Cove, California, all his life, and the only thing that changed was his father is no longer alive. Along with his two older siblings he must now take responsibility for his family. Enter new girl Vivi, the next big change in his life. Vivi loves life, she’s gorgeous and funny and she transform’s Jonah’s family and changes his life. But there are always consequences when worlds collide.
When We Collided is a fast-paced contemporary YA novel with some larger than life characters. Vivi fills up every moment with as much fun as she can give it. She loves with all her heart and immediately feels a connection to Jonah and his family. Jonah is quieter as he has to look after his younger siblings as well as hiding the fact that his mother isn’t really coping with her husband’s death. Jonah’s family feels like a very real and relatable family, they are all dealing with grief in different ways and sometimes they clash over it but that doesn’t mean they love each other any less.
The main problem I had with When We Collided was with Vivi. She was almost obnoxiously happy and it was really grating and annoying to read. She would want to do crazy thing with Jonah and his family and didn’t always seem to grasp that he has a lot more responsibilities than her and while he obviously needed time to himself or to have fun sometimes, she seemed to want him to be as happy as she was. As the story progresses you find why Vivi is that way and while I did have some sympathy for her I didn’t find myself empathising with her.
So because I wasn’t a fan of Vivi, I didn’t really like her and Jonah’s romance. It felt very rushed and was almost all-consuming for both of them. They clearly both have problems and aren’t 100% themselves so while they do help each other to extent, they are really not right for each other in that moment. Vivi is frequently controlling and jealous and while Jonah has his moments of suggesting how Vivi should act, he instantly gives in to Vivi’s wishes all the time.
The setting of When We Collided is pretty great as Verona Cove is a beautiful seaside town so there’s long walks on the beach, a lot of sun and beach parties. The town is almost a secondary character and so is food. Seriously there’s a lot of talk of food in When We Collided, mainly because Jonah wants to be a chef and works at his dad’s restaurant and the way food is described is almost mouth-watering.
When We Collided has the perfect summer setting and at its heart has broken characters that may help each other but somethings aren’t so easy to fix. It’s a nice book, a quick read but not that memorable. 3/5.
My Illumicrate box arrived over the weekend – turns out the address I gave was my Gran’s because of the whole moving house thing, so when I went to see her today it was there waiting for me which was rather exciting. Illumicrate is a UK based subscription box for YA book lovers, the box is sent out every three months and you can find all the info about costs and shipping here.
This is my second Illumicrate, the first one I bought was February’s box and you can find out what was in it and my thoughts on it here. So now onto this month’s box!
The book that came in this month’s box was When We Collided by Emery Lord. I love the cover and to be honest this book hadn’t come on to my radar at all. I’ve not read any of Emery Lord’s books before so this is the perfect opportunity to check her writing out. It seems like a contemporary romance (as you may know that’s not my go-to genre) but it seems like the sort of thing I like to read over the summer. It also came with a signed bookplate and some pretty postcards as well.