3 Things About Me As A Reader

Before I entered the wonderful internet world of readers (oh what a sad bookworm I was before I had PEOPLE to talk to about books) I had no idea HOW other people read. I knew how my brain processed books and what made me like them and not like them and feel certain ways. I knew what bothered me and what would distract me from the book. But, until I started getting into Goodreads and the book blogging world, I never got to see how other readers processed what they read.

It’s been really a good experience because I feel like I’ve learned a lot from other readers and how they see things. I’ve become a more observant reader and just more open-minded. It’s been a good experience but I’ve also noticed how completely opposite I can be from other readers which was (and still is) always eye-opening to me. It’s always been amazing to me how many people can read the same book and have vastly different reactions and perspectives on it. It’s great because there’s always something to talk about and think about.

Today I wanted to talk about 3 of the BIGGEST things about me as a reader that I’ve discovered are different than a lot of readers.

(I shouldn’t have to make this disclaimer but I am: I’m not saying I am right or they are wrong or reading one way is better than the other. There is no wrong or right way to read. You just read and I just read and we come to our own glorious conclusions and that’s what makes reading so fun. I’m just pointing out things about me as a reader. And I would love to hear about you as a reader — especially if you differ from me!)

 

1. I do not have to like the characters to like the book:

Sure, it’s always nice when I LOVE the characters of the book I’m reading. But I could totally HATE a character and still give the book a high rating. The character could be the most difficult character ever and I could still think the book is good. I think, for me, what I need is some connection or understanding of why the character is like that. Feel like there are real and believable motivations behind them. I need it to feel real. I read Tease by Amanda Maciel recently and it’s from the POV of a bully who doesn’t think she’s to blame at all when a girl she bullied commits suicide. Yeah, that is HARD to read because I want to punch her but I thought it was a really interesting and compelling book — mostly because the character had a lot to her that I could UNDERSTAND.

I think another thing is that sometimes I realize characters, like people, aren’t perfect and they do dumb things and they aren’t always nice or are at a time of their life where they aren’t their best. (I think it’s also I see it as a very human thing to be flawed so sometimes they feel more real to me). I think a lot about Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy. The character is downright awful but, oh god, did I feel her…what it must have been like to think you were dying, to act a certain way because you thought you were, and then you suddenly have your whole life ahead of you. There’s anger and confusion and it manifested. I just GOT her though I know a lot of people didn’t like the book because they couldn’t stomach her (which I understood but felt differently!).

I like watching my characters grow and sort through messy things and NOT be perfect. As hard and frustrating as it might be sometimes and as much as maybe I’ll find myself NOT loving them. Doesn’t mean I like EVERY flawed and difficult character but it doesn’t equal insta-dislike because they are hard to like or do something I don’t agree with or are very difficult.

2. When something happens in a book that is HORRIBLE, to me, it doesn’t mean that the book/author is condoning it, so I don’t rate based on how much I dislike a THING that happened:

For example, just because there is racism or slut-shaming or horrible behavior in a book, to me it doesn’t mean the book is condoning it. (However, there are cases where there are things that are inherently racist or sexist in a book. That’s not what I’m talking about and I believe we should always think about what IS implied). I’m just talking about when something bad happens in a book that, just because I don’t like that THING, it doesn’t mean I will hate the book because I think the action in the book is wrong.

So when the word “slut” (like in Tease by Amanda Maciel) is thrown around a lot it might hurt my heart to hear it and see the slut-shaming but I don’t believe (though I don’t KNOW I suppose) that the author condones this…I more so see it as they are showing these awful things that unfortunately DO happen in real life. I can’t tell you the kind of slut-shaming I saw and maybe silently contributed to (or just haphazardly used words like slut) back in the day. I learned. I grew. I was not an evil person. It can be hard for me to read some of these things but I don’t see that that the book is saying THIS IS OKAY but more like a) just being realistic because not everything is perfect in life or b) using it as a vehicle to tell a story that people need to hear and could hold up a mirror and make someone think about their life.

I mean, I read a book about slavery, something I obviously hate and think is awful, but I personally don’t DISLIKE a book just because I don’t agree with slavery or I’m not going to see an author saying YES THIS WAS A GOOD THING. Things like racism and slut-shaming SHOULD make me mad, but for me, my rating is not based on how much I hate what the characters are DOING..it’s more about the overall story, how these factors play in and how it’s executed for me even though things might be hard for me to read about. Just because there is something I don’t like (bullying/slut-shaming/racism/sexism) as part of a story doesn’t mean I’m going to rate THE BOOK based on my dislike/not agreeing with those things because I don’t think it’s in there to say THIS IS OKAY.

 

3. Similarly, getting angry at a book doesn’t mean I hate it.

Sometimes the best things I’ve read are the things that light a burning fire under me and make me so, so angry. Now, sure, there are books that make me mad because they just don’t make sense or I don’t like but sometimes getting angry at a book is a GOOD thing for me. I like a book that challenges me and that has the ability to get me all riled up. I can always tell if someone skims a review if I’ve said “this book made me so MAD!!” and they say “sorry you didn’t like it” but, in reality, I DID like it. Anger does not always equal bad experience for me.

 

So what about you? How do you feel about these 3 things about me as a reader? Do you have ot like the characters in your books? How do you approach books when you don’t like issues that are happening in them? Like I said, there’s no right or wrong way, I’m just pointing out how I interact with books as reader and I’d LOVE to hear about your experience ESPECIALLY if you read differently because I learn so much from how other people see things as they read. Outside of what I’ve talked about, are there are any things you can think of that you’ve noticed about how you read compared to the rest of the reading community?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 28 year old married lady who is in denial that she's actually that old. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating gelato, listening to music with oversized headphones and teaching her niece how to be as awesome as she is.

Comments

  1. I found your comments on characters really resonated with me. Lately I’ve enjoyed discovering protagonists that I don’t agree with, and even better when the writer skilfully shows you that your first perceptions of the character may be wrong. I love that questioning, guessing element.

    • Yes! I love that too! When I make an instant judgment about a character and an author just reveals all these layers and make me feel differently towards them!

  2. I tend to be more impressed with an author’s writing if a book can compel me to continue reading even when I don’t like the characters. A book making me angry is iffy – I don’t like to feel like I’m being manipulated but if a book gets me really thinking about something that’s a plus! As for not liking a subject I tend to be a chicken and avoid subjects that I know will make me uncomfortable!

    • YES! I think it’s such a gift to create a really well done book even if the characters aren’t easily loveable.

      Yeah, I’m with you on feeling manipulated. I think that’s where my anger will lead me towards NOT liking a book because there are plenty of things that could get me angry and inevitably some of those things will ultimately make a book not for me!

      I do know a lot of people who will skip subjects they already know will be iffy for them. I get that! I’m trying to think if I have any things like that. I can’t think of any off the top of my head. I tend to be a glutton for punishment though :P

  3. Thank you for writing this blog post because these are things I have recently thought about as a reader, too. I completely agree with number one. I can dislike a character, but still enjoy the book. HOWEVER, I recently read a book where I just could not get on board with the outcome of a character’s actions and it totally ruined the whole thing for me. If a character screws up and makes mistakes (which, hello! is totally human!), I’m okay with that. I do not, in any way expect them to be perfect. However, it’s how they handle those mistakes after that really stand out to me. If the character is meant to never learn from their mistake and just carry on, then fine. I get that. But sometimes I get the sense they are suppose to recover from those mistakes, yet I never truly get the feeling that they do. Has this ever happened to you?

    Number two is something else I agree with as well. Sometimes really awful situations happen in the contemporary realistic fictions that I read. Does this mean I think the author is supporting said awful situation? No. When it’s written well, I have a lot of respect for the author because I know it must have been difficult to write such scenes. I think they’re important for the story and it definitely makes an impact on the overall reading experience.

    • Yes that totally has happened which I think is more part of their growth arc than our liking or disliking of the characters. I need a believable outcome in a lot of ways, even if I don’t LIKE the outcome, but if I feel like the character was supposed to have learned but it doesn’t seem like they do…I kind of like what’s the point? I mean, I guess sure, there are people who never learn but that’s frustrating. I even just like a little tiny crack of light at the end of the tunnel that they learned. I don’t need a 360 but just a tiny tiny glimmer that, in this slice of life we’ve been able to see, that there is hope or at least seeds planted for growth. If that makes sense??

      And yes to everything you said re: #2! It’s always hard for me to see “OMG slut-shaming. This book is awful. DNF.” because I just don’t get it. I’m not saying they are wrong, but from my reader lens, I just don’t get why you thinking slut-shaming is awful (which I’m sure most do) means that the book is saying IT IS OKAY and that because it contains it that it must be a bad book. I just see it as realistic characters. Even if it’s in passing that things are said because give me a standard American high school and TELL ME that at least one person has not called someone a slut today. Now obviously I completely understand someone DNFing a book because they don’t LIKE reading about that subject or something but to say a book is bad because it contains a bad thing is REALLY hard for me to wrap my reader brain around. It’s always eye-opening when I read those kinds of reviews because I realize just how different we all are — and it’s our prerogative to read how we want! I just don’t always understand it.

  4. Yes to all of this!!!!!

  5. Yessss this! ALL OF THIS.

    I do think that writing dislikable characters is tricky business. There’s a perfect balance between fascinatingly awful and ugh-just-get-out-of-my-brainspace-you-are-the-worst. I loooooove the former. I’m always so impressed when an author can make me violently hate everyone but still be hopelessly caught up in the story (see Gone Girl for a perfect example of this phenomenon).

    • YESSSS. I so agree with you. There’s a fine line there! Because you want to make them convincingly dislikable so at least people are compelled or care enough about their motivations or what not.

  6. Oh my word, YES! I’m the same on all three and I find that very rarely in other readers!!! 1 – in Gone Girl for example, I didn’t always like the characters but I absolutely adore that book. Some people aren’t nice in real life, in fact some people are completely horrible, as are characters, but that doesn’t mean I don’t like the book, in fact in this case it made me love the book because it was compelling reading, AND if a book can make me that angry/mad/annoyed then I love it because it draws those emotions out of me. 2 – there are some things that will still make me uncomfortable as a reader, but when an author writes about them I know that doesn’t mean they condone or encourage that language or behaviour. Again, I think this stems from me liking books that are based in reality and not in some mythical land where no-one ever gets called names, or gets into bad relationships, or gets cheated on. Give me the nitty gritty! And for 3 – Allegiant. Enough said. I know loads of people who hate the book, and now the series because of the ending. Admittedly, it took me a little time to come to terms with it, but I still love the book and the series and think Roth was super brave. End of rant. Happy Hump Day! R x

    • *high fives* We are in the same reader club! It’s great to find another person because I so often feel like an oddball!

      YES to everything you said re: #1. (I still have to read Gone Girl and you just made me 10000x more excited!)

      And yes..same here..there are things that are uncomfortable to read and I can understand why people might shy away from things they know they don’t want to read about. And yes ME TOO. I want flaws and mistakes and REALNESS. Because life is not always pretty. And also sometimes it makes ME feel like less of a screw up when I see characters also making mistakes? And also, let’s be real. I’m a pretty pleasant person but I can be a mega bitch and snotty and mean, whiny, etc. So I like to see that reflected in characters because it’s just not normal to be so perfect. We all have good and bad to us. My husband would testify to that! :)

      And I think it’s hard re: #3 because there are sooo many books that do anger me with where they go that I end up NOT liking personally. When I read I do always try to think but does that make sense for the arc of the story even if I dont like it? And then my rating ends up being a mix of “does it make sense” + “how I felt personally about the outcome” which I think is always helpful at least when I read reviews. I haven’t read Allegiant yet so I’m so NERVOUS but excited to see where I will fall but I admire tough endings if I think they make sense in the scope — despite personal feelings.

      • Ahhh I hope I didn’t blurt any big spoilers!! Gone Girl is so, so good. You’re in for a treat. I push that book on so many people. Look out for the “cool girl” page – you’ll know what I mean when you read it and it is a work of genius. Be 1000000x more excited to read it. In fact, go read it!!! :D

        I love when books are more real, when people make mistakes and do things that make you question character and motive, because it’s just so much more interesting! I guess it makes characters and plot more relatable? I like reading about those things because I think I learn a little from how other characters/people (they’re people to me!) react to situations they’re in, and I love psychology so for some reason I enjoy books with bad relationships, and death and heartache. I sound like I read the gloomiest books ever… I also love romance, and happiness and rainbows so don’t fret!

        Hmmm. I hadn’t thought of it that way for number 3.. Tease by Amanda Maciel was a really hard read for me. I thought about it for agesss after I read it, and still do, which is testament to a fabulous book or storyline. But I didn’t like the book. It didn’t sit comfortably with me. It was like there was no lesson learned and no real remorse. But then I was bullied once and I wondered if those bullies ever really thought about it or regretted it. Maybe some people don’t, even as they grow up. Which made it real. Complete review and thought confusion over that one!! I went off on a tangent, where was I… yes, books with plot arcs and aspects you don’t like. Mockingjay was one for me where things happened I didn’t like, that I didn’t think NEEDED to happen, and I got annoyed. I think I still just block out some of those things I didn’t like. But it did tarnish my opinion of the series. Now with Allegiant, things happened that other people on the inter-webby-waves HATE, way more than anything that happened in THG, but once I adjusted and stopped hitting the book off the wall, I LIKED what happened, it was fitting to the characters and the plot. Really good point there though about separating me liking it from does it fit. Also, get on Allegiant already!!! Those are two books you have, have, have to read and then do a post on them so I can rant more and not spoil anything!! R x

  7. I agree with all of these, especially number one. I don’t like every person I’ve ever met so it only makes sense that I won’t like every character I read about. One of the things I love about reading is getting to see and understand events through someone else’s eyes, I find that really interesting. Whether people make the right decision or not, I always like reading about their reasons why.

    • YES! I love that about reading too! I will sit there and be like I WOULD NEVER DO THIS IN THIS SITUATION but I love reading from a different perspective. It helps me understand the world a little bit more. I also think that with #1 I realize I am not always a likeable person at all times so I like reading stories with characters who aren’t perfect.

  8. I actually prefer the characters you’re supposed to dislike to the ones that are a little *too* perfect – like the author has created the “perfect” girl or guy and expects us to love them, if that makes any sense – whether it be the protagonist or their crush or whatever. The ones that have flaws that aren’t really flaws, you know? They annoy me. As far as angry books – those are the books that I remember days, weeks, months after I read them, that come to mind when I’m reading seemingly unrelated material (whether a book or news article or random internet ramblings). I think it’s a great book if it sticks with me like that. There are books that are pleasant and easy and I like the characters and the plot, but completely forgettable.

    • YES I really find those characters to be kind of dull! THE FLAWS THAT AREN’T REALLY FLAWS OMG YES. That kills me.

      Yes! That’s the thing about books that elicit some sort of strong feelings or emotions with me…I can remember it like NO OTHER and, like you, will think about long after. Plenty of books I’ve loved just end up blending into the Sea of Books I’ve Read.

  9. I agree with you, Jamie! But I have to say – there’s a difference between an unlikeable character that is MEANT to be unlikeable (anti-heroes, plain old nasty types), and a character that we’re supposed to like, but don’t. I recenlty put down Casual Vacancy by J. K. Rowling, because after the first 100 pages, I simply didn’t CARE about a single character.
    As for horrible things happening … The Book Thief by Markus Zusak is one of the best books I’ve read and it’s chock-full of ugly, ugly things. So yeah, I get what you mean.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts & inspiration, I might do something similar on my blog soon!

    • I think that is definitely a good distinction and one that I agree with! There are definitely characters that I’ve read and I know I’m supposed to like or care about and don’t AT ALL. Bad characterization kills me. So I’m with you on that when they fall flat.

      I would love to read your thoughts if you make a post like that!

  10. Dude, you read my mind. On all of it. But especially on the horrible things happening and the “getting angry at a book” – to me, a book (especially a contemporary) is a way to live through the lives of characters, and sometimes bad things happen to characters. That doesn’t mean that those things are right. It means that the author is trying to convey an experience in the realest way possible. And if you feel enough to be upset and angry and crying – the author has done his/her job.

    A great example is The Things They Carried by Tim O’Brien, which I know we both loved. For me, “Sweetheart of Song Tra Bong” was one of the scariest, most devastating depictions of the deconstruction of a person through war. Did I LOVE reading it? No. But did I think it was brilliant and haunting and memorable? Hells yeah. Would I call it one of the best written short stories I’ve read? Absolutely.

    I’m working on a post now discussing slut-shaming in Open Road Summer – trying to work through what happens in the book and why it’s really more of a reflection on Reagan than it is on what she outwardly projects…

    More soon. But thank you for sharing this. I hope it makes people think like it did with me! =)

    • YES to all that. You are much more eloquent than me in explaining it!

      That’s too funny that you say that bc I also have a post inspired by ORS that’s in my drafts (that I’ve been working on since I wrote my review and stillllll haven’t finished it bc lazy Jamie is lazy). I can’t wait to see read your posts because I have thoughts about the slut-shaming in that and I think we will agree!

  11. I’m SO GLAD you brought up not liking a character. It makes me mad/sad/frustrated when people dismiss a book because they didn’t like the MC. One huge one I loved was Elizabeth Scott’s Heartbeat (http://www.happybookloversblog.com/2014/01/heartbeat.html), and so many people said they hated it because they hated the MC. She was going through so much, and I can’t imagine what that must’ve been like, so I had no right to judge her decisions, and I still felt like the book touched on difficult subjects extremely well.

    And I’m the same way with angry feelings too! Sometimes I want to throw a book (but goodness, I could never do that) because I’m angry but I LOVE it. :)

    • Ooh I have Heartbeat and will DEFINITELY be checking it out now after you say that!!

      And honestly there are sometimes books make me angry in a way that I can’t feel anyway but dislike but I always try to think about WHAT made me mad about it! Those are the books that take me longer to digest!!

  12. I’m extremely character orientated. I can dislike a character but as long as there are SOME characters I like in the book, then I enjoy it more. Or at least if they are well written. I, too, love imperfect characters.
    If a book gets me angry and redeems, the rating is fine, but if the ending angers me most of the time I won’t enjoy it as much/will rate lower.

    • Yes definitely! I am definitely a character girl too! I either need a) other characters that redeem it or b) like I said up there, I need to feel like I really understand the motivations and where they are coming from even if they are THE WORST. I love difficult characters who still somehow make me care or make me super invested in the story.

      I get that re: books making you angry! Endings are SOOOO hard to me, especially series enders, because it’s always this battle between me going “I’m so mad because I personally hate the ending” and “does this make sense with the arc of a story and characters??” Which is SO hard to reconcile. There’s the times where I might be angry at the ending but I know it made sense or times when I can feel justified in my madness because it doesn’t make sense OR THEN there are times where, even if it makes sense to me, I’m so mad I just can’t get over it haha. SO HARD. So my review/rating always ends up being a mix of the two — my personal feelings and then if I thought it made sense. I guess I’m always just grateful for a book that DOES make me think about it instead of just like OKAY that was that. haha.

  13. I actually have a hard time with characters that I don’t like. It makes it hard for me to connect, and I find it much harder to like the book (not that it never happens). I definitely agree that I don’t necessarily dislike a book if it brings up hard topics (that we’d sometimes rather avoid), though. And a book that makes me angry isn’t necessarily a bad thing as long as it makes me feel some other things too!

    • That makes sense! It just detracts from it? Even though I don’t HAVE to like characters to like a book, there are still some books where I didn’t like the character, didn’t connect or understand them or never found them compelling or memorable and then I just don’t like the book because I am definitely a character girl. It think, at my core, I just want good characterization — whether or not I like them or not! It’s so hard when it comes to characters because that’s SO much of the reading experience!

  14. If I don’t like the characters, its really hard to get through the book. Granted, I don’t have to like the -MAIN- character to stay interested. I certainly don’t like Harry Potter, but his supporting cast is a lot of fun.

    Also, I can get mad at a book and still like it/love it. Most recently this happened with Ruin and Rising. Great but infuriating conclusion. Just because I’m petty doesn’t mean the book wasn’t good.

  15. For me #1 really depends on the book and characters. I’ve read books where I just could not root for the characters involved – for example, Wuthering Heights (I disliked both Catherine *and* Heathcliff!) and the Luxe series (almost everyone in those books is manipulative and back-stabbing). If the characters really seem irredeemable, and do not develop throughout the course of the book(s), I’m probably not going to like it. Exceptions are when the storyline is so gripping that I can overlook all my dislike for the characters in favour of the plot, OR when the character grows and changes over the course of the story and becomes someone I can sympathize with or cheer for, at least to a certain extent (for instance, Sam in Before I Fall or Bindy in The Murder of Bindy Mackenzie).

  16. It is interesting how every reader has certain expectations, which makes everyone feel different about the same book.

    I am definitely someone who has to like the main character to enjoy the book. BUT, that doesn’t mean that I can’t like a flawed character. Actually, the best books are ones with flawed characters, because, as you said, people are flawed, and it makes the book better. I need to understand where this character is coming from, and I need to like them. I think sometimes people think that when I say I need to like the MC to like the book, that I mean the MC needs to be perfect. Because that isn’t at all true.

    I feel similar to number two. But I also bring my own prejudices to a book, and there are a few touchy issues that I have a hard time letting go. But that’s just a personal thing, and I know that. For example I get so annoyed when girls are said to be all catty in books. It pisses me off to no end, and I’ve actually stopped reading books before when a small reference was made to girls being so catty. But that is my own thing.

    I’m not sure how I feel about number three. I can think of times when books have made me so mad, and I didn’t like them, but there aren’t many. So I can’t say for sure how I feel about that.

  17. I’ve never had to “personally” like a character/want to be real life friends with them to enjoy a book. And I honestly never realized this was something so many readers looked for before becoming part of the online book community. I’ve always enjoyed reading most about characters who are different from me. For example, when I was way younger and read the Sweet Valley books, I was much more similar to Elizabeth than Jessica. But I found Jessica much more interesting to read about, because she made interesting mistakes and therefore had more adventures.

    I figure that I already know what I would do in situations — I want to read about characters who are DIFFERENT from me! I also really like flawed characters …. and not “fake flaws that are there to make a character not seem perfect, but which make them still likable.” I don’t want to see characters make the right decisions all the time. I want to read about teens who mess up, who are insecure, and I even love reading about “bitchy” characters! Although of course I like seeing them grow as a series progresses :)

    To sum it up, I do not require that characters are similar to me or are people I would personally want to be friends with to enjoy the book <3

  18. I agree, I don’t need a main character to be likable. I do prefer they be “rootable” however. For instance, I don’t ‘like’ the lead character in Dexter, but I did find myself rooting for him to get away with stuff. ;)

  19. I agree with this so much!! YES! There have been books too where people want the HEA and they don’t get it and they are mad not just at the story but feel ripped off, but then they must have forgotten that the characters just lived through world upheaval and think their characters should always come out unscathed and, well, not dead or damaged. It’s happy, but not real. Sometimes that is what takes a book from the HEA that you forget to one that really makes you think and consider that being a hero doesn’t mean you’ll come out the other end a better person who has just learned a good lesson or taught a few along the way.

  20. I loved this post and can think of examples for all of them! Particularly, in “The Great Gatsby,” I didn’t like a single character. I don’t think Fitzgerald WANTED the reader to like a single character! As far as being angry at a book I love – “My Sister’s Keeper” immediately comes to mind. I threw it at my parents’ living room wall when I finished it and still cite it as a favorite!

    Haley
    http://readtwentyone.com

  21. Everything. Yes. I’ve been reading The Shadow of the Wind and there’s so many parts in the books that I disagree with, but were common views during that era. At one point a woman basically says “yes, a guy should beat his wife if she’s being a slut” and I had to take a few minutes to calm myself down before reading on. Overall the book is wonderful though, having those parts in there is more of a reminder of the times than anything I suspect the author believes.

  22. I’m with you on number 3. I don’t necessarily want my books to only make me feel warm and fuzzy. I just want them to make me feel SOMETHING. I remember the first time I read Margaret Mitchell’s Gone with the Wind, which made me feel EVERY emotion – including anger, hatred, and jealousy, but it was such a phenomenal reading experience precisely because of that reason. I felt what the characters felt even if it wasn’t all that nice or comforting which is an authentic reading and living experience. Mitchell and that book made me want to do the same for other readers out there.

  23. 1. I don’t necessarily need to LIKE a main character either, but I need to be able to find one redeeming quality in them… or they need to be compelling in some other way (forgettable main characters make my brain weep). Same as you, I have to have some sense, however vague, of a character’s motivations/behaviors.

    2. Unless it’s in a historical context, slut-shaming tends to frustrate me, but doesn’t necessarily make me hate a book. The one thing that will really turn me off is if an author is unintentionally or casually racist, which is tricky because usually the writer doesn’t think they’re being offensive when it happens. (This is why I was one of the few who really disliked Eleanor & Park.)

    3. Book anger doesn’t bother me. Book disappointment and book confusion (i.e. “What did I just read?”) tend to be much stronger indicators for me.

    P.S. I just found your blog & love it. Your posts are all so thoughtful. <3

  24. YES.

    I just-
    yes.
    I agree with everything you’ve written in this post. Specifically: if a book manages to get me to the point where I’m angry/shouting at it, and STILL READING, then I’m probably enjoying it very much.

  25. I admire you SO MUCH for the first point. I find books really hard to like when I can stand the characters. REALLY hard. I never want them to be perfect, but when they are downright awful I end up wanting to slam my face against a wall and then it ruins the books for me. I see what you mean though, about sometimes being able to understand a chacter even if they are awful. I feel as though in some cases, depending on the character and book, I would have the same approach as you and be able to enjoy a book because I know this character is meant to be that way, but sometimes I just can’t bring myself to make it through the book, I think! Intrestingly enough, sometimes it can be frustrating when a character is too perfect. Sometimes, they forgive SO easily and it makes me feel kind of bad because I think I would be arguing until I’m blue in the face.. XD Great Post!! Rita xx

  26. I think I feel the same way, especially about number 2. I can usually see things happening and realize that it doesn’t mean the author condones it, but they’re using it as a point. And I don’t thin I HAVE to like characters, but sometimes if I just don’t like a character it can affect my feelings/overall rating. And if I feel like they don’t grow and learn, I’m just meh about them. But I really do try to put myself in the character’s situation and try to empathize with what they’re dealing with. I try to be really open, but it doesn’t always work out. Sometimes I think it depends on my mood.

    • Yeah I really need growth too or at least a sliver of showing that they will in some way! I understand change isn’t a quick thing but I need to believe that they will.

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