Posts Tagged 'white horse'

Top Ten Tuesday: Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish. This feature was created to share lists with other bookish folks! For this week’s Top Ten Tuesday list, we were asked to list our top ten most frustrating characters ever! This is a great idea for a list, and it’s one that I mulled over quite a bit, since frustrating characters are poised on a bit of a tight-rope. Some remain likeable, and some are just…not.

1. Rex and Rose Marie Walls, from The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeannette Walls
Perhaps because I read it so recently, author Jeannette Walls’ parents immediately sprang to mind as the epitome of “frustrating.” In my review, I spoke about struggling to feel sympathetic for them–the way Walls herself seems to!–but ultimately being unable to understand or forgive their negligence and cruelty toward their children.

2. Quentin Coldwater, from The Magicians and The Magician King by Lev Grossman
Quentin is whiny, arrogant, thoughtless, and decidedly unsympathetic. And he’s our protagonist! You’ll want to shake him constantly throughout these novels. That being said, he’s a fairly-realistic sketch of what a teenage boy with magical powers would be like.

3. Susan Norton, from Salem’s Lot by Stephen King
Ugh, Susan. You’ve watched horror movies–you know what happens to blonde girls who go wandering around creepy mansions on their own! (You can read the rest of my review here.)

4. Henry VIII, from Wolf Hall and Bring Up the Bodies by Hilary Mantel
Compared to Cromwell, our main character, Henry VIII comes across as immature and undisciplined. While Cromwell has had to work hard for every opportunity afforded to him, the blue-blooded nobility look down upon him for his humble origins. (Review here.)

5. Llewellyn, from No Country for Old Men by Cormac McCarthy
The entire book–and all of its attendant cold-blooded murder and mayhem–could have been averted if you just didn’t pick up that bag of cash in the desert, Llewellyn.

6. Zoe from White Horse by Alex Adams
In my review, I found White Horse to be a frustrating book overall, due in part to protagonist Zoe. She really didn’t display any of the characteristics I would expect to find in one of the only survivors of a global apocalypse, and never seemed to learn from the mistakes that got her companions killed in various ways. Her totally inappropriate obsession with her therapist also drove me nuts.

7. Samad, from White Teeth by Zadie Smith
Like entry #9 in my list, White Teeth is populated by frustrating characters. Smith’s characters feel so realistic that even the poor choices they make are understandable. For me, Samad was one of the more frustrating individuals; he not only cheated on his wife, but also drives his sons away with his unreasonable demands and his lack of sympathy for the struggles of first-generation immigrants. Read my review here.

8. Tris, from Divergent (Divergent Trilogy #1) by Veronica Roth

9. Everyone in The Marriage Plot, by Jeffrey Eugenides
I couldn’t choose between Madeleine, Leonard, and Mitchell, who are all frustrating in different ways: Madeleine for her romanticism and playacting at adulthood; Leonard for his inability to take his mental illness seriously; and Mitchell for being generally privileged, pretentious, and unable to understand why a girl he’s friends with might not want to date him. More complaints here.

10. Lacey Yeagar, from An Object of Beauty by Steve Martin
The consummate social climber, Lacey uses her youth and beauty to charm countless men into furthering her career and her expensive tastes. And unfortunately, because the novel is not from her point of view, we are never really given much chance to empathize with her. As I said in my review, “An Object of Beauty failed to wow me.”

Who are your top ten most frustrating characters? Feel free to link to your own post in the comments!


Book Review: White Horse, by Alex Adams

Alex Adams’ White Horse came galloping out of the herd of dystopian fiction earlier this year, accompanied by lots of positive reviews and buzz. I took a bet on it, but unfortunately, for me, what I had taken for a White Horse was, in actuality, a bob-tailed nag.

(Okay, okay…no more horse puns.)


While it initially seemed like a promising example of a post-apocalypse novel, I ended up finishing White Horse solely for the reveals. Even when reading something that I don’t entirely enjoy for various reasons, if there are unanswered questions and the twists come fast and furious, I’ll still read it. This was the case with White Horse, where though I could tell within the first 75 or so pages that this wasn’t going to be a favorite of mine, there were tons of twists.

Continue reading ‘Book Review: White Horse, by Alex Adams’

2012 Book Meme!

Here’s a fun little 2012-in-review book meme! I found it at Catherine Pope – Victorian Geek via Ruby Bastille. Links go to my reviews.

Using only books you have read this year (2012), answer these questions. Try not to repeat a book title.

Describe yourself: Bossypants (Tina Fey)

How do you feel: Divergent (Veronica Roth)

Describe where you currently live: Beyond the Wall (ed. James Lowder)

If you could go anywhere, where would you go: Hyperion (Dan Simmons)

Your favorite form of transportation: White Horse (Alex Adams)

Your best friend is: An Object of Beauty (Steve Martin)

You and your friends are: The Devil All the Time (Donald Ray Pollack)

What’s the weather like: Full Dark, No Stars (Stephen King)

You fear: Disgrace (J.M Coetzee)

What is the best advice you have to give: This Love is Not for Cowards (Robert Andrew Powell)

Thought for the day: Eat the City (Robin Shulman)

How I would like to die: Blackout (Connie Willis)

My soul’s present condition: Revenge (Yoko Ogawa)

Whew. This was harder than it looks! How would you answer these questions using books you read in 2012?

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