Top Ten Tuesday

Unlikable Characters I Can’t Help but Love

20221101 Unlikeable Characters I Can't Help But Love

Hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl

Hi everybody, and welcome to a new Top Ten Tuesday! Today’s all about unlikeable characters I can’t help but love. AKA my favorite kind because how amazing is it when you can completely change your mind about a character throughout a book? The best!

All of the below characters started out unlikeable in the beginning of the story. Maybe they were the villain in the eye of the main characters. Maybe their personality was harsh and cold. Maybe they were just mean jerks and bullies. But all of them also carved out a place in my heart by the end of the story. Some through redemption arcs, some because they were never really the bad guy we thought they were. And some, because I just couldn’t help but love them, despite their flaws 🙂

The Cruel Prince by Holly BlackCardan was, as the title implies, just a cruel prince at first. A bully. A jerk. A villain, maybe? But then…

The No-Show by Beth O’LearyJoseph Carter was just a cheating douchebag to me at first. But, there was so much more to the story and Joseph as you get through this wonderful, emotional story.

Under the Whispering Door by TJ KluneWallace was a Jerk with a capital J at first. He died and nobody cared and neither did I. But then, he became a ghost and I cared so, so much.

Shades of Wicked by Jeaniene Frost – Maybe Ian never was a villain, or a jerk, or a bully, but he was… a scoundrel. There for comic relief only. Until I got to know him better and learned how big his heart really was.

The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. SchwabLuc, aka Darkness himself. Is he a God or a Devil? Is he neutral or evil? I’m still not sure BUT I do know I can’t help but love him anyway.

A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. MaasRhysand was the High Lord of the Night Court, nemesis to our main hero Tamlin. And yet, from book 1, I couldn’t help but like him. Really glad how this story turned out in the end 🙂

Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo – Let’s be honest, Zoya was just a bitchy grisha at first. But man, I would die for her now.

Vicious by V.E. SchwabVictor is as morally gray as morally gray can be. I mean, the series is called ‘Villains’ for a reason. And yet…

Red Winter by Annette MarieYumei was a grumpy jerk… and yet he quickly became my favorite.

Captive Prince by C.S. PacatLaurent went from being the villain in Damen’s eyes to something else entirely by the end of this trilogy and this transition was just so well written.

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Tell Me:
Do you also like some of these unlikeable characters?

Lindsey xoxo

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  1. Ian for sure! But you can’t help but love him!

    1. Indeed, you gotta love Ian, no escaping it haha 🙂

  2. Luc was an interesting character!

    1. He was so intriguing!

  3. Wallace was the reason why I stopped reading Under the Whispering Door so early on. Maybe I should give it another try. 🙂

    My post:

    1. I definitely understand, Wallace was a horrible main character at first. But his character growth really was amazing, so I hope you’ll end up liking him too if you decide to give the book another try.

  4. Wallace was totally unlikeable at first! It’s funny how he grew on me because I didn’t expect it. Nice picks!

    1. Exactly! I went from disliking him a lot to wishing nothing but the best for him, his character growth was amazing.

  5. Oh my gosh Wallace grew so much throughout that book.

    1. He did, his character growth was so amazing!

  6. Lauren Becker says:

    Totally agree about Victor and Rhysand….and I’m getting there with Laurent; I’m on book two!

    Lauren @

    1. Oh, I hope you’re enjoying the Captive Prince series! Book two is were I really fell in love with the series 🙂

  7. A great list. I have Rhysand on mine too!

    Have a great week!

    Emily @ Budget Tales Book Blog
    My post:

    1. Rhysand is such a good example 🙂

  8. Victor was on my list this week too. I have to admit, I’m still not really on board with Rhysand, I liked him better in the second book than the first but it felt too much like SJM was trying to make him perfect so that kind of made me resent him slightly! I actually really liked Zoya from the start, at least according to my reviews of the series. I found Luc interesting but I don’t think I could say I ever came to like him.
    My TTT:

    1. I understand about Rhysand, he does feel a bit too good to be true sometimes, but I liked him from book one, so I guess it worked for me haha 🙂 Zoya definitely deserves all the love! Luc, I just was so intrigued by him…

      1. Ha ha I guess so! I think the TV series maybe reminded me slightly why Zoya wasn’t great in the beginning, but as far as I could remember from the books, I always really liked her. I can definitely see that, he is an intriguing character.

  9. masterspj says:

    When you start reading The No-Show, you’re not supposed to like Joseph. Once you understand what’s going on, then it’s completely different.

    Pam @ Read! Bake! Create!

    1. Yes, exactly! I do love how the book is written to lead the reader on this journey.

  10. Sophie @BewareOfTheReader says:

    Ha! I had the same reaction for Jospeh Carter!!! I even had to cheat and read the end at some point before backtracking LOL

    1. Haha I definitely understand – I didn’t read the end first, but I was tempted to A LOT!

  11. I love a good redemption arc. Have never read Schwab but I played a Bookish Games premised on Vicious a few years ago and that was fun. 🙂

    (Bookish Games being like a book version of the Mafia or werewolf games where you vote people out and whatnot.)

    1. Ooh, I do love the idea of those Bookish Games, and premised on Vicious sounds twice as fun 🙂

  12. I, too, have Cardan on my list; I absolutely LOVE this series. And another Under The Whispering Door recommendation…I have seen this one multiple times now.

    1. Cardan is a perfect example for this topic, isn’t he? I’d definitely recommend Under the Whispering Door, it’s one of my favorites!

  13. Yes!!! I have a bunch of these on my list too. Rhysand, Joseph Carter, and Wallace – so disliked them at the start, but loved them by the end! lol

    1. Yes, glad we have those in common! I loved them all so much by the end 🙂

  14. Terrie Purkey says:

    I really struggled with this prompt – not my fave, BUT, seeing your list and I’ve read several of them, I guess I didn’t think hard enough! 🙂 Terrie @ Bookshelf Journeys

    1. I definitely understand, this was not an easy prompt at all.

  15. So many of these are on my TBR list! Vicious is one of my favorite books because I love the evil characters.

    1. The characters in Vicious are indeed all so amazing! Even if they’re kind of/very evil 🙂

  16. I so agree with Cardan. Even when he was horrible in the first book, I was still intrigued. And over the next two books that only grew.

    1. Yes, exactly! There was always something so intriguing about Cardan, even in book 1…

  17. I had the same thoughts about Joseph Carter. Because of him, I ended up really liking The No-Show.

    1. So glad you liked The No-Show! It was quite brilliant, the way Joseph Carter was written, wasn’t it?

  18. My favorite villains are those who aren’t really villains at all and those who just present a tough, curmudgeonly front but are actually good on the inside.

    Happy TTT (on a Wednesday)!


    1. YESS, they are the best indeed!

  19. Yes to every single character on your list!

    1. Thanks! 🙂

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