Do Unlikable Characters Affect Ratings? | Rants & Rambles

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Rants & Rambles is a weekly feature where I share my own personal thoughts and opinions about both bookish and blogging related topics. As stated, these are MY OWN opinions and while you can choose to disagree with it, I hope that you at least respect it.

This week on Rants & Rambles I want to discuss:


If I were a fictional character I would most likely be labeled as an:

Unlikable Character

THIS IS FACT! I’m kind of a hedgehog or porcupine.

I can be nice when I want to be, but most of the time, I like being mean. I have an abrasive personality; I’m sarcastic and blunt; I like to PUSH BUTTONS! Really though, I do try to be nice and suppressing all that rage is NOT HEALTHY.

So what was the point of the ramble? There is one, I promise!

A few months ago, I read a book that received A LOT of mixed reviews and I enjoyed it for the most part, but I was so curious to why it was receiving so many mixed reviews. It turned out that the reason for WHY many readers didn’t enjoy this book was because of the UNLIKABLE MAIN CHARACTER (which is ironic since that was the reason why I like the book!). This got me thinking: Do Unlikable Characters Affect Ratings?

After looking at some of my own reviews as well as a few others I have come to an answer: YES. Here are some reasons for why an unlikable character may affect ratings:

Lack of Connection 

With some unlikable characters, it can be hard for readers to relate to them. Trying to view the story from their POV can be difficult since their reasoning for why they do the things they do may not align with our own beliefs. I’m the type of reader that DOES need character connection to love a book and if I don’t have that, I will most likely lower my rating. Lack of connection usually leads to boredom and reading becomes a tedious task instead of something for pleasure.

¿Too Flawed? 

I’ve always wondered if their was such a thing as a ‘too flawed’ character and I think there is. I think that some characters can be so flawed, that they are irredeemable and some readers may not want that. Some readers want CHARACTER DEVELOPMENT and for irredeemable characters, they will never change their ways and will stay stuck in their ways to the very end. This can leads to feelings of dissatisfaction and a need for wanting something more!

Too MUCH Drama 

I’m a sucker for drama, I’m not going to lie, but when there is TOO MUCH drama, then I get annoyed. Unlikable characters sometimes do unnecessary things that make a mountain out of a molehill, which can sometimes bring the story down, dragging the story out more so than it needs to be. I don’t like books that just throw a twist in just to throw a twist in because they usually never end up being resolved. I end up questioning what the hell was the reason for of all the drama in the first place. STOP with all the dramatics! This is isn’t a soap opera DAMMIT!


I’ve come across some unlikable characters that just make me RAGE! I want to throw my eReader across the room. I want to scream at the top of my lungs. I want to hurt something. I felt like this two weeks ago when I was reading a book by one of my auto-buy authors. The MC was beyond unlikable. She was DESPICABLE and even though I tried really hard not to let it, this character’s behavior affected my overall enjoyment of the book leading to a lower rating. If I’m that upset while reading a book, then it’s a problem and my rating will reflect that.

I don’t think I will EVER get tired of unlikable characters since I find them to be so relatable and I’ve come to terms with the fact that unlikable characters are going to play a role on how I rate a book. If I have to knock off a few stars just because of an unlikable character, I will do so. Simple as that. Unlikable characters can both add and take away from the story and I think that is what makes them so unique. They keep us on our toes with their irrational behavior and I for one will never get bored with them, a little POed maybe, but never bored.

That is all for this week’s Rants & Rambles. I hope you enjoyed my random thoughts!

How do you feel about unlikable characters & how do they affect your own ratings? 

Let me know in the comments!


Posted by

I'm Ari, a local NYC bibliophile and a forever daydreamer. You can usually find me with my nose buried in a book and my head up in the clouds. I am also a coffee addict and a chocolate connoisseur. I fell in love with the romance genre about three years ago and I haven't been able to stop reading about happily-ever-afters, which is ironic because I'm a bit of a cynical romantic in real life, haha. I hope you all enjoy my blog and fangirling with me about all the smutty reads!

14 thoughts on “Do Unlikable Characters Affect Ratings? | Rants & Rambles

  1. For me, it depends on the book. If I don’t like the character because it’s annoying and makes the whole story annoying, then I will knock off stars. If I hate them because they’re evil, then the author has done his/her job creating an amazing villain and I won’t. Hopefully that makes sense.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I do the same. Annoying characters make it hard for me to enjoy the story overall. They are like a thorn in my side, so I’ll take that into consideration when rating a book. But I LOVE an unlikable villain. Like Asa from Too Late, LOL. He is a great example of an amazing villain.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. They definitely affect my feelings towards a book! I mean, I don’t do book reviews the way you do, but if I really hate someone, and they’re a fairly central character, I will sometimes (rarely) stop reading. If I do stop reading, it has to be really bad in all aspects (I’ll read pretty much everything over time), but if I finish, I’ll probably never read it again. But it depends why they’re unlikable. I mean, I usually love villains; I think they’re entertaining and fun and more complex than the hero. But unlikable characters (to me) is different. I hope that makes even the tiniest bit of sense!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t view unlikable characters and villains as the same. An unlikable villain is a WELL DONE villain for me because then they have served their purpose.

      I unfortunately have yet to learn how to DNF so I will suffer through a book with unlikable characters. I try to find at least one thing I like about the book so it’s more bearable, but I will probably end up giving the book a low rating and never look at it again XD.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Honey, you had me at too much drama!
    This is an ongoing theme in the books I’m reading lately *sigh*. I just finished the Hyde series by Lauren Stewart and my gods! Eden, the main female character, is so much like some of the other female characters I’ve read or watched (Sookie Stackhouse, Clary Fray just to name a couple) that it takes a lot out of me to actually read that bull! Kidnappings, going out to do ‘what she thinks is right’ even though she knows without a doubt that it will bring more shit down on her *sigh*.
    I’ve had to move on from YA and NA just to get some peace of mind and a break from the unending drama!
    Give me The Girl In the Ice, please! The main female lead is actually smart. Yes, she does things others don’t approve of but it’s because it IS right. It brings trouble her way, sure, but not everyone else too, and the one time she needed rescuing there was a TEAM of people who realized she was right and were doing everything in their power to correct the situation.
    Character development…yes please! And for heaven’s sake do NOT let her revert back to pre-character growth at the last minute!
    I think that for unlikable characters it’s because we need somebody like that; somebody we love to hate :D. Bill Compton from the SVM is like that, he really is unlikable and I love to hate him and I do it with a vengeance!
    What about likable characters though? The ones who may not always do the right thing but their heart is in the right place and they mostly do what needs to be done. I have one like that and, ironically enough, he’s from the Hyde series :D. Nick Landon. I’ll stop now, but he’s mentioned in the two reviews I have coming out this week if you want a better glimpse.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. YES! Someone who also hates Bill. He annoyed me so much with his back and forth. He brought a lot of drama and I think that’s why I lost interest in that series.

      I think of those likable characters who try to do good but sometimes fail as ‘misunderstood’. They are not really bad, it just looks like that, but it is only until the end do we see their true intentions and then everyone ends up liking them. I like those types of characters. They have great character development.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Actually, if you read any of my fanfiction, especially The Many Deaths Of Bill Compton, you will see exactly how much I despise him! I do not think I follow anyone who admits openly to liking him, lol.


  4. I need to be intrigued by a character more than anything. I don’t need to like the main character but if I can understand their motivation (the character development aspect), I can let it slide and enjoy the novel. But it probably will affect my rating in the end. I don’t expect to be BFFs with every book character I read.

    However, if I get annoyed by a character–say America from The Selection or Bella from Twilight–then that drastically affects my reading. If the logic isn’t there or they whine too much or cause excessive drama by doing stupid things, then yeah, it’s going to affect my rating.

    BUT, I want to be clear that “unlikable” characters doesn’t mean I don’t enjoy my villains. You probably aren’t supposed to like the villain in a novel but sometimes I can’t help myself. I do enjoy a well written bad guy.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOLing at Bella. I honestly could not stand her character because she lacks common sense -___-. While I adore Twilight, I don’t remember anything from the other books in the series because I just could not with her and her bad decisions.

      I personally don’t view villains and unlikable characters as the same. I LOVE villains and all their morally ambiguous ways! I think I’m like the only person who likes Queen Levana because she is so evil. I didn’t really like Cinder and the only reason I kept reading was because of her.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Great topic! I actually wrote a post about this a while ago because it always miffs me when people don’t like a book because of “unlike-able” characters. Like you, I tend to enjoy reading about characters who are a bit unlikealble because that makes them more interesting! It definitely does affect the opinion someone has of a book, though. If I read a negative review due to an unlikeable MC, I usually take that review with a large grain of salt.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A story is definitely more interesting with unlikable characters. Their actions tend to drive the plot, whether it be something good or bad. I would also be extremely bored reading a book with likable characters because a happy ending is how the story would most likely end and I live for plot twists and endings that catch me off guard.

      I do the same when I see other reviewers complaining about a character. They were written for a reason and if the author’s purpose was for readers to hate that character, then they have done their job!

      Liked by 1 person

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