frustrating characters

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio

Blackberry Winter by Sarah Jio


Blackberry Winter tells the story of two women. Vera is a poor woman living in Seattle in 1933, and she kisses her 3-year old son before leaving for work one night. When she gets out the next morning, there’s a surprise May-time snowstorm and she rushes home, only to discover that her son Daniel is missing. Claire is a modern-day woman, a reporter at a Seattle newspaper. Her boss picks her to cover the freak springtime snowstorm happening outside, she learns about a little boy gone missing in a similar snowstorm 80 years ago. Vowing to find out what happened to that little boy, she discovers that her and Vera have an unexpected connection.

This was a quick, cozy story with a tragic note about it. The chapters alternate between Vera and Claire’s points of view, and each woman has a bit of a sad story to tell. While the mystery of the missing child was enough to keep me reading (well, and all the descriptions of warm coffee shops and pretty snowstorms), I never really connected to either Claire or Vera. It might because I’m not a parent and while the whole missing-child thing is really sad, it didn’t really break my heart. Also, Vera wasn’t really a likable character. She was sweet, but she was one of those frustrating characters who kind of martyr themselves and hence cause their own problems. Because of this, the story seemed a bit forced.

 I prefer Sarah Jio writing about romance and lost loves WAY more, such as in The Bungalow. If you’re going to try one of her novels, start there.

Sarah Says: 2.5 stars




Top Ten Tuesday: Characters That Frustrate the Bejeezus Out of Me

Top Ten Tuesday

Good morning ya’ll!

It’s Tuesday and unfortunately I’m at work, but the plus side is that I get to do The Broke and The Bookish’s Top Ten Tuesday post bright and early! And this week’s topic is bound to be loads of fun – Top Ten Most Frustrating Characters Ever! Let the ranting begin!

Me to frustrating characters.

1. Frannie from The Stand by Stephen King- Frannie is at the top of the list because I JUST finished The Stand a few days ago. She’s one of the only female characters in the book, and while she started off okay by the middle of the book I kind of wanted to slap her. She wouldn’t stand up for herself when a guy she was travelling with was making her really uncomfortable – she kept tip-toeing around because she was worried he’d get upset, but it’s not like they were a couple and he wasn’t beating her or anything. And she constantly second-guessed herself, proclaiming that she must be having “woman vapors”. Good god King, this isn’t really how you view women, is it?

2. Cathy from Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte – Don’t get me wrong – I LOVE Wuthering Heights. But Cathy is responsible for basically ALL of the misery in this book. She’s selfish, easily influenced, and whiny. UGH.

3. Everyone in A Visit From the Goon Squad by Jennifer Egan – OHMYGOD THIS BOOK. It was horrible. I don’t remember a single character in this book that wasn’t a complete train wreck. I think the characters I find MOST frustrating are ones that are the cause of their own problems and you just want to slap them for being idiots. Enter every single character in this book.

4. Lydia from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen – Oh Lydia. You dumb, ditzy girl. She must be one of the first female characters in fiction to be in the “But he said he loved me!” situation. Lucky for her, she has some loving people in her life that force the situation to work out, and she never even gets to learn from her stupid mistake.

5. Brianna from the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon – I very slowly grow to like Brianna, but she can be kind of irksome. She brings the term “headstrong and foolish” to life. She’s also really, really temperamental sometimes and I get irritated with her for being such an irrational brat.

6. Rachel Morgan from Dead Witch Walking by Kim Harrison – UGH. I was so excited to try The Hollows series, but the main character Rachel absolutely ruined it for me. She was not nearly the kick-ass witch I was expecting; she was a real wuss and annoyingly whiny.

7. Savannah from Stay by Allie Larkin – Again, the main character ruined this book for me. Savannah is one of those train wreck people that I want to slap. She drinks too much, is all hung up on a guy that’s a douchebag, and gets herself into problems but they all get magically solved for her. Blah.

8. Emo Will Grayson from Will Grayson, Will Grayson by John Green and David Levithan – The W.G. that was written by David Levithan was really emo and annoying and kind of an ass. And this furthered my dislike for David Levithan, he seems to be unable to write characters that aren’t all teen-angsty and dramatic.

9. Dasha from The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons – Okay sure, Dasha gets screwed over a bit by her little sister. But when her little sister is working her ass off to keep them both alive, Dasha is still a total bitch to her and really lazy.

10. Bernadette and her husband from Where’d You Go, Bernadette? by Maria Semple – I feel like this book might have been slightly more interesting if I had liked the characters more. But Bernadette is a woman who used to be awesome, but somehow got trapped in a downward spiral of crazy and agoraphobia. It’s annoying that she won’t slap out of it. Also, her husband is an ass.

So those are my ten! I’ve realized that there’s something different between annoying characters and frustrating characters. Rather, that frustrating characters are always annoying, but annoying characters aren’t always frustrating. Interesting…

So what characters do you find yourself frustrated by?