(Of course, there are more than ten annoying characters in the realm of literature, but I’m trying to restrain myself.)
Fire from Fire by Kristin Cashore
She complains all day about being so beautiful and how everyone wants her and she’s so sick of it. I’m sick of her.
Anna Karenina from Anna Karenina by Leo Tolstoy
I have no idea why anyone would ever like this girl. She’s repulsive.
Ashley Wilkes from Gone with the Wind by Margaret Mitchell
Oh, just grow a pair and shut up, Ashley.
Julia from A Voice in the Wind by Francine Rivers
Every time Julia has the chance to do the right thing, it’s like a switch goes off and she does the worst thing possible and then seems surprised that her life sucks.
Cosette from Les Miserables by Victor Hugo
She’s vapid, one-dimensional, and an object to be possessed. Fantine had more depth in her short life, and Eponine has become the postmodern reader’s heroine. Cosette is just boring.
Lily from Dash & Lily’s Book of Dares by Rachel Cohn & David Levithan
She would be a far better character if she had more confidence in herself. She used far too much hyperbole and yet wanted to be a person of more depth.
Actually, I would have liked her more if I hadn’t seen so much of myself in her. The fact that my best friend read this book and told me that Lily reminded her of me only confirmed my fears.
Margret from Brentwood by Grace Livingston Hill
I have only ever read one book by GLH, but it was enough for me to consider her an early Stephenie Meyer.
The premise of Brentwood is promising: a young and wealthy woman’s adoptive mother dies leaving her with a massive fortune and the knowledge that she was kept from knowing her biological family. It would have been a rather interesting story if Margret wasn’t such a goody goody. Seriously, characters have to change! They have to! Margret never does, and it’s appalling.
One scene quite literally left me with my jaw dropping in shock: Margret has a discussion about salvation with the young, handsome minister she is so obviously going to marry at the end of the novel. It’s an excellent, common Christian fiction moment for a character to make a change in the story. When the minister explains what it means to be a true Christian – something that has been weighing heavily on Margret’s mind – she’s relieved to know that she’s been a true Christian all her life and that she should just keep on living as the incredibly good person that she is.
Um… forget how badly written that is, I don’t even agree with that theologically.
Philothei from Birds Without Wings by Louis de Bernières
Like Anna Karenina, I’m not sure why Philothei gets so much credit. I felt like the actual novel hardly dealt with her at all compared to the other characters who took center stage. She was silly, selfish, and then she died and caused her boyfriend Ibrahim to go mad with grief.
Plus her name is impossible for me to pronounce. I hate her just for that.
Nellie Olson from The Little House on the Prairie series by Laura Ingalls Wilder
She is every girl you ever hated in high school.
And finally, the most annoying character in literature,
George Wickham from Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen
I hate you, Wickham. I hate you so, so much.