I am wholeheartedly an emotional reader. I read according to my mood. I'm not saying I'm moody--I just like to read according to how I feel. I'm a scorpio. I have a tough exterior but I'm emotional. I secretly cry more than I care to admit. I know that's irrelevant but there's a point.
I read according to my mood, unless it's for reviewing purposes. When I'm reviewing it's feelings aside because there's no way for me determine if the book will align with my mood. But, when it's just me and my never ending TBR giving each other the stare down, I'm down to read according to how I'm feeling--this mean's like contemporary, sci-fi etc.
I'm always in the mood for lurvee. It's the truth, no matter what. If it's fantasy, erotica, thriller, sci-fi, whatever--if it has love I'm all about it. I'm a sucker for romance, even one of my writing professors told me. I've been stamped. I am a sucker for love.
Even though I'm always in the mood for love--I also get in the mood for other things, thrillers, aliens, moody billionaires, vampires, whatever. I look at my stack of books, grab one and go I'm in the mood to read about A, B, or C, so I do. That's just the way it goes.
This leads me to my point, I need to like the characters. I HAVE TO LIKE THEM IN SOME CAPACITY. It is absolutely essential to my reading. I have to at least like one character. That doesn't mean if I don't like the character, I won't enjoy the book.
I know that sounds totally contradictory but, let me explain.
If I like a character, I am into the book. I am looking forward to what they're going to do, and who they are going to do it with. It just makes for a far more enjoyable book experience. I root for the character, I'm wholly invested. I'm in like, which is an emotion, reading is emotional. See?
BUT, if the character is unlikeable, annoying, pushy, needy, argumentative, holding back the development of the story with their shenanigans, it makes reading so difficult. I literally want to hurl my book, kindle, tablet, whatever against a wall and watch it flutter, or crash to the ground.
I'm not going to like everyone, and that includes characters, but unlikeable characters ruin a book. At least in my opinion they do. Because when I don't like a character, many things happen. I stop caring, I lose investment, and I'm all around unbothered, and this is never good.
No emotional connection=no feelings=unhappy reader=meh opinion of book.
Reading involves emotions, it invokes emotions, yes boredom is an emotion but nobody raves about that in a review. You can either be happy, sad amused, angry whatever but when a book makes me all around annoyed or angry, I don't care about the book, and I want to care. I really do.
That doesn't include villains. Yes, villains are villainous but there is something about them we like.
Okay, let me speak for myself. There is something about a person who is downright evil, and has no qualms about being evil, that I like. It's like they know they're ruining someone's life and they just don't care. I appreciate that they are who they are, and have no apologies for it. But most villains have some likable trait, they almost always show some form of human weakness. That also makes them likable.
I guess what I'm getting at is, if I don't like a character, I won't enjoy the book. I might enjoy it a little but it will more likely than not, make reading the book not as fun.
Now that I've given my fingers a thorough work out, what do you guys think? Do unlikable characters ruin a book for you, does it make it hard to read? Do you trudge through? How do you deal? Am I alone, in my crazy, crazy world? I want to hear your thoughts!