Does the main character have to be likeable in order for you to enjoy a story?
I have had this discussion with two authors because I was absolutely not feeling the heroines of their stories. They irked me to damn death, but overall, the story was fire! My dilemma was how do I remain impartial and not be overly judgmental when it came to actually reviewing the story. The final answer? I didn’t . I couldn’t. My feelings about the characters were just too strong to overlook. While I was able to overcome them and actually finish the story, and to a large extent, enjoy it overall, I didn’t go all Petty LaBelle in my review.
I’m starting to learn that all protagonists aren’t created to be ideal or likable. As my author friend put it, they are created to show the human experience in its many forms—some good; some ugly. Pbbbbbbblllllttttt (Yes, that’s me being petty.)
So, the takeaway is, whether you like the main characters or not, does the story make you feel something? Does it linger in your psyche like the dye on your tongue after eating your favorite hard candy? Some do. Many don’t. But I’m learning to keep a more open mind now and not letting these heffas or jerkoffs ruin my reading pleasure.
What say you? If a main character irks you, will you soldier through, or does the story get buried in the Kindle or bookshelf graveyard?