Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Thoughtful Thursday: Protagonists

I created Thoughtful Thursday, because bookish thoughts kept popping up in my mind while reading, and I wanted to explore these questions and get your opinions too! Each week, I will post a new bookish thought that I will discuss. 

This Week's Topic/Question:
Assuming that the protagonist is well written, do you need to like the protagonist to enjoy the book? Does the protagonist need to share similar values to you or be an extension of you in some way? Can the protagonist be completely different from you and you still enjoy the book?

My Answer:
Oh wow, this is a good question and also very hard to answer. I prefer to read book series, so I can't say that there are many that I've read where I didn't like the protagonist. There definitely are some series where the protagonist wasn't my favorite character. For instance, Harry Potter. I found his journey more compelling than Harry as a character. The world building was so rich that it drew me in. My favorite characters of Sirius Black, Dumbledore, Professor Snape and Dobby.
I definitely don't have to relate to a character to be drawn in. In fact, I love reading about characters who are nothing like me. I love being able to vicariously live another life threw characters unlike me, seeing the world through their eyes and through their experiences. I think that books have helped me grow, teaching me all kinds of life lessons through the actions of others. So I prefer to be exposed to much more than what I already know.

Also, I'm not the biggest fan of contemporary or realistic fiction. I love reading about the unknown -- science fiction, paranormal, dystopian and fantasy. Those are the bigger draws for me and I'm less likely to find someone like me in those worlds.

All that said, I have dropped plenty of book series because I couldn't stand the main character. Most recently, it was Kim Harrison's The Hollows series. I really loved the back story and the minor characters, but the protagonist, Rachel Morgan, got on my last nerve.

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