Hameeda asked:

Describe your most and least favorite characters in this book?

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AJ After I read this book, I returned it to the library and my kids asked about the author (they recognized JK Rowling). So I started ttelling them about the book and it came to me that my favorite character was Krystal Weedon and my least favorite was Fats. Krystal was put into such a desperate situation from how she was raised. Through no fault of her own, she was left to raise her baby brother and try to keep her mother from using heroin and losing the family. Plus, she had to go to school and deal with the death of Barry Fairbrother, her mentor and only ally. Fats, on the other hand, was a manipulative and calculating jerk. He took advantage of everyone's weaknesses and exploited them for his own enjoyment. I thought this was a great read!
Bev Tolley Favourite character is for some reason Tessa Wall. She always puts others before herself, even when she needed help and attention from her husband. She's in horrible situation between her warring adopted son and husband and I believe she copes marvelously.
Least favourite character would probably be Simon Price. He abuses both his wife and children and that to me is unforgivable.
Victoria I really struggled to actually LIKE any of the characters in this book, because I feel like their flaws are so present and overemphasized and any decent qualities are simply stuck in the shadow of their unlikable/downright bad traits. That being said, in the end my favorite characters were Colin and Tessa Wall, because I thought they were both decent people (Colin clearly had some issues, but he was doing his very best to overcome them and fight against his debilitating illness). I also thought that Miles Mollison was somewhat likable, and his character grew on me toward the end of the book. (Same thing with Parminder and Vikram.) The award for least favorite character is a tie between Shirley Mollison and Gavin Hughes (I think that's his last name?? Not sure). Shirley was a petty, selfish hypocrite, and, while I generally don't hate characters for cowardice, I couldn't STAND Gavin for his self-centered attitude and delusional behavior.
Hannah Corson I LOVED the huge variety of characters that were in this book. Coming from a conservative background, I actually had sympathy for Fats... He was just doing everything opposite that he had been taught growing up, like many teenagers. He just actually had decent parents, so the opposite of what they taught him ended up being quite horrible. Luckily he realized it and seemed to change? Least favorite was definitely Simon or Obo.
Vanessa Devries I loved that nearly all of the characters had good and bad qualities about them. The obvious favorite for me is Krystal. I had so hoped for a happy-ish ending for her. I was so sad to see her die in the end, but I was a little relived that she didn't repeat her mother's patterns. I guess death is preferably to that.

When I learned more about her mother, I liked her more. She had bad life and no one was consistent in her life, except for the scumbag Otto.

Otto is my obvious least favorite character. I can't think of a single good quality about him, but I think that was the point.

Andrew's parents are in second place for my least favs. The dad for obvious reasons and the mom for staying in that situation. There is no way that I would allow someone to lay a hand on my kids.
Rosie I ended up liking many characters by the end (Terri, Shirley, Colin, Samantha) even though they were terribly flawed, b/c Rowling revealed to us the reasons for their flaws and their heartbreaking attempts, sometimes successful often not, to deal with them. Not so for characters Simon, Fats, and Gavin and Obbo. They were all selfish and cruel with no reason that we could see. Howard was just creepy and sleazy to me. I loved Krystal, Sukhvinder, Gaia, and Andrew.
Lori I liked Sukhindver. I found it more realistic that she turned inward and hid from her problems (Fats) and internalized her pain. Although you can understand why other characters acted the way they did with their backstories, it seems like her reaction is probably far more common to not tell anyone how she feels and become more and more isolated.

I disliked Ruth Price because as horrible as some of the other characters' actions were, her inability to leave Simon or protect her children is the worst kind of cowardice. I disliked Gaia as she didn't seem as fleshed out as the other characters. She mainly acted as a device for Andrew's plot, but very little was known about her other than her beauty and normal teenage angst.
Chel As far as I'm concerned, the only really sympathetic character in this book is Barry Fairchild, who dies in the opening pages. Second choices are two characters whose names I can't spell because I listened to the audio version -- the Indian (Pakistani?) mother and daughter. Other characters -- Krystal and Andrew/Peanut -- had moments of my caring about them mixed with their being really annoying. The unlikeable characters are rife, but it troubles me somehow that there are some really *bad* male characters (especially Simon), while the unlikeable female characters (Shirley tops the list) are merely petty and shallow and selfish.
Ambarish I liked Samantha. Would love to have someone like her around, not as a wife obviously !

Its difficult to judge someone as worst, given the history of each character. We know why they do the things they do. Although, by my prejudice, I was not very fond of Lexie. From whatever is described about her, she appears pretentious and a attention seeker teenager.
Anita Byler ha- almost impossible to do. I liked almost no one- not even a little bit. The book is full of least favorite characters. So full, I'm not sure I can pick just one.
Favorite: I'm going to go with Colin and Tessa. They seemed more genuine than any of the others.
Least favorite: 1) Fats Wall. His character comes across as possibly sociopathic. And, with all the character development that's done, I didn't really understand why he outright hates his father so much. 2) Or possibly the police force. Why on earth is that scumbag Obbo even on the streets? It seems like no secret at all what he's up to.
Katerina Efstathiou Well I just finished it.I can admit that my favourite character is Krystal.She seems so affected, so vulnerable.She left me thinking that I have a cruel sympathy for her....wtf with THAT END.Definitely my least favourite hero as well as the most irritatingly useless was Gavin.
Emily Top favorite: Krystal. She was so deserving of good. By the time she decided that getting pregnant was her only way out of the h*** she had been placed in, I realized that the desperateness of her situation was at a completely different level. You can only wonder what the other characters would have felt and done had there been more at stake in their lives than pride, power, status... Krystal had a lot of things going against her, and its admirable that her top priority was helping her brother. Although, as I write that, that is all-too-ironic. *Sigh*
Next favorite: Parminder. Despite her other flaws, I honor and admire that she had the courage to really give it to Howard (even though her delivery was not what anyone who actually wants to accomplish something should use). It was just so disgusting that so many of the people on the council could be so selfish, that I felt could really relate to Parminder. Especially given the fact that she had lost her ally, Barry, and was defending her cause alone.
Least favorites: 1. Howard. 2. Shirley. Enough said.
Suraj Suresh This story is in the middle of nowhere where people didn't even know they could be productive. All characters had to be interconnected and everything affected someone... There isn't much you can expect to like about this book if you wanted to get going in any kind of adventure or even a small movement (which one might expect from J.K.Rowling)... Shit just happens because of something, and because of this something, shit happens... hope you get my point. :)

1)Krystal Weedon was my favourite character. Struggling through everyday life to save herself and her dear brother. She was handed the maximum difficulty level when in this game of life, and she always played the war hero.
2)Sukhvinder was another favourite char. of mine as she herself had a pretty rough age through schooling (though it involved personal problems unlike Krystal). Sukhvinder appeals more dearly to me as she was put through the torment of dismissive and un-supporting adults, and of inconsiderate and spoilt peers. Although she struggles to voice any of her own feelings anywhere (where she pretty much convinced me that she was weak), she showed up to be the most brave and daring at the hour of need.
3)I solely hated Simon Price, who according to me never had any originality in thoughts and actions and always concentrated at exerting control over who he can. Was hoping to find him twisted and broken somewhere in this novel.
4)I also hated the female characters who created imaginary situations, and fought silent mental wars with the other females, where nothing was absolutely necessary. Shirley, Maureen and Samantha fall under this category. They did give me a good idea of how screwed you can function your mind.
5)Obbo and Terri were the purest examples of 'the most useless creation of mankind'. Both were the exact opposite of Krystal, although they (Terri as far as I know) faced her same hardships.
6)Hated Colin (Cubby) Walls for being so weak and gutless. But later turned out to be a matter of fascination when I knew he had a condition... Loved to see Tessa Wall dealing with him every time without losing patience.
Melissa I love Krystal, I could feel her pain, and I felt sad lots of times. No one tried to help her. :/ I also love Andrew.

Dislike: Simon price!
JP My favorite character in this novel is Tessa Wall. She's got this huge heart. She reminds me of a very nice person I know. My least favorite is the abusive and overbearing Simon Price.
Eirene Favourite:
1) Krystal. She does the wrong things for the right reasons, it seems.The end of the book with the flashback scene from the race is heartbreaking.
2) I also have a lot of respect for Kay. This is what a social worker should be like. In the beginning I resented the way she seems to cling to Gavin, but towards the end of the book, when her reasons are explained, she is absolved in my eyes.
3) Not exactly my favourite, but with a lot of impact on many people around him is Barry Fairbrother. His death, though necessary, seemed a shame once we got more information about him.
Least favourite:
Fats. I came to wonder if I was reading about a psychopath. I'm still not convinced he isn't one.
Cristy Of course, I loved Barry, even though he's dead I love learning about him through the eyes of other characters, i thought that was brilliant.

I loved Krystal, she was misunderstood and had zero upbringing to teach her differently, she wanted to care about people, she loved deeply anyone who showed her and resemblance of caring and I find that admirable for someone who has not been shown kindness even from your mother.
Jordan McCartney I'd be inclined to say Krystal Weedon was my favourite - a powerful character in the book, a favourite of Barry of Fairbrother. Her character was eloquently described at the end of the book by Sukhvinder, essentially Krystal is a 'what you see is what you get' sort of character but then again she puts on a hard front and yet loved her brother so much that she committed suicide to be with him.

Least favourite might have been Maureen, purely because there wasn't really much of her to like or hate? She wasn't much of a character, she was merely just around a lot. But if I had to say who I hated the most it would be Simon Price, for obvious reasons.
Ayten I like it when authors write from different POV so you can see how the characters really think and what their intentions are. I started liking Fats pretty quick, because he was such a rebel and against everything, which made him look so strong and broken at the same time. He was just like Krystal, in some way, but still they had worlds between each other. I don't know why I actually liked Krystal, because if you think about it, everyone made her look so terrible. Everything she did was wrong to the others. Still she was probably my favorite. If I am honest I guess I have to say I didn't like Barry. Everyone beside Howard who was, yeah, the 'Bad-Boy' loved him. I needed some flaws. And the things Mary said about him made me dislike her more than him, tbh. But if I think about it, sure she was kinda right, still a tiny bit selfish...
Charles Shepherd Barry Fairbrother/ Krystal Weedon: Favorite characters because they are consistantly exactly who they appear to be, many if not all of the other characters put up a front in some kind of way. Yes I am aware that Barry dies before the book begins but I think it's safe to say that his characterization developed through the other characters recollections. I also chose these two because of the duality of their similar characteristic, Barry is appreciated for his candor while Krystal is depreciated because of hers.

Mary Fairbrother/ Terri Weedon: Mary because she really didn't know her husband and Terri because she is despicable
Marisa Potgieter Even though Fats repulsed me throughout the novel I ended up really liking him and his whole thought process. I don’t know why but I feel sympathy for him and want to believe that he’ll change in future. My favourite character however would have to be Sukhinder. She seems weak and pathetic at first but turns out to be one of the strongest. Same goes for Krystal, I really enjoyed her. The worst characters for me are definitely the Mollisons and Si-Pi. I couldn’t wait for some horrible humiliation or destruction to befall them but will have to now make it up in my head :-P
Anne Clough The only characters I liked were Sukhvinder and the lady who wanted to go to the pop concert.
I hated everybody else, especially the druggie mother and her brat of a daughter. I felt sorry for her little boy, though and wish he'd been able to be saved.
Outi My favourites were Krystal and Sukhvinder. I would probably hate Krystal in real life but knowing where she came from, she was probably the best she could be under those circumstances. Sukhvinder was more relatable for me on a personal level.

Aside from the obviously evil characters (Obbo and Simon), my least favourite was probably Howard. He had so little sympathy for anyone besides his own family. Fats was annoying, too, but he is so young that it's much more understandable.
Catherine Donnelly My favourite characters were Robbie and Krystal Weedon. I felt so much for them and it was interesting to be able to see into why Krystal was the way she was. She loses everyone who she respected and loved and those that truly cared for her, however it seems poetic that she ended up with them in the end.
My least favourite character was hard to choose. Cubby annoyed me when I read about his horrible thoughts. Simon because he was a lowlife wife beater and was vile to his children and I also hated Gavin because of his pathetic choices and his unwillingness to "man up" and tell Kay how he really felt until he was pushed into a corner.
Hal Parminder Jawanda:
"...When asked why he gave aid indiscriminately, Bahai Kanhaiya had replied that the light of God shone from every soul, and that he had been unable to distinguish between them.”

This is the guide to the characters, can we see the light in the soul, or do we only judge their bad choices?
Joy For some reason I actually really thought Stuart Wall (Fats) was an interesting character and I do consider him my favourite. That being said, I didn't agree with all of his actions. I was attracted to his motives and his way of thinking, not because it was a "good" way of thinking, but because it made him a different sort of character. He wasn't a pure and overly sweet character, but he wasn't evil either. He was simply a teenager whose way of thinking made him do things that others wouldn't agree with. Not an excuse to be a bully though.

My least favourite characters were the Mollison's (except for Patricia, sadly we didn't get to see much of her.) and Gavin.
I really found them annoying, I didn't agree with the way the Mollison's saw things (for example their opinion on the rehabilitation clinic) and just their personalities were unpleasant.
And Gavin was just a weak man who should get over himself. Complaining about Kay while not even having the guts to be honest to her.
Michelle Heegaard Favorite: I really loved all of them, but the young Wall kid was probably my favorite. I found him incredible interesting as a characters and have never read anything before, where I've met a personality like his.
Least Favourite might have been Samantha. It felt like Rowling was building up a lot of potential and then just dropped it on the floor at the very last minute.
Joanna I think my least favorite was Shirley. In my opinion she never got what she deserved.
My favorite was Sukhvinder. I guess I could relate to her pain more. I felt very sorry for her.
Each character dealt with different situations in different ways. That's what made this book so great.
The one character I had the most difficulty understanding was Gavin. Not too sure what it was he was searching for. Never understood his relationship with Samantha.
Lovmelovmycats Hart Barry Fairbrother is positively saintly (although we do see his failings through Mary's eyes). He's a bit too good to really identify with.
I loved most of the women and girls - Tessa, Kay, Krystal, Sukvinder, volatile Parminder, even ridiculous Samantha.
I found Shirley and Howard, like Simon, too evil to relate to. (The elder Mollisons were rendered in rather broad strokes. Daily Mail readers - that was quite telling, Rowling, that they're supposed to be baddies. They are like if the Durselys were Slytherins.)
S C This is a good question and first I want to second Hannah's opinion that there is an amazing variety of characters in the book. I'm going to assume this question is about our preference for the characters' personalities as opposed to their literary quality.

As some other have said, Rowling really spelled out each character's weakness through their internal monologues. Barry is the one character who we didn't get much internal monologue from. From what we learned about him through other characters, Barry was an amazing guy. His one flaw was that his wife Mary felt that he didn't give her enough time or put enough energy into their relationship, but Mary comes across as pretty uptight and it's possible that she is just one of those people that are impossible to keep happy. I find it difficult to believe that Barry would end up with a woman like that but the book didn't go into much detail about their history. The book also didn't give much detail about the relationship between Mary and her daughters but if the absence of detail was intentional, perhaps she wasn't very grateful for them. So Barry nor Mary are my most favorite characters.
They're also not my least, as nearly all characters in the book are worse than them. Obbo is the largest piece of feces and mainly because of what he did to Krystal. That said, I consider him a minor character as we know very little about his life. My least favorite main character is Simon Price. You just don't control a family with your fists. It's unacceptable.

As the reader, you know something unsavory about each character and as so, no favorite is clear. I give Rowling credit here as I consider this realistic. I didn't have a favorite after reading the book, but swayed by the previous comments, I'm going to give another medal to Krystal for her heart and honesty. She was a fiery trainwreck and her circumstances were very sad.
Jade There were a lot of characters to choose from in this book!
Personally I think that my favourite character is between Krystal Weedon and Sukhvinder Jawanda; Krystal for her strength when trying to make a better life for her brother, when she herself has had to live such a dismal sounding one. Sukhvinder because no matter how hard she tries throughout most of the book, her parents and classmates just keep putting her down, and to go through life believing that you are essentially worthless is something that nobody should have to deal with, so she also has a lot of strength to put up with it.
My least favourites are between Simon and Gavin. Simon for his uncontrolled temper, nobody should take out their anger on their family, especially not physically. Gavin for his ridiculously self-absorbed nature, using Kay and then having the audacity to call Kay after Mary rejected him.
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