Wednesday, September 23, 2015

Tolkien Party - Imladris (A Fanfiction) by Me

I'm including this for the Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence (hosted by Hamlette)

Fourteen years ago, I was so avidly in love with all things Tolkien that I delved into fanfiction. This week, I've done something I almost swore to myself I would never do. I looked back at some of my writings, grimaced at the emotionalism of it all, and decided to give this story, one of which I'm particularly fond, a rewrite. I nearly posted it here without editing it, but couldn't, in all good conscience, do it. The core of what you see is the story I imagined all those years ago, but any skill you might find in these lines is a result of many years of practice and deliberate schooling. Thank goodness I didn't just throw Imladris up here without taking the time to hone it, if you will. May you enjoy this story as much as I enjoyed writing it all those years ago, and as much as I enjoyed editing it yesterday and today.

Synopsis: While Frodo lies wounded in Elrond's house, the hobbits deal with the pain of nearly losing their cousin and friend along with the guilt that they could not protect him.

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

A Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence 2015 (hosted by Hamlette)

It is again time for Hamlette's A Tolkien Blog Party of Special Magnificence! And I'm so proud of myself for actually participating this year because I reallllllly love Tolkien and have reallllllly wanted to participate in this blog party before, but never made the time!

Please come and join in the fun if you like, post answers to Hamlette's questionnaire on your own blog, leave a comment on her post letting her know you've done so, participate and revel in all things Tolkien!

Now, on to this lovely questionnaire Hamlette developed!

1. What draws you to Tolkien's stories?  (The characters, the quests, the themes, the worlds, etc.)

A. So, I love fantasy. Hopefully everyone knows that by now. I can pretty much attribute that love first and foremost to Narnia, and because of Narnia, I tried Tolkien's world. Never looked back. You know how they say some stories are epic? An epic love story, an epic adventure, an epic this or that? Tolkien's stories are all of those things and more. The world feels real, the characters feel real, and these are life and death struggles of good against evil, at the very basic level of our being. These stories are alive, and that's why I love them.

2. What was the first Middle Earth book you read and/or movie you saw?  What did you think of it?

A. I saw The Hobbit animated film when I was around 10 or so and then read The Hobbit for the first time when I was 14-years-old and we'd just moved to a new state and I needed some familiarity. Really loved the animated film as a kid until I realized that Gandalf's name was horribly mispronounced. The book? It's still one of my favorite books of all time. A kid's adventure story like The Princess and the Goblin, nothing more or less, and that's what I love about it. Tolkien's world hadn't been fully developed yet and so I love the simplicity of The Hobbit.

3. Name three of your favorite characters and tell us why you like them.

In a world as dark as the one Tolkien penned, the characters need a father figure to guide them. Gandalf is that figure. It doesn't mean he's always right in his judgement calls. Let's be honest, he makes some mistakes. But I always felt that Gandalf was always dependable. I especially love him in The Two Towers film when he says "Look to my coming, at first light, on the fifth day. At dawn, look to the East." And when that fifth day comes, at dawn, guess who's there, riding to save the day?

Gandalf, who is so powerful and mighty, is a lover of small things and small people. He doesn't discount someone simply because they could not be counted among the very wise or the very great. He's a lover of hobbits, a people that don't always love him back, but who he goes out of his way to befriend and defend with his life. What's not to love about a character like Gandalf?

I gave serious consideration to my options for this second choice. I've never actually chosen Aragorn as a favorite character, not when it comes to one of these types of tags or memes. But I do love him know, far more than I ever did when I was young and watching The Lord of the Rings movies for the first time.

When you love Aragorn, you're loving three versions of him. You love Strider, the mysterious Ranger who you're not entirely sure can be trusted. You love Aragorn from the films, the reluctant king. And you love Aragorn the noble-hearted, self-assured king in Tolkien's stories. Three different versions of the same man, and it has taken me 14 years to reach the point of loving all three versions.

Strider, I think, will always be my favorite version simply because he is so enigmatic. I'm rarely drawn to kings, so it makes sense I would love the kingless version of Aragorn the best, but I must deeply respect the Aragorn of Tolkien's original work and empathize with the tortured soul version of Aragorn that Peter Jackson invented. All three have merit.

This should surprise no one and if it does, well, that just means I haven't talked about him enough.

Bilbo was the very first character of Tolkien's that I ever encountered, both in film and in book form and he is steadfastly adhered to my heart. Bilbo is now, and always will be, one of my top 5 favorite characters.

He's the one who you would never, ever suspect of wanting to go on an adventure. He's peaceful and calm at home, and yet, he steps outside himself and into one of the greatest literary stories of all time. He took the literal step of faith and it transformed him. He is like my own personal hero. I'm content and complacent in my life, but if Bilbo can take such an enormous step of faith, then why can't I?

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

The Sizzle in Key Largo

Part of the Lauren Bacall Blogathan hosted by In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood

My first movie with Humphrey Bogart was The African Queen and I distinctly remember disliking him. Of course, I was only about 13 at the time, and he seemed like a rough and tumble bully. Fortunately for me, I decided to rewatch The African Queen several years later and liked it so much better the 2nd time around. If I hadn't tried it again, there's a good chance I would never have given Bogart another look, which means I would have never watched Key Largo, and never met Lauren Bacall.

Ahh, Key Largo. The name alone is synonymous with all the best that film noir had to offer its audience. Intense plot, dramatic lighting and shadows, and stunning characters of every description, from the hero Frank McCloud (Bogart) to the villain of Johnny Rocco (Edward G. Robinson). And of course, Nora Temple, played by the estimable Lauren Bacall. A war widow, her character watches over her father-in-law, James Temple, handicapped and the owner of the Largo Hotel in the Florida Keys. When Frank McCloud pays them a mercy visit to tell them stories about the bravery and heroics of Nora's deceased husband, he never imagined for one single moment that he would be walking into one of the most hellish nights of his life, and that's saying a lot considering he's a soldier.

I'm confessing right now that my knowledge of Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart as people is nill. I go out of my way to avoid knowing about the personal lives of actors that I like, mostly because I don't want to let any negative behaviors on their part influence my opinion of them. I've never looked at Errol Flynn the same way since I discovered what a louse and a cad he was in Hollywood, and so I don't want the same thing to happen with Bacall and Bogart. So I can only say what I observe, and that is how much I love in Key Largo.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Clever Girl: Lauren Bacall in How to Marry a Millionaire

Written for the Lauren Bacall Blogathan hosted by In The Good Old Days Of Classic Hollywood

My experience with Lauren Bacall films only began once I developed an interest in Humphrey Bogart. Once I made Bogie's acquaintance, and watched Key Largo (which I'll post about tomorrow), I loved Bacall at least as much as Bogart.

One thing I realized in watching this movie is that she was lucky in her films with Bogart. She was never overlooked or overshadowed, certainly never second fiddle, not even to him. But here, in How to Marry a Millionaire, she is almost an afterthought for the modern viewer. Why? Because Marilyn Monroe is the "it girl" and if a movie has her in the cast, then of course, the movie is about her.


Everything that happens in How to Marry a Millionaire is because of the cleverness of Bacall's character, Schatze Page. Schatze is the leading role, she is the heroine, and she is the one came up with the idea for this crazy scheme in the first place!

Monday, September 14, 2015

Inkdeath (Cornelia Funke) - Chapters 1 - 5

I finally got around to starting Inkdeath. Whew. There are always so many books that need reading, especially those that have been loaned to me, and I was beginning to fear that I wouldn't get to Inkdeath this month which would have greatly depressed me. But the time has come, as the Walrus said, and so let us begin. I've never written about individual chapters before so don't be surprised if it takes me a few posts to find my stride.


There's no point in my even writing about individual chapters if I can't say there will be spoilers. So expect them, welcome them, and if you don't want spoilers about this final book in the Inkheart trilogy, sadly, you must forgo reading these posts.


Inkspell ended in a really bad place and I distinctly remember suffering intense anguish of mind having to wait for the final book. I never read the Harry Potter books as they were being released, so this type of suffering was quite new to me. I'm used to it now because it takes forever for Cornelia's books to be published in English.

All right, so, how did Inkspell end?

It ended with Farid getting killed and Dustfinger sacrificing his life so the White Women would take him instead of Farid. In a fit of despondency, Farid implores Fenoglio to write a paragraph that will bring Orpheus (another gifted reader) into the Inkworld in the hopes that he will be able to create the perfect combination of words that will bring Dustfinger back to life. Literally, the Inkworld is a complete and total wreck at this point, just as I was when my beloved Dustfinger died. So that's the end of the 2nd book in a nutshell, just to give some context.

Chapters 1 - 5 of Inkdeath

"She'd stood here so often over the last few weeks, surrounded by books that meant nothing to her; now she was once again alone with them. They didn't speak to her, just as if they knew that she'd have exchanged them all on the spot for the three people she had lost. Lost in a book."
Keep in mind that at this point everyone except Elinor (Meggie's aunt) and Darius (another reader, only this one has a stutter) is in the Inkworld. And just so the reader doesn't forget them, the story opens with Elinor and Darius. Grateful to be rid of Orpheus and Mortola (the Magpie), Elinor now has her house to herself once again, well, herself and Darius. But it isn't the same because she knows that Mortimer, Resa, and her darling little Meggie have all been swallowed up by the Inkworld.

I can't even imagine being Elinor. Her only family has vanished into a book and she is left behind, and for her, being left behind is agonizing because books are her life. Or so she thought. But now her only desire is to see the people she loves most again. Books no longer have the same value to her, and she is left grieving and puzzling over a solution that refuses to present itself.

"Meggie, Resa . . . he hoped they'd still be asleep when he got back. How was he going to explain all the blood if they weren't? So much blood . . . Sometime, Mortimer, he thought, the nights will overshadow the days. Nights of blood. Peaceful days."
Ahhh, Mo. When I first read Inkheart, Mo was my absolute favorite character. And a part of him still is. But the best characters must grow and change and alter, become more than they are, so too does Mo.

When we first meet Mo, he is gentle and kind, with almost never a harsh word for anyone. He is a bookbinder and so the tricks of his trade involve healing wounds and creating fantastical new bindings for old, damaged books.

But in the Inkworld, Mo is different. Fenoglio, the world's original author who is also trapped inside the pages of his own book, began messing around with his story. You see, Fenoglio didn't like what had happened to his story, and so he created a hero to change things. The only problem is that he based his Bluejay on Mo. And so, with Mo being in the story, he starts to become the Bluejay. He goes out every night with the Black Prince and his men, defending the helpless villagers from pillaging soldiers. He fights and he kills, and Meggie (his daughter) looks at him now with new eyes because she realizes that he is not the same Mo that she has known her whole life.

He is changing, but it's not him doing the changing. It's as if he's being rewritten, which is hard for me because I always loved Mo the way he was. Men like him, good, solid men, shouldn't ever change. Mo was always a hero in his own right. He doesn't need to become the Bluejay too.

"Now and then one of his creations would die after taking only a few breaths, or would turn out vicious (the Chunk often had bandaged hands), but that didn't bother Orpheus. Why would he might if a few dozen fire-elves died of starvation in the forest because they had no wings, or a handful of river-nymphs drifted dead in the water without their scales? He pulled thread after thread out of the fine fabric that Fenoglio had spun and wove patterns of his own, adding them to the old man's tapestry like brightly colored patches and growing rich on what his voice could entice out of another man's words."
Poor Farid. Imagine your best friend sacrificing himself so you could live? That is Farid's fate, being alive while Dustfinger is dead. And that is why he serves Orpheus, a man he hates, all in the vain hope that someday Orpheus might just be able to read Dustfinger to life again.

One of the reasons I always struggled liking Farid is his blatant honesty in how he's feeling. His emotions are so very raw and . . . authentic. You know when he hates someone or when he pities someone or when he loves someone. Farid never does feelings by half, and because of his obsessive openness, he always made me uncomfortable.

The grief he feels over Dustfinger is very real in this chapter. There is no other explanation behind him serving Orpheus, a man he despises. Everything in Farid's mind now is about bringing Dustfinger back. He is overwhelmed with that obsession, his guilt and his shame encompassing him, even to the point of keeping him away from Meggie, the girl he also loves. It's just that at this point in his life, it is more important for him to bring Dustfinger back than to be a besotted boy

As for Orpheus, one emotion that Farid and I agree on is that we both hate him. PASSIONATELY. Every sentence I read where he plays a part is like little needles dancing along my nerves. So self-centered and self-righteous, playing in another man's written world as if it were his own! Ooh, he just infuriates me.

I wish I could remember Orpheus' demise, but I don't at this moment.

"Meggie looked around, saw the table, the tools, the feather - and Mo's black clothes. Wasn't all this made of words? Fenoglio's words. The house, the farmyard, the sky above them, the trees, the rocks, the rain, the sun, and the moon. Yes, what about us? Meggie thought. What are we made of - Resa, me, Mo, and the baby on its way? She didn't know the answer anymore. Had she ever known it?" 
Meggie. Mo's little girl who isn't that little anymore. She's a teenager now, growing up slowly, falling in love, and realizing that her father is changing, not because he wants to, but because the story he's in is forcing the change.

This chapter helps Meggie realize that she and Mo has traded places. In Inkspell, she was desperate to visit the Inkworld. Now all she really wants to do is go home, and Mo is the one who wants to stay. This bit really is a look at Mo and Meggie as they're changing, and Meggie's profound fear that her father isn't telling her the whole truth, and that he will eventually be caught and executed as the Bluejay.

Even though Meggie suspects Mo has more planned, she insists on accompanying him on a foolhardy trip into Ombra to look at some hand-illuminated books in the Milksop's possession. And on their way, Mo intends to visit Fenoglio, the man who started it all.

 "Was there any more wretched existence than the life of a writer who had run out of words? Was there a worse fate than having to watch someone else twist your own words, adding colorful touches - in very bad taste - to the world you made?"
And now we have Fenoglio, the story's "author." He's indulging in a pity party right now because Orpheus has taken his world and turned it topsy turvy. Although to be fair, Fenoglio himself did his world a bit of a disservice in the last book. Now he's reaping the consequences of his poor writing choices, which include the country being terrorized by the Adderhead (villain) and his brother-in-law the Milksop (villain).

But is Fenoglio doing anything substantial to help? Nope. He's simply drinking himself into a stupor every day and sending his glass man, Rosenquartz on spying missions to Orpheus' house. He's really quite pathetic at this point in the story, but I'm hoping that he'll get mad enough soon that he'll begin writing again and take back what Orpheus has stolen from him. This is, after all, Fenoglio's story, however unworthy he might be as a writer to possess it. If he'd only stop whining and drinking, he'd be so much better off.

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Book Review: Like There's No Tomorrow by Camille Eide (2014)

Like There's No Tomorrow
Camille Eide
Ashberry Lane Publishers

Official Backpage Synopsis

 What if loving means letting go?

Scottish widower Ian MacLean is plagued by a mischievous grannie, bitter regrets, and an ache for something he’ll never have again. His only hope for freedom is to bring his grannie's sister home from America. But first, he'll have to convince her lovely companion, Emily, to let her go.

Emily Chapman devotes herself to foster youth and her beloved Aunt Grace. Caring for others quiets a secret fear she holds close to her heart. But when Ian appears, wanting to whisk Grace off to Scotland, everything Emily needs to protect—including her heart—is at risk.

Set in central Oregon’s high desert and the lowlands of Scotland, Like There’s No Tomorrow is an amusing yet heart-tugging love story about two kind, single caretakers, two quirky, old Scottish sisters bent on reuniting, and too many agendas. It’s a tale of family, fiery furnaces, falling in love, faith, and the gift of each new day.

 My Official Take in 3 Parts

The Theme
It's always hard to let people go, even when it's best for them. In Emily's case, she loves her Aunt Grace with every fiber of her being, to the point where it's hard for her to imagine a life without her. But what if Grace's place isn't in Oregon, but back home, in Scotland, with her sister Maggie?

For Ian, his letting go involves something quite different. Stagnating hatred and grief have crippled him emotionally for years due to a personal loss, and it's impacted his relationship with God, the God he once loved deeply and who took away his anger before. Ian must discover that some things, like his faith, are worth fighting for while others, like his bitterness, must be turned over to God.

I love this theme, the idea of releasing control into bigger, more capable Hands than our own. Loving doesn't always mean keeping, and the sooner we learn that the better. And then with Ian, he must release his anger in order to become whole again, to trust again. And I especially love how prayer plays such a huge factor in Ian's healing. Not prayer for himself, but a prayer of blessing for the person he hates. That type of prayer brings about healing every time.

The Characters
I thought I would struggle with Emily because she deliberately holds back information from her Aunt Grace. But I couldn't dislike her because I can see her point of view. When you want to protect people, the last thing you want to do is tell them something that could potentially lead to their harm, like elderly Aunt Grace making a trip to Scotland in her frail condition. So Emily hides information, all out of the sincere belief that she's protecting others, but she does reach the point of giving God the reins and it all works out for the best. She learns to trust, and I love that.

Ian I liked from the first, partly because he's Scottish, but also because he's a gentleman, through and through. He's considerate of the people around him, loves his family, and when he and Emily fall in love, he doesn't do it by halves. Plus, he's constructive in his anger. I would say that he manages the "be angry and sin not" instruction pretty well.

Ahhhh, the sisters. Grace and Maggie (the sister who Ian takes care of) are quite the pair. Both of them struggle with mental frailty, and Maggie's going blind to boot, but they're stronger together. I love that. It reminds me of my sister and our relationship and how I always feel that we're stronger together rather than apart. Grace and Maggie have it down. And while Maggie is far spunkier than Grace, she did a little bit of learning of her own this story, very important learning. Sometimes it's harder to accept help than to give it, and she finds that out.

The Writing
I do believe Camille Eide has a gift with character development. Her story is about real people with real problems and fears, and yet all of the characters felt relatable in some way. I could like each of them for their own strengths, because those strengths far outweighed any weaknesses. Yep, there's romance and gushing and all of that good stuff, but it's tastefully written and tender rather than coarse. Ms. Eide has a good handle on how far is just far enough with the physical attraction thing.Well done.

Final Thoughts

I don't read a lot of contemporary writing, frankly because I like historic fiction better, but Like There's No Tomorrow impressed me more than I thought possible. Problems aren't all wrapped up and solved with a neat little bow like most novels I read. Some things don't go away, but this book is a good reminder that we can't simply stop living because we're afraid that something might happen. God doesn't want His children to live their lives in fear and timidity and I cheered when Emily finally moved past her own fear and started considering her future.

Like There's No Tomorrow is a terrific read, and I'm forever indebted to the friend who loaned it to me, and also slightly envious because she knows the author online. Lucky lady!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

A Fall Themed Evening Tea with Maple and Pecan Scones

There are just some days when you need to have an Afternoon Tea. We just turned ours into dinner, which we've done before, and this was just a time when we needed it. Enjoy! I'm sorry you couldn't join us.

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Remembering Tolkien

J. R. R. Tolkien
January 3rd, 1892 - September 2nd, 1973

My relationship with Tolkien began with a hobbit, one Bilbo Baggins by name. I was fourteen, browsing the shelves of my local library, and plucked an Alan Lee illustrated copy of The Hobbit from its space. My life is forever changed. Such a wide range of possibilities opened up, an entire new world of wonders. This lead to a glorious span of 4 years as The Lord of the Rings films were released where I eat, slept, and breathed everything Tolkien. Those years are long gone now, but my affection for this man and his stories will never fade.

Book Review: A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist (2009)

A Bride in the Bargain
Deeanne Gist
Bethany House Publishers

Official Backpage Synopsis

In 1860s Seattle, a man with a wife could secure himself 640 acres of timberland. But because of his wife's untimely death, Joe Denton finds himself about to lose half of his claim. Still in mourning, his best solution is to buy one of those Mercer girls arriving from the East. A woman he'll marry in name but keep around mostly as a cook.

Anna Ivey's journey west with Asa Mercer's girls is an escape from the griefs of her past. She's not supposed to be a bride, though, just a cook for the girls. But when they land, she's handed to Joe Denton and the two find themselves in a knotty situation. She refuses to wed him and he's about to lose his land. With only a few months left, can Joe convince this provoking--but beguiling--easterner to be his bride?

Go to my Historic Fiction page to find all my Christian historic fiction reviews!

My Take in 3 Parts

The Theme
Joe Denton needs a wife in order to keep from losing half of his land and Anna Ivey wants to start a new life away from all the mistakes of her past.

Along her journey, Anna does discover that she actually wasn't responsible for the death of her father while he served in the Civil War, nor did she make her brother run away to join the Union, or her mother to give up hope. She is not God and so she cannot possibly take responsibility for another person's actions.

Joe learns that it is just possible something else matters more than the land he loves so much.

Okay, there's the theme. I was really hoping for something more than just basic stuff, but really, this is it. Oh well.

The Characters
It took awhile, but I did finally reach the point of liking Anna. Not loving her, but at least liking her. She has a great capacity for compassion and loves to take care of others, a trait that I understand. However, she is incredibly foolish in her beliefs about other people and her beliefs about herself. She felt entirely too self-centered for her own good, making decisions for other people that she really didn't have a right to make. I also don't know why in the world she was assuming Joe only wanted to marry her because of  the land. Um, no, anyone reading could tell he wanted her.

And that's Joe's problem. All I got out of him is that he loved his land and lusted after Anna. His behavior towards her was entirely inappropriate most of the time, and way too gratuitous for a Christian romance. I felt myself inwardly cringing at times because of how he looked at her, or touched her, or kissed her. It felt . . . invasive. And yes, very crude.

And then you have the local doctor who helps both Joe and Anna. Doc Maynard would have been likeable. He's the founder of Seattle, got the ball rolling as it were, attends church with his lovely wife, is very fond of Anna and Joe. And he started the first whorehouse in Seattle. Which I'm sure he must have since he's an actual historical figure. Why even mention that? It feels like we're simply excusing that part of his life simply because he goes to church. I could not excuse him and so, frankly, even when he's doing "good" things for other people as a healer, I still couldn't let myself like him because I knew he brought prostitutes into Seattle. Such a fine, upstanding Christian man.

The Writing
While Deeanne Gist is an excellent writer, I just didn't like this book. I also feel it wasn't her best effort. A few of the plot points felt entirely too convenient, and overall it just felt rushed without anything of real long-lasting value added to the story.

Final Thoughts

This book really disappointed me. Just like in Fair Play, the lead characters were too focused on sins of the flesh. Faith of any kind was an after-thought. Oh, Anna prayed, but it was never in a "God, please lead my path, give me Your instruction, guide me to where You would have me go." No, it was never like that, it was always "God, give me strength as I tell him this." She never asked God for wisdom or anything, just prayed for strength to carry out her own choices. The only real spiritual advice she received was from Doc Maynard and you already know how I feel about him.

I'm finding that Deeanne Gist's books are really hit-or-miss with me. When she adds waaaaaaay too much sexual innuendo and heated looks and heat pooling in the back of stomachs, then I immediately start to lose interest. I'm not reading a trashy paperback, but a Christian romance. There needs to be a distinction and she doesn't quite make it.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Top Ten Literary Characters You Didn't Click With

So I've actually altered the name a little to be just literary characters because I really wanted to just blog about it on Bookshelves and not on Musings. It's part of a Top Ten Tuesdays theme and I found it on You, Me, and a Cup of Tea!

Gale Hawthorne in The Hunger Games
He was entirely too reckless for me to fully like, he was partially responsible for the death of a character I loved, and I was always a Peeta fan, so oh well.

Farid in Inkheart
I didn't mind him in Inkheart, but as the series of books progressed, he got stranger, his possessive love towards Meggie and his very weird obsession with Dustfinger really threw me off. Inkdeath made me happy on many levels, one of them being that Meggie choosing a much, much healthier match.

Sirius Black in The Harry Potter Series
He was a bad influence, a bully, and I didn't like him. In fact, his behavior, which I found deplorable, made me much more a Snape fan than I would have been otherwise.

Colonel Brandon in Sense and Sensibility
I actually feel bad about this one because I know that I should connect to him and I even like Alan Rickman. But I never click with Brandon, he was just sort of there, and that was it. He was nice and all that, but I felt like there should have been something else, something more. Plus, I never saw it working out between him and Marianne and I still hold to that belief. If there were ever a sequel written, I'm sure they would have been miserable.

Mary Poppins in, well, Mary Poppins
I feel good about adding her to this list because I'm talking about the literary character, not Julie Andrews who pretty much everybody loves, and rightly so. Mary Poppins in the book is self-centered, vain, and just all around unpleasant. It was quite an eye-opener and no mistake.

Galadriel in The Lord of the Rings
And when I say Galadriel, I really do mean both book and film. It's not that I ever disliked her, but I never fully understood her either, her motivations or her intent. We just never clicked, and she's one of the very few characters Tolkien wrote where I feel this disconnect. I even connect to Tom Bombadil!

 Thomas in The Maze Runner
I've read the first two books in the series and LOVE the movie. I don't know how such a bland lead character could suddenly have depth, but I suspect Dylan O'Brien had much to do with it. All of the male characters in the book felt much the same, reacting the same, speaking the same, etc. Thomas at least should have stood out from the rest, but he just didn't for me. The movie really helped!

Mycroft Holmes in Sherlock Holmes
And by Mycroft, I mean the character in the actual stories as written by Arthur Conan Doyle. None of the film adaptations that move him out of his time or change his personality. Mycroft and Sherlock are at once similar and dissimilar. I dislike Mycroft's lack of action. Yes, he's brilliant, but what use is that brilliance if he spends most of his time sitting in his gentleman's club? Sherlock at least gets out, solves crimes, and saves people's lives. He's active whereas Mycroft is passive and I'm less inclined to like passive characters unless I'm given a very good reason for doing so.

Young Caspian in Prince Caspian
I felt a complete and total disconnect from Caspian in his first book. I don't know if it was because he was a child, or simply the circumstances of the book, but Prince Caspian is one of my least favorite Narnian novels. As soon as Caspian grew up and started his Voyage of the Dawn Treader, I loved him. But he just didn't work in Prince Caspian for me.

Edward Rochester from Jane Eyre
Now, to be fair, I've only read half of this novel, and I was barely twenty when I did so. My perspective may have changed since then. But he seemed so arrogant and cold, and I could not stand his nickname for Jane, always calling her Janet. I don't mind him in film adaptations, sometimes even loving him like with Toby Stephens, so it's something about the way he's written in the novel that doesn't sit right with me. I'm planning to fully read it next year so my opinion may change, hopefully.