I'm reading a book right now set in the Amana Colonies. (They in themselves make for a unique and interesting setting for those tired of the usual Amish bonnet stories.) One of the two lead characters, Berta, is driving me mad. She is such a spoiled, deceitful, disrespectful girl that I want to slap her...hard. On one hand, when you are meant to dislike a character, this can be a stellar achievement for a writer. Creating a character that people so connect with and personalize that they hate them is difficult to do. More so, I think, than creating a character that people love.
Back when we were writing fanfiction together, one of my favorite authors--Jennifer Hudock--wrote a character called Perpetua who I grew to loathe. So much that when a friend issued a challenge in a writers group both Jenn and I belong to to write a story about a character you disliked, I chose not one of the usual fanfiction characters, but her Perpetua. In my story I took all my frustration out on the woman, leaving her alone and miserable while flaunting the happy ever afters of the men she had manipulated and hurt right under her nose. I think Jenn got a kick out of the fact that she'd written a character that could elicit such strong feeling from someone... at least that's what she said.
Does this mean I'm praising the author's wretched little wench, Berta? No. I'm pretty sure at some point I'm supposed to like her or sympathize with her but personally I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to stand the little brat long enough to finish the book.