Within the fandom, people who like Karen Brewer are few and far between. Usually, when a character is unpopular among readers, it’s on purpose: the character was written to be unpopular, to provide a foil and a challenge to the more positive characters of the novel. This is not the case with Karen Brewer, though. It’s a well-known fact that Ann is a big fan of Karen–enough of a fan, in fact, to give Karen her own series.
So if the author loves her, why do so many fans hate Karen? I know that for me, personally, it’s because I don’t like kids very much at all, and the kids I can tolerate are of the quiet, seen-and-not-heard variety. Noisy Karen, who needs attention and is always correcting everyone and making up stupid stories and demanding that everyone play with her? Not my kind of kid. But obviously some people do like children for the most part, and still hate Karen. Now, in lots of other children’s books, I like precocious, loquacious, mischievious kids. Pippi. Eloise. But Karen seems to view the world in such rigid standards (No, you CANNOT say something that way!) that she just comes off as abrasive. And I suppose that like with many parents with terribly annoying children, Ann, as Karen’s parent, loves her more than anybody else is capable of.
What are your thoughts? Why do you think Karen is so unpopular if Ann loves her so?
Today I was struck with a sudden thought. If you didn’t watch The Paper, go and watch the show on the site I just linked and then come back.
OK. Amanda Lorber=Karen Brewer in high school, yes?
edit: for non-USA readers, here’s a link to where you can watch the show.
I’ve been reading a lot of LS recently, and I have to say, I really like Karen. I thought she was pretty annoying before I started reading LS, mostly because I found Ben Brewer/Let’s All Come In tiresome. I like Karen a lot now though, and feel that a lot of people in LS treat her pretty unfairly. Kristy, for example, is a lot nicer to Karen in BSC than in LS, and I find that Watson and Lisa are often not sympathetic to the fact that a divorce is pretty hard for a little kid to deal with.
Why do so many people hate Karen? If you are a Karen-hater, have you ever read LS? I promise you, if you went and got a LS lot on ebay and read some Karen books, you’d like her a lot more. Trust. In her own books I find her funny and sassy and she recognizes and admits her own faults, or when she’s done something wrong. BSC fans tend to be really harsh toward her–she’s only seven years old, six in some books! Cut her some slack.
In other news, this weekend a big project will begin. Or rebegin, to be more accurate. So watch this space, yo.
Karen Brewer is not a fan favorite. In fact, I would go so far as to call her a fan unfavorite. As I was working my way through my little sister ebay lot, however, my opinion on Karen began to change. It seems to me that it’s not only the fans who hate Karen and think she’s obnoxious, it’s everyone else around her too. While in the BSC books, Kristy seems like the perfect big sister, in the LS books she often seems impatient with Karen. It is interesting to contrast how characters are portrayed in LS v. BSC. Andrew is more bratty in LS, as is Hannie. You definitely feel sorrier for Karen in LS than in BSC.
What are your opinions on character differences in BSC and LS?