When I first started reading YA way back in 2008, the concept of a major character death horrified me. I hated them and I found them pointless. It used to annoy me so much that I put a lot of time and effort in to character and they basically died on me.
Fast-forward six years, I have come to be at peace with the death of a main character. Sometimes I even welcome the idea.
Every now and again, I think death is necessary. Especially when there is a huge conflict such as a war or a revolution happening in the book. I think if everyone comes out from these situations unscathed, the conflict in question was pointless to present itself in the first place. Also, if a character is taking numerous risks and death happens as a result of said risks, I am fine with that also. Risks don’t always pay off and I want that reflected in the realist way possible in my reads.
However, I am not okay with some character deaths and do be aware of some subjectivity about to come into play on my part. I think a character death needs to be justified. It is very rare that they are not but it is truly annoying when this does happens. Another pet peeve of mine is when a “catalyst character” dies. A character who is the whole reason for the books plot. I am not going to spoil anything, but you can probably guess which books I am referring to.
The most infuriating thing of all about character’s deaths regardless of my thoughts are the bi-products of them: the fans reaction. I think fans who attack authors over the deaths of their characters are too much. I think it is unfair on an author who can’t please everyone.