YMMV: The Casual Vacancy

  • American Critics Hate the Casual Vacancy: While reviews for the book have been mixed everywhere, American book critics seem to slide more to the negative side, what with the book being far more about British issues and leaving certain intricacies of UK life unexplained for the foreign reader. American fans, on the other hand, are simply divided.
  • Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy: With an extremely mundane premise and a cast of characters that range from extremely pathetic to pure evil, many have found it very difficult to become attached to any of the characters, and thus care about the story's conclusion.
  • Jerkass Woobie: Krystal and her mother Terri.
  • Memetic Mutation: Some of the racier quotes like "miraculously unguarded vagina" are kinda hilarious when taken out-of-context because Rowling wrote them. Naturally, the Internet became flooded with fanfics like Harry Potter and the Miraculously Unguarded Vagina within hours of Vacancy's embargo lifting.
  • One-Scene Wonder: Absent for most of the book and barely mentioned, Patricia Mollison's brief appearance near the end of the book has a large impact. The revelation that she walked in on her father being orally pleasured by his assistant Maureen years ago, passed on via The_Ghost_of_Barry_Fairbrother, likely causes Howard's second and near fatal heart attack and his wife's near attempt to kill him in a fit of rage just beforehand.
  • Spoiled by the Format:
  • The Woobie: Sukhvinder, who is dyslexic, has hair growing on her upper lip, and is The Unfavorite in her family. Fats ridicules her constantly at school, calling her a hermaphrodite and a lesbian, and sends her mocking pictures and messages on Facebook. Her mother is emotionally abusive because of Sukhvinder's poor school performance and her father, while loving, doesn't seem to expect much of her when compared to her siblings. Krystal Weedon, a former friend from her rowing team, turns against her when Sukhvinder's mother is accused of being the cause of Nana Cath's death, and threatens to have her gang beat her up. To cap it off, Sukhvinder spends her nights cutting herself and wishing she were dead.
    • Krystal counts for most of the book, at least until she negligently leaves Robbie by himself so she can have sex with Fats, and Robbie falls into the river and drowns. Even then, she almost still counts, since the reason Robbie was with her at all was because she found Obbo alone with him, and was desperate to keep Robbie safe, so she took him with her.
      • Even then she'd still count since the only reason she was going to have sex with Fats was to try and get pregnant and therefore be more eligible for assistance in order for herself and Robbie to leave their mother's. The only way she could think of getting out of her situation was a stupid plan, but she was basically teetering on the Despair Event Horizon and jumped straight off it when Robbie died.