Something still makes my blood boil when I think of Squirrelflight. I think I hate her more than I've ever hated a fictional character before or since besides Anders from Dragon Age
I hate her personality, how unanimously loved she was by the whole Clan, her carelessness being constantly brushed off and left unpunished in TNP, and how even the narrative constantly shoved “WOW DON'T YOU LOVE SQUIRRELFLIGHT!” vibes at the reader constantly. I hate her…I HATE her…oh sweet StarClan I hate her.
I think the Erins have a bit of a bad habit of trying too hard to make readers like characters, when often they're very flawed or just generally not very likeable. I found this to be the case with both Squirrelflight and Ashfur; admittedly I did actually used to be quite a big fan of Ashfur, but grew to dislike him as a character when the narrative of the books seemed to be trying to portray him as being misunderstood and having done nothing wrong. It was his more deranged side that was his most interesting characteristic, so the fact that was downplayed so much to try and make him look like one of the good guys was frustrating.
I agree, though I fell for the Ashfur apologism hook line and sinker at the time. I was angry with the direction they took his character in and in retrospect the way he was portrayed as a pretty terrible person juxtaposed with the “but it wasn't THAT bad!” stuff was just nooot good writing. Most of the Erins' “DON'T YOU JUST LOVE THIS CHARACTER” writing was more straightforward “look at how heroic and strong and cool this protagonist is” stuff though. It's annoying but Squirrelflight was the only one of such characters I actively hated.