In continuing with this week’s blog circus, today’s topic is the year’s top boy/girl characters from YA fiction. I enjoy writing male POV stories, so I read a lot of male POV stories (or maybe it’s the other way ’round, huh?). Anyway, for that reason, my list is a compilation of the most memorable YA guys I read about this year. Again, I’m not sure that all these books came out in 2011, but most did. I’m also fairly sure that not all of these books were published as YA, but they all feature teen protagonists, so I’m including them.
So without further ado, meet my
millionaires favorite YA guys!
1. Pierre Anthon from Nothing by Janne Teller
Pierre Anthon says it:
“Nothing matters,” he announced. “I’ve known that for a long time. So nothing’s worth doing. I just realized that.”
Too bad no one listens to him. Everyone throws rotten fruit at Pierre Anthon and then things get really weird….
2. Jack from The Marbury Lens by Andrew Smith
A professor of mine once told me that to be a teenager is to be psychotic, an observation I agree with wholeheartedly. I think there are a lot of ways to interpret Jack’s story, but whether you see his connection to Marbury as a trauma reaction, as the forces of an intrapsychic world come to life, or as something more fantastic altogether, Jack’s complexity, frailty, and depth make his bleak story memorably compelling.
3. Zach from Last Night I Sang to the Monster by Benjamin Alire Sáenz
Oh, man, if there was one character who broke my heart this year, it was Zach. It’s something in his voice, his honesty, his sorrow. Zach wakes up in rehab and doesn’t/doesn’t want to remember why he’s there. But LAST NIGHT I SANG TO THE MONSTER isn’t anything close to your standard rehab book; instead it’s a book about a most amazing and difficult type of friendship and the ways in which people try (and fail) to heal themselves.
4. Toby from Citrus County by John Brandon
Uh oh. It’s hard to talk about this book without saying too much. It’s a disturbing read, which I like. Toby is a difficult character, which I also like. You might hate me if you read this book. Carry on.
5. Wes from Everything Happens Today by Jesse Browner
Aww, Wes. He keeps getting compared to Holden Caulfield, which I can see: EVERYTHING HAPPENS TODAY follows one day in the life (and mind and heart and everything else) of an angsty Manhattan prep school kid. Wes is in love but he’s lost his virginity to someone other than the object of his affection. His mother is dying of cancer. He cooks food. He has a dog. Wes feels all the feelings and it’s his strong voice and philosophical meanderings that carry this book.
See what characters other writers enjoyed…