Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Best of 2011: Best YA Girls & Boys

This is the second day of Sarah Enni's best of 2011 series, and today's topic is the top 5 girls and top 5 boys in YA this year. I actually found this challenging! I'm sort of particular about characters who actually stick with me. Plots and emotions and prose tend to hook me more than the actual characters. But I looked through the books I read, and picked out the characters who stuck with me the most.

Alex from Ashes by Ilsa J. Bick. 
She was just generally badass, and as a bonus, she wasn't cold and heartless in the process. She was just a really well-rounded and relatable character.

Karou from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor. 
If I could actually become any character I've read this year, I think she's the one I'd choose.

Sophie from Demonglass by Rachel Hawkins.
Yeah, I'm including a couple characters on these lists who are in sequels that came out this year, even if I met the characters last year. (Or before.) Sophie is witty and hilarious and I cannot imagine reading this series with any other narrator. 

Grace from Like Mandarin by Kirsten Hubbard.
So I know that it seems like the obvious choice for a character to love from this book would be Mandarin. And yeah, Mandarin rocks. But the reason I love Grace so much is that I felt like I could be her. She is the awkwardness and uncertainty of that age, where you feel like everyone else has got it figured out but you.

Calla from Wolfsbane by Andrea Cremer.
What I actually like about Calla is that she's flawed in a very realistic way. She was in Nightshade, and she kept it on in this sequel. She doesn't always make the perfect choices, but you always understand why she does what she does. And I like that. She's also a strong character, and I like that too.

Balthazar from Afterlife by Claudia Gray.
This is definitely kind of cheating, because I've loved Balthazar for four books now, but I did read Afterlife this year, so I'm counting it. I don't know what it is about him, specifically, that I like so much, but Balthazar is one of my favorite characters in any book. Ever.

Will from Angelfire by Courtney Moulton.
Will is very badass, but also very sweet and very dedicated. Which makes him a particularly awesome YA love interest. 

Otto from A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan.
Otto isn't a love interest in this book (although I like to imagine that maybe if the book had kept on, there could have been something there). He also isn't human. And he is a great character. My favorite from this book. 

Akiva from Daughter of Smoke and Bone by Laini Taylor.
This book definitely featured a bit of instalove, and yet, I did not care at all. Because I would probably instalove Akiva too.

Sean from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater.
I don't know what it was about Sean that I liked, but when I read this, I found myself looking forward to the parts narrated from his POV. 


Chanelle said...

Great list! Agree with you on a lot of the above books.

Petra @ Safari Poet said...

I have a soft spot for Bathazar as well. Looking forward to reading his story next year.

Angelica R. Jackson said...

I loved Sean in the Scorpio Races, but I have learned that the strong-but-silent types can be a bit annoying in real life. Most of the time I appreciate that trait in my husband, but on the loooooong car trips it's maddening.