The 5 Guys You'll Meet in YA Fiction:
A Guest Post by Stephanie Fleshman
According to GalleyCat, YA eBook revenues increased 120.9% last year. The great news is whatever YA male character types keep you reading, it's unlikely you'll run out of books anytime soon. After a while contemplating my favorite YA reads, I noticed a pattern when it came to the male heroes in these stories. Without further ado, here's a run-down of the 5 guys you're likely to meet when reading a Young Adult novel...
Guy #1: The Broken and Vulnerable
When I think of vulnerable, two characters come to mind: Sam from Maggie Stiefvater’s Wolves of Mercy Falls series and Cabel from Lisa McMann’s Wake series. Cabel is doused with gasoline, then set on fire by his alcoholic father. He wants to be loved, yet is scared. What makes him strong in a not-in-your-face kind of way is that he wants to love. His lack of resentment and hate is what makes him attractive.
Guy #2: The Abusive
Guy #3: The Obsessive
- Protective: Capable of or intended to protect someone or something.
- Overprotective: Having a tendency to protect someone, esp. a child, excessively.
- Obsessive: Of, relating to, characteristic of, or causing an obsession; Excessive in degree or nature.
Guy #4: The DominantA good example of this type of YA male lead character is Patch from Becca Fitzpatrick’s Hush, Hush series. Patch is 100% boy. He’s self-confident, strong, and stands his ground against Nora. Though he is dominating, I don’t believe it’s in a harmful or abusive manner.
In the second book, you get to see more into his heart as he begins to really care for Nora’s well-being.
By the third book, he’s thinking of Nora’s safety and how he can stay with her. He sacrifices what he wants in order to protect her and their relationship, which seems non-existent to Nora by this stage. Not everything is what it seems, though.
Other good examples are Alex from Simone Elkeles’s Perfect Chemistry and Avi from the same author's How to Ruin series.
Guy #5: The LovableI’m going to start with Koldan from my own YA novel, Render. Koldan is firm but not so dominating that he feels the need to control. He’s confident and strong, but recognizes his weaknesses. He’s romantic in the sense that he will do whatever it takes to keep Raya safe, even if it means risking his own life. And he’s not afraid to show his feelings for Raya.
Now, I cannot move forward without mentioning Holder from Hopeless by Colleen Hoover. Thirteen years! Thirteen!!! That’s all I’m going to say. Those of you who have read Hopeless know exactly what I’m talking about. For those of you who haven’t, there’s nothing about this guy not to love.
Now I've got a question for you: What's your favorite YA male character type?
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Stephanie Fleshman graduated with a degree in psychology and has family throughout the United States as well as in Thessaloniki and Athens, Greece. Visit Stephanie on her website, Twitter, Facebook, or GoodReads.