Random Tuesday: Thinky Thoughts on Male Character Types in YA Fiction

Wow, that blog title sounds like an academic paper I wrote in a parallel lifetype where I didn't write research papers on the sociological reasons behind fan fiction. Anyway...

I don’t know if it’s because I read a lot of YA and YA tends to have female protagonists, but all these girls are starting to run together. They almost always fall squarely into one of two categories: the strong, determined type or the whiney, please-save-me type. Sometimes the strong ones have moments of weakness, but they rarely fall at the feet of a guy or wait around for someone to solve their problems (even if this leads to bad decision making). They could be further divided into other categories, sure, but the differences start feeling like you're splicing hairs to create diversity that isn’t really there.

Guys in these same YA books are harder to fit into just two categories. Yes, there are the strong ones and the whiney ones, but there seems to be more variety involved in creating love interests and/or side characters to support the main female protagonist that isn’t shown as often when developing a leading female. I suppose I could easily split the boys into two categories – asshats versus not asshats – but not being an asshat can come in many different forms.

Luckily my recent reading streak has led me away from the insufferable asshat love interests that drove me crazy in Hush, Hush, and of course, Twilight. Even Jace became more tolerable during the fourth book in The Mortal Instruments series than he was in the original trilogy. I also have a hard time loving the too perfect, can-do-no-wrong love interests like Xavier from Alexandra Adornetto's Halo series. Instead I’ve been presented with a fairly varied group of guys that range from sarcastic sidekick to loveable zombies (seriously). So here I present to you a recently compiled list of my five favorite types of male YA characters.

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