Some YA Guys You Should Know

Okay, so maybe you can’t actually “meet” these YA guys, but they’re definitely some fab characters you should “get to know.”  I originally meant for this to be a Top Ten Tuesday post, but I posted a review that day and ended up not having the time to write a second post.  So I guess it’s a Top Ten Sunday post 🙂

Anyway, I’m always on the hunt for books with guy appeal, so that’s how I’ve come across some of these characters.  I also appreciate laugh-out-loud funny books, and quite a few of these guys caused me to LOL.  I hope you enjoy my random Sunday post!

My Favorite YA Guys

Felton Reinstein–If you’ve been following my blog for the past year, then you are probably well aware of my love for Stupid Fast and Nothing Special.  If not, check out my reviews here and here.  In short, Geoff Herbach knows guys and he writes awesomely real guy characters.


Jace Witherspoon–Jace is another very real, very authentic character.  If you haven’t read Split by Swathi Avasthi, you need to move it to the top of your TBR pile.  His character will take you on a roller coaster of emotions.  I was hopeful, shocked, angry, protective, etc when I read Split.  (Here’s my review if you’re interested.)

Finley & Russ–Finley and Russ from Matthew Quick’s Boy 21 have to be listed together because they’re equally wonderful.  Finley is the narrator, but he’s very quiet and simply doesn’t talk much.  He’s also very loyal to his family, his girlfriend, his basketball team, and his coach.  He’s a character you cheer for and grow attached to.  Russ is suffering after the death of his parents and refers to himself as Boy 21, a person who will be going back to space any day now.  He and Finley are paired up for a variety of reasons.  They’re journey together and growing friendship is heartwarming and heartbreaking.  (My review)

Tom Raines–Insignia is a fantastic sci-fi debut, most of which is due to Tom Raines as the main character.  He’s very funny and very relateable, even if he’s a superhuman war machine later in the novel (Don’t worry, I didn’t spoil that. It’s in the summary.).  As a teacher, it’s easy for me to hand this book to the right guys in class because I know exactly which guys and which types of guys will enjoy Tom Raines and this book. (I reviewed this as well.)

Chuck Taylor–I didn’t end up reviewing Lexapros and Cons, and I’m really not sure why I didn’t, but it’s a seriously funny book.  It’s also full of sexual innuendo, straight up sex jokes, and foul language, but none of that kept me from enjoying it.  All of those factors are what made the book and the main character, Chuck Taylor, so funny.  He suffers from OCD, and this book navigates us through his life as he tries to deal with his disorder.  Despite the language and jokes, I’ve added Aaron Karo’s book to my class library because Chuck Taylor is a character that my guys in class will relate to and enjoy.  Here’s the link to the Lexapros and Cons Goodreads page.

Jasper (Jazz) Dent–Jazz Dent has some serious issues courtesy of his serial killer father.  He grew up with a father who taught him how to be a serial killer, and now with his dad in jail, there’s another serial killer on the loose in Jazz’s town.  Jazz ends up getting involved with the case, which stirs up an overadunance of emotions and memories he’d rather forget.  I like Jazz’s character because he’s witty, smart, vulnerable, and not wholly trustable.  I spent most of the book second-guessing what he did and said, which is a big reason why I like the book.  It kept me on my toes the entire time I read it.  (My review of I Hunt Killers)

Travis–Something Like Normal is a top notch book with a spot-on male protagonist.  I love it when flawed characters are written well, and I love it even more when those flawed characters can find their way to self-acceptance.  So many readers, male and female, will appreciate and love this book.  I know my guys in class will love it, so my class library will have multiple copies of Something Like Normal this coming school year.  (My review)

Ron Weasley–Is it safe to assume that we all know (and maybe love) Ron Weasley?  I know he isn’t the star of Harry Potter, but I simply adore him.  I can’t help but love the underdog, especially when he’s kind of dorky and pretty funny.

Tiny Cooper–Have you read Will Grayson, Will Grayson yet?  It’s one of those books that I wish more of my students would read because it’s just so good.  And funny.  And poignant.  I appreciate you, Tiny Cooper.  (My review)

Arnold “Junior” Spirit–I can’t finish this list without including Junior from The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-Time Indian.  His description of himself within the first few pages of the book had me snorting with laughter.  The illustrations that depict his life are charming and insightful.  The hardships he faces made me teary a number of times throughout the book.  If you haven’t read Sherman Alexie’s fantastic novel yet, I really hope you do soon.


  1. Great list. I need to read I Hunt Killers & Insignia looks like one to get.

  2. Good list!

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