Welcome to the 7th weekly I HEART YA Blog Carnival! I HEART YA is a Blog Carnival for readers, writers, and lovers of young adult fiction. Every Tuesday there will be a blogging prompt that celebrates my favorite reading genre --YA fiction. Bloggers are invited to write their own take on the topic and post a link in the comment section, or if you prefer just put your thoughts in the comments. Either way, if you own a blog, grab the button to show your pride, and add your link to the list below. If you're not sure what to do, go to the I HEART YA tab for more details.
I have to admit that I had a hard time with this week's topics. Not that there aren't plenty of fun male characters in YA fiction. But honestly they're mostly the love interests or backup players (ie. Team Edward, Team Jacob, Team Peeta, etc.) and I promised we'd do protagonists, which means they've got to be the main character, not the heartthrob. (So in case you're wondering about next week's topic...Go Team!) But for today, I want to look at ya books that have males as the main character.
So as I began looking at lists and thinking about the books I've read, it became pretty obvious that there are a lot more female protagonists than male in ya fiction. I'm not absolutely sure why, but I'm betting it has something to do with the ratio of female to male authors.
I didn't think that would be a problem for this carnival, there are still plenty of books to choose from. But here's where I had a big "ah-ha" moment. While there are plenty of books with male protagonists that I love, I can't say that I'm wild about many of the protagonists.
There is, of course, Harry Potter. And I dare say there aren't a lot of folks that don't love Harry.
But after that it gets harder for me. I enjoyed the Fablehaven books by Brandon Mull, (though there are two protagonists that share equal billing, a girl and a boy), I found Seth a little annoying. I recently finished Variant, by Robison Wells, and while I really enjoyed the book, I realized there wasn't much characterization to Benson. He was a good guy, and I did cheer him on, I just didn't feel like I got to know him very well. Same with James Dashner's Maze.
In fact, I had to go all the way to Lois Lowry's The Giver to think of another male protagonist that I really loved. And guess what it has in common with Potter? They're both written by women. Hmmm...I think I might be on to something,
I do get that men who write about boys are going to worry more about action than feelings, and I'm okay with that as long as they tell a good story. But if anybody asks, here's what I want in my male protagonists, whether they're created by a woman or a man: I want them humble. I want them smart. I want them compassionate. Mostly I want them interesting. I want to get to know them with all their foibles and insecurities and still love them and cheer for them.
There's a fabulous list of male protagonists by Realm of Words, if you need a little brain nudge. (I ALWAYS need a brain nudge).
Okay, so what about you? Are there enough male protagonists, and how do you like them?
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