I've saved my favorite character category for last, because any of you that really follow me on my blog or Twitter know that I really, really, REALLY love YA boys. I made my male character post earlier, that focused on the overall character. This one? The Hotties? It is purely the sex appeal. It takes more than some well placed words to make a boy drool worthy and hot, and it isn't as easy as you'd think. So the first part of this post is dedicated to the authors with the seriously hot boys that drove me wild.
Up after the Hotties are my Top Ten Debuts. I know most of these lists were 5, but debut authors are a force to be reckoned with in YA. Some of the nicest authors I've talked to are debuts, because they are so, incredibly, amazingly grateful to bloggers. That isn't to say authors with books already out aren't, but there is just something about the debut community. They have to set themselves out there, and show their talent, and for that reason, I'm doing the ten debuts of the 40 I read that really struck me.
1. Adrian (Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead): From the first time he walked onto the page and said 'Hey little dhampir,' Adrian has had my heart. He is the epitome of sardonic playboy and I have yet to meet a boy that makes me swoon as much as him, as I metaphorically drag him to the bedroom. Just picture buzzed Adrian with that sexy little grin, and you know you want him too.
2. Wesley (The DUFF by Kody Keplinger): Don't hate the player, hate the game, because Wesley Rush is one sexy boy. He's a smooth talker, with the cocky lilt lacing every word he uses to get a girl in bed. Wesley Rush doesn't chase girls, because they find him, and for good reason.
3. Will (Firelight by Sophie Jordan): Sexy Man Musk Hunter Boy. Not sure much else is needed there. A boy that can make a girl literally steam (with good reason), drives a Hummer, and is well equipped (With weapons. Geez.) is a total hottie.
4. Ren (Nightshade by Andrea Cremer): Ren is everything sexy the term 'Alpha male' exudes. Dominant and powerful, aggressive in just the right ways to be a total turn on, and willing to go for what he wants. Holy crap, I wouldn't mind being pinned on a bathroom sink with this boy.
5. Cole (Linger by Maggie Stiefvater): Drugged out rockstar? Yes please. Sexy and naked? Also yes please. No, really. He spends much of the book naked. He doesn't hold back, he's reckless in the unpredictable basically sexy kind of way. Cole is like sex on a stick, and take the stick to mean what you want and apply it to this post and there you go.
1. Paranormalcy by Kiersten White: Fresh and original, funny and unique. Fantastic writing, distinct voice, and a very sprightly main character that is as bold and individual as they come. This one set the bar incredibly high for the genre, and though I love my steam and spice in a book, and have no qualms with language, this one is clean in the best way, without being a purposely smack in the face but simply being the world and character.
2. Freefall by Mindi Scott: Everything a contemporary should be. Issues and coming of age and pain and frustration, with some romance, family ties, and humor. A fantastic voice with some seriously smooth writing, and a great pace make this one one of my all time favorite reads.
3. Firelight by Sophie Jordan: Dragons. Hot boys. A main character who isn't perfect and isn't the star at school. A girl who had so much going for her and is suddenly literally uncomfortable in her skin. There is so much in this one, written so well and played out so perfectly. There is a strong romantic element but the worldbuilding behind it clearly well thought out. Not to mention, the steam....
4. The DUFF by Kody Keplinger: The striking romance in this one aside, Kody deserves so much recognition for facing body issues head on. She doesn't just give Bianca a hot boy to suddenly feel better about herself. Bianca learns to love herself in some very well done ways, and the character development in this book is phenomenal. There are several issues at hand, each one having its own purpose and space without being overbearing. The balance throughout is just fantastic.
5. Tell Me a Secret by Holly Cupala: I could not put this book down. I felt so many emotions reading it and this is one that sent my mind running with what ifs. Absolutely stunning and poignant, this one handles the issue of teenage pregnancy without holding anything back. The writing is stunning, and the story overall is just... amazing.
6. Split by Swati Avasthi: One of the biggest things when it comes to domestic violence that people think of is escape. Automatically, we tend to think the easiest thing. Once someone is out of that situation, they're better. That's not true, and Split does a guttingly real job of showing this. Jace is a mess if there ever was one, and this is another book I read in one sitting because I could not put it down. Read it. Learn from it. There is some pretty gut twisting content, but just because you don't read it doesn't mean it's not real. This one is painful in its realism, but so incredibly worth it.
7. Dirty Little Secrets by C. J. Omololu: For one, I love the ending of this one. Shocking, yes, but completely understandable. The mindset of this main character is so easy to fall into, and so easy to get. The fear and embarrassment prevail in an almost poignant way, and the issues this protagonist faces are like nothing else I've read.
8. Everlasting by Angie Frazier: This is one that made me realize historical shouldn't be an automatic turn off. I don't have a particular zest, in general, for historical fiction, but the writing in this one has such a great modern note while still easily building the world at hand. Add in the great characters and the supernatural element, and it really was a hit for me.
9. Bleeding Violet by Dia Reeves: Hilarious and demented and perfectly, deliciously twisted. For one, Dia Reeves does not hold back and I have so much respect for her on that front. She throws sex and language and possibly uncomfortable situations into her book and just runs with it. I found so much humor in this book, but amidst that is some pretty deep stuff. There is a great blend of character focus mixed with the monsters and worldbuilding. Add in the fantastic setting, and this one just needs to be read.
10. The Tension of Opposites by Kristina McBride: Maybe photography is a cliche, but Kristina uses it in such a beautiful way here. It plays into this one so perfectly, and is almost a character in and of itself with how it's used. The romance is perfectly pitched, and the give and take between the two friends is so heartbreaking, but so realistic. This one is such a great blend of light and dark and the overall nature of the book fits the title in so many ways.