YA Novels with Male Protagonists

I read a lot of young adult novels. In fact, 95% of what I read is in the young adult genre. What I’ve noticed over the years is that there aren’t a lot of male protagonists. Sure, there are some male main characters, but most of the time the story isn’t focused on them. Often times it is a girl narrating the story or, if it’s in third person, the narrator focuses on the girl more than the guy.

We need more male protagonists in the YA genre. Everyone should have a protagonist they can relate to, and that means boys as well. I came up with a list of books that have a male main characters. The sad thing is, I had a lot of trouble compiling a list because there are so few books with male protagonists that I’ve read. This goes to show that either 1) I’m more interested in books with female protagonists or 2) the world needs more YA books with male main characters.


(If you want to check out more about the book, I linked their respective Goodreads page to the photo of their cover.)

(Also, all the blurbs were taken directly from Goodreads.)

(P.P.S. I like all these books and definitely recommend them to everyone. Especially Six of Crows.)

(P.P.P.S. Okay I’ll stop talking.)

Steelheart by Brandon Sanderson – David

Image result for steelheart brandon sandersonTen years ago, Calamity came. It was a burst in the sky that gave ordinary men and women extraordinary powers. The awed public started calling them Epics. But Epics are no friend of man. With incredible gifts came the desire to rule. And to rule man you must crush his will.

Nobody fights the Epics…nobody but the Reckoners. A shadowy group of ordinary humans, they spend their lives studying Epics, finding their weaknesses, and then assassinating them.

And David wants in. He wants Steelheart — the Epic who is said to be invincible. The Epic who killed David’s father. For years, like the Reckoners, David’s been studying, and planning — and he has something they need. Not an object, but an experience.

He’s seen Steelheart bleed. And he wants revenge.

Carry On by Rainbow Rowell – Simon Snow

28040-1429820340604Simon Snow is the worst chosen one who’s ever been chosen.

That’s what his roommate, Baz, says. And Baz might be evil and a vampire and a complete git, but he’s probably right.

Half the time, Simon can’t even make his wand work, and the other half, he sets something on fire. His mentor’s avoiding him, his girlfriend broke up with him, and there’s a magic-eating monster running around wearing Simon’s face. Baz would be having a field day with all this, if he were here—it’s their last year at the Watford School of Magicks, and Simon’s infuriating nemesis didn’t even bother to show up.

Me and Earl, and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews – Greg Gaines

9781742378343Greg Gaines is the last master of high school espionage, able to disappear at will into any social environment. He has only one friend, Earl, and together they spend their time making movies, their own incomprehensible versions of Coppola and Herzog cult classics.

Until Greg’s mother forces him to rekindle his childhood friendship with Rachel.

Rachel has been diagnosed with leukemia—-cue extreme adolescent awkwardness—-but a parental mandate has been issued and must be obeyed. When Rachel stops treatment, Greg and Earl decide the thing to do is to make a film for her, which turns into the Worst Film Ever Made and becomes a turning point in each of their lives.

And all at once Greg must abandon invisibility and stand in the spotlight.

Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs – Jacob Portman

Image result for miss peregrine's home bookA mysterious island. An abandoned orphanage. A strange collection of curious photographs.

A horrific family tragedy sets sixteen-year-old Jacob journeying to a remote island off the coast of Wales, where he discovers the crumbling ruins of Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. As Jacob explores its abandoned bedrooms and hallways, it becomes clear that the children were more than just peculiar. They may have been dangerous. They may have been quarantined on a deserted island for good reason. And somehow—impossible though it seems—they may still be alive.

More Happy Than Not by Adam Silvera – Aaron Soto

Image result for more happy than notThe Leteo Institute’s revolutionary memory-relief procedure seems too good to be true to Aaron Soto – miracle cure-alls don’t tend to pop up in the Bronx projects. But Aaron can’t forget how he’s grown up poor or how his friends aren’t always there for him. Like after his father committed suicide in their one bedroom apartment. Aaron has the support of his patient girlfriend, if not necessarily his distant brother and overworked mother, but it’s not enough.

Then Thomas shows up. He has a sweet movie-watching setup on his roof, and he doesn’t mind Aaron’s obsession with a popular fantasy series. There are nicknames, inside jokes. Most importantly, Thomas doesn’t mind talking about Aaron’s past. But Aaron’s newfound happiness isn’t welcome on his block. Since he’s can’t stay away from Thomas or suddenly stop being gay, Aaron must turn to Leteo to straighten himself out, even if it means forgetting who he is.

Six of Crows series by Leigh Bardugo – Kaz Brekker, Jesper, Wylan, Matthias

IMG_4551-0Criminal prodigy Kaz Brekker has been offered wealth beyond his wildest dreams. But to claim it, he’ll have to pull off a seemingly impossible heist:

Break into the notorious Ice Court
(a military stronghold that has never been breached)

Retrieve a hostage
(who could unleash magical havoc on the world)

Survive long enough to collect his reward
(and spend it)

Kaz needs a crew desperate enough to take on this suicide mission and dangerous enough to get the job done – and he knows exactly who: six of the deadliest outcasts the city has to offer. Together, they just might be unstoppable – if they don’t kill each other first.


Until next time….



17 thoughts on “YA Novels with Male Protagonists

  1. noreadstoogreat 10/15/2017 / 12:02 pm

    Thank you for bringing this up. I have noticed this as well, and it is a shame. Mixed gender POVs are also good because it provides everyone with a character they can relate to. The Maze Runner was also a good male POV book!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/15/2017 / 2:29 pm

      That’s true! That’s why I love books with multiple perspectives. 😊
      I totally forgot about The Maze Runner. That is probably one of the only YA books I’ve read that has predominantly male characters.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Marta 10/15/2017 / 2:16 pm

    Most of the books I’ve read also have girls as their protagonists. That’s great, but we should always have both. I’ve read Carry On, Miss Peregrine and Me, and Earl and the Dying Girl and I really liked them (me & earl & the dying girl not as much :/ ). I also think the Percy Jackson books have awesome guys! 🙂 Great post!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/15/2017 / 2:39 pm

      I agree that Percy Jackson has some great male characters! I think it’s because both girls and guys could relate to at least one character that the series is so popular. Plus, who doesn’t like Greek mythology? 😄

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Sydney @ Fire and Rain Books 10/15/2017 / 4:31 pm

    What a great point! I don’t see a ton of YA coming of age stories which is a shame because boys have to come to age as well! And boys can have feelings (gasp) and problems and feel insecure. Another thing I’ve noticed is that the blogosphere is generally female. Maybe the lack of YA novels with a male protagonist is part of that?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jessica 10/15/2017 / 5:41 pm

      Possibly… Kind of going off of what you said, I feel like there are more YA female protagonists because YA readers tend to be female, so in order to appeal to the largest audience authors have female main characters in their stories. But that doesn’t mean the male population shouldn’t be represented. I never thought of the blog aspect, though. That probably plays a big role in why there are so many female protagonists 🤔

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Loretta @ The Laughing Listener 10/15/2017 / 4:44 pm

    I love this! I’ve noticed this too and I completely agree!! I remember reading the Percy Jackson series and thinking about this a lot, because there really should be more representation. I love this list, I added some new books to my tbr mountain!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/15/2017 / 5:50 pm

      I find that there’s a lot more male protagonists in the middle grade genre than the YA genre. I’m not entirely sure why, but I hope in the near future we will get more books with male protagonists! 😊

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/16/2017 / 10:30 am

      It’s a pretty awesome book! Hope you enjoy it as much as I did 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Michelle 10/17/2017 / 3:09 pm

    This is such a great list 🌸
    I loved Carry On, More Happy Than Not and Me, Early and The Dying Girl. All of Patrick Ness’ books have male main characters and I think his books are really really great, I’d definitely recommend The Chaos Walking Trilogy, The Rest of Us Just Live Here and A Monster Calls, basically anything by him!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Jessica 10/17/2017 / 3:28 pm

      I’ve read A Monster Calls and it’s one of my favorite books of all time! I’ve got to check out the rest of Patrick Ness’s books now. Thanks for recommending them 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Liz 03/31/2019 / 4:24 pm

    And then there’s the one that basically started the whole genre of YA: The Outsiders :).

    I’ve been writing YA and upper MG from primarily male protagonist POVs for years now and have yet to find an agent, though several have really liked my writing. One of the other roadblocks seems to be the character’s age: it’s really, really difficult to find a market for a book about a 14-15 year old boy who’s going through the kinds of difficult things that you’d find in a YA book. If his life sucks in a realistic way, he’d better be at least 16, hahah. And if he’s under 16, he’d better be more like 13 and not be thinking about things like sex, drugs, etc.

    There are exceptions, of course, but generally speaking, it’s not easy to find a place on the shelf for a YA book about a younger teen boy.

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s