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.

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Me and Earl and the Dying Girl

Just a fair warning: this review may contain spoilers. Read at your own risk.

First of all, before we go into the review, can I just mention how funny this story is? Although it deals with the serious topic of cancer, I can’t help but laugh at the way Greg (the main character) narrates the whole story.

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl by Jesse Andrews is about Greg Gaines, a senior in high school who is just trying to get by. His only friend Earl and he makes weird short films together that they keep secret. Rachel, a childhood friend, was diagnosed with leukemia, so Greg’s mother forced him to cheer her up. To keep her spirits up, Greg and Earl decided to show Rachel some of their secret films. She loved them, no matter how strange they were.

When Rachel was in her deathbed, the duo decided to make one last film for her.

This was a super short read, so if you want something quick, this is a great book. I gave this book a 4 our of 5 stars.

The one thing that stood out to me when I was reading this book was how realistic it was. It wasn’t a love story, first of all. Not all cancer situations are related to love. Also, Greg was a down-to-earth, typical slacking high schooler. There aren’t many main characters that you can related to in a way that they are human. If that makes any sense at all. Many of the young-adult main characters are very heroic with no fears and are very confident in themselves, but that’s not the case for most actual teens. Actually, I’m just speaking for myself.

I guess all I’m trying to say is that I liked the story because of the realistic aspect. I find that most realistic fiction books aren’t realistic at all. They’re more like dramas/TV shows.

If you’re thinking about reading Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, you don’t even need my word. Just read it! Or as Shia Labeouf would say:

You can’t deny Shia Labeouf. Just do it, reader. Just do it…