Monday, October 8, 2012

My Top 10 Heroes and Heroines in YA Literature - Guest Post by Kimberly Kinrade

Today, I am pleased to host Kimberly Kinrade on my blog. She is the author of the Forbidden series being featured on this blog and the Three Lost Kids series that will be featured over at Andi's Middle Grade and Chapter Books later this month.

My Top 10 Heroes and Heroines in YA Books

We all have our favorite authors, our most beloved stories and books. When I had to come up with my top 10 heroes or heroines from YA books, I realized that a lot of the books I love aren't really YA, so this got tricky. I also realized that I definitely have my favorite authors, as you'll see.

Having a likable and engaging protagonist with whom to bond is important to me in a book. I want to respect that character, feel a connection to them, and understand why they do what they do. These books have characters that I found myself rooting for time and time again, and all for very different reasons.

Sydlynn Hayle from Family Magic by Patti Larsen is my #1 choice. I love this series so much, it's my major addition. Doesn't matter what deadlines loom, if a new book in this series comes out, I'm all over it. Syd starts out the series with a lot of opportunity for growth, and boy does she grow. She's strong and independent, loyal to her family and friends and she really learns how to be a leader. I adore this girl.

Bella Swan from Twilight by Stephenie Meyer is a controversial choice for some, I think. She's bashed a lot online for being weak or undone by a boy. I wrote a blog post in defense of Bella, but suffice it to say there's a lot to admire about her. She's smart, committed to her family, loyal and brave. She is willing to die for those she loves and puts her family above everything. Why the hating?

Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins is a shoe in. That one scene where she volunteers as tribute for her sister says it all. Plus, gotta love a girl who can take down her dinner with a bow and arrow.

Trio from Clone Three by Patti Larsen. I know, another Larsen book. She rocks. This is a new series, the first in a trilogy, and I loved it. Trio is a clone who can't remember what she's supposed to do, but it has something to do with saving humanity. She's bright and strong and driven to protect those she loves. (See a theme here? I love characters who stand by their friends and family.)

Cas Lowood from Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake. I had to throw a guy in here, there aren't many to choose from as the lead in a book. I loved this book, it's dark and interesting and was fun to read from the male POV. Cas kills the dead, it's a family thing, but what happens when he falls for one of his targets? An awesome book is what happens.

Penryn from Angefall by Susan Ee. This book had huge hype and I went in skeptical and came out in love. Penryn is another Katniss type. Loyal to her sister, a survivalist in a post-apocalyptic world. Loved it.

Jacob from Desert Rice by Angela Scott. Another guy. Hurah! This book was heartbreaking. Not my usual YA fare, more literary in nature, but Oh. So.Good. It's actually told from the POV of Jacob's 12-year-old sister, but he was the hero in this book, doing anything necessary to save his sister. It's a tear jerker and beautifully written.

Bryn Halbrook from Dead Radiance by T.G. Ayer. Another kick butt heroine who is so fun to read about, and has some seriously interesting secrets to who she is. If you like Valkyrie myths, you'll love Bryn.

Auburdeen Perneila Hayle from Smoke and Magic by Patti Larsen. Not only another Larsen book, but another Hayle. Auburdeen is Syd's ancestor, and she's just as strong headed, willful and awesome as her great-great something or other.

Trace Monroe from Wanted: Dead or Undead by Angela Scott. This book had a male and female POV and while I don’t normally like westerns or zombie books, I actually loved this book. Trace (another guy! Yahoo!) is the typical charming bad boy who falls for Red, a mysterious woman with a lot of gun powder in her veins. I enjoyed his character growth and all the different layers to his personality.

There you have it, some great characters with great books. I love a book that sucks me in with the characters and makes me fall in love, regardless of genre, but you can't go wrong with this group!

Kimberly Kinrade was born with ink in her veins and magic in her heart. She writes fantasy and paranormal stories for children, YA and adults and still believes in magic worlds. Check out her YA paranormal novels Forbidden Mind and Forbidden Fire and her illustrated children's fantasy chapter books Lexie World, and Bella World, all on Amazon.

She lives with her three little girls who think they're ninja princesses with super powers, her two dogs who think they're humans and her husband, also known as the sexy Russian Prince, who is the love of her life and writing partner.

For a list of her books, check out:
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