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Tuesday, October 12, 2010

YA Bloggers Want...Believable Characters and BOYS: A Good Addiction

I'm thrilled to welcome blogger Kari from A Good Addiction - you also might know her as @flamingo1325 on Twitter. This girl lives and breathes books, and I don't think it's a stretch to say she has her finger on the pulse of YA. She's also in the midst of writing her own, so give her a shout of encouragement in the comments!

Kari also co-runs the Teen Book Scene book tour site with Kelsey of The Book Scout. (And Kari generously offered to put together a TMAS blog tour with lots more secrets and outtakes - stay tuned for late November!)

Welcome, Kari!


Characters are what’s most important to me. A good plot, sure, but my first priority is strong, well developed characters. I don't just want to identify with the protagonist, I want to respect, understand and appreciate them. I don’t have to like them or want to be their friend—that won't always happen. But I want them to be real. Someone who is both brave and scared, has good qualities and bad ones. Who makes crappy decisions, and then tries to fix it. I want the full picture. But more than anything, what I want is more male POV. I love seeing the world through a guy’s eyes…what he experiences and thinks. It really isn’t just sex and girls. From romance to something dealing with issues to even fantasy…I want the boy’s side. All those issues and firsts we see repeatedly from a chick? The guy has a perspective too.

Some of my favorite, well built, strong voiced and well defined characters:

Seth in Mindi Scott’s Freefall
Alex in Simone Elkeles’ Perfect Chemistry
Ellie in Courtney Allison Moulton’s Angelfire
Zach in Ryan Potter’s Exit Strategy
Dru in Lili St. Crow’s Strange Angels


Thank you, Kari!

Readers, who are some of your favorite guy characters? What makes a character's voice and actions believable to you? Comment away, and enter to win this week's book prizes and the mondo grand prize!

Oh, and just in case you forgot, this What YA Bloggers Want series is in honor of YALSA's Teen Read Week and National Book Month!


  1. I agree! Good characters are always a must when I read! I want a character who is believable. Being 15, I can be so harsh on authors who try to pull off a teenager... stereotypically! If you write about teens for teens, we kinda have to be able to relate to them!

  2. Boys, gotta love ‘em!
    I am always hesitant to pick up a book written in the male perspective, not because I think it will be atrocious, but because what a world, you know?
    It’s like a secret, the smelly locker rooms, the video game halls, the poker nights, it’s all male and off-limits to a girly-girl like myself. Still, I love to hear a guy falling in love with a girl. It blows my mind how human, how wonderful and how realistic a great guy is, yeah, I find reality in fiction, so sue me. ;)
    I love Alejandro Fuentes. Yum, everytime he called Britt Mamacita, parts of me flipped over while other melted on the spot. Every. Time. I got public shivers.
    I also Loved Connor in Unwind. The way he started out so reckless, the man without anything to live for, no plan, no honor, really, just selfish and angry, and then how he softened under Risa’s touch. So beautiful, without being gooey, I mean, they are in the middle of a war, but she helps him to become a leader and an honorable other half, which I think is beautiful and brilliant.
    May I just mention that I am still holding my breath for Midnight Sun? I feel very “over” Twilight. The Movie hype and Robsten has been killing my buzz, I have to remember that before the fandom, they were books, books I loved, books I still cherish and in them was one Edward Cullen, who made me think that maybe there really was someone out there for me, who was wonderful. I want inside Ed’s Head!
    I am going to start in on Flash Burnout, after finishing If I Fall, and, oh, looky there, I just got approoved to read a bunch of ARC’s on Net ARC’s and then there’s Losing Faith to read, contemp challenge AND 2010 debut authors challenge (score!) and of course, gotta write those reviews and wait, what was I saying? Oh, yes, Flashburnout is making it’s way up my reading stack and I am so very looking foreward to seeing how a boy deals in emotional problems where he feels for two girls who want and need him.
    Great topic, I love it and I would love to see more true, growing, loving and learning male protagonists in YA, I’d read ‘em!

  3. Ok, I've already mentioned this book way too many times, but I think my favorite guy character's voice is Dylan Dawson from Take Me There by Carolee Dean. His voice was so strong and compelling. I completely fell in love with him!

  4. Believable, definitely! I haven't read UNWIND yet, but that's one on my list. Andye, I kept thinking that name sounded familiar, and it turns out I read Carolee Dean's COMFORT a few years ago. Very good! TAKE ME THERE also looks very interesting.

    Thanks for the discussion!