Top Ten Characters I Love In Contemporary YA!

toptentuesssTop Ten Tuesday, as  always, is hosted at my other blog — The Broke & the Bookish

This week’s topic: Top Ten Characters I Love In X Genre (I picked contemporary YA)

 This was really hard! I have so many characters I loved for different reasons in the contemporary YA genre — some I loved their growth, some I saw a lot of myself in and some were just so darn memorable that I loved them!


ALSO: Anna and St. Clair….I can’t believe I didn’t I remember to put them on here! I FAIL AT LIFE! Seriously!
1. Mia: I loved being in Mia’s head and it was honestly one of the most memorable narratives ever. I obviously loved her in Where She Went as we got to see more of her from Adam’s perspective but If I Stay was where I just fell in love with Mia through her memories and the present when she was hanging in the balance between life and death. (Review of If I Stay by Gayle Forman)

2. Adam: Oh Adam. Adam. Adam. Adam. We fall for him in If I Stay as being so super sweet and devoted to Mia but Where She Went is what solidified him as my favorite. That book is special and Gayle Forman knows how to write a truly swoonyworthy boy  — and not just because of his looks or anything like that. He’s so fully developed in WSW that you just can’t help but love him! (Review of Where She Went by Gayle Forman)

3. Travis:  Oh gosh, TRAVIS. What a realistic YA boy that I loved watching that spark of growth in him. I just loved him so much. He’s been through so much and he has to really work to fight through it. We only catch a glimpse of his journey but it’s one of my favorites! (Review of Something Like Normal by Trish Doller)

4. Jessica Darling: DUH. If you know me…DUH. I need not explain. (Review of Sloppy Firsts by Megan McCafferty)

5. Allyson: Oh gosh. I just understood Allyson so much. I can’t even tell you. Just a lot of the things she was struggling with were things that I have/am struggling with — saying YES, living the life you want to live, letting go of things that hinder you, etc. She’s not always perfect, sometimes she might annoy you or be whiny but I’m telling you…in the depths of my soul I HAD THIS CONNECTION WITH HER. (My review of Just One Day by Gayle Forman)

6. Bria: This is another character that I just really had a connection with as I watched her growth in Wanderlove. I just saw of myself in her or is it her in me? I just love her! (Review of Wanderlove by Kirsten Hubbard)

7. Tiny Cooper: Tiny may not be the main character of Will Grayson, Will Grayson but he is the most memorable for me and I just loved him to pieces. He’s definitely not perfect and sometimes he’s selfish but he’s got a good heart and I just LOVE HIM. (Review of Will Grayson, Will Grayson by David Levithan & John Green)

8.  Carly: Oh Carly. Her story makes my heart seize up every time I think about her. She’s been through some things and I admire her. Plus she’s a super cool surfer girl. (Review of Raw Blue by Kirsty Eager)

9. Audrey: I just loved Audrey! She’s so funny and loveable even when she’s down! I was definitely like her in high school — more shy but still liked to have fun and was playful! I also really connected with her on the music level and just found her downright delightful. (My review of Audrey, Wait by Robin Benway)

10. Sam Border: Oh Sam. What a sad childhood he and his brother Riddle have but he’s still the most kind and loving soul ever. I JUST LOVE HIM FOREVER. (My review of I’ll Be There by Holly Goldberg Sloan)

So tell me…who are some of YOUR favorite characters in the YA contemp genre that I need to meet! Did you love any of the characters on my list?

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About Jamie

Jamie is a 32 year old married lady (with a new baby!!) who is in denial that she's actually that old to be a married lady and a mom. When she's not reading you can find her doing Pilates followed by eating ice cream, belting out Hamilton (loud and offkey) and having adventures with her husband, daughter and rescue dog.


  1. Adam. Oh, Adam. I enjoyed Where She Went more than If I Stay. I’m not sure why, but I think mostly it has to do with this awesome boy. 🙂

    And lady! Audrey, Wait! is totally on my half of our list this week too! Woot! I loved everything about that book. EVERYTHING!

    Love, love your choices!

  2. The only book I’ve read from your list is #4 – clearly I need to read more contemporaries! Definitely planning to dig into Something Like Normal soon. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Oh my gosh. Adam, Mia and Allyson…to die for. Gayle Forman is a new fav of mine all because of how much you gush about these books ! So much well-deserved praise, I cannot get enough of those fabulous characters! And Tiny Cooper! LOVE! I think Will Grayson, Will Grayson is so underrated when it is SO fantastic!

  4. Three Gayle Forman characters and I can’t help but feel the same way about all of them! I had a deep connection with Allyson right off the bat and still feel deep moments where it’s as if I’m channeling her whenever I think about my future and travelling. Mia was just a character that changed my outlook on family, and how fast love can be taken away and made me question if I had the choice, would i stay? And then Adam…Christ this man is the one that set my expectations for men abnormally high! His love for Mia. His band. Her family. His music. It was all just so much! And his heartache, his pain! Urgh you don’t know how much I wished I could reach into that book and pull some of that pain away!

  5. These are some of my favorites too–I love Mia, Travis, Allyson, Bria, Carly, Sam and–of course–my girl Jessica Darling. Another favorite: Thomas Mackee from The Piper’s Son.

  6. Mia–yes, Mia. She’s one of those characters I wish were real(well, without all the bad stuff that happens to her) because I’m pretty sure we could be friends. She wouldn’t be particular memorable in real life except for her music playing abilities–she’s quiet, introverted, and those people aren’t always “memorable,” so to say– but I think we would have connected. If Mia was her character but was in a happy story, I think I would have just seen so much of myself in her that I would have loved her all the same.

    I haven’t read tons of contemporaries in the past year, but I think Sky from Hopeless and Oliver from the Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight would have made my list if I had chosen this topic!

  7. Melissa @ Writer Grrl Reads says:

    Aww, thanks for the reminder about Tiny Cooper. I LOVED his character in Will Grayson.

  8. I love your list. I haven’t read any of them but I’m running out of reasons why I shouldn’t read Gayle Forman.

    Tonile @ My Cup and Chaucer

  9. I love your picks! I totally know what you mean about Bria, loved her and could totally relate. And Gayle Forman’s characters! So much love!

  10. Great list! However, I must diagnose a severe absence of Sarah Dessen. Remy of This Lullaby would be a must for my list, along with Jessica Darling (I second your emphatic DUH), Travis, and Lucy & Ed of Graffiti Moon. 🙂

  11. Yes definitely LOVE Tiny Cooper and Audrey with her arm socks!!! And of COURSE JD!!! Good choices!

  12. I love Mia and Adam! I have to read the rest of these books.

  13. I LOVE that you have so much Gayle Forman on your list! She’s totally one of my favorites! Those are the only books I’ve read out of your list though. Guess I should change that at some point?!

    Here is my list:

  14. I feel kind of bad that I haven’t read ANY of these books. I’m so behind on contemporary novels.

  15. I love your list and most of the characters on it! I still need to get my hands on Raw Blue. I know that I will loooove it. 🙂

  16. Tiny Cooper!! YES! Seriously, his character made Will Grayson, Will Grayson for me. As you sad, he’s not perfect, but he is most definitely awesome! I loved Mia and Adam too, talk about amazing characters with brilliant narratives! I still need to read most of the books on your list, but they’re all on my tbr pile, and I’m super excited to get to them.

  17. I have to agree with most of your list. I did the same genre, but yours is much better. I mean, Tiny Freaking Cooper. Genius.

  18. Travis and Tiny made my contemporary list too! My list is YA contemporary males. I love Audrey SO MUCH. So very, very much. And Jessica Darling. They remind me so much of each other! (I actually put Marcus Flutie on my list.)

  19. Hahahaha I might as well be in the Tiny Cooper fan club, I love him so much – his exuberance and all that.

    Travis is awesome too! I think that he really does encapsulate the male voice quite well. And ugh, heart break over his pain.

    AHHH! I’ll Be There! That book legit does not get enough love, although TBH I loved Riddle much, much more because he is so adorable and makes my heart break a ton.

  20. Ahhhh, I love all of the characters on your list that I’ve read the books for. *high fives*

    I don’t really have anything else today, but, hey girl, you’ve got great taste. Oh, also, I wasn’t really planning to read Raw Blue or I’ll Be There, but now I am. So. Thanks!

  21. Jamie we are SO the same person!!! Jessica Darling for sure (um I love MMc so much we kept in touch on & off for 3 yrs) and Carly and Mia and Adam and Travis!!!!! (that boy DOES NOT get enough love, I swear) and Audrey and the only one I have to say I could not get into is WG,WG but I can’t seem to get into any David Levithan books 🙁

  22. So many of my favorites on here: I’m glad you mentioned “I’ll Be There” — such a great book with truly KIND characters. That always seems so … rare… for some reason. Also! Will Grayon, that’s as huge yes and Raw Blue… that’s another amazing one.

    Such a fun meme today!

  23. Tiny Cooper was awesome, I loved that book so much!

    My TTT

  24. Mia and Adam are my favorites as well!! – and I think Allyson may be a new favorite of mine as well!

    Fantastic list!!

  25. Mia, Adam, Travis…. Gah I love them too! Your list is amazing! I still need to read Will Grayson, Will Grayson though :\

    Here’s My TTT

  26. I love contemporary YA, and I haven’t read any of these books! I really need to get my butt in gear. I actually just picked up Audrey, Wait today, though. 🙂

  27. Oh Adam! He made my list too, because he just *sniff sob* broke my heart so much in If I Stay and then in Where She Went I just felt SO bad for him, he loves Mia so much!

    I need to read Wanderlove, I’ve heard such good things about it, and travel is AWESOME!

  28. ADAM….Oh, my Adam. He gives me ALL THE FEELS! And Travis too!! Both just wow. And TINY COOPER! He’s awesome!

  29. How fun – we both chose YA contemporary for our focus, Jamie! Mia from If I Stay made my list, too, as did Travis from Something Like Normal! 🙂

    My Top Ten

  30. I own Sloppy Firsts and still haven’t read it yet…by I plan on rectifying that soon!

  31. I need to read the Jessica Darling books, they’ve been recommended to me loads recently. I just re-read Anna this week, so yay for Anna & St. Clair!

  32. I like ALL THE CHARACTERS in contemporary. Seriously. Ok, maybe not all of them, but contemporary has SOOOO many awesome ones! I really love how you relate to Allyson. It’s always neat when we have a connection like that with a book. Most of my list included characters that I related to, but that’s the reason why I love contemporary anyways so….

  33. I haven’t heard of a lot of these characters, but I love that you chose the contemporary genre. I LOVE contemporary!!

    Halee @ Confessions of a Book Addict

    My Top Ten

  34. So glad to see Bria and Audrey on this list. I loved them both so much! Wanderlove is one of my favorite contemporary novels EVER.

  35. I loved Mia and Adam as well! I’m reading her other book, Just One Day right now, and man, she is a great writer!! Also, Tiny was freaking awesome in Will Grayson, Will Grayson, he was one of my favourites!

    Awesome list!

    My TTT

  36. You always have the best lists and the best graphics. I (regretfully) haven’t read any of these, but a bunch are already on my TBR list. Thanks for the extra push. 🙂

    My TTT:

  37. We have a similar list this week. I picked Marcus instead of Jessica, but it was a tough choice! I really want to read all the books that you featured on your list that I haven’t read!

  38. Sometimes it just astounds me that as a lover of YA contemp, I haven’t read the essentials of the genre as yet. Your list is great though. Love it =D

    Here’s my Top Ten Tuesday post!

    Sana @ artsy musings of a bibliophile

  39. I love WIll Grayson Will Grayson! I prefer the Wills to Tiny, though. Here’s Ours

  40. I love Jessica Darling! I haven’t read the others, but they are all on my wishlist. I need to read more YA contempories…

  41. I’m a contemporary newbie and haven’t read any of these. Totally pinning this list so I can worth through it

  42. I haven’t read the rest of the books, but I LOVE LOVE LOVE Jessica “Notso” Darling. That series is one of my favorite of all time. From the first time I read it in high school, I have had a crush on Marcus and wanted to be best friends with Jessica. Not many people seem to know about the series , so it makes me excited to see her on your top 10 characters list.

  43. Allyson and Bria are two choices that I can definitely agree with! I could see parts of myself in them, and I loved how each of them got to step out of her comfort zone… which prompted a major transformation in life/attitude. Plus, the travel bits were AWESOME!