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The Five Protagonists You Meet in YA

16-year-old YA Highway contributor Emilia Plater is currently working on revisions for her novel, which features a Scarface. For more about Emilia, visit our Who We Are page or stop by her blog.
During the epic adventure of being a Young Adult reader, you're bound to encounter a ton of colorful main characters. Just how colorful? Time to taste the rainbow, dudes. Here are the profiles of the top five people protagonists you meet in heaven YA - and you didn't even have to die to see them! Sweet.


Say hello to Scarface, and they'll either start crying for no apparent reason, flip you off, or both. That's because Scarface has a freakishly cruel god. Something bad and OMG-worthy affected their emotional development anywhere from ten years to ten minutes ago, and all their thoughts lead back to that OMG-worthy thing. Seriously, all of their thoughts. Everyone has a history, but Scarface's defines them like crazy-genius defines Lady Gaga. Also, they're pretty badass.
Biggest secret: has seen things that'd make a war vet shudder and/or suffers from the year's most topical brochure-type issue
Most likely seen: refusing to cooperate with their therapist; having a poetic mental breakdown
Also appears as: The Fallen Angel - a London Hyatt who's been stripped of power
Makes awesome babies (in ten years) with: Normal Jean

Normal Jean
Normal Jean, by coincidence, is just that: normal. Sure, they might have their quirks, but whatever - those aren't important. What matters is the fact that everyone can relate to them. Like, everyone. Even that weird nose-picker kid who used to live in your neighborhood feels compelled by Normal Jean's withering fear of public speaking (incidentally the most common fear in the country).
Biggest secret: killed the family cat by accident in second grade
Most likely seen: reading books; staring creepily at the new boy in town
Makes awesome babies (in ten years) with: The Comedian
WARNING: Because Normal Jean is so normal, and therefore empty inside, they are easily swept up in love. If you notice the story of your Normal Jean beginning to mold around another (totally hot) person, take a step back and wonder whether they wouldn't benefit from a hobby or two. Like pottery. Or telling jokes. Which brings us to...

The Comedian
No doubt The Comedian's got troubles. But instead of getting all annoying and whiny about it, you know what they do? They use humor to stitch up their broken heart and, in the process, keep everyone else in stitches. A crowd favorite, at least with their friends, The Comedian makes a compelling case for their peers to stop taking themselves so seriously. I mean, come on, guys. Your boyfriend broke up with you over forwarded text? How can you not laugh about that?
Biggest secret: has a huge crush on London Hyatt
Most likely seen: making inappropriate comments at funerals; drawing oddly professional-looking comics
Also appears as: The Snarker - one who distributes lethal doses of snark
Makes awesome babies (in ten years) with: LeFreak

Unlike Scarface, nothing happened to LeFreak to make them an outsider. Maybe they have a totally endearing physical flaw, like obesity or glasses. Maybe they've spent one too many Saturday nights organizing their comic book collection. Or maybe they've never given enough of a crap about sucking up to the cool kids. In a way, LeFreak is the coolest of them all - unless they have low self-esteem, in which case an Important Lesson about Loving Oneself lies just around the corner!
Biggest secret: once ransacked parents' office looking for nonexistent adoption papers
Most likely seen: having incredibly quirky conversations; gazing wistfully in the mirror
In real life, would: find comfortable niche as a sexually active band geek
Makes awesome babies (in ten years) with: London Hyatt

London Hyatt
Man, London Hyatt, we love you. How could we not, with your insider status, your indiscreetly name-dropped brands, your naive disregard for the welfare of those around you? Okay, we're being judgmental. You can be pretty charming sometimes, and you're a ton of fun to root for. In the end, we'd rather be on your side than trying to fight you. We're chill, right, London? Right?
Biggest secret: orchestrated a coup to get their history teacher fired
Most likely seen: wondering why their friends keep betraying them; betraying their friends
In real life, would: spend Saturday night studying to get into Harvard like Daddy wants
Makes awesome babies (in ten years) with: Scarface

YA is chock-full of hybrids made from two - or a few - of the above, as well as protagonists that'll throw a tantrum before molding to one type. What do you think? Did we miss anybody? And hey, if you're a writer, does your main character fit any of the bills?

~Emilia Plater
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  1. That is fantastic and creative! Normal Jean is classic. My MC is not on here, phew. I feel better.

  2. This was great. I think my mc might be a combo of two of these. I'm not sure if that's a good thing or not.

  3. My MC starts out as one and transitions to another as the story progresses. That's pretty cool.

    I lol'd reading this and my kids laughed at me.

  4. Oh, man, this is so cool. You had me in splits the whole time :D

    Hmm..and Ronni sounds freakishly similar to Scarface..

  5. Emilia, can't you ever do a mediocre post? Just once? You're making me feel bad. :P

  6. Awesome post! Love it! Very creative! :D

  7. This post made me laugh. Loved it =)

  8. LAWL!!! AwesomeawesomeAWESOME post! Love Normal Jean's biggest secret. <33

  9. LOL you amaze me Emilia. This was great.

  10. My MC is probably a mix between Normal Jean and LeFreak. I think she is mostly a Normal Jean but, like most teens, feels like LeFreak.

    I've awarded YA Highway the Awesomesauce award for keeping me connected with so many amazing writers. :-) Thanks for all the hard work you put into this blog.

  11. This, its very dead on. Congrats.

  12. Thanks so much for all the wonderful comments, everyone! Love hearing about your characters. Mega glad you guys liked the post <3

    Michelle - just had to throw a Mean Girls reference in there :D

  13. Fantastic post. I guess my MC's are a mix of several (mainly Normal Jean and LeFreak).

  14. This was pretty awesome, Emilia. And the Scarface in your novel is pretty awesome, too.

  15. This is awesome. I'm gonna save it and come back to it later, see if any of my characters become one of these classics.

    Thanks for the fun read!

  16. This list made me laugh, recognizing the characters from some novels out there. Gracias!

  17. Sweet! This was very cool. I can put almost all my favorite characters in each of these niches. I dont know that MC is one of these because well, she is seriously disturbed..very cool post.

  18. Mine is definitely a Normal Jean crossed with LeFreak LOL. Although at the moment, emotionally she's a Scarface.

    Good times and great post!

  19. High-larious! I think you pretty much nailed it. Now, I want to see a 5 BFFs You See in YA.

    I'm off to revise myself out of a stereotype.

    - Liz

  20. looool

    what an awesome post!! LOVE IT!!

  21. Awesome post Emilia! that my super sensitive TWILIGHT radar going off? You say Normal Jean, but I could swear I smell...the heroine-like blood of one BELLA SWAN????

    Cough. Right.

    Totally writing a Scarface right now--you nailed that one. :D

    And I guess Summer in DG is a combo of Scarface and the Comedian.

    Love it! LOVE!

  22. Hm. I think my protag's a Scarface, but she's naturally more of a Comedian. So the humor peeks through, but she also hams up the Scarface to keep others away from her. (She's being hunted and doesn't want anyone else caught in the crossfire.)

  23. This put a huge smile on my face!


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Item Reviewed: The Five Protagonists You Meet in YA Rating: 5 Reviewed By: YA Highway