Top Ten Tuesday: September 13th


Okay, so I really had to be specific with my TTT this week. I just cannot narrow down my favorite novels to ten without being really specific. According to Goodreads, I have fifty-five standalones that I consider to be must reads. Forty of those I have given five stars to, which infers that they are the best of the best (and they are, as I have excellent taste). And fourteen of those have a male protagonist. At first I found that to be shocking, but upon further inspection, I found that to be accurate. Now, I could probably spend days, weeks, months analyzing why that is, but I'm moving on.

Nevertheless, I think I can narrow those fourteen down to ten to create my Top Ten ALL TIME Favorite YA Standalones with a Male Protagonist. But I'll let you know that it is still a struggle. I love these below books with all of my heart, and I sincerely recommend picking them up and falling in love with them too.

This book turns your soul into mush in the best way possible. It makes you think, makes you hurt, makes you confused, worried, vulnerable, quiet, broken. The list goes on and on. To sum it all up: it makes you feel. And there is nothing better than a book that can make you feel. Ari is an unforgettable character, and Dante is the glue that makes him whole again.

It was four years ago that I finally decided to pick this up and take a chance. Little did I know how important it would become to me. If I'm honest with myself, I would pick this book in my top three favorite books of all time, no matter the sub-genre. It is genius, heart-breaking, thought-provoking and so completely relatable. Charlie is a geek, a wallflower, a hero to us all.

One of two classics I've included on this list. I read this my junior year of high school for my AP English class, and since then, it's had this hold on my heart and it refuses to let go--and I don't want it to. Every page is full of profound emotion that makes your heart weak. It's a realistic, tragic, disturbing tale of love and betrayal from the outside. And the last chapter will melt your whole existence into a puddle.

Ignore the totally 90's cover and focus on the plot of this book. Because it is unforgettable. So good that when I read it back in ninth grade, I wrote a quote from it on the back of my hand and kept it there for over a month. The quote that inspired me to start a quote book; a quote I still have memorized to this day, ten years later. “I think most of us tell ourselves we don't want what we think we can't have just to make life bearable.” It's that, that heartache, that truth, that makes this one of my favorite books. Because the book is swimming in those qualities--pun intended.

Saving Francesca is a great novel--it really is. But it simply cannot compare to this story. Thomas Mackee is an undeniable, broken character who is just trying to understand himself and world that surrounds him. It's a simple concept but there is so much depth and tragedy that lives in this normal family, and I love every page more than I love most things in this world.

I am surprised if you are surprised by this pick. Because Holden Caulfield is a beauty bastard and he thinks you're a phony. Holden is epitome of a lost teenager, and if you've never felt that disassociation, that isolation, that sorrow that comes with growing up and being alive, I don't know if you'd love it like I do. And that's okay; you may even be lucky. But if you've felt that darkness and wanting, this book just gets you irrevocably.

You've probably never heard of this book. But I know that if you had, if you dared to dive between the pages, you'd be as mesmerized by it as I am. Not only does it tackle the difficult and infrequently discussed topic of male eating disorders, it does so with unforgettable courage and power and wisdom and sorrow. Charlie will make you laugh and cry and believe in yourself.

I know I mention it a lot, and have in a lot of Top Ten Tuesdays. But I cannot help it. It is so unprecedented. I honestly cannot find a single fault in this novel. It's funny, it's believable, it's relatable, and it is so heartbreaking. Henry's hurt and grief are so palpable and well depicted that you feel them too. This novel will break your heart and put it back together again.

This was the first book I declared to be my favorite book. It was assigned reading in seventh grade and I considered blowing it off. I mean, a book about a bunch of punk kids in the 50's? Hard pass. But from the second I opened it and read that first sentence, I was hooked. I read it twice, back to back. To this day have never done that again. This novel stands the test of time with it's gritty reliability and heart.

I am in love with this book, with these characters, with this story. This novel, like The Perks of Being a Wallflower, would make my top three favorite novels, regardless of protagonist. It is unforgettable, heart-wrenching, hilarious, and so poignant. It has such a special place in my heart that I feel like I will never be able to express how much it means to be. But be assured: it is magnificent.

So those are some of my favorite novels. I cherish each one and force people to read them all the time. All I can say now is I'm glad these are just the standalones and not the series.

And now I want to hear your thoughts! What are some of your favorite YA novels with male protagonists? Have you read any of my picks and loved them like I did--or hated them?

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  1. It's true that female protagonists are more popular especially in YA I find! I'm glad you gave me more to add to my TBR! :) You should check out Patrick Ness because his protagonists are often male and he's a wonderful writer! Great list!

    My TTT

  2. Great TOP 10! I usually don't read books with male protagonists, but I did LOVE Looking For Alaska! I should have put it on my list! :D My Top Ten Tuesday!

  3. Great idea for a theme this week! A few of these are on my TBR but I've been especially wanting to read Aristotle and Dante.
    My TTT

  4. LOVE Looking for Alaska. Piper's Son sounds very interesting.

  5. Saving Francesca is a great read, but what I thought made it so amazing was Tom (and Jimmy). Getting a whole Tom book was magic.

  6. I don't read a lot of stand alones but Aristotle and Dante changed so much for me. It's a beautiful story and one that every person should read! I can't believe it's getting a sequel!

    My TTT ft. Aliens.


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