Today’s blog – part of the week of the best of 2011 lists, a blog circus led by Sarah Enni - was difficult. We’re looking at the baddest or hottest YA Girls and Guys of 2011. Now these characters are not always in our most recommended books, or even from our favorite books, but they definitely made an impact. Here’s my list!

TOP 5 YA GIRLS

1. Mia (Where She Went) – As exposed as she was in If I Stay, I love the mystery of Mia through Adam’s eyes. You feel her yearning to reach him, even though Adam can’t quite figure it out. Definitely an amazing book.

2. Sophie (Hex Hall and Demonglass) – Sophie has a lot on her plate. Getting sent to a weird school, having a vampire roommate, falling for a guy who’s taken, and meeting a father she’s never known. Plus, you know, those people trying to take her out. Luckily she handles it all with a sense of humor.

3. Emerson (Hourglass) – Emerson is an amazing mix of vulnerability and sassy bravado. One minute she can take on the world, and the next she’s falling to pieces at losing someone. I loved her attitude and her courage.

4. Juliet (Juliet Immortal) – The stakes are pretty damn high in this book. Romeo betrayed Juliet and hunts her through eternity. Her goal is to save other young lovers before he can destroy them. I loved her survival instinct and the mix of her justified rage and compassion for others.

5. Deuce (Enclave) – Deuce is a huntress. She fights off the monsters known as Freaks. She braves underground tunnels to find food. And she does it all without complaining as Fade fights by her side. This girl is badass.

TOP 5 YA GUYS

1. Adam (Where She Went) – The longing, the tortured musician, his unending love for Mia. Man, I love this guy.

2. Etienne (Anna and the French Kiss) – Definitely a favorite when I read it earlier this year. Etienne is sweet, smart, loyal, hot, and FUNNY. I love that he knows how to be a good friend most of all.

3. Noah (The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer) – He’s snarky and cocky and way too full of himself. If Mara didn’t dish it back at him, I’d probably think he was an ass. BUT the more she dishes back, the hotter he becomes because it’s obvious he likes a strong girl. LOVE a guy with an ego who’s not afraid of an equally strong partner.

4. Four (Divergent) – He doesn’t go easy on Tris. He has rough edges and hints of danger, but he’s vulnerable when he needs to be. Plus he’s shrouded in mystery. Awesome.

5. Archer (Hex Hall and Demonglass) – You’re never quite sure whose side he’s on or who he cares about. Unless we’re talking about Sophie. He risks everything for her.

Check out what music the others liked in our Best of 2011 Blog Circus!

Caroline Richmond
Erin Bowman
Kaitlin Ward
Kate Hart
Kathleen Peacock
Kirsten Hubbard
Kristen Halbrook
Kristin Otts
Lee Bross
Lindsey Roth Culli
Lynn Colt
Phoebe North
Sarah Enni
Stephanie Keuhn
Sumayyah Doud
Veronica Roth