This is where I share some totally pointless things!

Today I’m going to be listing down a few of the tropes we see in YA heroes. There are a lot of them, really. A lot.

*This is post if filled purely with my opinion. I do hope I don’t offend anyone by bashing on their book boyfriends!

The Bad Boy (n.): The boys who give the finger to all the rules.
Examples: Kaidan Rowe (Sweet Evil), Daemon Black (Obsidian), Dante Walker (The Collector)
Swoon Level: 5/10 (Hey, that’s still a lot)
Why? I don’t always like the bad boys, but it depends on whether or not they have some other redeeming qualities. Often or not, they don’t even sound like typical teenagers. Based on my examples, I only semi-like Dante.

The Manipulative Asshole (n.): The possessive, “dominant” male leads. Or you know, just the disturbing ones.
ExamplesChristian Fucking Grey (Fifty Shades of Grey), Warner (Shatter Me), Morpheus (Splintered)
Swoon Level: Can I say 0/10?
Why? This is the part where an angry mob comes after me with pitchforks, wondering why the hell I don’t like Warner or Morpheus. I know a lot of you may be… attracted to these kinds of heroes, but personally, I think they are way off the freaky-no-thanks chart.

The Quirky Ones (n.): The guy who is funny and/or weird. Or immature in an endearing way.
Examples: Percy Jackson (The Lightning Thief), Captain Carswell Thorne (Cress)
Swoon Level: 9/10, I’d say
Why? Who doesn’t like funny guys? I love how they make books easier to read with their lightheartedness and easy-to-love attitude. Give me more of these, please! (No, go ahead, throw some recommendations at me.)

The Friends (n.): This may be the main heroine’s best friend, childhood friend or ordinary friend.
Examples: Sam Henry (Caching Jordan), Braden Lewis (On the Fence), Stu Wagemaker (Love and Other Foreign Words)
Swoon Level: 8/10–it depends!
Why? These characters can have different attitudes, but most of the time they’re the funny, maybe cocky guys who understand the heroine well. I do have the tendency to ship friends more than I do the heroine with guys she just met.

He Who is Too Serious (n.): There are guys who are kind of like rocks sometimes, right?
Examples: Dimitri Belikov (Vampire Academy), Fang (The Angel Experiment)
Swoon Level: 7/10-ish
Why? I don’t love guys who are just poker face all the time, but most of the time these guys have a soft spot for the heroines and they end up being adorably protective!


Agree with me? What are your favorite/least favorite types of heroes?

Aimee loves to swoon. Give her all the cute guys and she’ll never stop reading. You’ll catch her smiling while reading sometimes–it freaks her family out.

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51 thoughts on “The Types of Male Leads

  1. I am with you when you say you don’t want those manipulative types, but I found some who are disturbed but are still sane in a way. Like Hayden in Clipped Wings and Victor in Killing Sarai.
    Hey, you forgot to put everybody’s boyfriend/bestfriend/brother Kenji from Shatter Me hahahaha! Don’t worry about the pitchforks, we’ll run away together, and then hide, with Bellamy lol


    1. Both of which are now on my TBR because of you! Haha! :) I was thinking about Kenji, but I felt like he belonged in ALL the categories! :P Bellamyyyyy! I seriously hope Bellarke happens.


      1. Am I that convincing? Haha!
        I agree, he does belong in all categories :D
        YES PLEASE, can we start like a novena prayer or a petition just to make sure Bellarke happens? HAHAHA! <3


      2. I am easily swayed by positive reviews. :P

        Right?! He’s funny, a bad boy, a best friend… I don’t know about serious, though! x)

        WE SHOULD. If it doesn’t happen I’m not watching season 2! Hahahaha!


  2. The top category guys are my most faves Aimee! I love Warner, Morpheus, Daemon and Kaidan. I LOVE THEM ALL. But you know me so well you’d probably would’ve guessed that I would react to it ahahaha :D Lovely post! :D


  3. I gotta admit I don’t think it’s fair to compare Morpheus/Warner to Fifty Shades of Grey. o.O I mean…eh…that’s a lot different. But each to their own opinion, of course.



    Brilliant post. Agree with you 10000% <33


    1. um…..where did half of my comment just disappear to O.o

      Lemme retry that:


      Brilliant post. Agree with you 10000% <33


  5. Yes, yes, YES!

    Argh, Christian Grey and Warner. We’re supposed to find these guys attractive when all they do is act like possessive, manipulative and abusive jerks? Uhm, yeah, I’ll pass on that.

    Ooohh and Thorne *fans self* Definitely more my type. Nice, cute, quirky and genuinely a decent guy. I’ll take the funny guy over the psychopathic ‘bad boys’ any day!


    1. Right!? Sometimes I just don’t get it… :( Warner, I can see why people might like. BUT CHRISTIAN GREY? Hahahaha no.

      Thorne is definitely a crush-worthy guy! <3


  6. LOL, Aimee! I’m a bigger fan of the Bad Boy than you are, and I may like He Who is Too Serious slightly less, but other than that–YEP. Really fun post ;)


  7. I actually haven’t read most of these books so the examples don’t help me as much as I’d like, but I’m so down for the quirky ones. Have a great sense of humor and your own little uniqueness and I’m happy! But I do admit, I do like the bad boys. I was trying to decide if The Darkling would fit under there or The Manipulative Asshole because he does sort of try to manipulate Alina in Shadow and Bone, but I don’t know. He’s not an Edward Cullen. He’s his own breed of perfection :P


  8. My favorite is basically your top three categories! Although lately I’m really drawn to the Quirky male leads if that redeems me? :) I have a recommendation for Quirky male lead – The Thief by Megan Whalen Turner. The book is like a more mature, developed version of The False Prince. And Gen is awesome! (Even better in the second book!)

    It was fun to read your breakdown of these types!


  9. My fav type of hero is probably the bad boy, but all them are fine, other than the manipulative one (Mostly on Christian Grey’s side. LOL ;p), but that depends. I actually liked Morpheus. ;p The quirky males are always enjoyable characters, so those are also fun to read about and swoon over. Loved your list of the types, Aimee! :D

    New follower! xxx

    ~ Maida
    Literary Love Affair 


    1. I’d like the bad boy if he did have some other redeeming qualities. :) Christian Grey should just lock himself in jail, really. I’ve had a lot of Morpheus/Warner fans lecture me about how awesome they are, although I’ll never see it. :P I love quirky males–so fun and with personality. :D

      Thanks so much for following, Maida! <33


  10. We are going to have to have a serious conversation about Warner. ANYWAY – I laughed at the 50 Shades thing xD I personally go for the Carswell Thorne types as well; they just make me so happy.


    1. *hides under the table* YOU CAN’T MAKE ME. Bahaha! Christian Grey is totally in a separate category. The Christian Grey category. ;P Thorne-ish people are my loves! <3


  11. THIS POST.

    Okay, so I haven’t read a lot of the stories where the example love interests are from, but I find myself agreeing.

    I love quirky and best friend type male leads. They remind of me of guys I like: humors and sweet c: They also tend to be more realistic than your typical bad motorcycle riding boy. They also tend to bring out the best in heroines.

    I do enjoy bad boys, but in verrry small doses. They tend to be become caricatures quite easily though and are so common in YA that it’s ridiculous. The bad boys that I can handle are usually ones who aren’t wholly bad and have just a hard exterior.

    Serious boys are hard for me sometimes. I think we agreed that Prince Maxon is super boring?? I think that’s something that can happen when boys are all serious all the time. And no fun c; However sometimes serious boys can be fun, especially with humors heroines around.

    I’ve never found manipulative boys appealing. I find they usually promote ideals that are toxic and usually cause the heroine to act in ways she normally wouldn’t. In fact, sometimes I find that to be their goal: to change the heroine to his own skewed version of some manic pixie girl. Lol luckily I haven’t read any of the love interests mentioned, especially fucked up Mr.Grey.

    Great post Aimee (: I loved reading this and clearly also have a lot to say on the topic :P


    1. Yes! Humorous guys are definitely are definitely attention-catching, in real life as well! xD

      As long as the bad boys have some sort of redeeming quality about them, or they’re just bad boys “on the outside” or those things, I could still love them. :P

      VERY, VERY BORING. One of my best friends is a HUGE Maxon fan and I don’t get it :P There’s always Dimitri Belikov… His seriousness brought entertainment. x)

      YEP YEP. Toxic relationships/guys = no.

      Thanks Larissa! <33


  12. Totally agree! The Manipulative Asshole are the worst! I don’t understand how people swoon over them! I like the quirky ones, too! I don’t mind the “bad boys”, as long as they’re actually secretly-not-so-secretly big sweethearts on the inside, haha.
    Great post, Aimee!


  13. YES, finally a good difference between a bad boy and an asshole. I don’t mind having a more.. mysterious/dark guy like The Darkling, but I do object when it comes to manipulative, abusive guys. There is nothing swoony about that. Quirky ones and friends are great, but I think the too serious/broody guys are more my type in books. Hello Chaol :D!


    1. Right! They’re different! The Darkling… *ponders* I don’t know what I think of him as of now. :P Oh wow! I’m in the so-so for serious guys… I haven’t read book 2, but I have no “team” for book one of Throne of Glass yet… Kind of indifferent to both guys. :P


  14. I’m with you with all of this! I’ve had enough of bad (or brooding) and manipulative guys as love interests… they’re not sexy at all, and they annoy me how the heroine easily falls for their… charms? That leaves a bitter taste in my tongue, really… I want more quirky ones, and perhaps mysterious ones? Like Mel said, they can be done. I like having someone who’s secretive but not really annoying.

    Faye at The Social Potato Reviews


    1. Yes!! It’s so weird… They just have this creepy thing going on and bam! The heroine’s in love. ._. Secretive’s fine, as long as they aren’t shitty and creepy!


  15. FANGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG! It’s been so long since I heard his name. You know, I kept reading your list and thinking, now this one, this is the one for me. Ohno! This one and that one and all the ones! I guess I just don’t have such clear boundaries. I like salads and mashes potatoes; I like my guys all mashed up with all the quirks and personality traits. :D Not too much alpha-ness though. I’d just kick him out. For that matter, not too sweet- he’ll make me vomit. Ugh I’m awful!


    1. I know! Fang doesn’t get enough attention! :P It’s great that you like different mixes of guys, Stuti! :P But yeah, alpha males suck. ._. The sweetness depends–is it the sappy kind? If yes, I’m staying faaar away!


  16. I totally agree with you Aimee, I hate those guys who are possessive and step over the line when it comes to your own rights and choices! Bad boys aren’t very high on my list either, but I do like the friend, the serious guy and the immature and hilarious one :D Great topic lovely!


  17. Oh, but WARNER. Oh, but MORPHEUS.
    I *know* they are unhealthy book boyfriends, but I also know that I would never go for them in real life. I swoon over them BECAUSE they are fiction, and I am also keenly aware of all their flaws, and all the reasons why they would be a no-no in a real relationship.
    I know what you mean about the bad boys, too. They have to have a sweet side, even if it is tiny, because otherwise they’re just a jackass and the MC is an idiot for falling for them.
    And yeah Dimitri is kind of a bit stiff, but I think it’ more the off limits older man teacher thing that makes everyone goo-goo over him, haha XD


    1. HAHAHA. They’re definitely not the kind of guys I’d like to make friends with in real life. Even if they are fictional… I find them a bit too creepy. .__. But I totally get why you love them, Chiara!

      I LOVE Dimitri! :P Yeah, it’s definitely the hot teacher thing. ;)


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