Top 5 Tuesday: Male Leads

TOP 5 TUESDAY summer (5).png

Top 5 Tuesday is a meme by the fantastic Bionic Book Worm, and it explores a different bookish topic each week!

Upon completion of this list I realized I like my male characters to be the edgiest of the edgy and the softest of the soft. But mainly I like them to be borderline genius, have terrible parental figures at some point in life, and have a whole lot of sadness to get through. As my dear Richard Gansey III, who unfortunately does not appear on this list, once said, “Crushed and broken, just the way women like ’em.” Sorry, my guys. I loved putting this list together.

Adam Parrish from The Raven Cycle by Maggie Stiefvater

Like I mentioned above, I know we have Gansey, but I am of the opinion that Adam holds a particular standing as main character of The Raven Cycle. And anyway, Adam Parrish is my favorite of favorites. As in, he’s at the top of my ‘favorite characters ever’ list. I love the way his mind works, the way it analyzes everything so sharply, so ruthlessly, the way he’s so ambitious, so self preserving and self deprecating, but sweet too. Adam, the things done to Adam, the things Adam did, pained my heart so much, for bad and for good. His relationship with love over the course of The Raven Cycle, his whole character arc, was my favorite thing about that series. And the thing is, Adam is so very different from myself and I feel like I really learned from him. I just so appreciate his character, that lonesome boy.

A bonus favorite Adam quote I think about sometimes:

Adam didn’t like to be accused of lying. He usually had better ways of getting what he wanted.

 Like…..dang, Parrish. BUT I love his sweetness and softness just as much.


Wylan Van Eck from Six of Crows by Leigh Bardugo

My dear, sweet, bold Wylan. Of all the Six of Crow kids, Wylan captured my heart the fastest. I love Wylan’s particular softness, matched with his determination and stubbornness despite the things he feels like he cannot do or cannot be, or has been told he is. I love how when he wants to know or do something he figures out a way to find it out, to do it, and doesn’t stop until he does. Getting to know him more deeply in Crooked Kingdom was one of my favorite things about that book. He’s such a sweet kid with such a sad backstory, and I loved how he was so delighted to have a group of friends. I love when Nina was in that skimpy waitress outfit for a job and Wylan was all worried she’d catch a cold. Wy ❤


Jude St. Francis from A Little Life by Hanya Yanagihara

I could talk forever about Jude. No character has caused me such pain as him, and I loved him so much because of it and despite of it. He is the epitome of a tragic character, he becomes a ruthless lawyer, he wants nothing more than to be “normal,” and yet…there was an undeniable sweetness to Jude. A terrible ironic sort of innocence that hurts me just to think about. I loved him so much, and I’ve thought about him and this book every day since I finished it, and I know he’ll stay in my heart for the rest of my life. No character has broken my heart like Jude.


Laurent from Captive Price Trilogy by C.S. Pacat

Laurent is so incredibly brilliant it made me INSANE. Every time I thought I had grasp of what he was planning, where his plans were headed, or thought “that’s it, he’s done,” he was ten steps ahead of me. Every. Single. Time. C.S. Pacat is one very clever lady because Laurent was one VERY clever prince. And the fact that during the first book I genuinely hated him with the fire of a thousand suns, and by the last one I loved him with my entire heart, still blows my mind. I don’t think I’d ever pulled such a 180 on a character. His character development was fantastic.


Harry Potter from Harry Potter by JK Rowling

Okay, maybe Harry’s not borderline genius like the rest of the guys on this list, but I feel like I don’t even need to say why I love Harry anymore. He’s Harry. Also:

“Do you remember me telling you we are practicing non-verbal spells, Potter?”
“Yes,” said Harry stiffly.
“Yes, sir.”
“There’s no need to call me ‘sir,’ Professor.”


Do you feel like I do about any of these guys? Have other faves? Please share all of your painful favorite male leads with me so we can cry together.

21 thoughts on “Top 5 Tuesday: Male Leads

  1. Pingback: Top 5 Male Leads! – Bionic Book Worm

  2. Wylan, Adam and Laurent are all good picks. Now, I’d have gone with Ronan and Kaz myself, but I totally love that you highlighted everything amazing about the lesser talked about characters in both of those series. Wylan and Adam were so wonderful, and Adam did have some of the best dialogue in Raven Cycle. One of my favorite scenes was the one with the Blue and the stone with the hole in it. He was always so sweet. (And I loved how his and Ronan’s arc developed together. It was beautiful.)

    Also, how you felt about Laurent was exactly how I felt too! I hated him so much in the beginning, and I couldn’t see how CS Pacat would ever salvage his character. I ended up eating my words because he’s probably up with Jamie Fraser as my all time favorite character.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It was difficult because I love Ronan and Kaz so much! If this list extended they’d definitely be on it, especially Ronan, he’s like, 2 steps behind Adam. I loved the way his and Adam’s arcs intertwined so much. And I so wanted to mention all the romances these guys are involved in, but I made myself refrain from mentioning their better halfs 😉 This post would get twice as long.

      And while I was writing this and writing about Wylan, it inspired me to pick up Crooked Kingdom and reread a few of my favorite scenes, and it reminded me of just how amazing Kaz is. And it’s funny because like Laurent I didn’t like Kaz at first either! But I didn’t hate Kaz with the passion of what I felt for Laurent at first…that was intense. I like to compare him in Captive Prince vs. Summer Palace. Such an incredible turn around, I love it.


      • Yes! Ronan and Adam together were the highlight. It makes me so excited for the Ronan trilogy! (Though I did love Blue and Gansey too.)

        When I listed Ronan, Kaz and Laurent as my three favorites I was thinking about how similar they all are actually. I clearly have a fictional ‘type’, haha. I think the only reason I didn’t hate Kaz as much as Laurent was only because of the character dynamic. If we weren’t in Damen’s perspective, Captive Prince probably would have felt very different. (Also, yes about Supper Palace! I feel like that was when we really got to see who Laurent would have been if his brother hand’t died.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • I loved Blue and Gansey, but I also loved how their romance somehow ended up taking a backseat to Adam and Ronan’s, when at the start of the series it seems like it’s going to be all about them. I definitely didn’t expect Adam and Ronan’s relationship to be as big a part as it was!

        That’s a really good point about viewing them from a perspective. Sometimes I can get past a perspective, like when there are multiple other POVs viewing a character like in Ronan and Kaz’s cases, but Laurent was so perfectly villainized through Damen’s point of view. Kaz was probably colder and harder on himself in his own point of view than anyone else around him.


      • I saw it more like equal, instead of the forefront, but maybe it’s because I personally loved Gansey so much. You’re right though, I didn’t expect Adam and Ronan’s relationship to be so major either!

        Man, I love these types of conversations because you’re right! Kaz was softer from other people’s points of view. Though, we never got his victims POV. I would have loved to read Laurent’s thoughts during book one. (Last time we talked about Laurent and Damen I ended up doing a reread, ha. I feel the urge again.)

        Liked by 1 person

      • That is very fair! I think I wanted a bit more of Gansey and Blue in the last book, but then again now that I think about it they got a lot of screen time, and I loved their friendship with Henry ❤ I don't think I expect them to be star players in the new Ronan books, but I am very interested in seeing them again

        Oh my gosh, I'd love to read a point of view from one of Kaz's victims. That would be fascinating and Kaz would be terrifying. I always think of that part on the boat in the first book when he gouges out that guy's eye and throws him overboard. And to have a book from Laurent's point of view would be AMAZING, especially book one. I feel like any book from his point of view would be longer than what we got from Damen's because his mind never stops. I'll always support a reread of these books, lol, I'm definitely going to have to reread them with the full knowledge of how it all plays out. I'll always remember how I went into them expecting a good old love/hate relationship and then like….almost died from the intensity of the plot. Those books are amazing.


      • I loved Henry too, haha. He was such a great addition. And I wasn’t overly happy with their end either. I was actually sad about Gansey. (I’d love to see them more in Ronan’s book!)

        YES! That was awful, but we accepted it because it was on Inej’s behalf. Which is why I think it would be so interesting to see him from the other side. He would seem like such a monster!

        My Captive Prince reread was spectacular because you know everything. I picked up on so much more the second time around. There was so much foreshadowing and the reader doesn’t even know it! If you ever want to reread, let me know. I’d join you for a massive discussion. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      • I think that if Leigh Bardugo decided to write something like that about Kaz she’d pull it off so brilliantly. It would be so interesting.

        With my first read of Captive Prince I never knew WHAT to think or expect, and was always second guessing myself, so I can only imagine what I missed. I will definitely let you in on my reread when that happens!! I feel like there endless things to talk about in these books.


  3. Okay, first of all I LOVE EVERYTHING ABOUT THIS LIST! OMG! I adore Adam so much, he is absolutely my favourite character in The Raven Cycle (Ronan is a close second) and one of my favourite characters ever he means so much to me and it’s his growth through the series that moves me the most. I’ve cried tears of joy and of sorrow over Adam Parrish.

    Totally with you on the Wylan love. Kaz and Inej are probably my favourite characters in the series (yaaay broken characters) but I adore Wylan, and particularly how underestimated and yet cunning he is under his soft exterior (and somewhat soft interior too). He’s such a lovely character.

    Obviously Jude is one of my favourite characters ever and I have cried so much over Jude St. Francis.

    HOW DID I NOT KNOW YOU’VE READ CAPTIVE PRINCE?! Okay now you DEFINITELY have to read Lymond. The author of Captive Prince is a big fan of the Lymond Chronicles author, Dorothy Dunnett, and Laurent owes a lot to Francis Crawford of Lymond, one of my favourite characters of all time. There are other obvious references in the text too (rooftop chase scenes!). That blond, always dealing with a mind, razor sharp tongue, ten steps ahead of everyone is very Francis though.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ronan is like, 2 steps behind Adam. I love both of them so much, and I LOVE the way both of their character arcs intertwine. They have one of my favorite book romances/friendships ever. But it’s so amazing to think of Adam in book 1 vs book 4…he comes so far :’)

      It’s funny because I’ve gotten a few comments on this post about why didn’t I choose Kaz?? I do love Kaz and think he’s freaking brilliant, but I think something that is often underestimated about Wylan is how hard he works to overcome his shame about his lack of ability to read, and I love how Kaz helps him with that because he can relate with having a disability of his own. I mean, I love how all the six of them help each other, but Kaz and Wylan often stick out to me the most, interestingly enough. Also, Wylan was definitely underdog from the first second he appeared in those books, and I have such a soft spot for underdogs.

      And YES Captive Prince!! I read them back in April but never blogged about them and just let them consume me in silence instead. But I definitely don’t talk about them enough, because THEY’RE BRILLIANT. I went into it with the expectation of a good ol hate-to-love relationship and OH BOY did I get so much more than I asked for. They were so great and clever and so well plotted. And that’s awesome that C.S. Pacat loves the Lymond Chronicles!! Now I really really need to read those if Captive Prince is inspired by them, and especially Laurent, omg. And I am always down for rooftop chase scenes after Damen and Laurent’s.


  4. I love this list! Though I do have a question: why’d you pick Wylan over Kaz? Both are incredible characters, I’m just interested in your answer. =) Awesome post! I just stumbled upon your blog, and I really enjoy it!

    I’m new to blogging and book reviewing, and I was wondering if you had any tips for newbie bloggers and book reviewers.

    If you have the time, please check out my blog @breenysbooks. I’d love any feedback. Have a wonderful day.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you!! And welcome!!!

      Okay first off, I feel like I’ve been waiting for someone to ask me that question, because I did feel a little weird picking Wylan over Kaz because Kaz is definitely more the lead character. HOWEVER I guess I just consider all of the six of them leads? But as for why I chose Wylan, I just relate to him more. I do love Kaz. Kaz is freaking brilliant. If this list was longer he’d be on it. But Wylan just hit a really soft spot with me because his gentler nature is more relatable to my own, and I loved seeing him overcome what he perceived as weaknesses and come out top. And he was just so sweet and soft and that always captures my heart ❤

      Blogging tips! First off, I think your blog is great. I love your book reviews, they're really articulate, and you seem to have a lot of diverse posts! The number one rule I live by for my own blog is: have fun always. If it's not fun, it's not worth it. So be honest and be yourself. Don't force yourself to write something if you don't want to or if you're not in the mood, or if you feel like you should because you see other bloggers doing it. For me, if it becomes work then it's just not worth it. I do it because it's genuinely fun, and I'm careful about never letting it become something I feel pressured to do. For the longest time I didn't even do memes like this one because I didn't have much interest, but then I just…wanted to talk even more about books, so I tried it out, and it was fun! Now it does depend on your blogging goals, but my goal is always to have fun and let my passion for books run wild. and I'm very much of the opinion that passion breeds passion, and if you lead the way passionately people will follow! And followers are lovely friends. 

      I hope that had something to offer? Thanks for the comment!! I loved your questions!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Pingback: Blogger Recognition Award! – FNM

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