1. Kurt Brodsky
Joshua C. Cohen
KURT BRODSKY!!!!! This is a football-playing character wonderful and complex enough to rival the guys of Friday Night Lights, which just shows how amazing this character is. Not only is he one of my favorite characters of 2011, but he's an all-time favorite character of mine.
2. Eleanor Crowe
Eleanor, the pregnant, married, confused, and rebellious girl from Pregnant Pause is up there with Courtney Summers' protagonists in possible unlikability. Never mind that I love her. She is, at least in the beginning, as flawed and messed-up as they come, but her personal journey as the book progresses is such a great one as she tries to become a better person, figure out what she wants, and figure out if there's any way to make a few of her mistakes right. Awesome, awesome character.
3. Ari Mitchell
Other Words for Love
Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
On the other side of the spectrum from Eleanor is Ari Mitchell, a good girl who does exactly what her family expects of her, even when she feels like it's too much. She's a multi-dimensional, well-written character who's easy to relate to.
4. Adam Wilde
Where She Went (If I Stay #2)
I've talked to plenty of people who didn't like getting the story in Where She Went from Adam, who at times seems like whatever the male equivalent of a diva is. Some found him completely unlikable, but I didn't have that problem. Adam is one of the more complex and interesting characters out there, one who in dealing with the aftermath of the events of If I Stay becomes a person he and those around him don't recognize anymore... and then can't quite figure out how to get back to himself. My heart breaks for this character.
What Happened to Goodbye
It's rare for a secondary, almost background, character to become one of my favorites, but here it is. Deb, who is underestimated and overlooked many times throughout this book is nevertheless the most interesting, likable, and compelling characters in it. I'd happily read a whole novel about Deb.