all ya tattoos

All-Star Heroes and Villains

We recently debuted our bookish tattoos at Book Riot Live and I’m admittedly a little obsessed with them. In celebration of our cute new swag, I wanted to share some of my favorite YA heroes and villains with you. Check out my top picks below and share yours in the comments!


An Ember in the Ashes coverLaia (An Ember in the Ashes)

Laia may see herself as weak and cowardly after running from the Masks that killed her grandparents and captured her brother instead of staying to fight and try to help him escape, but it’s her strength of character, knowledge of her own flaws and sheer determination to set things right and save her brother after that event that makes her stand out as heroic in my eyes.

Aelin Galathynius (Throne of Glass series)

Anyone called the fire breathing bitch queen might seem like more of a villain than a hero, but Aelin earned that name from rising up against the evil threatening her world and by ruffling quite a few feathers doing it. She might not have started off as the poster child of a traditional YA hero, seeing as she’s also an extremely dangerous and skilled assassin, but my kind of heroes aren’t always cookie cutter characters with squeaky clean images. She’s a fiercely loyal friend, a masterful leader and one hell of a fighter, but she’s also just a girl who has been dealt blow after blow and has found the strength and courage to rise above it and fight back against those who try to keep her down.

six of crowsInej Ghafa (Six of Crows)

Can you tell I like my strong YA heroines? Inej has to be one of my very favorite characters in any novel I’ve ever read. I find myself the most transfixed while reading her scenes. She’s fiercely loyal and would go to the ends of the earth for the people she cares about, even if that means putting herself in serious danger. I found it refreshing that she was so strong, dangerous and deadly, but that she also served as a moral counterpart to Kaz. She could inflict just as much damage, but every choice she made was one that she believed was made for the right reasons.


The Darkling (The Grisha Trilogy)

Ah, The Darkling. Where to start? I didn’t want to like this character, but it was kind of impossible not to. He was just so fascinating and mysterious! And I have tendency to like the anti-hero character who has a soft spot only for the heroine of the story. What can I say? With that said, the more I found myself intrigued and charmed by him, the more I tried making excuses for his behavior until it became clear to me that he wasn’t going to be redeemable in the end after all. I still ship it though.

Fairest coverQueen Levana (The Lunar Chronicles)

Queen Levana is capable of mind control and altering her appearance to appear more beautiful than she is. She’s merciless and unloving and will stop at nothing in her quest for power. Although I did feel for her after reading Fairest and learning more about her backstory, her evil agenda and murderous ways keep her firmly in the villain category for me.

Dolores Umbridge (The Harry Potter series)

Voldemort seems like the obvious choice as the standout villain in the Harry Potter series, but it’s Umbridge that truly got under my skin and made me seethe with rage while reading her scenes. I find her to be more terrifying than Voldemort because she hides behind this sugary sweet facade and doesn’t appear inherently evil at first, but she’s just as cruel and menacing as any villain in this series, and she gets away with a lot more.

Who are some of your favorite YA heroes and villains? Share in the comments!

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Teresa Ferraiolo

Marketing Coordinator at Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group.

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