There’s no love like first love, and romantic YA has that covered like nobody’s business. Maybe YA heroes start out as just-a-friend and inch up to boyfriend status by inches, maybe the attraction hits our heroine like a load of bricks in one perfect moment, or maybe things start somewhere in between. No matter how a YA love affair begins, and no matter where it leads, there is no doubt our young heroines (or heroes, for that matter) will carry these young gents in a special part of their hearts for always.
Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars by John Green
Augustus may seem like an obvious choice, but who else would use his one wish from a charity for terminally ill children to take his beloved Hazel Grace all the way to Amsterdam to meet their favorite author and quiz him in person about the ending of the book they both love? Then, when the answers are unacceptable, make new answers himself? Strong-arm said author into making amends, or at least listening to an angered fan? Augustus is the man. Unfailingly optimistic in the light of not only his own illness, but Hazel’s and their friend, Isaac’s, Augustus is all heart, kind, considerate, poetic and passionate. His time with Hazel is short, but his impact on her life, and on readers, is in this for the long haul.