Cayo from Scavenge the Stars
Okay, okay, so calling Cayo Mercado a rebel is generous. He’s more like… a hapless kid just trying to get by. Well, maybe not totally hapless. But Cayo starts out in Scavenge the Stars just trying to get away from his unsavory past. He’s made mistakes, and he’s not proud of them. Now he just wants to work and regain some of his honor. But when his sister falls ill, he will do anything to save her life – even if it means making a deal with the vile Slum King. Cayo is bisexual, for some refreshing representation. And just because he doesn’t start out a rebel, doesn’t mean he won’t become a rebel, if you get my drift.
Will from Amelia Westlake was Never Here
Will is the chip on her shoulder rebel we all need in our lives. She is adorably prickly, like a wee cactus. But she really comes to life when she meets Harriet the all-around perfect Rosemead student. Will pushes Harriet to create an entirely made up person – Amelia Westlake, prankster extraordinaire. Who’s pranks just so happen to bring light to some of the wrongs at their elite school. Will has the heart, Harriet has the brains, and together they’re brilliant! If only they didn’t hate each other so much. But do they really hate each other? Well, you’ll have to read the book to figure it out!
Jack from Jack of Hearts (and Other Parts)
Emanuela from Beyond the Ruby Veil
Emanuela, oh Emanuela. She is less a rebel and more a straight up villain, but you know what? I love it! She is the worst and I love watching her be evil. She is just the right amount of charming and confident to offset her vileness. She always gets what she wants, using her daring mind and her socialite schemes, all while refusing to be the demure lady everyone expects. Her ultimate coup? Marrying her childhood best friend, Alessandro Morandi, who also just so happens to be the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. She could care less that they’re both gay. But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter those plans. Now, I don’t want to say too much more than that, but I will say things quickly go off the rails and that book two promises more romance! Well, romance might not be the correct term, but certainly lesbian lust!
Nicholas from Fence: Striking Distance
Nicholas Cox is the illegitimate son of a retired fencing champion, who dreams of getting the proper training he could never afford. With a lot of heart and a ton of talent, if not a lot of skill, Nicholas makes it on the elite Kings Row fencing team. He’ll have to work with his rival, the perfectionist Seiji Katayama, if the team will have any chance to make it to state championships – where Nicholas might finally have the chance to spar with his golden-boy half-brother. Nicholas is adorable and firey and perfectly matched against Seiji, who is cold and calculating. As they say, opposites attract, and these boys definitely have an attraction. The questions is – will they kiss? As the outsider element, will my little rebel Nicky find success and love? And more importantly, will Harvard (the team captain) and Aiden (the team bad boy) get together?!
Ekata from The Winter Duke
Ekata is the black sheep of her family – she doesn’t want to claim the seat of Duke of Kylma Above by murdering all her siblings. She just wants to make it until she can leave to study at the University and pursue her passion for the natural sciences. And when her brother is finally named heir, she can finally follow her dream even if it means saying goodbye to the tantalizingly close, mysterious Kylma Below – the underwater kingdom that provides her family with magic and thus their power. But when Ekata’s entire family falls to a strange sleeping sickness, she inherits the title of Duke and her brother’s warrior bride. I love Ekata so much, and I adore her romance. She might not be the most sociable or the most charming, but Ekata has a lot of heart and I adore the romance in this book. Combine that with a fascinating fantasy world, and you’ve got a perfect stand-alone!
Wren from Girls of Paper and Fire
Okay, okay, okay! Both Lei and Wren are my favorite babies, and I love them and their romance so much! But while Lei might be the main character of this dazzling trilogy, Wren really stole the show for me. But we all know I’m a sucker for the cold, knife-wielding ladies. Wren and Lei are both Paper caste, the lowest and most persecuted class of people in Ikhara. When Lei is plucked from her remote village to become a Paper Girl – one of the king’s chosen Paper consorts – she must learn to navigate the opulent, gilded cage that is the palace. But when she falls in love with the mysterious Wren, Lei will have to decide just how far she is willing to go for justice and revenge.