The 7 Hottest YA Characters

At Mount Washington High, the setting of Siobhan Vivian’s The List, each school year begins with the publication of the list: an anonymously written document that announces each grade’s prettiest and ugliest girl. It’s hard at the top—more than one prettiest feels the pressure of staying in first place—but impossible at the bottom. Of course, the horribly dehumanizing clique-y-ness of a hotness list made us think one thing:

We want in. But judging based on looks is so juvenile. Our list will be based on grit, charisma, intelligence, attractiveness—all the qualities that make us want to reach through a book’s pages and pull out a character and make them our boyfriend/girlfriend/spirit animal. 

Here’s our list of the hottest characters in YA, in no particular order (and of no particular gender).

Fire (Fire by Kristin Cashore)
Fire is so attractive that people regularly threaten to kill each other for the chance to be with her. When they realize they don’t have a chance, they threaten to kill Fire. Of course, Fire is completely uncomfortable with this attention, so she does what any preternaturally attractive woman would do—uses her looks to win a war.



Jesse (The Mediator series by Meg Cabot)
So, we’re not docking points cause he’s a ghost. Jesse is all kinds of fine, from the top of his Spanish ghost-hair to the bottom of whatever that weird ghost-tail thing is called. You know. What Casper had. And the Genie from Aladdin. But frsrs, Jesse’s love of Suze, his old-fashioned manners, and his adorable terms of endearment (querida—a side of heart-melt, anyone?) make him a super undead cutie patoot.



Gemma Doyle (The Gemma Doyle Trilogy by Libba Bray)
Gemma faces visions, shifting alternate worlds, shadows that kill, death, magic, and power beyond belief—all while being tempted by even more power, more than anyone should ever have. Gemma struggles and fights and wins, and she does it all in a corset. You know what that incessant tenacity is? Mad hot.



Jace Wayland (The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare)
Jace is cocky, arrogant, kick-ass, blonde . . . tattooed . . . buff . . . And he’s willing to do anything for the girl he loves. That’s pretty compelling ammo for our hot rifle. That metaphor got weird, but we’re sticking it out. Like Jace, we commit.




Hermione Granger (The Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
We were never fooled by the frizzy hair and the buckteeth—as soon as Hermione opened her whip-smart mouth, we knew she would have the boys falling all over the hem of her robes. When she came down to the Yule ball and everyone realized how smoking Hermione’s potion was, we were like, “Um, DUH! Brightest witch of her age? Bright like a light bulb! And thanks to an imperfect conduction of energy, light bulbs are also HOT! KAPOW!” But Hermione would have made this list even if she never got prettied up in a conventional way: She’s the all-time best spokesperson for the “smart is sexy” movement.


Jacob Black (Twilight by Stephenie Meyer)
Here’s the thing; you can hit us with every counterpoint you’ve got. Oh, but he’s so manipulative in the books! You’re only saying he’s hot because of Taylor Lautner! If he wore more clothes, no one would think he was attractive! Sure. Okay. Fine. All of those. But the guy can rock a pair of jorts like we’ve never seen. He’s staying on the list.


Will Parry (His Dark Materials series by Phillip Pullman)
Will figured out how to cut inter-dimensional portals BY HIMSELF. He saved an angel. He helped free an entire underworld of fading souls so that they could dissolve into nature. He LITERALLY stopped the world’s energy from slipping away into nothingness EVEN THOUGH it meant losing the girl he loved because he is selfless and brave and caring and WILL PARRY WE LOVE YOU! We actually have no idea what you’re supposed to look like, but we pledge our unending loyalty.

Thumbnail credit: Melanie-m via flickr.

93 thoughts on “The 7 Hottest YA Characters

  1. “The List”? She took a South Park episode and made it an entire book? Not impressed.

    Although I do admit Hermione is incredible. She’s the kind of girl I wanted for the longest time and now I have one like her.

    • Completely agree. He was awesome. I think Lyra should be here, of course, shes my favorite character, not Will(though he is cool), but the list is decent.
      Hermione would probably be studying something to see if she can find a way to get to the top of this list, if she saw.
      If I could, I think I’d put Rosethorn(Winding circle, Circle Of Magic, Tamora Pierce) on this list in a heartbeat. Shes so scary. And awesome.

  2. Hmph, I am extremely disappointed that Simon Lewis from the Mortal Instruments didn’t make the list. Sexy vampire mojo, anyone?

  3. LOVE. Your Hermione description made me lolz. And I less than 3 that Jace metaphor.
    My vote’s on Fire, though. She’s just SO AWESOME. (Why is Kristin Cashore so awesome? And why is Bitterblue’s release date so far away?)

  4. I’m frankly REALLY surprised that you guys (since you’re obsessed with him) didn’t put Peeta on the list. (Or Gale now that you don’t mention it…)

  5. awww, c’mon figgies! I’d have hoped you’d have better taste in hot literary characters than /Twilight/. But I agree with everyone else~ 😀


    and I know that all of the Jace lovers out there will probably be like ohmygosh what is she saying, but after the first two books i got SO sick of Jace. At first he was OM NOM, but then it was like… meh… so I decided to forget Clary and Jace and just read it for the brief appearances of Magnus and Alec. Because, let’s face it, Magnus is so much more awesome anyway.

    hehe Jesse <3 <3 i read those books ages ago!

    wow that was longer than i expected it to be! ;D

      • I personally read the books for Simon, but god, Jace. Even his name makes me want to bang my brain out on the desk. But yay for COLS and more angst of the Jace/Clary kind! *groans*

    • I agree. Jace was amusing in the beginning, but his character just seemed to be based on all the female/gay readers going OMG SO HOTT and if you tried to look at him from any other way, he was annoying/flat.
      (I haven’t read those books in ages, though, so don’t expect me to defend this position, I just remember getting really fed up with his character.)

      I have to say, though, the hottest literary character for me is Nan Astley, from Tipping the Velvet. Breaking gender roles? Confidence? Being good at swaggering? Rather attractive.

  7. Fire and Jace are my too favorites. I’m so happy that both of the books they’re in are included on here. I love the characters and the books!

  8. JACE WAYLAND ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. Well, I thought that I would have to be the one to mention Finnick, Peeta, and Fang, but you awesome Figgies have them covered 🙂 Good job!

    Jace is a carbon copy of Draco Malfoy, so I kinda hate him… :/ A lot, actually. You know what, I just hated that series. I kept on wishing for Clary to die, which is not what you should want for the protagonist…

    • WIN.
      For sure!
      But I’m happy Will’s in there.
      Annoying thing is, I hate the top two running. 😛
      Twilight annoys me, as does the Immortal Instruments series.

  10. While some legitimately “should”(and I realize that’s somewhat subjective) be on this list, I can’t help noticing that really popular books/series have been totally ignored in favor of older, less popular characters(like Meg Cabot’s Jesse…not that I didn’t like him when I was younger). Where is the Hunger Games, Hush Hush and Wings representation? And those are just the three I’m limiting myself to.
    Meanwhile, who the *ahem* is WILL POULTER?! At least the other ones I’ve HEARD of…

  11. Will plz&thx.

    Also I am disapoint i mean really Jacob? Of all characters.
    Same with Jace, who really isnt as attractive as everyone thinks. Honestly, Will was cuter. And Jem. Jem is the beat thing since sliced bread. Actually, on this note, Clary’s brother is more attractive than Jace, and he’s a suspicious and manipulative jerk.

  12. Sniff… sniff… I can’t choose just one! And I can’t be with any of these people either! (All the best guys are either taken, gay, or, most likely, completely fictional. Ugh.) I’m going to go sob and feel sorry for myself now…

    But by the by: I greatly appreciate the addition of Will Parry. You have no idea how excited I was by that. I feel like no one knows him because I don’t know anyone else who has read His Dark Materials. (I have really unawesome friends.) However, I was really surprised you didn’t add Peeta. But this was a really great idea for a poll, so thanks!

  13. Yeah Hermione!!!! 😀
    Thank goodness she’s on this list. I would have lost faith in figment if she wasn’t XD

  14. Um, excuse me? Where is Neville??? And Fang? And Percy Jackson? And Finnick? I think that there are a few missing characters…. Oh, and what about Will Treaty? I mean, come on! He can shoot a bow like nobody’s business, throw knives, and he’s a ranger! And so is Gilan, for that matter…

    But Jacob Black? Seriously? There could have been a better choice…

    They should do a movie character hotness poll….because I am so choosing Han Solo!

  15. Why is there no Leo Valdez on this list?
    Or Finnick O’Dair?
    Come to think of it, how in the world did you manage to narrow it down to seven people (and how did Twilight get on the list)?

  16. Uhhhh, excuse me, but you missed one. I don’t see Finnick, Katniss, or Gale anywhere. Or Peeta. Make that you missed…..four. Please fix this. Thanks!

  17. I want to read The List, The Mediator Series, The Gemma Doyle Trilogy and The Mortal Instruments series. All the others I’ve read. All fantastic. Fire was invigorating, His Dark Materials’ trilogy was dark and intriguing, and Harry Potter is–well, Harry Potter. Can’t wait to read the rest.

  18. I went for the amazing Jesse. He just hasn’t got enough attention because the Mediator Series came out ages ago. ;D

    Hm, I also think Tamani, from the Wings series should be here.


  19. I cannot totally trust this list because Four (Tobais) from Divergent was not included. I strongly reccomend him (ahh-I cannot spell!) because he’s hot, he’s a closet romantic, and he’s totally bad-a

  20. I’m sorry, but I got deeply depressed with the pcture next to Hermione… It’s not the Sorcerer’s Stone! That makes me sad. What is wrong with Americans just keeping it as the Philosopher’s Stone? I mean, really.

    • I totally agree and I’m american. When they published it in the US the totally should have kept the original title.

  21. Wooo! Hermione Granger! Yes, definitely! But I agree with everyone else: why isn’t anyone from Hunger Games in here? Peeta, Katniss, or Finnick.

    Oh well. 🙂

  22. How could you include Jacob from Twilight and omit every single character from The Hunger Games?!

    I vote for Katniss Everdeen.

  23. why did you include twicrap and not the hunger games? if you had any sense you would include peeta and gale!!!

    • I agree, he’s so much more awesome than Jace. Jace is bleurgh, Clary is bleurgh and Simon is the saviour of mankind(Which is ironic because he’s not technically man). But seriously, I read Mortal Instruments for EVERY character but them.

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