By Andrew King
YA protagonists have it rough! It can already be difficult figuring out who you are as a person even without throwing aliens, magical powers, or a secret race of half-human/half-angels into the mix. But when you add that it in it’s not all that surprising that there are so many YA characters grappling with their identities. We picked a few of our favorite stand-outs, but believe me, there are plenty more.
The Burning Shadow by Jennifer L. Armentrout
At the end of The Darkest Star, Evie Dasher discovered she’s not actually Evie Dasher—she’s Nadine Holliday. However, she has no memory of that past life. Now she’s trying to fill in the gaps with the help of the arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, and extremely dangerous Luc. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have too much time to figure things out since her world is currently dealing with a health crisis that may be caused by the Luxen, the alien race that makes up half of Luc’s DNA and helped create the cure that made Evie lose her memories.
Roar by Cora Carmack
In a world ravaged by magic storms, Aurora is the heir to a family who can control them. Unfortunately, she didn’t inherit that power. When Aurora learns that, if she’s brave enough, she can steal magic for herself, she decides to leave her home and join the “Stormhunters” under the pseudonym Roar. But how long will she be able to keep a true identity a secret?
Like Never and Always by Ann Aguirre
Liv knows her best friend Morgan Frost better than anyone in the world, or that’s what she thought. After a tragic car accident involving the two of them and their boyfriends, Liv wakes up in Morgan’s body. When she looks in the mirror, she sees Morgan’s face, and then she starts learning Morgan’s secrets. Who was Morgan? Who is Liv? She’ll have to find out if she wants to survive.
City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Clary Fray always thought she was a regular Brooklynite until one day she notices a boy no one else can see. At first she thinks she just has the Sight, the ability to see the secret Shadow World of Shadowhunters and Downworlders. Soon she discovers it’s much more than. Clary is Nephilim, half-human and half-angel, and her mother has been keeping her true identity a secret for years, and for good reason.
Stormrise by Jillian Boehme
When an army of nomads invades Rain’s kingdom a draft forces every household to send one man to fight. The only problem is Rain is a girl, but she doesn’t let that stop her. Disguising herself as a boy she hurries to the war camps where she excels in her training and is enlisted into an elite, secret unit tasked with rescuing the High king. As she gets closer to discovering the meaning behind the dragon she can now hear in her head, she gets even closer to having her true identity discovered.