If You Like Male Narrators

If You Like… is a feature highlighting blogger recommendations for books, authors, TV shows, movies, and music based on the things you already know and love. This week’s post includes recommendations for books with a male point of view. If you think it’s hard to find books from a male perspective, you’re basically not looking very hard, but (thankfully) this week the IYL contributors have done the work for you.

If you like stories told by male narrators, you might like


Recommended by Kari @ A Good Addiction:

  • Freefall by Mindi Scott: By far my favorite male POV ever, this one is a coming of age romance mixed with some guilt stuff, but the voice is spot on and relatable and awesome.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Foreman: Second only to Freefall in my love of the boy voice, this one screams emotion and turmoil and realism.
  • Split by Swati Avasthi: This one has the grittier element that some guy voices do, but it is still the kind that screams boy without even needing to be stated.
  • Leverage by Joshua C. Cohen: Again, stellar boy POV, and actually, you get two boys. Bring it.
  • Right Behind You by Gail Giles: More boy. More awesomeness.
  • The Secret Year by Jennifer Hubbard: Grief from the boy’s perspective, especially when some love is mixed in to it.
  • Exit Strategy by Ryan Potter: This is the sweeter side of a guy, even while he’s trying to be tough.

Recommended by Ashley @ Book Labyrinth:

  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta: Mainly told from the perspective of Finnikin, this fantasy novel also examines many contemporary issues such as community, faith, identity, and homeland.
  • Paper Towns by John Green: I just love the style of this book; Quentin’s voice is awesome, and the juxtaposition of the quest alongside normal high school stuff was a lot of fun.
  • Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan: I have a feeling these books need no introduction, but if you haven’t checked them out yet you definitely should. A super fun (and funny) series about mythology.
  • The Giver by Lois Lowry: One of my all-time favourite books, The Giver is narrated by 12 year old Jonas.
  • The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness: Todd is so inherently likable, I dare you not to cheer for him.
  • The Piper’s Son by Melina Marchetta: Part of this book is told from the perspective of Tom’s aunt Georgie, but the main narrator is Thomas Mackee, first introduced in Saving Francesca. Melina Marchetta is brilliant, and her writing is just breathtaking.
  • Where She Went by Gayle Forman: My feelings for this book could pretty much be summed up in a keymash because it’s impossible to adequately describe how gorgeous Gayle Forman’s writing is. I absolutely loved this second book written from Adam’s perspective.

Recommended by Lindsi @ Books, Sweets, and Other Treats:

Recommended by Tara @ Fiction Folio:

Recommended by Jessica @ I Read to Relax:

Aside from mentioning Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, who I love to death and mention at every possible opportunity, these are a select few of my other favorites!

  • Okay For Now by Gary D. Schmidt: Doug was a character who started out really tough, but grew so much as a person. He was the ultimate underdog to root for…
  • Carter Finally Gets It by Brent Crawford: Carter was funny.  This book was like the guy’s version of Are You There God, It’s Me, Margaret.  A glimpse into the hidden mind of boys…
  • Deadline by Chris Crutcher: This book broke my heart…
  • Stoneheart by Charlie Fletcher: Poor George has a rough time as he gets chased through London by living statues.

Recommended by Capillya @ That Cover Girl:

  • Twisted by Laurie Halse Anderson: When it comes to thinking that an author could have possibly (and illegally) kidnapped a teenage boy to write a story because the voice felt that real and that authentic, friends, we have a winner. His struggle with his own definition of the male identity (and his own) is what makes his character so realistic. Tyler is definitely one of my top favorite males in YA, period.
  • Paper Towns by John Green: While Q may not exactly be one of my favorite male MC’s, I think he’s definitely one of those guys you can’t forget because of the company he kept (hello Ben and Radar!). And everyone and their mother knows Mr. Green is a genius when it comes to writing – but I think it’s the teen male voice that keeps drawing me back to his books.
  • Marcelo in the Real World by Francisco X. Stork: If someone was looking for a recommendation for a book that featured a character completely opposite of the misguided and angry Tyler from Twisted, I’d point them in the direction of Marcelo. Oh, you guys, every time I think of Marcelo I just…sigh. He’s not dreamy, he doesn’t have ripped abs, and he doesn’t bake or participate in extreme sports or read books on the subway wearing hipster glasses. And yet he’s still one of my favorite guys. Because Marcelo has an autism-like impairment, he sees the world in a different kind of light — one that’s gentle, serene, full of hope but still not entirely understanding the selfishness and greed around him. In a word, he’s incredibly naive. But he’s honest and sincere, he’s full of patience and a soft kind of joy, one that makes you think “Wow, I wish I could live with that kind of perspective in this world.” Y’all. I love me some Marcelo.
  • Jerk, California by Jonathan Friesen: Jerk’s MC is Sam, a teen boy living with Tourette’s. But when you finish reading Jerk, you’re not thinking about Tourette’s, because Sam’s the kind of character who isn’t defined by his disorder. Not in the least. He’s the kind of hero that wins your heart because he’s unashamedly real,  who understands the things he needs to accomplish with a fierceness and loyalty that seems almost illogical in real life but feels so right and downright inspirational in this fictitious story. The things that Sam goes through, the people he cares for and those who change him by hurting him, make you want to be a better person. And I love characters (and writing) that make me feel that way.
  • The Kid in the Red Jacket by Barbara Park: I’d feel remiss in not mentioning my favorite book of all time. 10-year-old Howard Jeeter is one of my favorite fictional males because he is extremely sarcastic, witty, and yep, even kind of an obnoxious and self-righteous (and realistic) young boy. He handles his first cross-country move in the best way he knows how, and at a time where fourth grade me was going through the exact same uprooting and the struggles that came with it, I empathized with his character in the best possible way.

Recommended by Jennifer @ YA Book Nerd:

  • Artemis Fowl by Eoin Colfer: Criminal mastermind Artemis Fowl wants to captures a fairy to ransom for a large sum. He gets more than he bargains for when he catches Capt. Holly Short.
  • Stormbreaker by Anthony Horowitz: Alex’s uncle dies suspiciously. His death leaves Alex with more questions than answers. He vows to uncover the true, but he’s not expecting to hear that his uncle worked for MI6. Nor is he ready to take his uncle’s place on his last mission.
  • Wolf Storm by Dee Garretson: Stefan got his big break – on a blockbuster movie. The first day of shooting goes terribly wrong for him, leaving him miserable. Worst, the family actors must spend the night bonding. There’s a blizzard expected. The three siblings and one older man are the only ones left in the ledge when the blizzard hits, leaving them stranded. Can they survive the elements until they can reach help?
  • Gentlemen by Michael Northrop: Mike and his friends have always been considered screw-ups. One teacher treats them with respect – Mr. Haberman. However, since Tommy’s been missing, Mr. Haberman is starting to ask strange questions. Could he know more than he’s letting on?
  • Percy Jackson Series by Rick Riordan: Percy learns that he’s unique – he’s a demi-god. He also learns that only he can stop the Gods from fighting against each other by tracking down the lightning bolt and return it to it’s rightful owner.
  • The Last Knight by Hilari Bell: Fiske travels with Sir Michael, a man intent on disregarding his father’s wishes for his future and decides to become a knight to aid those in need of help. Fiske, his squire, gets him out of all kinds of scrapes.
  • Merchant of Death by D.J. MacHale: Bobby Pendragon follows his Uncle Press into the subway and straight into another world. It’s a world where he must help those in need to change their live in order to help save the rest of the universe.
  • Recruit by Robert Muchamore: James has no choice. He joins CHERUB – a government spy agency for those under 17. Before he can go on his first mission, he must take and survive basic training.
  • Epic by Conor Kostick: Erik challenges the powerful government for the treatment of his parents – where the government makes all the decisions – in a video game.
  • Faerie Wars by Herbie Brennan: Henry does yard work for Mr. Fogarty – whose house is a portal to the faerie world. When the Prince of the faerie world comes crashing through the portal, Mr. Fogarty recruits Henry to help send him back to his world.
  • Thieves Like Us by Stephen Cole: Jonah, a master computer hacker, is broken out of prison and hired by a man who sends him and other teens on mission across the globe looking for ancient artifacts.
  • Acceleration by Graham McNamee: Duncan’s summer job at the Lost and Found office of the subway station is super boring – until he finds a disturbing journal.
  • Double Helix by Nancy Werlin: When Eli takes a summer job working for a genetic engineer, he has no idea that his whole life will change.
  • Lost Years of Merlin by T.A. Barron: A boy washes up ashore, with no memory of his past. He discovers that he has powers and must use those powers to help save the land.
  • Book of Three by Lloyd Alexander: Taran longs to be a hero, but follows the pig into the forest where he spies the deadly Horned King and teams up with Prince Gwydion to stop the evil King.
  • Runner by Carl Deuker: Chance’s father doesn’t have a job. Chance and his dad live on an old sailboat. Chance worries about how the bills will be paid, until someone offers him a job delivery packages. He’s not supposed to look in the packages, just drop them off at various locations. Chance knows it’s sketchy, but he wants to eat too.
  • Traitor by Andy McNab: Danny’s Grandfather was accused of being a traitor. Now that he’s has escaped, Fergus is out looking for the real traitor. Danny joins him on the run.
  • First Shot by Walter Sorrells: Two year earlier, David’s mother died – murdered. That murder has never been solved. David begins to dig deeper into this family past in hopes of learning the truth, but does he really want the truth?
  • Bloodline by Katy Moran: Essa’s father is a spy and leaves his son with a clan one night. When Essa realizes his father isn’t coming back, he plans new plans. When war threatens his clan, Essa’s sent out to spy on the enemy. What he finds there shocks him deeply.
  • Finding Lubchenko by Michael Simmons: Evan’s millionaire father is accused of murder. Evan could come forward with the news that he’s been selling his father’s equipment as a way for some extra cash. However, his father would kill him if he ever found out. So Evan decides the only way to free his father is to track down the murderer himself.
  • Alibi Junior High by Greg Logsted: Cody’s been home schooled his whole life – hanging out with his CIA father. When the situation becomes too dangerous, Cody’s left with an aunt in Connecticut. There he must attend public school for the first time and learn how to blend in with other teens.
  • Brotherhood by Janet McDonald: Nate has brains. He attends a prep school where he hopes for a better future. However, during the weekend, he comes home to Brooklyn where his boys still want him involved in the action.
  • Killer Pizza by Greg Taylor: Toby gets a job at the local pizza joint only to discover there’s another side to his job if he so chooses.
  • Kingdom Keepers by Ridley Pearson: Five teens gave their bodies to be used as hologram tour guides at Walt Disney World. Now these five teens are the only ones who can stop the evil characters from taking over the world.
  • HIVE by Mark Walden: Otto is a genius and he wants to rule the world. However, his plan fails when he wakes up at a boarding school – for other teens just like him. He’s learning how to become the biggest baddest villain.  The hardest thing about this school isn’t getting in, it’s getting out!
  • Son of the Mob by Gordon Korman: Vince falls for a girl and is shocked to discover he father is the FBI agent that wants to shut down his father’s family business.
  • Shifty by Lynn E. Hazen: Shifty is used to moving around. When he’s assigned to a new foster home, he spends the summer making sure this is where he will stay – even if it involves driving illegally, lying to social services, or babysitting the little ones.
  • Keeper of the Grail by Michael P. Spradlin: Tristan joins the Knights Templar after they arrive at the monastery where he grew up. He becomes the squire of Sir Thomas. Together, they arrive at the Holy Land. During a large battle, Sir Thomas thrusts something at Tristan and makes him promise to escape and take the package back to England. The package contains the Holy Grail and Tristan can’t let it fall into the wrong hands.

What are your favorite books, movies, tv shows, or music featuring male narrators? Please share your own recommendations in the comments!

If you would like to get involved in future weeks of “If You Like…” please contact me for more information. You can check out past weeks of If You Like posts here.

14 Responses to "If You Like Male Narrators"

  • Once again, I’m sure I’ll be adding in the comments like crazy as I think of books not yet mentioned.

    The Deathday Letter by Shaun David Hutchinson: This book cracks me up SO MUCH. It’s about a boy who finds out he is going to die in a day, so you wouldn’t think it would be that funny, but Ollie is a wonderful narrator with a typical teen boy sense of humor (meaning there are a lot of penis jokes, let’s be real).

    I have not yet read any books by Matt de la Pena or Andrew Smith yet, but I know they both write books with male narrators, and I love their blog posts. I own de la Pena’s I Will Save You, and have Smith’s Marbury Lens and Stick, just haven’t gotten around to reading them yet.

    I love Jake Wizner’s Spanking Shakespeare, it’s another hilarious book.

    Tales of the Madman Underground by John Barnes is a chunky book, but a fantastic one, though it can be a bit hard to read at times as it gets a little gritty.

    Flash Burnout by L.K. Madigan is another great one, and I’m sad that there won’t be any more books by Madigan as she had such incredible talent.

    C.K. Kelly Martin’s The Lighter Side of Life and Death is another favorite book with a teen boy who is romantically involved with an older woman.

    The Last Exit to Normal by Michael Harmon is a very funny book set in the middle of nowhere, which always makes for a good time.

    Carolee Dean’s Take Me There is a pretty heartbreaking book that deals with illiteracy and incarceration. I loved it.

    The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt is about a younger brother dealing with his older brother’s PTSD in the aftermath of a tour in Iraq. Incredible.

    Hannah Moskowitz kicks ass at male POV. Break and Invincible Summer are both awesome.

    Compulsion by Hedi Ayarbe is another book with a male narrator suffering from mental illness. If you want to get into the head of a buy with OCD, this is a great way to do it.

    Whew. That was a lot more than I intended to list, but there are just so many amazing books with male narrators, and I want to shamelessly promote them all 🙂

    1 Melanie said this (October 25, 2011 at 8:35 PM)

    • I’ve got Madman Underground on my TBR list! And I’ve read The Lighter Side of Life and Death — I did like him as a protagonist, but I kept stopping and asking myself if he was a little TOO perfect (even in his situation)? I kept wondering, “Whoa, do these kinds of teenage boys really exist?!”

      And, big BIG mistake on my part – HOW COULD I FORGET TODD HEWITT FROM THE CHAOS WALKING TRILOGY?! OH GOOD GRAVY. I saw The Knife of Never Letting Go on the list and thought OMG TODD! HOW COULD I FORGET THEE! And I felt SO, SO guilty!

      Todd Hewitt of The Chaos Walking Trilogy is one of those characters who you just cheer for, like Ashley said. You root for him. He has dealt with so much crap in his life at such a young age. You can see him really struggle with some of the hard (life or death, y’know) decisions he’s made and constantly has to make. One of my favorite devices in writing is when authors put a character in a situation where they feel like they’ve known the truth, but they really don’t – and I love seeing how that character adapts, thinks, moves, reacts. Todd Hewitt is a born fighter, more mentally than anything. He doesn’t give up (even though you can tell sometimes he just really wants to). I can tell you that I’m being 100% honest when I say that I’ve never rooted so hard for a character in my entire life (in The Knife of Never Letting Go). I’m currently reading The Ask and The Answer, so who knows, I may even end up cheering for him harder than I did in TKoNLG.

      I’m so sorry dear Todd for accidentally omitting you. What a DISSERVICE. I AM SO ASHAMED.

      2 Capillya said this (October 26, 2011 at 11:01 AM)

      • I have The Knife of Never Letting Go and I haven’t read it yet. Capillya, you always make me want to immediately read the books that are gathering dust on my shelves. But the problem is that there are like 5 bajillion of them. And now I feel SO GUILTY 😛

        3 Melanie said this (October 26, 2011 at 11:44 AM)

  • I love all the collaboration that goes into these posts. Makes them even more fun to read because there are so many different reading experiences here.

    4 Sarah said this (October 26, 2011 at 9:37 AM)

    • That’s one of the things I love most about this, too. I’ve been toying with the idea of making this a meme because it would branch things out a bit, but I sort of love having a collaborative post with so much diversity in one place….

      5 Melanie said this (October 26, 2011 at 11:46 AM)

  • I would have to add as well The Things a Brother Knows by Dana Reinhardt. Amazing book. Also, Hothouse by Chris Lynch and Inexcusable by Chris Lynch. And the upcoming When you Were here by me!

    6 Daisy Whitney said this (October 26, 2011 at 11:51 AM)

    • Love Things a Brother Knows and Inexcusable! I haven’t read Hothouse; will have to look into that. I am obviously looking forward to When You Were Here 🙂

      7 Melanie said this (October 26, 2011 at 11:52 AM)

      • I’ve had The Things a Brother Knows on my shelf forever. And it’s such a skinny book, too! What on earth is wrong with me? I’m determined to read it soon. And I can’t wait for When You Were Here! Woot Daisy’s pubbing a BOY BOOK.

        I feel ya on the 5 bajillion books just waiting for me to be read. But what I love is how much choice there is for GOOD writing. Posts like these make me so glad that I’m reader and have such a wonderful community to help support that. =)

        8 Capillya said this (October 26, 2011 at 12:37 PM)

        • Indeed, it is both a blessing and a curse 😉

          At least I know I will never be bored….

          9 Melanie said this (October 26, 2011 at 4:15 PM)

  • I can’t tell you how many times I said “Oh, yea, that’s a good one!” while reading this post. Excellent list.

    10 Annette said this (October 26, 2011 at 3:19 PM)

  • I’m so happy to have found this blog!
    Wholeheartedly agree with:

    Flash Burnout by L K Madigan — one of my all-time faces.
    All of John Green. Hard to pick my favorite. Maybe Paper Towns
    Did anyone mention:
    Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake? Cas is a great male voice.

    And, of course, Holden Caulfield….

    11 JenRyland said this (October 27, 2011 at 11:05 AM)

    • Anna Dressed in Blood is not a book I’d normally pick up, but I’m pretty intrigued by it because I keep hearing such amazing things about it.

      Holden Caulfield is like THE classic male narrator. He should really make every list that involves male POV.

      Thanks so much for adding the great recs 🙂

      12 Melanie said this (October 27, 2011 at 1:11 PM)

  • In addition to Flash Burnout, which won the William C. Morris Award for debut authors, Lisa released The Mermaid’s Mirror in 2010, which is nominated for a list of best books for teens by Y.A.L.S.A.

    There are also 2 other completed manuscripts, albeit without contract to publish. Only time will tell their fate. I’m confident her fans would enjoy reading them someday.

    Neil Wolfson
    Portland, Or.

    13 Neil Wolfson said this (November 22, 2011 at 1:00 PM)

Ping- & Trackbacks

  1. If you like male narrators . . . | Mindi Scott October 30, 2011 at 4:38 PM