Heroes, they are altruists who are the epitome of good. They are usually born with the power and courage to rid the evil that plagues their world, and they do it with pure intentions and motives designed to benefit the greater good. In books, comic books, and graphic novels aimed to satisfy young adult readers, the main character is usually one of these perfect heroes, designed flawlessly to personify the role they are supposed to play – the do-gooder. Nonetheless, some young heroes who have made their debut in literature are not the perfect, cookie-cutter hero. Some might have a dark past or they might be mundane or average in every sense of the word. Still, despite this, these ten unlikely heroes should not be over-looked. They are beloved by many, and are known for winning our hearts as they save the world one day at a time.
Vin – Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson
Vin is not your classic destined born hero. For a long time, she was a street urchin. A perfect “nobody” that thrived off the streets of Luthadel, trying to survive under the thumb of the Final Empire. That all changed, however, when Vin is sought out by Kelsier to join his crew since she is one of the Mistborn – a person who can ingest metal particles to enhance their physical and mental capabilities. Once enlisted to join Kelsier’s plight to take down the final empire, Vin goes on a quest to overthrow the wicked, immortal Lord Ruler, save the world, and become the hero she never thought she could ever be.
Jacob Portman – Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs
Ordinary – that is what sixteen-year-old Jacob Portman’s life was. He went through the same mundane routine every single day like he was stuck it a rut. Of course, Jacob wished for something better. He hoped his life would be as extraordinary as his grandfathers was before his passing. Still, he did not believe that he would ever experience the thrills and adventures his older relative got to encounter. Much to Jacob’s surprise, when he travels to Wales to uproot his grandfather’s past, he finds out that he might not be as ordinary as he thought he was; that he could be the hero by saving Miss. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children.
Celaena Sardothien – Throne of Glass by Sarah J. MaAs
The most unlikely hero on this list undoubtedly goes to Celaena Sardothien, the assassin and ex-Endovier prisoner. Celestina is one of the most feared people in Adarlan at only eighteen-years-old, and everyone knows not to mess with this reaper that slays more than she prays. Despite her reputation, however, Celaena is kind and a noble friend to those she can trust. Still, it is known that Celaena will gut anyone she once called a close companion if they dare stab her in the back. With this said, one would think that Celaena is anything but a hero, but the young woman still strives to rid her world of evil and the man who sits upon Adarlan’s throne.
Asta – Black Clover by Yuki Tabata
For as long as Asta can remember, he has wanted to join the Magic Knights and eventually work his way up to becoming the adored and all-powerful Wizard King. When Asta would proclaim that he was going to be the next Wizard King and strut around with his chest puffed out in pride, everyone would laugh at him. They would dub him a dreamer and tell him to think smaller. Nobody believed that Asta would fulfill his dreams because, in a world overflowing with magic, Asta does not have any. Not an ounce of magic flows through Asta’s body and the only way you can become a Magic Knight and the Wizard King no less, is to specialize in some type of magic. Asta, regardless of everyone doubting him, does not give up on his dream and, with a ton of hard work and an anti-magic sword, Asta joins a Magic Knights squad and becomes the hero nobody ever thought he would be.
Simon Snow – Carry On by Rainbow Rowell
According to Baz Pitch, Simon Snow is the worst “Chosen One” in the history of “Chosen Ones.” Simon, like most heroes, was born with incredible magic and an unbreakable fate that he cannot escape. The problem with Simon, however, is that even though he is the “Chosen One,” he is far from being the actual hero he is supposed to be. Just because he has been blessed with this unmistakable power that courses through his veins, he cannot use it. Not a lick of it. When he does try to unleash its full potential, he usually ends up setting something aflame. Although Simon’s magic is faulty, he is still prepared to make sacrifices, save the day, and attempt to personify the role of the “Chosen One;” the role he was born to play.
Adrian Ivashkov – Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead
At first glance, Adrian Ivashkov is nothing but a rich, pretty boy. He is a flirt, drinks and smokes way too much, and do not even get me started on his daddy issues! On paper, Adrian Ivashkov is not even close to hero material. Still, throughout the Vampire Academy and Bloodlines series, Adrian Ivashkov finds himself sobering up to save the day along with Rose Hathaway, Lissa Dragomir, and Sydney Sage. Without him, these fearless three might not have been able to dodge so many Strigoi attacks and make it to the end of the series. Still, despite Adrian’s…antics, he has managed to capture the hearts of readers everywhere. He is truly a hero in Vampire Academy and Bloodlines fans’ eyes, even if Adrian is too drunk to realize it himself.
Wade Watts – Ready Player One by Ernest Cline
In an attempt to escape reality, Wade Watts, an overweight, pimple-y high-school boy, spends most of his time in the OASIS – a gaming paradise that practically transports you into a virtual world. The reason Wade spends so much time there is because one, the year 2045 is a complete wreck, and two, he is trying to find Easter Eggs hidden inside the game that would lead him to a dead man’s entire fortune. At first, Wade attempted to find the Easter Eggs for himself and bask in the glory of winning the prize the whole world is trying to get their hands on. After making a few friends inside OASIS and becoming enemies with a corporation trying to take over the world, Wade, however, finds himself tracking down the Easter Eggs for the greater good to ensure they do not fall into the wrong hands.
Clary Fray – City of Bones by Cassandra Clare
Before Clary Fray got introduced to the world of Shadowhunters, vampires, werewolves, fairies, and demons, she lived life as a Mundane. She was an average human that went to school, lousy poetry readings at Java Jones on the weekends, and created art in her free time. Of course, the little red-headed girl was happy, do not get me wrong, but Clary always felt like something was missing, like a piece of herself was detached from her soul. When Clary finally figures out she is a Shadowhunter after watching a demon get slain in front of her very eyes, things start to click into place. With the help of her new Shadowhunter friends, Clary sets out on an adventure to save the Shadow World from a corrupt Shadowhunter hell-bent on destroying the world she just got to know and understand. Even though basically nobody has faith that an ex-Mundane can save the Shadow World, Clary is determined to prove them wrong and show that a “nobody” can become a “somebody.”
Izuku Midoriya – My Hero Academia by Kohei Horikoshi
When he was four years old, Izuku Midoriya found out that not all men are created equal. In a world brimming with superpowers, 80% of the population holds an uncanny ability, called a quirk. In light of this, Izuku is quirkless. He cannot create explosions by detonating his sweat, manipulate gravity, or conjure ice and fire. He is an ordinary boy who goes to school and hopes to see a hero saving the day during his commute home. Like all the other quirkless people in society, everyone believes Izuku should give up on his dream of becoming a superhero. They say he cannot save the day without a flashy, strong power, so why bother pursuing a career destined for failure? Izuku, despite everyone’s harsh words, decides he will not give up on his dream, and he will become the next greatest hero. And, spoiler alert, he does!
Feyre Archeron – A Court of Thorns and Roses by Sarah J. Maas
If somebody told the huntress Feyre Archeron that she would one day be the key player in saving the world of the Fae, she would have told them that they were absolutely insane. She is a mere human that would not last a second fighting one of those immortal creatures. Plus, why would she even venture into the Fae lands willingly when they are known to kill the humans that reside on her side of the wall? Of course, Feyre does not know that, in the future, she is brought into the Fae lands after killing one of their own and that she becomes the hero she never imagined being because she falls in love with the enemy – her Fae captor.