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"Bryce" Characters Analysis

By Natalie Decker

romance | 328 pages | Published in 2016


Estimated read time: 9 min read

List of Characters

Character NameRole
Bryce MatthewsProtagonist
Alexis SheldonLove Interest
Tanner FordBest Friend
Hannah DavisFriend
Coach JohnsonMentor
Emma ThompsonAntagonist

Role Identification

In Natalie Decker's novel "Bryce," the main character, Bryce Matthews, takes center stage as the protagonist. He navigates the challenges of high school, sports, and personal relationships, all while trying to find his true identity and purpose in life. Bryce's journey of self-discovery is intertwined with his pursuit of love and his passion for racing.

Character Descriptions

Bryce Matthews: Bryce is a charismatic and determined young man with an athletic build. He has dark hair, striking blue eyes, and a contagious smile. He exudes confidence on the outside but struggles with self-doubt and insecurities on the inside. Bryce is a talented race car driver who dreams of making it big in the racing world.

Alexis Sheldon: Alexis is a beautiful and intelligent girl who captures Bryce's attention. She has long blonde hair, captivating green eyes, and a warm personality. Alexis is passionate about art and has a deep appreciation for Bryce's racing skills. She becomes Bryce's love interest and plays a significant role in his personal growth.

Tanner Ford: Tanner is Bryce's best friend and racing partner. He is a loyal and supportive companion who shares Bryce's love for racing. Tanner is tall, muscular, and has a laid-back personality. He often provides comic relief and acts as a source of encouragement for Bryce.

Hannah Davis: Hannah is a close friend of Bryce and Alexis. She is kind-hearted, smart, and always there to lend a helping hand. Hannah has a petite frame, curly brown hair, and an infectious laugh. She serves as a confidante to both Bryce and Alexis, offering advice and guidance throughout their relationship.

Coach Johnson: Coach Johnson is Bryce's mentor and racing coach. He is a seasoned professional who recognizes Bryce's potential and pushes him to reach his full capabilities. Coach Johnson is tough but fair, always pushing Bryce to excel both on and off the racetrack.

Emma Thompson: Emma is the main antagonist in the story. She is a rival race car driver who is determined to undermine Bryce's success. Emma is cunning, competitive, and willing to do whatever it takes to come out on top. Her presence creates tension and conflict for Bryce throughout the book.

Character Traits

Bryce Matthews: Bryce is determined, passionate, and resilient. He possesses natural talent as a race car driver and is willing to work hard to achieve his goals. Despite his insecurities, Bryce is a loyal friend and caring individual. He is also stubborn at times, which can hinder his personal growth.

Alexis Sheldon: Alexis is creative, compassionate, and independent. She values art and self-expression, which complements Bryce's racing ambitions. Alexis is also understanding and patient, supporting Bryce through his ups and downs. However, she can be cautious and guarded with her emotions, fearing vulnerability.

Tanner Ford: Tanner is easygoing, humorous, and fiercely loyal. He brings a light-heartedness to Bryce's life and helps him see the brighter side of things. Tanner is always there to support Bryce, both on and off the racetrack, and provides a constant source of encouragement.

Hannah Davis: Hannah is kind, intelligent, and reliable. She values friendship and is always there for Bryce and Alexis. Hannah is a good listener and offers wise advice when needed. She serves as a grounding force for Bryce and helps him navigate his emotions and relationships.

Coach Johnson: Coach Johnson is strict, disciplined, and experienced. He pushes Bryce to his limits, demanding excellence and helping him refine his racing skills. Coach Johnson is also a mentor figure, guiding Bryce not only in racing but also in life. He believes in Bryce's potential and pushes him to overcome obstacles.

Emma Thompson: Emma is cunning, competitive, and manipulative. She is willing to go to great lengths to sabotage Bryce's success and undermine his confidence. Emma's determination to win at all costs creates tension and conflict throughout the story.

Character Background

Bryce Matthews: Bryce grew up in a small town with his parents, who have always supported his love for racing. He discovered his passion for speed and cars at a young age, and it became a significant part of his identity. Bryce has always felt the pressure to succeed and make his parents proud. He has faced adversity and setbacks in his racing career, which have shaped his determination to prove himself.

Alexis Sheldon: Alexis comes from a well-off family and attends the same high school as Bryce. She has always excelled in her art and has a dream of attending an art school. Alexis values her independence and has a strong sense of self. She has had her fair share of heartbreak, which has made her cautious when it comes to relationships.

Tanner Ford: Tanner has been Bryce's best friend since childhood. He shares Bryce's love for racing and has been his racing partner for years. Tanner comes from a supportive family and has always been the life of the party. He is fiercely loyal to Bryce and is always there to lift his spirits.

Hannah Davis: Hannah has been friends with Bryce and Alexis since middle school. She is known for her intelligence and kindness. Hannah comes from a close-knit family and has a stable and loving upbringing. She has always been a source of support and guidance for Bryce and Alexis.

Coach Johnson: Coach Johnson has a long history in the racing world. He was a successful race car driver in his prime and now coaches young talent. Coach Johnson has been a mentor figure for Bryce, pushing him to reach his full potential and guiding him in his racing career.

Emma Thompson: Emma comes from a family of race car drivers and has always been in competition with Bryce. She is determined to be the best and sees Bryce as her main rival. Emma's background in racing gives her an advantage, but her aggressive and manipulative nature becomes her downfall.

Character Arcs

Bryce Matthews: Throughout the book, Bryce experiences a significant character arc. He begins as a talented but insecure young man, unsure of his true potential. As the story progresses, Bryce faces challenges, both on and off the racetrack, that force him to confront his fears and insecurities. With the help of his friends, mentor, and love interest, Bryce learns to believe in himself and embrace his passion for racing. By the end of the book, he undergoes a transformation, becoming a confident and determined individual ready to take on any challenge.

Alexis Sheldon: Alexis also goes through her own character arc in the story. Initially guarded and cautious with her emotions, Alexis learns to trust and open up to Bryce. She discovers her own passions and dreams, separate from Bryce's racing career. Alexis becomes more independent and self-assured, finding her own identity and supporting Bryce in his pursuits.

Tanner Ford: Although Tanner's character arc is not as pronounced as Bryce and Alexis, he serves as a constant support system for Bryce. Tanner remains a loyal friend throughout the story, always standing by Bryce's side. He provides comic relief and lightens the mood during challenging times. Tanner's unwavering loyalty and enthusiasm contribute to Bryce's personal growth.


Bryce and Alexis: The relationship between Bryce and Alexis is central to the story. They start off as friends and slowly develop romantic feelings for each other. Their relationship faces obstacles and conflicts, but they learn to communicate and support each other. Bryce and Alexis's love for each other helps them grow individually and as a couple.

Bryce and Tanner: Bryce and Tanner share a deep friendship based on their shared love for racing. They support each other through thick and thin and push each other to be their best. Tanner's presence brings joy and lightness to Bryce's life, serving as a constant source of encouragement.

Bryce and Hannah: Bryce and Hannah have a close friendship that provides emotional support for both characters. Hannah is a confidante to Bryce, offering advice and guidance throughout his relationship with Alexis. They share a deep bond and rely on each other during challenging times.

Bryce and Coach Johnson: Coach Johnson serves as both a mentor and a father figure to Bryce. Their relationship is built on trust and mutual respect. Coach Johnson believes in Bryce's potential and pushes him to excel. He provides guidance and tough love, helping Bryce navigate the challenges of racing and personal growth.

Bryce and Emma: Bryce and Emma's relationship is fraught with rivalry and conflict. Emma sees Bryce as her main competition and will stop at nothing to win. Their relationship is characterized by tension, as Emma constantly tries to undermine Bryce's success. Their rivalry serves as a driving force for Bryce's determination and growth.

In conclusion, "Bryce" by Natalie Decker presents a diverse cast of characters who play pivotal roles in the protagonist's journey of self-discovery. Through their relationships, character traits, and individual arcs, each character contributes to the overall development and growth of Bryce Matthews. The book explores themes of friendship, love, ambition, and perseverance, making it an engaging read for fans of young adult contemporary fiction.