The Shining, Stephen King
A Monster Calls, Patrick Ness
I feel like I'm one of the few left who actually likes Mal. So far, at least. He's been a bit lost in the second book sure, but I still sympathized with him.
Don't get me wrong, The Darkling is still my favorite character (and I kinda can't help but not to agree with what he said to Alina about the differences between her and Mal). But I like Mal, too. To me, he's actually a likeable "good guy" and that's not so easy to find these days. He has changed a lot, matured a lot and made a lot of selfless choices since this book started. He may not understand everything that Alina's powers will bring, but he understands that some type of a sacrifice has to be made if they want to defeat The Darkling.
Also, this quote is so simple, yet I still love it:
"Suffering is cheap as clay and twice as common. What matters is what each man makes of it."