- Craig Thompson: Craig is the main character, who is depicted from childhood to a young adulthood. Craig struggles with his Christianity, and with his belief that the Christianity that he has been surrounded with his whole life is not what he believes it should be. At a Baptist Christian winter camp he meets a girl from a similar background named Raina who becomes his first love.
- Phil: Craig's younger brother. Like Craig, he likes to draw, and the first portion of the story details their childhood together, though they later drift apart. Their adventures are also recalled at least once in each chapter throughout the book.
- Raina: Craig's first love, a fellow Christian whom Craig first meets at a church camp. Like Craig, her family is not well-off financially, and her parents' divorce causes her stress. She also takes care of her mentally disabled sister and brother. Although she believes in God, she does not believe as strongly as Craig does.
- Craig's parents: Craig's parents are strict, devoutly religious Christians who are not very tolerant of liberal Christianity.
- Raina's father: Raina's father is a man who is loyal to his own beliefs and is hoping to salvage his relationship with his wife.
- Raina's mother: Raina's mother has no interest in repairing her relationship with her husband, and is trying to move on. Both she and her husband leave Raina to take care of her adopted siblings, as well as her niece.
- Laura and Ben: Raina's adopted sister and brother, both of whom are mentally handicapped. Ben is a far more quiet and collected person, whereas Laura is far more energetic.
- Julie and Dave: Raina's sister and brother in law.
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