Thursday, July 7, 2011

YA Bachelor: Guest Post by Amy from Backseat Writer "Why We Love Our YA Guys"

Today, Amy from Backseat Writer is here to discuss why we gals flip over the guys in novels. Please take a look at her post entitled Why We Love Our YA Guys.

Males in young adult literature.  It sounds like I’m about to write a dissertation for my college English professor.  We all know them as the young men that enliven YA books as they steal the hearts of sensible young women—in literature and beyond.  Just what is it about the YA guys that drive women—even those well out of their teen years—so wild? 

It wasn’t until I developed my own YA crush(es) that I found my answer.  See, growing up I was strictly a Huckleberry Finn kind of girl.  Maybe it was his name, his rebellious behavior (smoking cigarettes with Tom Sawyer and what not), or his wild rafting adventure with a slave named Jim, but I was in love with Huckleberry Finn.  Of course, that was a long time ago.  I moved on to the cast of “90210” in middle school, movie stars like Ethan Hawke and Johnny Depp in high school, before finding myself falling in love with more attainable men like Prince Harry and James McAvoy in my 20’s.

But here’s the thing, the whole time I was reading YA books, particularly the Harry Potter series, and it didn’t hit me that I was hit by cupid’s arrow.  I don’t know the sentence or the page number or even the book, yet I was stricken with a bad case of Weasley fever.  Not just any old Weasley, mind you, but the twins, Fred and George.  Their hijinks, general disregard for rules, and witty dialogue could turn this YA cynic into a teenage girl again.  For me, Fred and George Weasley are not only my YA loves, they are the boyfriends I wish I had in high school.  They are the guys I wish I’d known because YA guys are more protective, more sophisticated, and cleverer than any teenage guy I knew as a teenager. Suddenly, I understand what we love them.

Our YA guys always have time for us.  We open the pages of our book or even the recesses of our minds and they are willing to do whatever the author or dreamer asks.  They take young heroines on adventures through space and time—ones that we wish we were a part of once upon a time.  Suddenly, we’re not mothers or sisters or wives or students, but we’re Hermione kissing Ron in jubilation in the midst of battle or Rhine holding hands with Gabe as they make their snowy escape or Katniss nursing Peeta back to health (unsure of the feelings held inside) as the world watches the game.  For an instant, that guy—that fictional character—makes us feel alive or betrayed or amused or loved or hated.  We hate them for betraying us, using us, cheating on us, and leaving us.  But we always take them back, because like the leading ladies we emulate, we know that there is still good to be found even in the darkest betrayer.

Then the story ends or we close the book to answer a telephone call, rock a crying baby to sleep, start dinner, or a plethora of other things the world demands from us women.  Yet we know that always lurking in the black and white pages of literature, there’s that special guy waiting for us.  And the only way to make him truly breath is for us to open our imagination and love him.  See, ladies, in order to exist, our YA guys need us as much as we need them. 

And that’s why, I think, we love our YA guys so much. 

Questions for discussion: Who was your first literary crush?  Why do you think we like YA guys so much?  Who is your current YA crush?  And what makes him so crush-worthy?

Amy Sondova is a writer, dog lover, and blogger who runs a faith-meets-culture site called Backseat Writer ( and a book blog called Backseat Reader (  Catch up with her on her blogs or on Twitter (@artsybookishgal.)   She is a firm believer that Fred Weasley is not “dead” and has ripped page 637 out of her Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows book.


  1. That was great, I think Amy captured why YA guys are so special. They are more mature than regular teenage guys so we are drawn to them. Plus they are always their for the leading lady, even when they leave we always know that they will be back.

    Goodness if I had to pick some first crushes that would probably be Will from Kissed by an Angel, I read that way before it was re-released two years ago. I would say my current favorites would have to be Tam from the Wings series and Jay from The Body Finder. I love both of them for different reasons of course but they both stand out to me personally. Tam is always up for a good time and he can joke around and be there for Laurel, understand her in a way no one else can. Jay, well is is the best friend turned boyfriend which I'm in a relationship like that right now, plus come on he is Jay!

    Great post!

  2. My first literary crush was either Aragorn from Lord of the Rings or the immortal Mr. Darcy. I am still in love with them both, but Jace Wayland, Vincent Delacroix and half a dozen other, younger, boys have joined their ranks, with Jace Wayland firmly in the lead. :)

  3. Very awesome post. I definitely think we appreciate YA guys because even when they have their flaws they are so much more romantic and reliable than real life guys. Since YA often deals with first love it's great to read about these guys who are perfect and sweet to our heroines (well... not all of them, but I'm not into the 'bad boys' who treat girls like crap. 'Bad boys' like Jace who are actually sweet? Yes).

    St. Clair from 'Anna' is the first YA crush to come to mind. He's so great because even with his flaws he's so sweet and charming, but not in a smarmy way.


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