Welcome to our third annual Literary Swoon series! Every year we invite authors we love to chat with us about all kinds of romantic literary subjects, because who better to find feels-inducing books for us than the writers who excel at that themselves? This year we wanted to know: who are their favorite fictional crushes?
I personally think the people and characters you’re drawn to say a lot about you, so I loved hearing what this year’s authors had to say. All seven of them wrote fantastic pieces that are so great in helping us add swoon-worthy books to our reading piles. Get those TBR lists ready, because you’re going to want to snap up these books if you haven’t already read them!
I’m crushing on this fictional character in honor of my teen self, who would’ve died a thousand deaths to save this bad boy from all his glorious bad-boy-ness: Ronan Lynch, from Maggie Stiefvater’s The Raven Boys series. Teen me always went after the baddest of the bad, the boys who might as well have been wearing T-shirts that proclaimed, WARNING: I WILL LEGIT BREAK YOUR HEART. She thought she could save them with love, or lust, or something like that, and Ronan would’ve been a prime candidate. The boy is a tortured soul, full of rage, hot-tempered, plagued by nightmares of the most vicious creatures imaginable. He fights. He curses. He drag races. He’s got a crazy tattoo. Yet for all his anger and secrets, Ronan is a fiercely loyal friend with a deeply passionate soul, a combination that would’ve melted teen me’s heart. A date on the dangerous side with a boy who carries a baby raven and never lies? Yes, please.
Maybe not the traditional definition of swoon, but yeah. This is why teen me was always getting into trouble!
Gansey had once told Adam that he was afraid most people didn’t know how to handle Ronan. What he meant by this was that he was worried that one day someone would fall on Ronan and cut themselves.
He was clearly related to Declan: same nose, same dark eyebrows, same phenomenal teeth. But there was a carefully cultivated sense of danger to this Lynch brother. This was not a rattlesnake hidden in the grass, but a deadly coral snake striped with warning colors. Everything about him was a warning: If this snake bit you, you had no one to blame but yourself.
Sarah Ockler is the bestselling author of The Book of Broken Hearts, Bittersweet, Twenty Boy Summer, and Fixing Delilah. Her books have been translated into several languages and have received numerous accolades, including ALA’s Best Fiction for Young Adults, Girls’ Life Top 100 Must Reads, and nominations for YALSA Teens’ Top Ten and NPR’s Top 100 Teen Books. Sarah is a champion cupcake eater, coffee drinker, night person, and bookworm.
When she’s not writing or reading at home in Colorado, she enjoys hugging trees and road-tripping through the country with her husband, Alex. Her latest novel, #scandal, about a girl involved in a social media maelstorm, will be released in June 2014. Visit her online on her website and Twitter.
My top literary crush is from a book I’ve been reading since I was a kid, but it wasn’t until recent years that I fully appreciated this character’s crush-worthiness: Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird. He’s an intellect, a devoted father, a man unafraid of standing up for justice and equality, and a vulnerable person who’s struggling to keep everything together.
When I was a teen, Gothic romantic heroes such as Mr. Rochester from Charlotte Brontë’s Jane Eyre stole my heart in a second, but now that I’m older, I’ll take Atticus over a brooding, tortured soul any day. It certainly doesn’t hurt that in the movie adaptation Gregory Peck rocks those Atticus suits and glasses (seriously, he does!). My favorite line about the character is the very last one in the book, when he’s keeping vigil over his injured son, who’s just had a brush with violence and death. There’s nothing sexier than a person unafraid to stick around when life turns ugly.
Cat Winters’ critically acclaimed debut novel In the Shadow of the Blackbirds is a 2014 YALSA Morris Award Finalist, a 2014 YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults pick, and a School Library Journal Best Book of 2013.
My fictional crush is Lincoln from the Violet Eden Chapters. I’m not typically a big fan of love triangles, but Jessica Shirvington’s series is one of those rare books where I adore both guys, but even so, Lincoln comes out on top for me. He’s Australian (sigh) and gorgeous (of course), but mostly I love him because he has the fierce edge, charisma, and protectiveness of an alpha male, but he isn’t a jerk. In fact, he’s incredibly understanding and supportive, and even when he’s furious with Violet, he’s still there for her. I just recently started from the beginning and experienced this whole series again in audiobook, and it was just as addictive the second time around. It’s definitely one of the most heart-wrenching and entertaining cases of forbidden love that I’ve read in a long time, with just the right balance of steam and emotion. Speaking of steam, here’s their first kiss from the first book:
“I pushed passed him. He grabbed my hand and swung me back towards him. Then he pushed me against the wall and… he kissed me.
He ran his thumb along my jawline and down my throat, hips pinning me to the wall. He kissed me slowly and with intensity, and once I got over the mind-numbing shock and comprehended what was actually happening, it was incredible. I had never been kissed like that before. We melted together. Every movement of mine was somehow perfectly mirrored by his. My heart was pounding so hard I knew he must be able to feel it and I was sure my legs were giving way, but he held me up, pushed me harder against the wall.
I grabbed a handful of his hair, remembering all the times I’d dreamed of doing it. I let my hand drift down his back and pulled him even closer to me. It all happened so quickly. I heard him make a low kind of growl and lean into me. His hand slid down my leg behind my knee, drawing it to him. I moaned and felt him tense.”
But sadly, as mind-blowing as their kiss is… there’s something that will keep them apart, even though they both want to be together, which is where that emotion comes in!
“Linc, I have no idea what you’re talking about. I actually thought that was kind of unbelievable as far as kisses go.”
I was glad we were in the dark and he couldn’t see me blushing. He made a sound somewhere between a sigh and a growl of frustration. He pulled me in for a hug, which I fell into, feeling crushed. I had the strangest feeling we were stealing this moment and no matter how tightly I held on, it wouldn’t help. Lincoln’s next words were soft and perhaps not even meant for me, but they burned their way right into my soul.
“Did you ever think we would be anything other than unbelievable?”
“Seeking Her,” a Losing It novella, was just released in January 2014, and her next series kicks off in May 2014 with All Lined Up. Visit her online on her website and Twitter to keep up with all her latest news!
Since we’re talking literary crushes, I feel the need to confess a deep and abiding love for Molly Millions from William Gibson’s Sprawl trilogy. She is the Sherlock to my Watson. The Rainbow Dash to my Fluttershy. If Molly asked, I’d become Mr Millions in a heartbeat. Sadly, this would inevitably spell my death at the hands of my current bride, but I’m sure I’d die grinning like a . . .
Wait . . . my real wife’s never gonna read this, right?
Molly is a “razor girl” (basically a hired thug) with jacked up reflexes, razor-sharp retractable claws under her fingernails and mirrored lenses that let her see in the dark affixed to her eye sockets. These lenses have a kinda odd side effect, in that her tear ducts have been re-routed to her mouth, so basically she can’t cry. She either spits her tears out or just swallows them. YES, THIS WOMAN DRINKS HER OWN TEARS WHILE WATCHING SAD MOVIES OH MY GOD.
So yeah, she’s basically a complete badass, and I love her. The end. (and if you happen to be my real wife reading this – it’s just for the luls, u know I luv u baby, right?)
Jay Kristoff is the author of The Lotus War trilogy, a Japanese-inspired steampunk fantasy. Part 3, will be released in September 2014. He’s also co-author of the upcoming Illumiane (with Amie Kaufman), a YA Sci-Fi… thing, to be released by Knopf/Random House in 2015.
Jay is 6’7 and has approximately 13520 days to live. He abides in Melbourne with his secret agent kung-fu assassin wife, and the world’s laziest Jack Russell.
My boyfriend is Michael Moscovitz, from Meg Cabot’s The Princess Diaries series. (Or at least Michael would be my boyfriend if I were his age, or if he were my age– at this point it would be intensely creepy and illegal if I was introducing around a 17 year old as my life partner.) Michael is basically everything I look for in a guy: he’s incredibly smart, he’s creative, he’s ambitious, he’s a great problem-solver, he respects women, he’s romantic without being pathetic or cliched, he’s into music, and, bonus, he’s Jewish! He even starts a rock band named after a psych experiment– and I majored in psychology in college. That is a true spiritual bond between us.
In the books, it’s so important to Michael that he make something of himself, to be worthy of Mia’s love, but also he doesn’t put up with too much of Mia’s B.S.–when she’s being truly ridiculous, he calls her on it. I’m confident that Michael Moscovitz and I would get along really great. If you ask him, I’m sure he’d say the same thing.
Leila Sales is the author of the novels Mostly Good Girls, Past Perfect, and This Song Will Save Your Life. Much like the characters in This Song Will Save Your Life, Leila regularly stays up too late and listens to music too loud.
When she’s not writing, she spends her time thinking about sleeping, kittens, chocolate, and the meaning of life. But mostly chocolate. Leila lives and writes in Brooklyn, New York, and works in children’s book publishing. Follow her on Twitter @LeilaSalesBooks.
One of my MANY fictional crushes (What? I’m good at multi-tasking!) is Noah from Pushing the Limits by Katie McGarry. I love Noah because he’s a bad boy on the outside, but he’s driven by love and protectiveness on the inside. He’s just been too wounded by the awful things that have happened in his life to trust allowing anyone into his heart. But when he encounters Echo, a damaged girl with scars on the inside and out, he can’t keep his hardened persona in place. He tries. :) But he falls in love with her, and it’s the kind of love that pushes him to move any mountain standing in his way.
Here’s a scene where Noah is realizing that Echo means more to him than he realized.
“Tender hands wove into my hair, guiding my head to hers. I inhaled her delicious, warm scent: cinnamon rolls, straight out of the oven. The first taste of her lips didn’t disappoint. Sweet sugar teased my tongue, heightening my awareness of the gift Echo offered to me.
This girl owned my soul and stole my heart. She’d opened herself to me, giving me love and never asked for anything in return. I deepened our kiss, the words I love you stuck in my mind.”
C.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, lemon bars, and any movie starring Johnny Depp. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray/Harper Collins. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband, four kids, two cats, and one long-suffering dog.
One of the things I love about The Girl of Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson is that the people seem very, very real. When I read the first book, I had no idea which of the mean I wanted to root for as a romantic match for the heroine, Elisa. But then I just got distracted by the whole thing because I was too busy rooting for Elisa herself. That said, there was one man who I liked the best, from the first mustache twitch: Hector. I fell in love with him slowly (much like Elisa did). He was true, and he saw who Elisa really was from the very start. While other people focused on Elisa’s appearance, Hector appreciated Elisa for her personality and thoughts. He cared about WHO she was, not what, and that is why I adore him.
I can’t help it, I find Hector’s mustache twitches adorable! He’s so stoic–it’s only his mustache that gives away what he’s really thinking :) Here’s a quote from the first book in the series:
My cheeks feel hot, and my hands are sweating. “I just assumed you would be Queen’s Guard.” I wait an eternity for his answer. Then his face relaxes, and his mustache twitches with the influence of a soft smile. “I would be honored, Your Majesty.” I exhale in relief. “Oh, thank God.”
Beth Revis is the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and IndieBound bestselling author of the Across the Universe series(Razorbill/Penguin ), as well as several in-world short stories published in various anthologies. The books are currently available in more than 20 languages.
Our thanks to the wonderful authors who stopped by to share their fictional crushes with us today! So what do you think–have you read these books the authors chose? Do you crush on any of these characters, too?
Also, be sure to join us tomorrow when The Midnight Garden girls post our own fictional crushes! SWOON WITH US, PEEPS.