Jackie’s Book Boyfriends (2015)

Silas Hart of Truest | I mean, come on. He was literally created to be my dream boy if I were seventeen years old. He has to be #1!

“I had all these plans—but you ruined them all. You destroyed my old plans and became my new plan.”

“I feel like if I was lost, you would know where to find me.”

yes oprah

Sean Kendrick of The Scorpio Races | Strong, silent type? Yes. I love you, Sean.

“I say, ‘I will not be your weakness, Sean Kendrick.’
Now he looks at me. He says, very softly, ‘It’s late for that, Puck.’”

hell to the yeah

Will Trombal of Saving Francesca and The Piper’s Son | Will, oh my love. My heart. My sweet nerd.

“Come here,” she says.
“No, you come here.”
“I said it first.”
“Rock paper scissors.”
“No. Because you’ll do nerdy calculations and work out what I chose the last six times and then you’ll win.”
Will pushes away from the table and his hand snakes out and he pulls her toward him and Tom figures that Will was always going to go to her first.

rapunzel swoon

Khalid Ibn Al-Rashid of The Wrath and the Dawn | He’s gorgeous, soft-spoken, and lethal with his shamshir. (I didn’t know weaponry could turn me on so much … maybe it’s just the mastery of it. :-))

“What are you doing to me, you plague of a girl?” he whispered.

“If I’m a plague, then you should keep your distance, unless you plan on being destroyed.” The weapons still in her grasp, she shoved against his chest.

“No.” His hands dropped to her waist. “Destroy me.”

hot damn

Jonah Griggs of Jellicoe Road | A tough-as-nails cadet with a heart of gold? His tough love is perfect for Taylor.

“He stops and looks at me. ‘I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”


Augustus Waters of The Fault in Our Stars | Augustus inspired me to write YA in the first place, did you know that? I love him and his metaphors.

“Oh, I wouldn’t mind, Hazel Grace. It would be a privilege to have my heart broken by you.”


Honorable mentions: Richard Campbell Gansey III, Theodore Finch, Tim Mason, Beck Van Buren. And Finnikin and Froi. All the Marchetta boys, basically.

How about you? 

1 thought on “Jackie’s Book Boyfriends (2015)

  1. I write this comment in case other men have read this list and feel the same way I do. Of these books, I have only read Truest; the page numbers below refer the hardcover edition.

    I am less than six feet tall. I do not have “abs for days” or any length of time. My chest, stomach and arms do not have “the perfect amount of muscle” (or much muscle at all) and are not “toned and fit” (p. 117). I could say that I have chest hair, but there is not much of a chest behind it. If I stretch in front of a mirror, I am scrawny enough that I can count 10 ribs. No one has ever said “Get ready to swoon!” when writing about me. I am not as rich as the Harts and my words are rarely close to poetic. My grin does not cause anyone’s heart to do cartwheels. I do not sing well, much less with a voice rushing “forth like an anthem” (p. 70). I can’t do advanced statistics in my head. I am certainly not capable of sexually arousing anyone with weaponry, my use of sharp objects, or my ability to kill. I must admit that I read lists like this and feel despair as if I lost a competition I could never win; I feel a crushing fear that I will never be good enough.

    When I can think about my feelings clearly, I realize they are teaching me a valuable lesson. I think I am getting a brief and diluted taste of the kind of insecurities women and girls in our culture experience every time they watch a movie, turn on the TV, see a model in a magazine, browse the internet, read social media, or otherwise try to engage popular culture. If I feel like this for a short time while reading a novel or blog post, how terrible must if feel to be bombarded with unattainable standards by popular culture every day? In my better moments, this realization produces a desire to stop participating in the bombardment and in my best moments, the will to act against it.

    I realized long ago that if I am to stop participating, I need to remove a lot from my life, heart, and mind. First, all material that promotes unattainable or unhealthy standards, from the vilest images to the Sports Illustrated “swimsuit” edition and a great many movies, must be emptied from my brain and not consumed again. All unrealistic or illicit fantasies, including any book or movie “girlfriend lists” I might have, must go. I do not wish to live in a bubble isolated from the troubles of the real world, but I need to recognize those troubles for what they are, confront them, and not let them corrupt me any further. I need to fight to do most of these things every day of my life.

    To act against the bombardment, I need to fill the space I emptied with something better. I need to treat the women and girls in my life with the compassion and respect I give my sister or my mother. I need to look into their eyes and see them as whole people. I need to choose every day to treat my students and colleagues with equity, regardless of gender. When I see friends, students, or colleagues participating in the bombardment, I need to peacefully, individually, and kindly speak up about it. Most importantly, I need to listen and understand the damage this bombardment does to my female and male friends, family, students, and colleagues.

    As for my own insecurities, I accept that I am not Silas Hart, and I never will be. The truly good news is that I don’t need to be! My value is not determined by comparison with others; it is given to me by God. I can just be the best version of myself possible today. I need to remind myself of these truths every day.

    My value and happiness are not dependent on having a significant other. Depending on romance or another person for happiness or fulfillment places a burden on them that only God can bear. While I was single, I had many examples of men, from Saint Paul to Ralph Nader, who lived joyful and fulfilling lives while being single. I learned how to be content as a single young man.

    Now that I am married, I can learn lessons about how to love my bride from Silas, Elliot, and the others on this list. I tell her how beautiful she is, regardless of what she is (or isn’t) wearing. I learn about and join her in the things that she enjoys, like Silas listening to August Arms with West. I will never be as poetic or verbally swoon-inducing as Silas, Sean, Will, Khalid, Jonah, or Augustus, but I continue to learn the words and actions that communicate my love to her. I have never held a shamshir, but I have mastered using kitchen knives to cut up a pineapple just the way she likes, and I can chop and saw firewood well enough for our fireplace. Despite all of my imagined shortcomings in comparison to Silas and the others, a beautiful, brilliant, caring, honest, loyal, and overall amazing woman agreed to be my wife. She has been married to me for six years today, and she has made clear that she loves me and will stay with me for the rest of her life (and longer if possible). I am still amazed and very grateful.

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