I’m so excited to have Heather on the blog on Valentine’s Day to talk about the book boyfriend from her new novel, Something Real, as well as some of the book boyfriends she’s crushed on! She has picked some amazingly swoonworthy ones! Also, make sure you make it to the bottom of the post and enter the giveaway for your own copy of Something Real!
For the Love of Book Boyfriends
by Heather Demetrios
It being Valentine’s Day and all, I thought this would be a perfect opportunity to talk about book boyfriends. Specifically, the book boyfriend from SOMETHING REAL, my debut novel. Here’s a little description of Patrick Sheldon:
…with his longish hair and threadbare secondhand couture, he could be a beat poet, Kerouac or one of his friends. He looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint.
He might not be everyone’s version of dreamy, but he’s my version of dreamy—and, more importantly, my protagonist’s. Creating a book boyfriend is A LOT of fun, but it’s no easy task. I didn’t want Patrick to be a cardboard guy, an Everyteen that could be any number of seventeen-year-old dudes across America. How many times have you read just another version of Ned from Nancy Drew (which, ironically, is short for EDWARD)? You want your guy to be loveable, yes. Swoony? Yes. Perfect? No. In one of my early drafts of SOMETHING REAL, my agent told me Patrick was too perfect and I knew she was right, so I had to dive back into the manuscript and roughen him up a little. The main issue was that he never got upset about any of the crap he has to deal with. His girlfriend’s on a reality TV show and paparazzi are everywhere: even if some teen guys might think that’s cool, I’d already created a Patrick who wasn’t about the fame game. Remember: he looks like the kind of boy who would jump trains, strum a guitar, and pass a joint. That’s not the kind of guy that wants to be on the cover of US Weekly. In his perfection, it was almost as if Patrick existed to be my protagonist’s boyfriend instead of a living, breathing character who’s a person in his own right. When your book boyfriend is unbelievable, it’s much harder to fall in love with him because you can’t pretend that he’s real. The fantasy dies a quick death.
Over the course of Something Real, Patrick and Bonnie™ have their ups and downs. Though it was hard for me to write those downs because I fell in love with both of them, the book is better for it. Patrick is also his own person, with a passion for architecture, some serious smarts, and a refusal to be a doormat. He makes sacrifices for the girl he loves, but he also knows when to say enough is enough. Because of that, they have…wait for it…something real.
Right now is a great time for book boyfriends in YA. Here are three of my favorites:
St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins
People had been telling me to read this book forever, but I didn’t get to it until this past Christmas. Oh my gosh—talk about swoon-worthy! What I love is that Stephanie Perkins gives St. Clair some quirks and imperfections so that even though every girl in the school wants him, he’s not your typical high school hottie. St. Clair’s not always nice to Anna and he doesn’t always make the right choices. He’s very, very cute but Perkins offsets that with his self-consciousness over being short and his unmanly fear of heights (and his utter inability to come to a decision about his love life). I like how smart he is, that he appreciates Anna’s oddities, and that he does a ton of adorable things. I also liked that sometimes he pissed me off and had to earn his way back into my heart…and Anna’s.
Levi from Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
Who doesn’t love Levi? Rainbow Rowell is pretty much the queen of creating amazing book boyfriends (Park from Eleanor and Park is my jam, as well). I love that Levi’s a gentleman, but he’s not a chaste dude. I like that he has his own passions and that he’s a super positive guy. It is so rare to find someone who always looks on the bright side and who can’t keep a smile off his face. Oh, and he makes a mean latte. Need I say more?
Sean from The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater
Here’s an awesome fantasy book boyfriend for you. What I really like about Sean is that he has his own singular passion and this is what brings him and Puck together. They are very much their own people, but they discover ways they can support and care for one another. Their individual fierce independence is part of what creates so much chemistry between them. He’s also tough in the most laid back kind of way, a bit of a loner, and has a good heart. I love those mystery guys, the iconoclasts that are comfortable in their own skin and don’t give a crap what anyone else thinks. But it only works if they have a sensitive side and know how to treat a girl right, like Mr. Sean Kendrick.
About the Book
There’s nothing real about reality TV.
Seventeen-year-old Bonnie™ Baker has grown up on TV—she and her twelve siblings are the stars of one-time hit reality show Baker’s Dozen. Since the show’s cancellation and the scandal surrounding it, Bonnie™ has tried to live a normal life, under the radar and out of the spotlight. But it’s about to fall apart…because Baker’s Dozen is going back on the air. Bonnie™’s mom and the show’s producers won’t let her quit and soon the life she has so carefully built for herself, with real friends (and maybe even a real boyfriend), is in danger of being destroyed by the show. Bonnie™ needs to do something drastic if her life is ever going to be her own—even if it means being more exposed than ever before.
About the Author
I love books. I love writing stories almost as much as I like reading them. When I’m not traipsing about the world, I prefer to spend my time in imaginary places—maybe I’ll see you in one of them. I’ll be the one with my nose in a book and more tattoos than your mother would approve of.