Thursday, 16 June 2011

In Praise of A "Good Boy"

If you're a girl over the age of 12, I'm pretty sure it's safe to say you know the appeal - dark and dangerous they may be - of a 'bad boy'. Heck when I was twelve I was lusting after Angel in Buffy the Vampire Slayer and let me tell you, with fangs, a lust for pretty young blonds who can kick some serious ass and an ancient curse the only thing from stopping this guy from ripping your throat out one piece at a time - Angel is the ultimate in bad boys you can't help but love. So, it comes as no surprise that most of us girls want to at least experience, if only vicariously though the books we read, the mass appeal of a guy you can't stand to love, or shouldn't love, but do any way. There's just something about the passion and weakness they inspire that gets by blood pumping. BUT, this post is about a much needed nod to the guys we seem to overlook.

These guys are the ones who will stick by you through thick and thin, lend you a shoulder to cry on, be honest and open with their emotions and fears and generally be there for you instead of the girl having to fall all over herself trying to pry two words from the brooding, sexy, dark hero, who seriously...just needs to get a clue and get over himself. I'm all for men being men, but the ladies shouldn't have to do all the work. It'd be nice if the bad boys could be caring, considerate, darkly dangerous and still rub your feet and make you dinner after a long day.

So after some thinking I've come up with a list of good boys who have melted my heart just as much as the bad boys I usually tend to fall for.

10. Dimitri Belekov - Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead

Why he's a good boy: Dimitri enters the scene as a fiercely loyal, successful and dedicated guardian to the Moroi vampires at the Academy. He lets nothing stand in his way, but maintains a strict reliance on the rules and regs laid out by the higher ups - except when it comes to his forbidden attraction to Rose. Dimitri is an all around decent guy who until book four when readers realize he's done dark after a run in with a Strogoi, maintains his level-headedness and caring nature. Plus he's HOT

9. Alexander Belov - The Bronze Horseman by Paullina Simons

Why he's a good boy: So for any one who has read this book - you clearly understand why Alexander made the list. For any one who hasn't, 1) read the book 2) from the first moment Alex and Tatia meet they fall for one another. It's beautiful and innocent and all kinds of fluttering in your stomach enjoyable. There relationship doesn't evolve on the all together straight and narrow path one would assume and for the majority of the book these two are struggling to be with each other. It's tragic, but beautiful and all kinds of fluttering in your stomach delicious. Alex is the type of guy you'd love to fall in love with. A soldier, he has discipline, is loyal, strong, fierce and uncompromising but he's also very tender, loving, considerate and understanding. He loves his woman and literally sacrifices everything to save her life. You cannot help but fall in love with this good guy. A movie adaptation is being made of this book - epic - like Gone With the Wind long and epic and amazing.

8. John After - Going too Far by Jennifer Echols

Why he's a good boy: John After as some pain he's working through, but ultimately he is the tame, responsible, law abiding citizen who works hard to keep his small town safe and to keep the teenagers from making mistakes they can't take back. He is a new cop in town and arrests the heroine for risky business on a no-trespassing bridge. This moment is what starts the tentative but explosive relationship between the two, one a wild-child, the other a staid rule-follower. Makes for some great moments.

7. Nate - Lock & Key by Sarah Dessen

Why he's a good boy: Nate is a sweetie. He's popular, friendly, funny and charming but isn't arrogant or expecting. He befriends Ruby, the new girl in town with a troubled past and doesn't judge or fault her for anything she's going through or dealing with. Nate lends support when needed and is always willing to give the heroine some much needed advice. Nate was Dessen's first hero I fell for and interestingly enough, she is one of few authors who make the 'good guy' the leading man who gets the girl.

6. Wes - The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen

Why he's a good boy: Another Dessen leading man, Wes is gorgeous, quiet and introspective and an amazing artist. I loved watching him and Macy get to know one another, take the first tentative steps into friendship and then slowly discover their deep feelings for one another. Wes was one of those characters who with his quietness could almost fade into the background, but you always know he's there because when he's not you miss him like crazy. Although he had a run in with a juvenile detention center, Wes is by no means a bad-boy.

5. Jarrod Thornton - Old Magic by Marianne Curley

Why he's a good boy: This book was an absolute favourite of mine when i first read it in his school. I loved the magic, the curses, the travel back in time, the history of Jarrod's life and everything that plagued him through out his journey. This book could be used as a metaphor for a coming of age type novel and I loved that it took a strong woman to stand by Jarrod's side an encourage him all the way, in order for Jarrod to really come to terms with his heritage. Kate and Jarrod were great together and Jarrod was one of those geeky, yet sweet and loveable guys you can help but love for his clumsiness and ineptitude. He finds his strength through out the book and I loved watching him do it.

4. Etienne St. Claire - Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins

Why he's a good boy: St. Claire is so cute. Charming and sensitive, he's funny and sincere and falls for the heroine in the most genuine and endearing way. I love reading books where a friendship becomes the foundation for a strong relationship and this book had that in spades. Etienne was caring and encouraging of Anna, shared her interests and broadened her horizons. He is definitely the type of guy you would want as a friend and also the type of guy you'd want as more. I also loved that he was short lol I'm very much into the tall dark and handsome, and loved that Perkins gave us a totally loveable hero who didn't fall back on the stereotype for the 'perfect' male. Etienne could laugh at himself and did - another huge point in his favour.

3. Joe - The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson

Why he's a good boy: This book broke my heart and put it back together again. Dealing heavily with the overwhelming grief of a young girl who has recently lost her sister, Joe comes into Lennie's life and brings joy and laughter. With his curly mop of hair and musical passion, he coaxes Lennie from her sadness and heartbreak and is completely unselfish while doing so. I smiled every time Joe was in a scene. He was sweet with Lennie's grandma and uncle, passionate and heartfelt in everything he did. A thoroughly loveable guy you just want to wrap your arms around.

2. John Thornton - North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell

Why he's a good boy: First, it's really not appropriate to call Thornton a 'boy', he's all man and all goodness. I read this book for a university call in my second year and adored it. I didn't love many I was forced to read for classes but this one was right up my alley as a lover of the classics. A largely social problem novel, Gaskell managed to create what in my opinion is one of the best love stories written - right up there with the Jane Austen novels everyone loves so much. (My personal fav is Persuasion- so I get the appeal) Thornton falls for Margaret in the best way. She's headstrong, stubborn, opinionated and sometimes quick to judge. Thornton is everything Margaret is and yet he sees the beauty of her passionate nature and falls head over heels for her despite the fact that she bugs the crap out of him. He's loyal to his family, a hard worker who is intent on bettering himself and making his life and that of those he loves a success. Perhaps a bit of a momma's boy, he loves his mom dearly and will do anything to protect her and see her happy. His serious nature masks a devilish passion and heart felt desire to love someone for the rest of his life.

1. Gilbert Blythe - Anne of Green Gables by Lucy Maud Montgomery

Why he's a good boy: Gilbert Blythe - man I love this guy. He is the epitome of everything mentioned above. Quietly persuasive, charming, funny, endearing, a great friend, quietly determined and won't ever give up on proving to Anne Shirley that he is the one for her. The hero she's always dreamed about and yearned for, the man who will support her in all things, drive her crazy, love her to pieces and protect her at all costs. These two had a rocky start - it happens when the girl smashes a slate over your head for calling her carrots - but in Gil's defense he just wanted to meet her so much. Anne said it best when she said, “I wouldn’t want to marry anybody who was wicked, but I think I’d like it if he could be wicked and wouldn’t.” Gil is the best kind of good guy. The one you would whole heatedly hope to marry because you know it's the type of love that will last a lifetime. With a guy this devoted, how could it not. Gilbert Blythe fell hard for Anne Shirley from the moment they first met.

So Ladies, there it is, the power of a good guy. Bad boys have their appeal, I'm the first to admit it - but good guys, they have staying power and ultimately treat their gals like the queens they are :)


  1. I've been in love with Gilbert Blythe since I was eight years old (although don't tell my boyfriend!)!!! I think the movie version hightened this love.... the actor was just perfect! And its kind of funny because I'm in the middle of re-reading Anne of Green Gables right now! I haven't really read any of the other books on your list but I'm sure those guys are equally as great! Love this post! I should do one of my own sometime :)

  2. I <3 Gilbert Blythe!!!! I agree with Natalie. The actor was perfect. I've been trying to get my daughter to read some of the classics and Anne of Green Gables is on my/her list. Good idea for a post!