Writing, Reading, All Things YA

YA and NA – Top Ten Fictional Men by Laura Howard


When you’re a little girl, you daydream of what the man of your dreams will be like. How he’ll put you up on a pedestal, and nothing on earth will ever come before you and your needs.

Maybe you’re one of the lucky ones who’s Prince Charming is a living, breathing version of that dream. Or, maybe you’re still looking.

But for many of us, when the cotton-candy dreams of childhood wear off and families and/or bills take center stage, it is a beautiful thing to sink deep into the world of fictional boys.

As I was compiling this list of some of my favorite heroes in YA lit, I noticed that there is a pattern. And, from the popularity of some of these fellas, I’m thinking I’m not the only one. See if you notice the pattern:

10 Marcus Flutie from the Jessica Darling Series by Megan McCafferty

“Loving you has never been the problem.  What’s troubling me is how loving you may never be enough”

9 Eugenides from the Queen’s Thief Series by Megan Whalen Turner

“My beautiful queen. Your entire court is staring at you, and I can’t blame them.”

8 Lucas from Easy by Tammara Webber

“Choosing to be with you, isn’t a difficult decision, Jacqueline…It’s easy. Incredibly easy.”

7 Wes from The Truth About Forever by Sarah Dessen

“I don’t know. Just because someone’s pretty doesn’t mean she’s decent. I’m not into appearances. I like flaws, I think they make things interesting.”

8 Four from The Divergent Series by Veronica Roth

“I might be in love with you. I’m waiting until I’m sure to tell you, though.”

7 Roiben from The Modern Faerie Tale Series by Holly Black

“You are the only thing I have that is neither duty nor obligation, the only thing I chose for myself. The only thing I want. ”

6 Rushton from the Obernewtyn Chronicles by Isobelle Carmody

“You are everything.”

5 Dimitri from Vampire Academyby Richelle Mead

“Wait until next time. I’ll do things that’ll make you lose control within seconds.”

4 Finn from Flat-Out Love by Jessica Park

“I tell you that I don’t want this to end. I don’t want to land and reach the real world, because I like our world up here better.”

3 Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare 

“Clary, since the first time I saw you, I have belonged to you completely. I still do. If you want me.”

2 Edward from The Twilight Saga by Stephenie Meyer

“I honestly have no idea how to live without you.”

1 Travis from Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire

“I didn’t know I was lost until you found me. I didn’t know what alone was until the first night I spent without you in my bed. You’re the one thing I’ve got right. You’re what I’ve been waiting for, Pigeon.”

Did you pick up on the theme?

A hefty percent of these male leads are the all-consuming, obsessive boyfriends that in real life would smother their ladies to insanity.

I feel kind of ashamed of it, because I am not a clingy person AT ALL. Nor do I  think of myself as the type of woman who NEEDS her man to make her feel whole. But, women all over the planet have swooned for Edward Cullen and Travis Maddox. The relationships between Edward and Bella and Travis and Abby are obsessive, all-consuming affairs skating on the unhealthy side.

I’ve come to the conclusion that the reason we fall for these literary heart throbs is because in our deepest hearts, it’s fun to still fantasize about having someone to love us with that level of fiery intensity.

Who would make it on your Top Ten?

You can visit Laura and her amazing guest bloggers at Finding Bliss

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15 thoughts on “YA and NA – Top Ten Fictional Men by Laura Howard

  1. Thanks for having me Allie! As I wrote this post I was a little nervous how your readers would react to some of my choices, so I’m excited to hear who is on everyone else’s list!

  2. Such a great post, Laura – you’re so totally and completely right about the running theme of these guys, but they’re always the most memorable, aren’t they? And in a way, getting a guy to fall for you that hard feels empowering in theory even though it’s often ultimately the opposite in practice. Still, they make for some very swoony quotes, don’t they?

    • Exactly- in theory it’s terribly romantic and keeps us up all night. But in the real world it’s like – woah, take a hike pal! ;)

      • Wow, yo u’re right. I think it’s the fantasy of having that all-consuming love that women secretly enjoy. Who doesn’t want to be the center of some man’s life?

  3. Excellent post Laura – I recognized so many of these quotes from the books! I must love the same type of novels as you do! It is important to feel loved and cherished but as you said we don’t want it to turn into obsession. Stalkers are not popular with the ladies! Thanks for the quotes…I’ll cherish them LOL…little joke there!

  4. What a fun post! I’ve GOT to check out more of these books. I’ve only had the chance to read a handful. This topic will keep me thinking for at least the rest of the day…

  5. There’s a reason Liz and I dedicated LENGTHS to Marcus Flutie. Him. Yes. Him. ;) Nice list!

  6. I have only read three of this top ten but am excited at the awesome swoon worthy gents I will be in for this fall! All of these books are in the TBR pile. My number one is Griffin from Kady Cross’ The Girl in the Steel Corset…

  7. Pingback: Oh Boy! The Men of YA Festival Fun | ALLIE B BOOKS

  8. Girls—–yayayaya! Fav post ever. I’m ashamed to say I lose my shit when it comes to obsession and love in books.

  9. But we can’t help but love those Alpha-males. We women just don’t realize how much we love being bossed around :)

  10. Fascinating post–and I’m amazed at how you cited the perfect quote for each point you made. Very insightful article about the psychology of what draws readers to these books!

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