It’s no secret, I love reading about people falling in love. So I thought it would be fun to explore some of the ways used in a few of my favorite young adult novels to build up to that all important ‘L word.’
Best friends. I love it when long-time best friends discover they have feelings for each other. Whether they tell each other right away and deal with the fall out, or the main character is just discovering her feelings and thinks she is alone in them, it’s fun to struggle along with them. The familiarity of the relationship and the two knowing each other so well, makes a fun story, sure to have my heart aching for them to finally figure things out because they belong together.
One of my favorite leading men in this type of story is: Jay (from The Body Finder)
“It was the same thing every day. There was nothing different from yesterday and the day before that. Nothing different from every single day since they’d met.
Except that now her stomach climbed into her throat as he grinned his stupid sideways grin at her and slid into the car.” –Kimberly Derting The Body Finder
The intriguing stranger. On the opposite end of the best friends discovering love is falling for the complete stranger…eventually. There’s something fun about discovering the details of a boy right along with the main character. The not knowing what his looks mean. The not knowing what his past holds. The mystery of it all is compelling.
My favorite intriguing stranger is: Wes (from The Truth About Forever)
“Now that he was right in front of me, I could see that he was tall and had brown hair that was a little bit too long. He was also strikingly handsome, with the sort of sculpted cheekbones and angular features that you couldn’t help but notice, even if you did have a boyfriend.” –Sarah Dessen The Truth About Forever
The cocky bad boy. Why oh why am I still drawn to the bad boy who is hot and knows it? I think it’s because I love seeing that confidence start to crack as the main character breaks down those walls. There is something about the vulnerability that lies behind all that bravado that gets me every time.
My favorite cocky bad boy? Jace (from City of Bones)
“He cocked an eyebrow. ‘Can I help you with something?’
Clary turned instant traitor against her gender. ‘Those girls on the other side of the car are staring at you.’
Jace assumed an air of mellow gratification. ‘Of course they are,’ he said. ‘I’m stunningly attractive.’” –Cassandra Clare City of Bones
The childhood crush reappearing. Ah, years of pent up feelings that come rushing back when a childhood crush suddenly reappears in the life of the MC. I love this. I especially love this when things ended badly or in a misunderstanding like with Cricket in Lola and the Boy Next Door. I love this book. I love Cricket.
“We take each other in. My mind spins as it tries to connect the Cricket of the present with the Cricket of the past. He’s grown up and grown into his body, but it’s still him. The same boy I fell in love with in the ninth grade. My feelings had been building since our childhood, but that year, the year he turned sixteen, was the year everything changed.” –Stephanie Perkins Lola and the Boy Next Door
The protector. Lastly, one of my favorite types of love stories is the girl falling for her protector. I love a strong love interest whose instinct is to protect, even if it’s begrudgingly at first.
My favorite protector as of late is: Perry (from Under The Never Sky)
“The Outsider picked up his bow and quiver, looping them over his shoulder. ‘No talking once we cross that ridge. Not a word, understand?’
‘Why? What’s out there?’
His eyes, always bright, looked like green lights in the pale dawn. ‘Your stories are, Mole. All of them.’” –Veronica Rossi Under The Never Sky
Isn’t it great how many ways there are to fall in love? And I fell in love with all these characters again while I was putting this post together. I can’t wait to discover more favorites as I continue to read.
Pivot Point Blurb
(Check out her other 2013 release Distance Between Us)
Addison Coleman’s life is one big “What if?” As a Searcher, whenever Addie is faced with a choice, she can look into the future and see both outcomes. It’s the ultimate insurance plan against disaster. Or so she thought. When Addie’s parents ambush her with the news of their divorce, she has to pick who she wants to live with—her father, who is leaving the paranormal compound to live among the “Norms,” or her mother, who is staying in the life Addie has always known. Addie loves her life just as it is, so her answer should be easy. One Search six weeks into the future proves it’s not.
In one potential future, Addie is adjusting to life outside the Compound as the new girl in a Norm high school where she meets Trevor, a cute, sensitive artist who understands her. In the other path, Addie is being pursued by the hottest guy in school—but she never wanted to be a quarterback’s girlfriend. When Addie’s father is asked to consult on a murder in the Compound, she’s unwittingly drawn into a dangerous game that threatens everything she holds dear. With love and loss in both lives, it all comes down to which reality she’s willing to live through . . . and who she can’t live without.
A stay-at-home mom of four children, three of them girls, ranging in age from 12to four, Kasie West hears lots of melodramatic versions of large-than-life events. She graduated with a BA in liberal studies, with a strong focus on linguistics and psychology, from Fresno State University. She lives in Fresno, CA.