Top Ten Book Boyfriends of 2011
Top Ten of 2011, a fabulous week of looking back at the best of the best this past year, is hosted by Lisa from A Life Bound By Books, Rachel from Fiktshun & Jaime & Patricia from Two Chicks on Books and Jessica from Confessions of a Bookaholic.
Ah Book Boyfriends. What’s a good book without someone to swoon over?!
Without further ado, and in no particular order, here’s my Top Ten Swoonworthy Guys of 2011. Enjoy.
1) Andrius Arvydas from Between Shades of Gray
I fell completely for Andrius. The romance in this book is right at the beginning, understated and fragile, and all the more poignant because of how completely ordinary it is in the midst of unimaginable conditions and terrible danger.
The scenes between Andrius and Lina were perfect, making me smile despite how upsetting the story became. Also, he gets her a book for her birthday. In a Siberian Work Camp. And leaves little messages for her inside.
‘Andrius began to meet me in the ration line. I chopped a little harder, hoping the day would move faster. I washed my face at night in the snow. I tried to brush my teeth an comb through my tangled hair.
‘So, how many pages have you smoked so far?’ his voice whispered behind me.
‘Almost ten,’ I said over my shoulder.
‘You must be nearly fluent in Russian by now,’ he teased, pulling on my hat.
‘Peerestan,’ I said, smiling.
‘Stop? Ah, very good. So you really did learn something. What about this word — krasivaya?’
I turned around. ‘What does that mean?’
‘You’ll have to learn it,’ said Andius.
”Okay,’ I said. ‘I will’.
‘Without asking your mother,’ he said. ‘Promise?’
‘All right,’ I said. ‘Say it again.’
“krasivaya. Really, you have to learn it on your own.’
‘We’ll see,’ he said, smiling as he walked away.’
~ page 235
‘Hello Lina. You’ve gotten to page 278. That’s pretty good!
I gasped, then pretended I was engrossed in the book. I looked at Andrius’s handwriting. I ran my finger over his elongated letters in my name. Were there more? I knew I should read onward. I couldn’t wait. I turned through the pages carefully, scanning the margins.
Page 300: Are you really on page 300 or are you skipping ahead now?
I had to stifle my laugher.
Page 322: Dombey and Son is boring. Admit it.
Page 364: I’m thinking of you.
Page 412: Are you maybe thinking of me?
I closed my eyes.
Yes. I’m thinking of you. Happy Birthday, Andrius.
~ page 303
2) Kent McFuller from Before I Fall
Kent is adorable. And totally sexy. And has green eyes (it’s a weakness okay!) Lauren Oliver is very good at writing some near poetic sentences and there are plenty of tingly and intense scenes between Kent and Sam to enjoy.
‘I’m so lost in fantasy about Kent that his actual appearance seems like a dream or wishful thinking. He’s wearing an old corduroy blazer with patches sewn onto the elbows like a deranged — and adorable — English teacher.’
~ page 263
‘He bites the edge of his lip — the cutest thing I’ve ever seen. I think he might be nervous. His eyes are flitting over my face and then away and each time they land on me it feels like the world is falling away and it’s just the two of us in the middle of a bright, green field.
‘You didn’t miss anything in math,’ he says and I recognize a Kent McFuller babble coming on. ‘I mean, we went over some of the stuff from Wednesday’s homework because some people were, like, freaking out about the quiz on Monday. But mostly everyone was a little bit antsy, I think because of Cupid Day, and Daimler didn’t really care that -’
He blinks and shuts up. ‘Yeah?’
‘Did you send me this?’ I hold up the rose. ‘I mean, is it from you?’
His smile gets so big it’s like a huge beam of sunshine. ‘I’ll never tell,’ he says, winking.’
~ page 264
3) Varen Nethers from Nevermore
Usually depressed, all-in-black, wears-more-eyeliner-than-I-do types don’t tend to bring on the swoon for me, but I think Varen may just be the exception. Can you say sexual tension!? I’m not even really sure what happened in the last 3rd of this book, I’m just desperate for more. Varen is surprisingly sweet once he starts to trust Isobel and let’s just say, he can bring me ice cream and quote Edgar Allan Poe to me any time he likes.
‘He hesitated. Then, after a moment, she felt him slide nearer, causing every one of her sense to become amplified. His shoulder brushed against hers, igniting a tremble that run through the length of her, and she tried to hide her shaking hands by gripping the sides of the book. He began turning pages once more. She could feel the movement of each sheet with her entire frame, first as it lifted, then as it settled on the other side.
At last he stopped, and she stared down at the printed column of words, unable to comprehend a single one. His hand, warm and steady, wound its way around hers, wrapping it like a spider would its prey. She surrendered it to him, unable to watch even as his thumb traced the place, just above her knuckles, where he had once written his number in deep violet.’
~ page 291
4) Alejandro Fuentes from Perfect Chemistry
Speaking of sexual tension. Alex is your typical bad boy, insanely hot, in a gang, rides a motorbike, is fiercely loyal to his family and delights in making Brittany as flustered as possible. And is, of course, an utter sweetie underneath. Slightly cliche? Yes, but a hell of a lot of fun.
‘There’s something that’s been nagging at me all day long. As long as I’m here with him, I might as well ask. ‘Did we kiss last night?’
‘Well, it wasn’t memorable because I have no recollection of it.’
He laughs. ‘I was kiddin’. We didn’t kiss.’ He leans in. ‘When we kiss you’ll remember it. Forever.”
~ page 142
5) Etienne St. Clair from Anna and the French Kiss
I could quote the whole book because I loved pretty much every scene between St. Clair and Anna. Stephanie Perkins writes the kind of dialogue and scenes that just bring on the butterflies and make you grin like an idiot. St. Clair is pretty gorgeous with scruffy, soft hair and a crooked smile.
‘We are still holding hands.
Okay, we should let go. This is the point where it would be normal to let go.
Why aren’t we letting go?
I force my gaze to the Grand Bassin. He does the same. We’re not watching the boats. His hand is burning, but he doesn’t let go. And then — he scoots closer. Just barely. I glance down an see the back of his shirt an crawled up, exposing a slice of his back. His skin is smooth and pale.
It’s the sexiest thing I have ever seen.
He shifts again, and my body answers with the same. We’re arm against arm, leg against leg. His hand crushes mine, willing me to look at him.
I do. Etienne’s dark eyes search mine. ‘What are we doing?’ His voice is strained.
He’s so beautiful, so perfect. I’m dizzy. My heart pounds, my pulse races. I tilt my face towards his, and he answers with an identical tilt toward mine. He closes his eyes. Our lips brush lightly.
‘If you ask me to kiss you, I will.’ he says.
His fingers stroke the inside of my wrists and I burst into flames.’
~ page 311
6) Will Killian from The Ghost and the Goth
Will’s not really a goth, he is reserved, has naturally dark hair, pale blue eyes and happens to be able to talk to ghosts. He’s totally endearing and though he bickers pretty much constantly with Alona, and calls her out on her bitchy comments, when it comes down to it, he’ll do pretty much anything for her.
”You said something not nice about my shirt. So say something nice instead.’
She arched an eyebrow. ‘About that shirt? Impossible.’
I sighed. ‘Fine. It’s your fate. If you want to spend the rest of your time -’
‘You have nice teeth,’ she blurted out. I stared at her.
She lifted a shoulder. ‘What, I have a thing for white, even teeth, okay? It’s not a big deal,’ she said, shifting her arms across her chest.
‘Nice teeth,’ I repeated slowly.
‘I would have said you have a nice smile, if I’d ever seen it to know,’ she snapped, and I couldn’t help it, I started to laugh.
‘It’s not that funny,’ she muttered when I doubled over, my sides aching. She was right. It wasn’t that funny, but it was the last bit of ridiculousness that broke through the tension I’d been carrying around inside me since yesterday.
‘Straight and white teeth are a sign of good health,’ she persisted. ‘They can be a very attractive feature.’ Her mouth started to curve into a reluctant smile.
~ page 156
7) Jake Tolen from Saving June
Jake could quite possibly be my top book boyfriend this year, cocky, confident, passionate about music but always there for Harper as she deals with the loss of her sister. Believe me when I say there are some serious sexytimes in this book and I think we’ve established that dark messy hair and green eyes are a bit of a weakness of mine. Read and enjoy.
‘All I can do is look at him. Up close, I get a better view; there’s no denying the fact he is really, really good-looking, in this rakish, edgy, badass, I just-rolled-out-of-bed-and-screw-you-I-don’t-need-a-mirror kind of way. He has these piercing, unbelievably green eyes that are as gorgeous and sharp as the rest of him; it’s like they can see straight through me.’
‘This time I draw my gaze up to meet his. His hair looks kind of slept-on, sticking out in different directions, his eyes darker in the dim light thrown off by the street lamp. The same lamp allows me to notice that his black t-shirt clings to him in all the right places. At first my stomach twists, and I feel vaguely ashamed, or guilty, or something, for noticing that. But then I think – so what. So what if he’s hot, sometimes. Like every time I look at him…Even if I’m no damsel in distress and he’s miles away from Prince Charming, displays of gallantry, combined with his not-bad-okay-actually-pretty-good looks, make my strange lusty feelings completely justified. Practically obligatory, even.’
8) Cricket Bell from Lola and the Boy Next Door
Cricket!!! Can we talk about how cute and adorable Cricket is, with his pinstripe trousers and and vintage shirts and his inventions. He’s a sweetie, in a totally sexy, Dr Spencer Reid kind of way (sorry I got my cute science geeks mixed up for a moment), plus, you know the boy’s good with his hands. Cricket ties with Jake for my top book boyfriend of 2011 spot.
‘Cricket stands behind me. The faintest touch of a finger against the back of my silk kimono. I close my eyes. I understand his compulsion, his need to touch. As my parents burst into congratulating Calliope, I slide on hand behind my back. I feel him jerk away in surprise, but I find his hand, and I take into mine. And I stroke the tender skin down the center of his palm. Just once.
He doesn’t make a sound. But he is still, so still.
I let go, and suddenly my hand is in his. He repeats the action back. One finger, slowly, down the centre of my palm.’
~ page 302
Cricket kneels an takes my left foot into his hands. The sock comes on too fast. My boot squeaks as he slides it over my leg. His careful, quick fingers lace it all the way up to my knee, where they linger ever so slightly. I close my eyes, praying for the clock to stop. He tugs an tightens the buckles. And then he repeats everything on the other side.
Somehow, this is the sexiest thing that has ever happened to me.
~ page 332
9) Roger Sullivan from Amy and Roger’s Epic Detour
Okay — so I hate the name Roger. But other than that, he is sweet, caring and funny, loves history, doesn’t ever say goodbye, will skid down supermarket aisles in socks for fun and occasionally answers to the name Edmund.
‘I was barefoot, in old jeans and the show T-shirt from last year’s musical. This had become my de facto outfit and I’d put it on this morning automatically, without considering the possibility that this Roger guy might be disarmingly cute.
And he really was, I saw now that he was closer. He had wide, hazel eyes and unfairly long lashes, a scattering of freckles, and an air of easy confidence.’
~ page 16
”I mean, I should have known,’ he said, leaning back a little and smiling at me. ‘It always happens this way.’
‘The best discoveries always happened to the people who weren’t looking for them. Columbus and America. Pinzon, who stumbled across Brazil while looking for the West Indies. Stanley happening on Victoria Falls. And you. Amy Curry, when I was least expecting her.”
~ page 337
10) Connor from Not That Kind of Girl
Connor’s a refreshingly normal, caring guy, who always treats Natalie with respect, even when she doesn’t necessarily deserve his kindness. He is also, of course, very good looking and easy going.
”You wouldn’t do that,’ he said, stepping toward me.
I laughed. Did he expect me to faint or something? I took a step toward him, folded my arms and leaned in. ‘Oh yeah? Try me.’
We stared each other down like that for a second and a strange feeling came over me, starting warm at my toes and spreading up through my body.
‘I like your PJs,’ he said.
‘Shut up,’ I said.
He grinned. It made one dimple appear on his left cheek, which looked sandy with stubble. ‘You’re pretty tough, aren’t you, Sterling?”
~ page 142
Who makes your Top Ten Book Boyfriend 2011 List?