I am so excited that Ebony Mckenna agreed to visit The Happy Booker to share a guest post about her book crushes! Ebony is the author of the fun & magical series Ondine. I recently read the first in this series titled The Summer of Shambles, you can check out my review here.
I have a few book crushes of my own, like Sirus Black from Harry Potter and Raffe from Angelfall. What about you? Let Ebony know who your book crushes are and you’ll be entered to win one of two copies of The Summer of Shambles!
Giveaway is INT – 2 Winners
Top 10 Young Adult Crushes
Sure, I read novels for the escapism, the writing, the plot and all that. But what makes a book truly memorable for me is when I fall in love with the characters. I adore believable characters who make me sigh and give me goofy grins. I love the emotional connection between my heart and a book.
It’s time to confess I’ve fallen in love with far too many fictional lads over the years. Here are my top 10 favorites of all time.
1: Dread Pirate Roberts (The Princess Bride by William Goldman)
I first fell in love with Cary Elwes who played him in the movie, which I saw in the 1980s. Later, I read the book and fell in love with him all over again. Don’t get me wrong, Westley the farm boy is all kinds of sweet, but when he becomes Dread Pirate Roberts, he is brave and strong and clever, utterly devoted and a lot bit wicked.
2: Gale Hawthorne (The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins)
Katniss should have ended up with Gale, no question. He’s smart and strong and catches his own food. These are important qualities to consider when society is falling apart. Gale is a survivor. Usually I’m not a fan of the love triangle, but in this series it worked - only because I’d made my mind up very early on and didn’t budge from it. If only Katniss had listened to me.
3: Jon Snow (A Game of Thrones by George R R Martin).
Not a YA book per se, but the series A Game of Ice and Fire is filled with teens and tweens forging a new life in a kill-or-be-killed universe. One of the most intriguing characters (along with Tyrion Lannister) is Jon Snow, the bastard son of Ned Stark. Jon is an outcast who desperately wants to belong. He’s in constant battle with what he wants versus what the world wants of him. He’s understandably complicated without wallowing in melodrama. He’s a survivor. (Oh dear, I hope I haven’t spoken too soon.)
I was also partial to Robb Stark, Jon’s half-brother. Honorable, just like his father. Strong, brave and devoted to the cause, just like his father. Oh yeah, and dead, just like his father. Thanks for nothing George!
4: Bennett Cooper (Time Between Us by Tamara Ireland Stone)
Oh Bennett is divine. This is a new crush for me but the time-traveling Bennett will stand the test of time, if you’ll forgive the pun. He’s so believable and well written. He’s complicated (as a good teenager ought to be) and has loads of secrets, but he has such a strong sense of devotion and the need to protect the people he loves that makes him so eminently crushable. Yikes, this list is getting way too revealing. Oh well, it’s cheaper than therapy!
5: Josh Abrams (I’d Tell You I Love You, But Then I’d Have to Kill You by Ally Carter)
Reading the Gallagher Girls series by Ally Carter is pure fun, with added super cool gadgets and plot twists. Josh is both a love-interest and thorn-in-the side for Cammie. I’m a few books in to the series, which means I’m liking Josh all the more and yet trusting him even less. Is he a spy, a double-agent or something more dangerous?
Whatever the outcome (book 6 is out soon!) Josh is way too clever to forget.
6: Hamish McPhee (The Summer of Shambles by .... oh look, it’s me!) Yes, I am in love with my own creation. There is probably something deeply Freudian about this. Or it’s simply entertaining. But the thing is, I didn’t realize I was in love with him until a blogger interviewed me and said my face went all soft and silly whenever she said his name.
7: Étienne St Clair (Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins)
My husband is now reading these over my shoulder. I am in serious trouble. “But darling, it’s not like I’m some desiccated cougar, or whatever comes after cougar (Snow Leopard?) It’s me reading as my 15-year-old self, living vicariously though the protagonist. Honest!
Sure, I crushed on Étienne, but also, I grew very frustrated with his inability to ditch his current girlfriend and get with Anna. These situations play out very badly in real life. You do not want to be someone’s back-up plan, you want to be the centre of their world. But also, I’m a sucker for an accent.
8: The Man of Steel
No matter your orientation, if you’re not crushing on Henry Cavill in the rebooted Superman, check your pulse. OK, this is a movie not a book . . . but you can bet Henry is inspiring a great many writers all over the world right at this very minute.
9: Gilbert Blythe (Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery)
Yeah, I’m going old-school. I didn’t fall in love with him instantly. In later books, Anne gets wistful about her perfect husband. She says she couldn’t love a wicked man, but it would be nice if he ‘could be wicked’. At that point, it all fell into place. Gilbert is smart, easy on the eye and capable of being a big tease when the moment strikes. He’s also completely devoted to Anne. Ooooh, there’s that word devoted again. Sigh.
10: Ai Ling (Silver Phoenix by Cindy Pon)
Yep, I’m crushing on a girl here, because Ai Ling is awesome without being arrogant. She’s also brave and daring while acknowledging how scared she is of the consequences. She’s so full of adventure and fighting spirit. And the girl loves her food. What’s not to love?
Honorable Mentions (because I can’t stop at 10)
The Doctor (David Tennant’s incarnation).
OK, so not a book. But also, Dr Who, huge part of my youth spent behind the sofa being scared by Daleks, Cybermen and Bonnie Langford’s hair.
When the BBC brought it back to our screens with Christopher Eccleston as The Doctor, I was back to being a kid again. Then David Tennant stepped into the role and he took it to a whole new level. I am still crushing on him like crazy.
Michael Wagner (Forever by Judy Blume)
Notable because this book was my introduction to the topsy-turvy world of romantic love. First published in 1975, I would have been one of the ‘new’ audience reading it in the late 80s. I read it because I was a perve and I wanted to know what I was in for, didn’t I?
Over to you.
Who are your favorite YA crushes? Who should be on the list? I have two digital copies of The Summer of Shambles to give away in the comments below. I’ll choose one winner at random and the other winner will be someone who makes me giggle or grin or both.
About the Author
Ebony McKenna lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and young son.
She has worked as a journalist, market researcher, website editor, and company director. She also waitressed, cleaned and prepared food in her family's restaurant when she was a teenager.
In high school McKenna excelled in English and Literature, earning herself a place in the journalism course at Melbourne's RMIT University.
In the 1990s she worked as a journalist on many leading Melbourne newspapers. She won many awards - including scooping first and second place in the one night for best news report. By day she wrote other people's stories, but by night she plotted epic adventures.
Now she writes novels for a living.
About the Book
This is a brilliantly witty story with a furry tail ending. One girl. One boy. One spell to be broken. Ondine de Groot is a normal fifteen-year-old who lives with her family in the European country of Brugel. She has a pet ferret called Shambles. But Shambles is no ordinary ferret...He's Hamish McPhee, a boy cursed by a witch. A witch who happens to be related to Ondine. When Shambles turns back into Hamish temporarily, Ondine knows that she has to help him break the spell. He is the most gorgeous boy she has ever met and her one true love! He just can't remain a ferret forever. Can he?