So myself and my lovely friend Katie were discussing YA boyfriends yesterday, and how we're sick of the typical trope they usually represent.
Yes, I'm talking about the possessive, controlling and stalker-y boyfriends who often get labelled as "bad boys" so they're easier to swoon over. The best (and only) example I will give to you is... and this shouldn't surprise anyone... Edward Cullen.
Check out those eyes, they're the ones that will watch you sleep at night! The reason I am only mentioning Edward Cullen (and I mention him because I can't hurt Stephanie Meyer's sales and he's been discussed to death anyway) is that I don't think it's my job to publicly "out" the other restraining-order worthy YA boyfriends. You all know they exist. They cut car cables to keep you from seeing other people, they pin you down forcefully to exert dominance, they muse about how they could kill you in an instant if they wanted to.
And boy do readers SWOON over these potential psychopaths. Now let me be clear. I am not insulting the readers of YA. If you think Edward Cullen is the perfect example of chivalry, that's fine, you're allowed. The potential dangers behind characters such as Mr. Cullen to perceptive and impressionable young girls is not my topic to discuss. Seriously, there are about ten thousand articles out there about that very subject. This blog post is more of a lighthearted look at why I'm 100% over the stalking-is-romantic-because-it-means-he-cares plot device in YA.
So to make this potentially unending post a bit more concise, here's a list:
THE TOP FIVE REASONS YA BOYFRIENDS WHO STALK ARE NOT SEXY
1. They are not the "bad boys" we'd like to think they are
Seriously, "bad boys" exist, and they come swooping in on motorcycles and have the boy version of daddy issues. Think Jess Mariano from Gilmore Girls. They are bad at expressing their emotions so they come off as mean. But they can be healed, so to speak. Reformed bad boys are so much sexier than the near-criminal YA "bad boys."
2. They are not honest
Have you ever met a sixteen year old boy? Anyone who has been through high school can tell you that teenage boys (and girls!) are awkward. They're at an age of uncertainty. An age of questioning. An age where the mere thought of aggressively pursuing the mysterious new girl at school should send them into a sweaty fit of nerves. Obviously there are exceptions to the rule, but keep your weird possessive boyfriends out of high school!
3. They are not appealing
Okay full disclosure: I had a slew of clingy boyfriends in high school and I hated them all. Okay, I didn't hate them but I sure didn't keep them around for very long. So what I'm saying is when I was a sixteen year old girl, I was turned OFF by clingy, possessive and obsessive behaviour. I wasn't keen on keeping those guys around. So why is Bella so into Edward? Well, my friends, it is a work of fiction.
4. They are, in fact, abusive
I don't need to go into the myriad of reasons why secretly watching someone sleep is not okay. Same goes for casually implying that you could hurt your girlfriend in an instant because you are so strong. Ladies, it is not endearing when a guy ensures that he alone occupies your world.
5. Good guys, the ones who don't stalk you, are SO MUCH SEXIER
Let's hear it for the good guys, the ones who are partners in healthy relationships. The ones who support their significant others, the ones who help their partners grow. Let's hear it for the guys who have interests/hobbies/passions outside of their girlfriends, and who support their significant other's interests/hobbies/passions.
So to end this post, let's hear it for my favourite "good" guys in YA: Ron Weasley (Harry Potter), Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games), Tobias Eaton (Divergent), Augustus Waters (The Fault in Our Stars), Prince Po (Graceling), Mal Oretsev (Shadow and Bone, I'd consider him a reformed bad boy) and Sean Kendrick (The Scorpio Races).
So, fair readers of my blog, who are your favourite "Good Guys" in YA?