It’s leap year, which means we get one extra day of the month of love.
Love abounds, y’all.
In celebration of twitterpation, the ol’ beautiful heart sickness, the smittens, that juju that you didn’t see coming, us swanky authors compiled a list of seventeen of our first literary main character crushes.
SEVENTEEN THINGS: FIRST LITERARY CRUSHES
1. “Y’all. Gilbert EFING Blythe.
Sarah Nicole Lemon, UNTITLED CONTEMPORARY, Amulet/Abrahms ’17
2. My love for reading definitely coincided with a character who also had a love for reading. I was in 7th grade when I first stumbled across Hermione Granger. A girl who spent her free time in the library, always had the right answer, and didn’t back down from basilisks? She had me popping both of my shirt collars for the dance (which is sadly a real thing that I used to do). Throughout the series, Hermione steals the show from Harry and Ron with her endless intelligence and steadfast loyalty. Bonus points for the fact that her parents were dentists like mine (I floss, too, Hermione!)
Scott Reintgen, THE BLACK HOLE OF BROKEN THINGS, Crown/Random House ’17
3. I can clearly remember Tiny Andrew having the biggest crush on Vesper Holly, the globe-trotting swashbuckling orphan badass from Lloyd Alexander’s The Illyrian Adventure. What’s impressive about this crush is I have no memory of the actual book or even if it was very good, just how incredibly totally awesome I thought Vesper was.
Andrew Shvarts, THE BASTARD TABLE, Disney-Hyperion ’17
4. Leroy “Encyclopedia” Brown (alllllllll the Encyclopedia Brown books by Donald J Sobol). Omigah. He was a detective and he was SO smart and he paid attention to detail and solved all the mysteries, and I was going to marry him and we’d traverse the globe on mystery-solving adventures.
Nic Stone, DEAR MARTIN, Crown ’17
5. I could never decide between Nancy Drew or Joe Hardy.
Guess that should’ve been a hint.
Tristina Wright, 27 HOURS, Entangled Teen Fall ’17
6. My first literary crush was Philip Leroy in Judy Blume’s 1970 classic, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret. Sure, Jay Hassler was polite and had clean fingernails, and he wasn’t one of the sixth-grade square dance foot steppers… but Philip Leroy was HOT.
Melissa Roske, KAT GREENE COMES CLEAN, Charlesbridge ’17
7. Okay, get ready for embarrassing, but I’m pretty sure my first crush was on Merry from Lord of the Rings–yup, not even the sexy elf or the tall dark ranger with his mystery and his great hair, one of the comic-relief hobbits.
It’s better than my first movie crush, though: that was on the cartoon fox in Disney’s Robin Hood.
I was not a normal kid.
Jilly Gagnon, #FAMOUS, HarperCollins/Katherine Tegen ’17
8. First of all, I’m 34 years old, and I still have a crush on that fox from Robin Hood. As far as books, though, I’ve got to go with Sam Gribley from MY SIDE OF THE MOUNTAIN. I mean, he had a falcon for a pet. A FALCON.
Darcy Miller, ROLL, HarperCollins ’17
9. The Robin Hood Fox was my first movie crush, too! He was so dreamy.
My first literary crush was Laurie (Theodore Laurence) from Little Women. All the sighs. But Gilbert Blythe was soon added to the list.
(First TV crush was Zack Morris. Obviously.)
Kate Watson, SEEKING MANSFIELD, Jolly Fish Press, Spring ’17
10. My literary crush is Snape from the Harry Potter series. Obviously. You can’t get much more dark and brooding than that. Plus, he’s a creepily intense romantic with zero people skills. What’s not to love?
Kim Ventrella, THE SKELETON TREE, Scholastic ’17
11. Mr. Freakin Rochester from JANE EYRE. Holy ****. I used to be super into the mysterious, rich, alpha-male-with-a-heart-of-gold trope. Okay, let’s be honest, I’m still into it. And the Michael Fassbender version from the movie was EVERYTHING.
Whitney Taylor, DEFINITIONS OF INDEFINABLE THINGS, HMH ’17
12. THE HARDY BOYS by Franklin W Dixon – I’d love to say my first literary crush was Mr Darcy or Mr Rochester, but really, it was Joe, the younger of the two Hardy Boys. Frank was far too old and serious for me, but Joe was just perfect . And then they made it into a TV series with David Cassidy’s cute brother, Shaun, playing Joe, and my life was complete. Admittedly, I was only ten at the time, but still, I knew he was the one for me!
Caroline Leech ,WAIT FOR ME, Harper Teen ’17
13. Teenage me loved Holden from The Catcher in the Rye. Every time I read about him wandering around NYC (my home town) in search of human connection I just wanted to be like “Hey, call me! I’ll come hang out with you.”
Dana Langer, THE SIRENS OF STARBRIDGE COVE, S&S/Aladdin ’17
14. Teenage me was in love with every Salinger boy/man: Holden Caulfield, the Chief and the boy narrator in “The Laughing Man”, Sergeant X in “For Esme…”, Buddy, Seymour, … even Walt and Waker who have two sentences each?
But, ya know? I think my very first character crush was on Veronica Ganz from Marilyn Sach’s books. She’s a tough girl who shows up first as a bully in “Amy and Laura.” Later, she gets a few books of her own. I loved them all.
Ki-Wing Merlin, WEAVING A NET IS BETTER THAN PRAYING FOR FISH, Balzer + Bray ’17
15. I pretended to hate Hermione, but it was one of those situations in which my hate was directly parallel to my levels of smitten-ness. You know, a “he only picks on you because he likes you” situation.
It was a tough time for all involved, but we got through it.
Dave Connis, THE TEMPTATION OF ADAM, Sky Pony ’17
16. I’ll be the odd woman out. My first crush was Teddy Kent from the Emily of New Moon series. I was always more of an Emily than an Anne (though I love her too). I have a vivid memory of rereading the final few chapters of Emily’s Quest over and over just to hear Teddy whistle for Emily in my mind.
Christina June, IT STARTED WITH GOOD-BYE, Blink/HarperCollins ’17
17. Gordy Smith from STEPPING ON THE CRACKS by Mary Downing Hahn. A bully with a softer side and a redemptive arc that carries over two additional books? Yes please and thank you!
Mary Taranta, UNTIL OUR BLOOD RUNS CLEAN, McElderry Books ’17