10 YA Love Interests I’m Probably Too Old to Swoon Over

9 June, 2012 Musing Musers 50 comments

Yikes! Does that title make me sound like a perve? I guess I better explain myself on this one, huh? Well, I am a firm believer that a great writer can make you feel anything regardless of who the targeted audience is. This is never more true than with the YA genre because along with your strong relatable heroines, the witty best friend and the coming of age story line, you have… the love interest. Sometimes it’s their descriptions. Sometimes it’s their actions. Sometimes it’s just the littlest thing they say in passing. But wow, do these YA authors know how to make ANYONE swoon. But not me. *swagger* Oh, no. Technically, I’m probably a little too old for this. I’m not swooning. I’m just sitting with my arms crossed, silently nodding in admiration and approval. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.

10. Dimitri (Vampire Academy)

“If I could dream, I know I’d dream about you. I’d dream about the way you smell and how your dark hair feels like silk between my fingers. I’d dream about the smoothness of your skin and the fierceness of your lips when we kiss. Without dreams, I have to be content with my own imagination—which is almost as good. I can picture all those things perfectly.”

There’s no shame in liking this guy since he was legal throughout the entire series.  So this totally legit. The way Dimitri would whisper softly to Rose and then turn around and kick some ass was always a sure way to bring a smile to my face.

9. Raffe  (Angelfall)

“It is not the gentle kiss of a couple on a first date, nor is it the kiss of a man driven by simple lust. He kisses me with the desperation of a dying man who believes the magic of eternal life is in this kiss.”

We really don’t know how old Raffe is, but really, WHO CARES? This dude was a total badass that decided to show us his soft side right before the novel ended. All of a sudden it’s the last chapter and you’re wondering, “OMG, who is this guy? Where did he come from? What? What do you mean the book is ending…?! No! I need more right now! Damn you, Susan Ee!” Wait, I’m not the only one who felt that way, right?

8. Peeta Mellark (The Hunger Games)

“We were five. You had a plaid dress and your hair…it was in two braids instead of one. My father pointed you out while we were waiting to line up. He said, ‘See that little girl? I wanted to marry her mother, but she ran off with a coal miner.’ And I said, ‘A coal miner? Why did she want a coal miner if she could’ve had you?’ And he said, ‘Because when he sings…even the birds stop to listen.’ So that day, in music assembly, the teacher asked who knew the valley song. Your hand shot right up in the air. She put you up on a stool and had you sing it for us. And I swear, ever bird outside the windows fell silent. And right when your song ended, I knew -just like your mother- I was a goner.”

He’s the boy with the bread. He doesn’t possess any supernatural powers or anything like that. He’s just the boy who quietly waits until you remember him, while secretly looking out for you. I don’t know about you guys, but I was strictly team Gale before Mockingjay came out. Nothing could convince me otherwise, but Peeta and his bread changed my mind. Then that damn movie came out and it was over for me.

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7. Jack  (Everneath)

“I dreamed of you every night. It felt so real. And when I’d wake up the next morning, it was like your disappearance was fresh. Like you’d left me all over again.”

Okay, so if you haven’t read Eveneath yet you’re missing out meeting a great love interest. Jack is everything I wish most YA love interests are: Respectful, kind, loyal, supportive, ect. He stuck with the heroine, Nikki, even after she broke his heart. *sniff* Oh, Jack. You sweetie, you!
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6. Mal (Shadow and Bone)

“I missed you every hour. And you know what the worst part was? It caught me completely by surprise. I’d catch myself just walking around to find you, not for any reason , just out of habit, because I’d seen something that I wanted to tell you about or because I wanted to hear your voice. And then I’d realize that you weren’t there anymore, and every time, every single time, it was like having the wind knocked out of me. I’ve risked my life for you. I’ve walked half the length of Ravka for you, and I’d do it again and again and again just to be with you, just to starve with you and freeze with you and hear you complain about hard cheese every day. So don’t tell me why we don’t belong together,” he said fiercely.

This is another one of my favorites this year and this guy totally comes out of nowhere and kicks your heart in the gut. Mercilessly. I think the story is going one direction and here comes Mal with his “Hey, remember me, the cute best friend?” And I’m all, “Oh my gosh! I completely forgot about you, but now that you’re here stay and never leave meh!”

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5. Akiva (Daughter of Smoke and Bone)

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”

Laini Taylor is pretty much one of my favorite authors ever. I could quote her characters for days on end and never get bored. Akiva is no exception. He’s the tortured love interest torn between telling the heroine the truth, thereby ruining his chance with her or keeping his dark secret to himself, which she would hopefully never find out. Guess which one he chooses? This story broke my heart into a million pieces and I’m impatiently waiting for Days of Blood and Starlight. Plus, I kinda need to see more Akiva.

4. Puck  (The Iron Fey)

“I have always loved you, princess,” Robin Goodfellow promised, his green eyes shining in the darkness. “I always will. And I’ll take whatever you can give me.”

Poor Puck always found himself in the dreaded “friend-zone” in the Iron Fey series. My man just couldn’t catch a break. One sentence he’s cracking a joke about Prince Ash and the next he’s telling Meghan how much he loves her. Between his fierce loyalty and witty remarks, he was an unforgettable character for me. Hey, if Meghan doesn’t want him, I’ll totes be the shoulder he cries on. What? He’s like Shakespeare old!

3. Prince Kai (Cinder)

“I know this is stupid, but part of me felt like if I could come see you today, if I could convince you to go with me tonight, then maybe I could still change things. It’s dumb, I know. It’s not like Levana cares if I, you know, might have actual feelings for someone.”

I’ve got two words for you here: Tuxedo Mask. He’s pretty much included in the dictionary next to “Swoon.” Cinder has turned out to be one of my favorites of the year because it brought me back to my first book anime crush. Who doesn’t love a Prince Charming?!

2. Prince Ash (The Iron Fey)

“My name is Ashallyn’darkmyr Tallyn, third son of the Unseelie Court…Let it be known–from this day forth, I vow to protect Meghan Chase, daughter of the Summer King, with my sword, my honor, and my life. Her desires are mine. Her wishes are mine. Should even the world stand against her, my blade will be at her side. And should it fail to protect her, let my own existence be forfeit. This I swear, on my honor, my True Name, and my life. From this day on…” His voice went even softer, but I still heard it as though he whispered it into my ear. “I am yours.”

Be still my heart. The Iron Fey is my favorite fey book to date and for good reason. Not only do you get the awesomeness of Puck, but Prince Ash too. His ending scene with the heroine, Meghan, in The Iron Queen was one of the sadest and memorable ends I’ve ever read. Then Julie Kagawa gave him his very own book with The Iron Knight! Yippie! A knight in shinning armor who vows to love and protect you at whatever the cost. Yes, please! 😉

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1. Tucker Avery (Unearthly)

“We’re young,” he says. “We’ve got lots of time to fall in love.”

Tucker, Tucker, Tucker. Mention his name to any Unearthly fan and you might just get a reaction like this:

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I love this guy so much that he’s pretty much the love interest I compare all to now. In fact, I call it the “Tucker Scale” (Original, I know. But you’ll find I’m slightly less creative than the Dark One, Kat.) Usually I’ll think to myself, “On a scale of 1 to Tucker how awesome is this guy?” *sigh* How could anyone not like Tucker? He had that whole cute “cowboy next door” thing going on that came out of left field on us. Cynthia Hand was so smooth with his characterization, giving him that little cowboy hat, a trusty stead and the promise of “We could have a normal, simple life you and I.” Oh yes, Tuck we could! Ahem. I mean, ummm, he and Clara could. Yes, that’s totally what I meant.

Alright, so maybe I swooned just a little bit. How about some shameless Ryan Gosling viewing to make us all feel a little less guilty? Heh.


Steph Sinclair

Steph Sinclair

Co-blogger at Cuddlebuggery
I'm a bibliophile trying to make it through my never-ending To-Be-Read list, equal opportunity snarker, fangirl and co-blogger here at Cuddlebuggery. Find me on GoodReads.

50 Responses to “10 YA Love Interests I’m Probably Too Old to Swoon Over”

  1. Rosa

    Oh goodness! First off u can never ever go wrong with anything Ryan Gosling is on! Mmmmmmm! Sorry I drooled a little! And as a 27 year old woman constantly pinning over under aged fictional males I know how u feel! Daemon from the Lux Series by Jennifer L.Armentrout had me so hot I seriously had to … Never mind u get the pic! So, I personally think, u are among good company!
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    • Stephanie Sinclair


      Hahaha! Drooling is completely acceptable when it comes to Ryan! I haven’t read the Lux series yet, but I have it on my Kindle. I must get to that one soon!

  2. Johanna

    I named my fish Tucker though I don’t love him as much as the real one.So glad my boys from the Iron fey series made the list.I’m checking Angelfall. I’ve been living in very big cave these days. EPIC post.
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  3. Jenny

    I have loved Ryan Gosling since I was in high school & he was playing the class clown in an after school TV show called Breaker High. (Wow, I just dated myself, didn’t I?) Swoon is right. 😀

    PS: I love that Peeta quote. Makes the heart melt! Who couldn’t love that guy?
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  4. juanita

    I haven’t read all of these books, but I can’t believe there’s not a single Sarah Dessen guy on here. She creates the most swoonworthy guys, especially Wes from The Truth about Forever.

  5. Lissa

    I love this list so much! I have some to-reads on tis list, as well as experiencing some of them as well (Tucker). I’m not a huge fan of Dimitri (I like Eddie way better!) and I’ve only read Book 1 of the Hunger Games trilogy. I’m looking forward to seeing more of Peeta, though.

    Honestly, it takes a lot for me to find a fictional character attractive. But Cynthia Hand is a genius – I really hated Tucker at first, and then I turned to really adore him. I’m also really looking forward to Everneath after that appraisal!
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    • Stephanie Sinclair


      Oh, I completely forgot about Eddie! He was awesome. Peeta just gets better and better, but the romance in the series is very subtle. I liked it best that way.

      I hated Tucker too. I wanted someone to smite him, then he stole my heart. *sigh* Everneath’s Jack really reminds me of Tucker. Super, super supportive. 🙂

  6. Valeria Andrea

    I was wondering where the hell Tucker was~ #1! Since Christian is messing up things with Clara, Tucker CAN come over & talk his sorrows with me, you know?
    But there’s prince Kai too… Damn. I’m torn between my fictional lovers.

  7. Molly

    I loved that Tucker was your number one pick. I have the Iron Fey series in my TBR series, so I’m excited that the guys in there were on your list as well. A lot of the books you mentioned I haven’t read yet, so I’m very excited to read them as well. Have you read The Mediator series by Meg Cabot? There is one very swoon worthy love interest in there, just saying 😉
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  8. Judith Oyama

    I don’t care how old Raffe is, dude is fine, and I want him lol I need that Second book, Ee if you’re listening! I also really agree with this list, although I am a bit saddened that Varen Nethers from Nevermore and Kaidan from Sweet Evil did not make numbers 11 and 12 😉 What do you guys make of them?
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  9. Kelly

    I love that you left Tucker for last. I’m off to spend my day grinning and staring off in to space, just like the girls in the gif you posted 😀
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  10. Mary @ Book Swarm

    You are so right about how strong authors can make you truly love (or lust for) a character, no matter who they are. I’ve felt a bit pervy at times, sighing over the adorable boys in the YA I read but that’s the sign of both a good book and a great author. Love this post (some fabulously drool-worthy choices, too).
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  11. Donna @ Bites

    I’m not a swooner of the YA boys but I’ll be damned if I can’t appreciate I finely tuned love interest. I’m right with you there with Mal. He is the boy all other YA boys should strive to me: NORMAL. He’s the best friend love interest without being Ducky (sorry, not a Puck fan) and it’s a love that’s grown and fostered for YEARS, not seconds. Bardugo had me at Mal. I’m not big on guys quoting lines of farce romance because to me it sounds contrived, stalkerish or just saying what he thinks the girl wants to hear. Because no one actually talks like that. And if they did I’d again wonder if they were a stalker. Then again I’m not a romantic so that may color things a little.
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  12. Lexie B.

    So, yeah, I pretty much have to agree with every one of these that I’ve read. As for the ones I haven’t read yet . . . I should probably get on that.

    Also, you know why Cynthia Hand is so fucking brilliant? Because I am completely, 100% in love with Tucker, and at the same time, I think Christian is absolutely fantastic. That is an insanely difficult feat to pull off, but she’s done it.
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  13. Nina

    Puck, Dimitri and Jack are my favorites out of these ten! I actually liked Puck so much more than Ash (what can I say, I like a guy who can make me laugh), and was totally cheering for him to end up with Meghan even if I knew it wasn’t gonna happen..:P
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  14. maia

    i love all these guys aswell and im 16 sooo…BUT. BUT. wheres jace?! how could there not be a JACE on that list?!

  15. Lexxie

    *sighs* Dmitri, Ash, Tucker, yes, thank you very much 🙂 I agree that sometimes I feel weird drooling over teenaged or early twenty-something characters in books that were meant for my daughter 😀 but it doesn’t really last.

    Thanks for the list, I see there are some books I need to push up a bit on my TBR list.
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  16. Christina (A Reader of Fictions)

    I totally agree on most of these, and feel the need to offer some commentary. Prepare yourself.

    1) I’m totally an Adrian fangirl. Is no one else bothered by the fact that Dmitri is her TEACHER? And that he goes freaking insane? Argh! Also, Adrian is sarcastic, and that just makes me weak in the knees.

    2) Poor Puck! I totally preferred him, which is a big part of why the Iron Fey books did not work for me. That was one of the worst love triangles ever, because it was so obvious that there should not be a triangle because Puck was never going to get in there. Such a shame.

    3) Ash, however, is completely boring. I never swooned for him once. Instead, I rolled my eyes at the trite supposed-to-make-you-swoon lines. Ugh.

    4) TUCKER!!!! I don’t actually want him for myself, because he’s too young and too country, but I LOVE him for Clara. I’m afraid to read Hallowed, because I heard she goes for mr. boring cookie cutter man. NOOOO. The reason I love Tucker: because he called her carrots, which is totally an Anne of Green Gables reference. SWOOON
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  17. Kate C.

    I haven’t finished Smoke and Bone yet, right in the middle, actually, but it seems to me that Akiva is of age and maybe immortal?

    The thing about swooning over immortal guys is, it’s no fun unless you’re immortal yourself. I can’t get into the mortal woman/ immortal man storylines. That’s why I always have a problem with Angels and Humans as lovers.

    Still, I wouldn’t kick Raffe or Akiva out of bed. Unless my husband made me. haha

  18. Mari - Escape In A Book

    Yaaaay, a list where I actually know almost all of the guys 😀 Mal and Jack are the ones I’m not familiar with, yet.

    I didn’t feel Raffe in Angelfall and now I cannot even remember the ending you mention. I remember the OMG how on earth did all these weird things happen moment at the end but not Raffe. How strange is that?

    Awesome list, well except for the fact that I couldn’t get into the Iron Fey series, my journey for now has ended with the last page of Iron King.
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  19. Sarah (saz101)



    I literally got chills just reading his name 😛
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  20. Annathea

    Tucker Avery is just a decent guy, but I found that after reafing Unearthly, he made some kind of Sevres specimen of what true love interest in a book should be. And I always liked bad guys! 

  21. HarleyBearBooks

    Mal and Tucker are amazing.  Love the gifs haha.  My eyes do glaze over at the thought of Tucker now that you mention it!

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