Ahh, the boys that inhabit our imaginations... ruining real life dudes everywhere with their swoon-worthy lines, perfect-to-a-T descriptions, and that unbeatable je ne sais quoi that even their book-to-movie versions can't beat. The thing about these fictional characters is that their best, sometimes even imperfect qualities are highlighted, firing up our imaginations. Not only are these archetypes designed to make our heroines fall in love, they're malleable enough to be molded into the guy of our dreams.
Have your library card ready and flip through our list of fictional dreamboats.
Augustus Waters, The Fault in Our Stars
John Green seems to have mastered the art of making high school girls fall in love with this character. Not only does Augustus have a smile that kills, but his knack for saying the exact, most perfect, heart-melting thing at exactly the right time just makes you want to crumble to pieces in giddiness. Augustus didn't just flirt Hazel up and make her feel like the most beautiful girl in the world, he made her experience life in the best way possible. Everything from the witty text marathons, the one-liners, and the way he brought her to Amsterdam to make her dreams come true makes him Number One.
If there ever was a bad boy with a heart of gold, then Four or Tobias Eaton would be it. Stoic, cold, and stone-cold hot, this Dauntless 17-year-old masquerading as a mentor and teacher to new initiates makes getting bruised in battle, almost getting yourself killed, and muscling through some massive existential crises and tests all worth it. Even when you don't have a thing for guys with tattoos, Four's super sexy exterior that covers up a sensitive soul will have you flipping through this pretty hefty book in just a few, fast hours. Nothing is more heart racing than having you vicarously live through Tris's unraveling of Four's inner self.
Park Sheridan, Eleanor and Park
Rainbow Rowell is one of YA's latest bigwigs, bringing high school romance to center stage with this super sweet love story. If you've got a thing for outsiders, shy types, and unpretentious hipster dudes, then Park will be right up your alley. Set in the 1980s, Park shows his growing affection for the curly-haired Eleanor through quiet acts of sweetness—sharing comic books, and making the best mix tapes. If you’ve ever harbored a silent wish to escape from all the angst of real life, you'll definitely want a Knight in Shining Armor to hold your hand and help you find your own two feet the way Park so gallantly did.
Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables
The dark horse on our list, Gilbert may be living in the early 20th century but he's got that naughty, trickster, intelligent charm that can make anyone from present-day fall in love. He starts out trying to catch LM Montgomery's famous redhead heroine's attention by throwing things at her and calling her names, but we all slowly and surely begin to fall in love with him as his immaturity settles in and his silent affection for Anne with an E begins to shine and show. Gilbert makes you want to embark on a time machine and travel to a time when guys asked to be listed on your dance card, and when going on hayrides under cloudless skies was just the thing to spark young romance.