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When Nice Guys Finish First

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Recently, my critique group read Bone Gap by Laura Ruby. Not only did I sit there thinking that Ruby has a special talent for writing things in such a gorgeous way, (and in a truly creative and visceral sense), but I also fell in love with her characters.

In particular, I was really taken by Finn. He’s a good kid. A nice kid. And here’s a YA genre spoiler alert:

There are not a lot of nice guys out there.

Sure, there are sexy romantic types. But most of the heroes are tough or dangerous or tortured or stuck up or filled with sleazy thoughts. And since I myself met my significant other at the age of eighteen—a kind, nice (but still totally sexy) boy—a guy whom I would go on to marry two years later (and am now celebrating 15 years together!!!), I thought I’d like to give a shout out to some of my favorite “nice guys” in YA lit.

The Fault in Our Stars – August is special. No doubt, he’s grown up quickly with his dire cancer battle, but the way he relates to Hazel has us all bawling our eyes out at the end of the novel.

My Life Next Door – Jase Garrett comes from a big family. But that makes him sensitive, responsible, and totally adorable as he and Samantha fall in love. He’s the kind of boy you just can’t stand for her to hurt.

Out of the Easy – Ruta Sepetys always dazzles me with her writing, and this book, which takes place in 1950s New Orleans, is no different. I love the not-so-bad-boy Jesse, who lets us have our motorcycle fantasy while proving he’s really a gentleman under all that sex appeal.

So, who are your favorite nice guys? Any YA heroes making your heart beat faster these days by being hot and polite?

Because I’m all ears. J

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