Jenerally Speaking: March Madness – My Elite Eight

It is that time of year again…March Madness.  I have a one track mind when it comes to college hoops.  If Villanova isn’t playing or winning, I’m not interested.  I’m not going to go on and on about how great Nova is this year and how our chances are looking good because I don’t want to jinx anything.

What I thought I would do to distract me from thinking only about Villanova is combine the theme of March Madness with my other favorite thing…books.  So here is my Elite Eight of Book Boyfriends.  They are in the order in which I read them.

My First Book Boyfriend: Almanzo Wilder – Little House on the Prairie

To be honest, when I read the Little House on the Prairie series ‘book crush’ wasn’t even in my vocabulary and liking boys wasn’t even on my radar.  Boys were still made of sticks and snails and puppy dog tails.  That said, I do remember thinking “that Almanzo seems like a nice man.  He is sweet to Laura. Should I ever need someone to hitch a horse to a wagon, defend me to the likes of evil Nellie Oleson, etc, Almanzo seemed like a good choice”  I was also probably influenced by the TV show.  When Almanzo showed up, Laura was able to go from wearing pig tails to sophisticated up-dos to show that she was ‘grown up.’

# 2: Logan Bruno – The Babysitter’s Club

We first meet Logan in book #10 Logan Likes Mary Anne! and he is a cute with brownish blonde hair and blue eyes, athletic and crushing on main character Mary Anne. I book crushed on Logan because out of all the babysitters Mary Anne is with who I most identified. Mostly because she wears reading glasses and glasses PLAGUED my life throughout grade school.  I wore red ones and since this was the 80s, they were big and not stylish AT ALL (in my opinion)*.

#3: Gilbert Blythe – Anne of Green Gables

Carrots.  I’ll admit I first thought Gilbert was a pest and didn’t like that he teased Anne Shirley.  But like our heroine I grew to like him.  I think what endeared him to me was that he never gave up trying to be her friend.  And that quest for friendship led to love.  He truly cared about Anne, saved her from drowning and gave up his teaching job in Avonlea so that she could still live at Green Gables with Marilla.

#4: Todd Wilkins – Sweet Valley High

I consider Todd a book boyfriend only until his family up and move to Vermont.  Post-move, the drama between him and Elizabeth – the cheating, the constant breaking up and getting back together really ruined him for me.   In the high school years he was a pretty decent boyfriend – he was super nice, considerate, smart and a star athlete.  Given his popularity, Jess Wakefield seemed like the likely choice but he surprised everyone by pursuing Elizabeth.

#5: Sean Griswold – Sean Griswold’s Head

This is a simple, sweet and endearing love story about a girl struggling with her dad’s devastating diagnosis and the adorable boy who helps her find her footing.  In my opinion, YA novels need more characters like him – he is completely relatable.  While Sean is not a typical 14-year old boy, his maturity is completely believable.  There are boys out there who are like Sean Griswold, they are just not always at the forefront.  It’s hard not to fall in love with Sean Griswold.

#6: Park – Eleanor & Park

This is a perfect book on first love.  First love is wonderful but it almost always ends.  But Rainbow Rowell gives us a heartbreakingly beautiful glimpse at it.  The following quote sums up my feelings on the romance between Eleanor and Park:

“I miss you, Eleanor. I want to be with you all the time. You’re the smartest girl I’ve ever met, and the funniest, and everything you do surprises me. And I wish I could say that those are the reasons I like you, because that would make me sound like a really evolved human being …‘But I think it’s got as much to do with your hair being red and your hands being soft … and the fact that you smell like homemade birthday cake”

#7-8: Revolving Doors

Though this sounds floozy, I’m reserving this space for a to-be-named book crush.  I’m only 34 years old, so I’ve got a lot more reading to do. Chances are pretty high there are more book crushes to come.

Who are your favorite book crushes?

*I found out years later that my stylish best friend failed her eye exam because she was jealous of my glasses.  Her doctor was shocked to see her go from 20/20 vision to legally blind in the span of a year.  She really wanted glasses!

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Jen E.

Jen E. lives and works in Manhattan as a sales rep for the completely awesome Macmillan Children’s Group. When she …

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