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Teen literature is full of hunky boys and, if I’m being honest, they’re a big part of why I read YA books. The romantic interests are utterly swoon worthy. They’re so unlike the boys I went to high school with, but exactly like the boys I wish I’d gone to high school with. And, they come in every shape, size, color and persuasion, with varying hobbies and flaws and goals and backgrounds.
There’s the angsty rocker hunk, a la Adam from If I Stay
There’s the gawky science hunk, a la Cricket from Lola and the Boy Next Door
There’s the tattooed bad boy hunk, a la Alex from Perfect Chemisty
There’s the supportive beach boy hunk, a la Tyler from Moonglass
There’s the bold and valiant hunk, a la Four from Divergent
There’s the loyal boy-next-door hunk, a la Jay from The Body Finder
There’s the brooding hunk, a la Conrad from The Summer I Turned Pretty
There’s the cocky jock hunk, a la Doug from Forget You
There’s the super-sweet biker hunk, a la Harlin from A Need So Beautiful
The list goes on, and on, and on.
So, who’s my YA hunk of choice?
Jonah Griggs from Melina Marchetta’s Jellicoe Road
Why? Let me count the ways…
1. Jonah’s a badass cadet. My husband’s a soldier. Need I say more?
2. Jonah’s outdoorsy. He doesn’t shy away from dirt or exercise. Hot.
3. Jonah’s got a (very) tortured past, but he doesn’t let it hold him down.
4. Jonah’s tough-as-nails, but he’s incredibly sweet and sensitive and protective when it comes to his main squeeze, Taylor.
5. Jonah’s sort of crass. He doesn’t filter his language, and he doesn’t hesitate to flip someone the bird when they’ve earned it. Maybe I’m weird, but I find this kind of irreverence irresistible.
6. Jonah’s skeptical and analytical. His trust must be earned.
And, because Melina Marchetta portrays him, through Taylor’s eyes, like this:
“If you weren’t driving, I’d kiss you senseless,” I tell him.
He swerves to the side of the road and stops the car abruptly.
“Not driving any more.”
When I turn around, he cups my face in his hands and he kisses me so deeply that I don’t know who is breathing for who, but his mouth and tongue taste like warm honey. I don’t know how long it lasts, but when I let go of him, I miss it already.
And because he says things like this:
“I’m here because of you. You’re my priority. Your happiness, in some fucked way, is tuned in to mine. Get that through your thick skull. Would I like it any other way? Hell, yes, but I don’t think that will be happening in my lifetime.”
So, there you have him: Jonah Griggs, my YA hunk of choice.
Tell me: Who’s you ideal YA hunk?