Monday, 5 December 2011
Team Nice Guys
This post is a direct result of my ever growing DNF pile and also from last week's Follow Friday topic on pet peeves. Amongst the many pet peeves that popped up, I think the one that resonated with me the most is the stalkerish hot guy who is fast becoming a staple in YA books. I'm not sure if said guy is just a sure fire way to sell books or it's an alarming trend towards a mainstream acceptance of such behavior. Either way, it scares me.
Let's start out by defining this stalker hot guy archetype. Stalker guys' general qualities are:
-really really ridiculously good looking (I'm talking Derek Zoolander style);
-spends a lot of time watching the heroine sleep and thinks nothing of breaking into her house to do so;
-feels that it's perfectly fine to control all aspects of the heroine's life because he knows what's best;
-is not above forcing the heroine to do things against her will, even if she protests;
-is disdainful and rude to the heroine's friends and family but is forgiven because he's misunderstood (plus he's hot!);
-may literally be out to kill the heroine until suddenly falling in love with her for reasons unfathomable;
I have to point out that there's a difference between stalker guy and the more palatable jaded bad boy types, or even in some instances, the anti-hero guys. The latter are guys who don't necessarily play by the rules, but their hearts are in the right places and they have some measure of respect for the heroine to let her make choices for herself. Let me also add that books with stalker guys in them tend to have heroines who are too stupid to live and this adds to the proliferation of the lie that stalker hot guys are attractive and should be nurtured instead of tasered.
Maybe I'm just reading way too much into it (I've been known to do this a lot!) but I visited almost all of the bloggers that linked up to the FF post last week because I was so interested in the subject and you know what? Many bloggers said their pet peeve was the stalker guy and yet, their blogs were littered with 4 and 5 star reviews for books with stalker guy as the male hero. I just don't get it.
Either way, it makes me really appreciate books that don't use stalker hot guy as a selling point. Top marks for Lend from Paranormacy, Daniel and Jason from Telesa, Ryan from Raw Blue and all the boys from Jellicoe Road. In fact, if I sat down and wrote a list, I bet I could come up with so many more names of boys who deserve to be read about. These are the kinds of boys that I want to get to know. Stalker guys need not apply. Unlike your silly heroines, I don't think you're too hot to dismiss.