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Monday, July 2, 2012

Discussion: The Nice Guy that Is Under-Appreciated

How many sides are in a triangle?

Think about it for a moment. Just take your time, it's okay.

Got an answer? Well, if you answered 3, then DING DING DING! We have a winner!

In YA, there's a pretty basic formula that most authors use when constructing their love triangles. There's the girl, usually the female protagonist, that has feelings for two boys. And, in order to make the decision of who she will choose that much more intriguing, these two boys are most usually polar opposites. You have the bad boy, which I've already dedicated a post to (with the most delicious and ab-tastic pictures and gifs)--and then there's the nice guy.

In my experience reading YA, most of the time the bad boy will get the girl. Most of the time.
However, it's usually not always so easy and clean as that. Because of the love and affection that this leading lady bestows upon his cold heart, he usually undergoes a personality change and becomes a bit softer. But the leather jacket stays. Don't mess with the leather jacket.

But, in this post, I'd like to appreciate the third end of the triangle that barely gets any love.

You see, the nice guy is the one that does all the things that the bad boy won't. Hold open doors for the protagonist, pull out her chair for her when she goes to sit, listen to her when she needs him, offer a shoulder to cry on, kiss her softly and sweetly, tell her she looks beautiful when she really looks like shit like a mess, buy her tampons if the need should arise, deal with her raging PMS mood swings, and go see chick-flicks with her even though he just wants to make out in the dark movie theatre.

Yeah, he's that nice.

Also, bad boys have a tendency to smirk, while nice guys smile like this:
Also, like this:
And, like this:
(Shameless Avengers cast spam)
The more I think about it, the more I rethink my stance on who I want to win in the love triangles. I'm firmly becoming Team Nice Guy.

But, since us girls are gluttons for punishment, we like to choose the ones that slam us against walls when they want to rip our panties off, and flirt with other girls just because they can. Yep. We're smart.

Still, I'd like to highlight some nice guys that did win over the girl, whether they had competition or not. If you want some nice guy action, check out these dudes.

Sam from Shiver by Maggie Stiefvater
Okay, he didn't actually have to fight anyone to get Grace, because they were just the most adorable couple right from the start. But the point is, that he's a great example of a nice guy getting the girl in general. I'd love to have a boyfriend like Sam

Sonny from Wondrous Strange by Lesley Livingston
In the first book there didn't seem to be a love triangle, but it popped up slowly. And while I kinda was on the other guy's team (who, by the way, would constitute a bad boy, I suppose) Sonny was still the only guy for Kelley. There really was just no getting around it. So, I'm really glad that he got the girl.

Adam from Shatter Me by Tahereh Mafi
Well, currently at least. The series isn't over yet. And Adam's opponent, Warner is definitely a bad boy. Actually, he's more like psychotic homicidal boy. But, through all this insanity, Adam still manages to hold onto his sweet side, and you know he really loved Juliette.

Griffin from The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross
This is one of those extremely rare cases where I LOVE BOTH MEN IN THE LOVE TRIANGLE. Both Jack Dandy, the bad boy, and Griffin King, the nice guy. I would be happy if Finley ended up with either one of them, it doesn't even matter. But for right now, it seems that Griffin has the upper hand. Nothing is settled, but he's on top at the moment.

Tucker from Unearthly by Cynthia Hand
Seriously, as much as I love Christian, I do not want him to win. I am sooooo adamantly Team Tucker because he's just that all around amazing gentleman with an adorable southern drawl type-thing. (He's not really southern, so...)

Lend from Paranormalcy by Kirsten White
In this case, I'm actually not team Lend, but, for the purposes of this post, he gets a spot. I like Lend, he's really sweet and hilarious too! Him and Evie do make a cute couple.


  1. I'm firmly Team Nice Guy! I LOVE nice guys! I'm always rooting for them instead of the bad guy, especially when their smile is as swoonworthy as in those gifs ;) I can see the allure of a bad guy, but really, being toyed around with is no fun. Also, TEAM TUCKER!!! Gah, I SO hope Clara chooses him, cause even though I like Christian better in Hallowed than I did in Unearthly, I'm still firmly on Tucker's side!

  2. Go Team Tucker! I've heard Christian gets better in the second book, but I can't see myself ever straying from Team Tucker :)

    I like Lend for Evie too. I'm not getting all swoony over their relationship, but I think he's the better pick for her.

  3. Haha it's been forever since I read most of these books ;) I love nice guys and bad guys! There both great. I can't tell you if I want Christian or Tucker to win though. To hard. I really like them both. Sigh.

  4. Sam and Tucker! Squee! I also have to throw in Zach from the Shade series. ♥

  5. I'm also think Nice Guy's need to get more attention. I think Captain America is the only reason I saw the avengers !

  6. I haven't read any of the books you mentioned *goes and hides in a corner* BUT I believe that this "nice guy" goes with most books these days. I'm pretty sure Lola and the Boy Next Door is the one book that comes to mind where the nice guy wins. Sure if I thought about it, I could come up with more examples but that's kind of sad, no?

    Also, nice guys are the kind of guys you REALLY want in your life. You want a guy who treats you like crap but it totally "hot" anyways? No thanks.

    So, great post!

  7. Tucker is the best nice guy ever written. Love him!

  8. With pictures like that (mostly Tom Hiddleston and Chris Hemsworth), I'm Team Nice Guy too!


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