Characters You’d Let Your Daughter Date

Elizabeth Bluemle -- July 6th, 2010

My cousin and her family came to visit last week, and I kept thinking of great guys I wanted to introduce to my cousin’s 16-year-old daughter, Calyn. The problem was, most of the guys were fictional.

There are a lot of great guys in YA lit. I’d really love for Calyn to meet the wildly original, open-hearted, sweet Nawat from Tamora Pierce’s Trickster’s Choice, for instance. In fact, just about any of the male heroes in Pierce’s books would do; George, the robber king from The Song of the Lioness cycle is my other fave. I’d happily introduce Calyn to Owen from Sarah Dessen’s Just Listen, Max from Cecil Castellucci’s Boyproof, Zach from Nancy Werlin’s Impossible, John from Ellen Wittlinger’s Hard Love.

I’d support dates with Jasper from Jean Webster’s Daddy-Long-Legs, or Stephen from Dodie Smith’s I Capture the Castle. And I’d love to be in-laws with Hilary McKay’s Casson family, in case Calyn found herself pairing up with Indigo. Since I’m a generous soul, I’d even allow her to date my own first literary crush: Aragorn (do I need to explain that this is Tolkien’s character from The Lord of the Rings? I didn’t think so.) Ah, Aragorn. *sigh*

When I raised the question of literary dating with Calyn herself, she admitted to a current crush on Colin in John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines (I have a soft spot for his lazy, funny best friend, Hassan).

As for suitors I’d forbid from Calyn’s doorstep: at the top of the list is Heathcliff (who was my own weakness at 18; by 30, I knew better).

So let me ask you: What characters in literature would you want your daughter to date? And whom would you never let her near?