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Top 3 Book Boyfriends: A Tribute to Their Ability To Make 21st century Dating THAT Much Harder

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Why do we read? If you asked everyone in the world, that answer would differ drastically from person to person. Some people read to expand their knowledge, some read to cook their families’ dinners and others read to finish that last-minute book report their teachers forced them to complete before school starts in the fall. Personally, I read for the moment. I read for those moments when we live six different lives in one night or the moments when we realize we would rather spend time with fictional characters than the people in our reality.

But mostly, I read for the moment when we find the absolute perfect guy only to remember that he’s fictional and written by a woman, making it nearly impossible for someone like that to truly exists. We all then make the decision to wait. We set our bars significantly higher and remain single a whole lot longer waiting for that perfect guy to walk through our door and knock us off our feet like the guys in the books. If he doesn’t, then we won’t date at all. This is an article for all those one-of-a-kind dream guys that changed our worlds for the better and showed us how a real guy could really be and how all guys should be. This one is for them.

1. Archer Hale, Archer’s Voice by Mia Sheridan

He is the scared and lonely boy who turned into the fragile, quiet man of Pelion, Maine. He is the man with so many secrets who prefers his empty home over a room full of people. He is the man who remains absolutely alone until Bree Prescott walks in and turns his world upside down. Archer lost his voice in a tragic accident and can no longer speak without his hands. Bree is the only other person in that town who can sign her words and quickly begins to feel sympathy for the man who starts out as a complete mystery to her. Bree, just like all the other readers, sees something in Archer and bikes past his house every day until she decides to finally make her way through his gated bubble.

Archer is everything and so much more we readers expected him to be and he quickly makes the top of my book boyfriend list. He is most definitely the most gentle, innocent man I have ever “met” in my life. He has never been with another girl, never drank a sip of alcohol, never had a true best friend and quite simply never opened up to another human being. Bree becomes his first in everything and completely opens his world. You simply begin to feel the need to protect this man at all costs and just give him the biggest hug imaginable.

Together they learn how to grow not only as a couple but as individuals making for a beautiful love story you will never forget. Three months after reading this book, I still feel the same swirly feelings in my stomach, watery eyes and the urge to protect this couple with everything in me.

Noteworthy Quotes:

  • “I’m afraid to love you. I’m afraid that you’ll leave and that I’ll go back to being alone again. Only it will be a hundred times worse because I’ll know what I’m missing. I can’t … I want to be able to love you more than I fear losing you, and I don’t know how. Teach me, Bree. Please teach me. Don’t let me destroy this.”
  • “You’re my everything, Bree. I lost my heart to you, Bree, and I don’t ever want it back.”

2. Atlas Corrigan, It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

This is the story of an innocent first love. Everything in Lily’s life was normal until the day she spots a boy in ragged, dirty clothes getting off the bus and going into the house right next door. As he caught her attention immediately, Lily runs right to the diary she addresses to Ellen Degeneres and expresses her instant need to comfort him and uncover his story.  She finds out he is living alone in an abandoned house and makes the decision to become the only member of his guarded-off world and help however she could.

Both Atlas and Lily have hard lives and messy backgrounds that they try to sweep under the rug as best they can. Atlas ran away from a broken home and Lily lives in one. They quickly begin to depend on each other and protect one another from the tragedies that surround them. Atlas creates his new home in the corner beside Lily’s bed and they soon embark on an innocent and touching childhood romance they both begin to depend on. They watch Ellen together, bake Atlas’ famous chocolate chip cookies, plant flowers, share their dreams and become each other’s very best friends.

Atlas becomes just as vital to Lily as she is to him when Lily walks in on a tragic scene with her mother and father in the living room. With no one else in the world who understands, Atlas is there to comfort her and be the best friend she never knew she needed. They are perfect up until the outside world gets in the way. When Lily’s father catches them, Atlas must go live in Boston with his uncle, so they go their separate ways. They promise each other that when Atlas can build a worthy life in Boston, they can finally be together again.

Years later, Lily goes through similar cycles as her mom did and finds herself in Atlas’ restaurant in Boston. “B.I.B.S” AKA better in boston, IYKYK. They find each other once again when they both need it and it is by far the sweetest and most powerful story I have ever read, bringing tears to my eyes every time without fail. Atlas is patient, caring, protective, dependable and simply everything a girl truly needs in a guy.  He would do absolutely everything in his power to ensure Lily was safe and most importantly happy, even if that meant it wasn’t with him. I think it’s safe to say that after finishing this book, the boys in my high school simply didn’t stand a chance.

Noteworthy Quotes:

  • “He pulls back to look down at me and when he sees my tears, he brings his hands up to my cheeks. ‘In the future… if by some miracle you ever find yourself in the position to fall in love again … fall in love with me.’ He presses his lips against my forehead. ‘You’re still my favorite person, Lily. Always will be.’ “

3. Benson James Kessler, November 9 by Colleen Hoover

Fallon is the shy, timid girl with a plethora of insecurities, none of which are made better by the critiques her dad makes about her life on a daily basis. This cycle continues until one day, a tall brown-haired boy sits down next to her and pretends to be her boyfriend. Ben defends Fallon in every way in front of her father without even knowing her. That day they hang out and do the cutesy “first date” activities one does like froyo and dinner. All is going well until Fallon shares that she must go back to New York. This doesn’t stop Ben, not even a little. They agree to meet every Nov. 9 until they are 23, which is six years from now. No calls, texts, stalking, nothing at all. Just coming to the same spot and meeting every year.

Ben soon starts writing his novel about Fallon and their growing love story before it even begins. Ben helps Fallon embrace her insecurities and her fear to be an actor because of them. Ben doesn’t care what Fallon may look like on the outside because he absolutely adores what’s on the inside. Ben attempts to help mend Fallon’s crumbling relationship with her father and buys her plane tickets to go and visit him. Simply put, Ben tries to give Fallon the world and goes to lengths to do so.

Tragedy strikes and their relationship gets hard with barriers stopping them from meeting. Ben wants more and Fallon is scared to give it to him. Secrets come out and things get even harder, but this is Ben we are talking about here. The man who fights for what he wants, speaks his mind, appreciates Fallon for all the things she hates about herself and waits for Fallon at the diner every single Nov. 9 even when she doesn’t show up.  This is the man we all need in our lives. The man who will appreciate us, fight for us and love us with all they’ve got.

Noteworthy Quotes:

  • “You can’t leave yet. I’m not finished falling in love with you.”
  • “If you don’t show up today, I’ll be there next year. And the next. Every November 9th, I’ll wait for you, hoping one day you’ll be able to find enough forgiveness to love me again. But if that doesn’t happen and you never show, I’ll still be grateful to you until the day that I die. You saved me the day we met.”

So there they are. The top three book boyfriends in all their glory. The top three book boyfriends that flipped our worlds upside down and didn’t bother to put them back. Here’s to these wonderful characters that made us feel emotions we didn’t even know existed.

Most importantly, here’s to finding our very own Archers, Atlases and Bens. We all deserve a man with Archer’s patience, Atlas’s protectiveness and of course with Ben’s compassion and determination. Now, that is the perfect man. Never settle ladies, because somewhere out there we all have our perfect guy. But, for now, it never hurts to just keep reading!

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Hi, I'm Paige! I am currently a freshman at Florida State majoring in Finance and minoring in Economics. When I'm not writing articles for HerCampus, you can find me reading everything ranging from cheesy rom-coms to "knock your socks off" thrillers, scrolling through Pinterest, catching up on the latest vogue articles, or rewatching Gilmore girls for the 7th time!