Cast Of Characters: Villain Turned Love Interests In YA

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Belle-and-Adam-beauty-and-the-beast-34638217-1018-1500Adam from Beauty And The Beast

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Villain turned love interests are the so-called ‘bad boys’ to a greater, more palpable extent– that is to say, the heroine turns against him at one point in time, though most are adversaries to begin with, at least until she cuddles up to the irresistible charms,  and stays there, snug as a bug in a rug. In which case, she realizes that she can’t be with or without him (it’s an inevitable tragedy, but not really). These beautiful nightmares are usually widely misunderstood, where behind the evil veneer, lies a heart of pure gold.

example

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Try to match each quote to the corresponding VTLI who said it from the examples shown above! I may have removed some of the names so that it won’t be such a giveaway! Also to avoid spoilers 🙂

“I love you. I love you more than any other creature, because you are cruel, and kind, and alive.”

“Your soul sings to mine. My soul is yours, and it always will be, in any world. No matter what happens. I need you to remember that I love you.”

“I want to be the friend you fall hopelessly in love with. The one you take into your arms and into your bed and into the private world you keep trapped in your head.”

“I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. You and I going to change the world.”

verdict

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Kidding! (but goddamn I miss the innocent Stiles)

Okay, not gonna prevaricate, but I think the notion of a ‘bad boy’ is far too common these days, to the extent that the idea of them feels a little hackneyed, which, much to my detriment, subsequently relinquishes their X factor (you know, that one thing, haha. Mmkay I’ll stop with the One Direction references now). But this quandary applies to me (and/or you) especially, because they recur predominantly in Young Adult books, though the occasional author here or there can make them work with exceptional writing. Villains as love interests, however, are a discrepant matter altogether. For one, it could be that many authors are reluctant to turn the tables, because it’s hard to rationalize the actions of an outward rapscallion, and furthermore, give the heroine an upstanding reason to fall in love with him beyond his strange charms. And if the author lays low on his nefarious reputation, does that make him a believable character?

So there lies the dilemma. I, for one, have a hard time tolerating the fact that someone capable of murder and torment is also perfectly capable of love and kindness, although I’m not going to deny the fact that their frequently impervious, almost inconceivable beauty makes it hard for me to spite them wholly. And whenever the heroine speaks of unfurling an affection for such characters, it always makes me controvert her reason, and to an extent, her sanity, because I myself would never think to love someone who engenders an almost unbearable amount of pain and misery.

But guess what? It happens anyway, and sometimes it even works. I guess my sentiments on the matter depend on how the romance is written— I don’t favor unceremonious changes in character, or villains who cut the heroine slack and antagonize everyone else, or even the sympathetic villains, if they continue to walk the path of destruction. Redeeming value is a must, of course!

So I guess it all depends on the pretext. Sometimes, the heroines just happened to have judged them prematurely, such that they’re more decent and accommodating than what one would expect. But as long as they’re not full-blown, cold-hearted, and insensitive bastards who torture and kill with neither rhyme nor reason, I cling to the hope that they’ll make for befitting love interests, and hopefully spice up the lives of the heroines hopelessly in love with them, but who, in the end, can’t ever help it anyway.

What about you? Do you approve of villain turned love interests in YA? Who are other examples that you know of, and which are your favorites? Do tell me in the comments below 🙂

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Cast Of Characters: Princes In YA

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the-chronicles-of-narnia-prince-caspian-4Prince Caspian, The Chronicles of Narnia

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In this frame of reference, the term ‘Prince’ is taken literally—that is, an individual of royal lineage, and one customarily expecting direct ascendance to the throne, when all is said and done. In many of Young Adult novels, princes serve as love interests to heroines who are commonly either outcasts in society, or regulatory hotties who can somehow resist the royal charms (though obviously not for long).

example

 

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quotes

Try to match each quote to the corresponding prince who said it from the examples shown above! I may have removed some of the names so that it won’t be such a giveaway! Also to avoid spoilers 🙂

“I was afraid I was wrong, that you would change your mind any second. I’ve been looking for a suitable alternative, but the truth is … there’s only you. Maybe I’m not really looking, maybe they aren’t right for me. It doesn’t matter. I just know I want you. And that terrifies me. I’ve been waiting for you to take back the words, to beg to leave.”

“I wanted you to go away, because it hurts to be with you when I can’t see you.”

“I know this is stupid, but part of me felt like if I could come see you today, if I could convince you to go with me tonight, then maybe I could still change things. It’s dumb, I know. It’s not like she cares if I, you know, might have actual feelings for someone.”

“And I swear, if there is a way for us to be together, I will find it. No matter how long it takes. If I have to chase your soul to the ends of eternity, I won’t stop until I find you, I promise.”

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To be honest, the idea of a prince may sound like a threadbare phrase, and to an extent a prosaism, and even more so the idea of having them fall for a low-profile heroine (too good to be true), yet I still take delight in the idea of them, and hold them in high esteem, for why’s and wherefores entirely my own.

First of all, the manner by which they are commonly portrayed as well-mannered gentlemen who care for their loved ones and their kingdoms alike eliminates the stereotype of a prince as an arrogant, condescending noble who gets everything he wants without even trying because he demands it, and not because he’s entirely deserving. As a matter of fact, their likeness considerably humanizes the idea of a prince, and their interaction with the ‘bourgeoisie’, that is to say the common citizen, bridges yet another gap in the process.

It may perhaps just be my predilection or particular fondness for the romantic cavalier, but I do find princes ten times as swoon worthy as the abstruse, inscrutable bad boys who spend their days chafing inwardly and their nights possibly plotting revenge. Yes, the dialogue may get cheesy (refer to example quotes!) but I find it much easier to rest assured that when they claim to love someone, the emotion is absolute. After all, it’s not common for a prince to marry outside of a peremptory arrangement,  to a girl he most likely has no intention of marrying, much less loving. Meeting the girl of his dreams will probably dragoon a stalwart impact.

Oh and, it’s a guilty pleasure of mine to feel so freaking triumphant whenever he gets the girl, and vice versa. From the prince’s standpoint, their love is strong enough to resist the gradient of common practice, and from the heroine standpoint, a million screaming girls simultaneously crushing on the prince would gladly step on one another to secure the prize, and yet he still manages to single her out.VICTORY DANCE!

So yeah, suffice it to say, I approve!

What about you? Do you approve of princes in YA? Do tell me in the comments below 🙂

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