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.

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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.”

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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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Asking The Blogosphere (Episode 3): On Breaking Free, Falling In Love, And Favorite Fictional Love Interests

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This is a new feature I came up with, because lately, I’ve had a problem filling in my Wednesdays with relevant posts. It’s a discussion post of sorts, that revolves around books and your life outside of it. At the end of each segment, I ask you guys a few questions, ones you’re free to answer of course!

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On Breaking Free and Junior-Senior Prom

Almost two weeks ago, my school held the annual Junior-Senior Promenade at Crowne Plaza Ortigas, organized and sponsored by the Batch 2015 Junior Students and Parent Teacher Association. And in spite of the fact that I wasn’t even half as frantic and eager this time as compared to the first, the event itself was, beyond the shadow of a doubt, one hell of a night to remember.

Because come on you guys, it’s cause for celebration! We had cocktails, and barbecue, and piles of delectable, and not to mention free food, and there are photo booths purveying and catering to vanity (and we love that, because how many times a year can one even dabble in guiltless ostentation?) plus a massive, open dance floor, and let me just tell you, I’m a completely different person dancing to the beat of heavy music—I can assure you major-ass flailage (credits to Nara for coining the term!)

But the thing is, I’ve never really been the type of girl to party—at least not until the recent years. I’ve always culled to standing in the shadows of the limelight, never reaching out. As a kid, my life revolved around anime and school, and I never really made friends out of my small, eight-person circle, and honestly, I would have become an outcast had I not driven myself to popularity joining all sorts of contests and quiz bees. So I guess you could say that people looked up to me, but I never once felt that I ever really had a friend.

And I guess that’s why when I stepped into the jungle they fondly call high school, I decided to embrace the comfort that books could offer—whenever I read, I was detached and in traveling light, but I was never solitary, desolate, alone. I enjoyed the company of all sorts of fictional characters, and it was as if I existed in some universe between mine and theirs, where I could meet and interact with these people born from ink on those pages I so lovingly held pressed in between my fingers.

And for a time I was happy. Hell, I even made a blog to have something to show for it!

But I guess at one point I realized that I couldn’t keep on holding myself in abeyance within the confines of my shell– I wanted to fracture the perimeter of my hypothetical limit. So somewhere along the way, I learned to break free from reticence and inhibition, and that’s one of the most important things in life that I will forever be grateful to high school for. I’m graduating in less than two months, so you can hardly blame me for all this drama, but really. Reality has never felt this liberating.

So back to prom and how I shamelessly raised the roof at one point by then: well needless to say, I made the most out of the occasion. I decided to enter the venue in style, and while I give no credence to mastering a runway walk swanky enough, mine along the red carpet was worth it. And lookie! I found a good shot with a friend to show for it.

pic1Congrats for figuring out which one I am!

And then after the program, my friends and I decided to utilize the photo booths (though it took us approximately ten million years to reach the end of the line), and were even honored with guest appearances by our Prom King and Queen. I was capital S Starstruck, gotta admit.

pic2I’m obviously the prettiest one (lawl)

Hahaha I kidd, both of them are my close friends (and I’m proud to call myself their legitimate matchmaker).

And then of course, who can forget the heavy dancing, and hands in the air, everyone singing along to the earsplitting music (not even caring that our voices sounded like nails screeching against an uneven concrete wall), and it was tons and tons and tons of fun.

pic3With my fourth year buddies! 🙂

And then of course I realized my feet were bleeding (don’t worry, this is a metaphor), and I was getting a little lethargic, so I made my way to the lobby and paused to wait for my parents to arrive. So like I said, overall it was a night of reverie. Just another item to add to the overflowing list of items to cry over when all is said and done.

Have you ever felt that way? Like you want to leave high school and grow up, but not really, at the same time? It happens to me constantly, and it’s getting really confusing. But I’ll figure that out sooner or later. I have another formal event to attend on March the 28th (the Graduation Ball!) and because I’m extra excited for that, I’ll show you the inspiration for my dress, a Jovani ballgown number (I love their designs):

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Of course, I had mine embellished, because I can’t hope to wear another tube top without worrying about it accidentally falling off, but I hope it looks amazing once I get to see the finished product.

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On Falling In Love

Meanwhile, let’s forward track to the present day: here I am, eating from a bowl of double coated Tim Tams (they’re heaven on earth, I super swear), cramming my Physics concept notes, my head spinning and my heart recovering from having recently read Tahereh Mafi’s Ignite Me.

AND MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS WAS IT FANTABULOUS. You don’t need a genius to figure out how much I loved that book. And GUUUURL does Mafi know how to turn your engines up with those sexy times! No seriously, I can’t even count how many times Warner just Dave Franco’ed in my head like,

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I know you want a good taste 

Which of course meant that

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But I’m not going to spoil the rest of my review today, so I’m going to take a different approach for the time being. In fact, I’m going to start with a question that had me at a loss for good minute or two as I read through the book:

Do I know what it feels like to truly love someone? Have I ever been in love?

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Beats me.

Well the answer I currently have to both is neither. I’m not exactly into delineating terms that lead to trite remarks, but I just couldn’t stop thinking that because I’m around Juliette’s age, if only a year younger, I should be asking myself the same questions that have been gyrating through her head.

I mean, I’ve been in a relationship (or two, or three), but they were never official and were nothing like sparks flying and hearts intertwining and feeling as if nothing will ever be the same again in dearth of my better half. And that’s why in a sense, I’ve always been a little jaundiced by the heroines in books, because they’ve experienced a love so pure and infernal, and have loved without stopping to think twice about having meant it. So I guess I can never surmise a definition unless I’ve felt love in non-platonic tenor, and if you ask me about ever having been in love, I guess the definite answer to that is one big fat no.

But I still have my whole life ahead of me, so the thought is probably a little too premature, haha.

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On Love Interests In Fiction

And of course that got me thinking.

Why does it seem like a paltry endeavor for a fictional character to find the perfect guy? And no matter how Plain Jane these heroines are, in terms of appearance and personality alike, why do these guys succumb to attraction and fall head over heels in love with them?

Well I guess the answer to that is pretty simple. They were written to fulfill the fantasies of a predominantly teenage audience. In reality however, none of us are lost princesses, or superheroes, or average girls with cryptic and esoteric powers, so of course it’s hard to come by something that exciting.

As for me however, I choose to remain content with my collection of book boyfriends, and just because I’m feeling generous, let me share with you my favorite of the bunch at the moment:

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If you can button down the character by virtue of his features and quotes, well then, congratulations! Feel free to fangirl at your leisure. (Well, Hunter Parrish is a dirty shade of blonde, and he doesn’t have naturally green eyes, but he is the face of every Warner on Tumblr, and honestly, I’m pretty happy about that!)

But now it’s time for you to take the stage and tell me all about your opinions on the matters I just presented!

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What are your thoughts on prom? Are you ever excited for it? How did it feel, if you’ve ever experienced it? What is love, and do you think that you’ve ever fallen in love? Who are some of your favorite book boyfriends? And who would you cast for Warner if they turned the Shatter Me trilogy into movies?

And that’s it for this feature! If you want to share your own answers, please do! Leave a comment and make my day 🙂

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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).

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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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