Confession: We have feelings for fictional characters. We can’t help it; when we meet the right character at the right time, it feels like the universe is aligned, much like in a real life relationship. We get to know our book boyfriends and girlfriends intimately on the page, and they stay with us long after the story is over. Sometimes, if we’re lucky, we even get to see them come to life on the big screen.
The best part about crushing on fictional characters? The love lasts forever! Even when we reach the last page, we know know our fictional loves will always be there. These are some of our all-time favorite book boyfriends and girlfriends.
1. Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
Fitzwilliam Darcy is the fictional crush of many a reader. For over 200 years, audiences have swooned over his suaveness, broody tendencies, and capacity for change. Many readers are still waiting for their real-life Mr. Darcy, and blame his character for “ruining” their expectations of men. We can’t help it — we’ll always have a soft spot for him.
2. Park Sheridan from Eleanor and Park
When Rainbow Rowell released Eleanor and Park, it took the YA world by storm. Readers loved its coming-of-age themes and appreciated its honest portrayals of abuse. They also loved Park. He’s a sweet, heroic boy who cares about music, his Korean family, and coming to Eleanor’s rescue. We’ll probably have a crush on him forever and ever.
3. Augustus Waters from The Fault in Our Stars
We’re aware that John Green’s Augustus Waters isn’t actually a real person. But we still feel like we know him intimately, and that we’ve experienced a lot of life’s ups and downs with him. He charmed us, thrilled us, and surprised us. He made us laugh, made us think, and ultimately, he broke our hearts. And we’ll love him forever for it.
4. Norah from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
Sometimes, it only takes five minutes to fall in love with someone. We fell for Norah early and hard. She’s scared, hopeful, insecure, fun, complicated, and best of all, realistic. For these reasons and more, she’ll always have a special place in our hearts.
5. Ari Mendoza from Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
Ari is the quiet type. On the outside, he appears to be shy and indifferent. But on the inside, he’s filled with all kinds of emotions: sadness, longing, confusion. When Ari meets Dante, a fellow Mexican-American teen, his feelings sharpen into focus and help shape the world around him. In some ways, Ari is kind of like a modern-day Mr. Darcy. And we love him for it.
6. Louisa Clark from Me Before You
Our love for Lou was a slow burn. It started innocently enough, then grew and grew the more we got to know her. The closer she became to Will, the harder we fell. Lou is patient, nurturing, and often unaware of how remarkable she is. We truly cherish her rare talent of bringing out the best in people.
7. Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember
Nicholas Sparks is responsible for a LOT of fictional crushes. Noah Calhoun, Paul Flanner, John Tyree, Logan Thibault, Will Blakelee — they’re all swoon-worthy boyfriends, but none are more lovable than Landon Carter from A Walk to Remember. Throughout the book, we watch him transform from an impressionable boy into a selfless man. What seals the deal for us is that 40 years after losing Jamie, he still wears his wedding ring.
8. Lara Jean from To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before
Jenny Han’s YA trilogy tells the story of Lara Jean’s love interests. But while we were supposed to be reading about her crushes, it turns out we fell in love with Lara Jean herself. She’s caring, complex, witty, and has a tight-knit bond with her Korean-American family. What’s not to love?
9. Henry DeTamble from The Time Traveler’s Wife
Henry and Clare have one of the most complicated yet beautiful romances in all of literature. They love each other deeply, which makes Henry’s rare genetic disorder and involuntarily disappearances that much more devastating. But every time he reappears, regardless of what year it is, Clare falls more in love with him — and so do we. Fans of The Time Traveler’s Wife, rejoice: Audrey Niffenegger is hard at work on a sequel that focuses on Henry and Clare’s daughter Alba as an adult.
10. Alaska Young from Looking for Alaska
Alaska is far from perfect, and we love her for it. She’s real — wild, quirky, impulsive. We love how she makes Miles feel — smart, confident, invincible. And we love that even though Looking for Alaska is over 10 years old, we still can’t get her out of our heads. John Green, you’ve done it again.