Sunday, 27 November 2011

Discussion Post! The Hot Guy (And Why I Want To See Less Of Him)

Okay, so, I know this a discussion post that most of you aren't really going to agree with, but I've been thinking about it for a while, and how much it annoys me, and I just really need to get it all off my chest.

I am really fed up with hot guys in my books. I'll give you a minute to get over you're shock and horror. I know it sounds weird and distinctly un-teenage girly. But I have my reasons, so! The Hot Guy phenomenon is yet another thing I find that is native to the paranormal genre of books, which I like, but have many, many problems with.

First of all, it's completely unrealistic. I know it's not meant to be realistic, and it looks like a stupid point, but let me finish. If every girl in a paranormal book is supposedly so 'unattractive' and generally quite boring and unlikeable, and if they have such little belief in themselves, The Most Popular Guy in their undoubtedly new school would, if this were reality, not instantly fall in a desperate 'eternal love' with them. Regardless of whether they're an Angel or a Vampire.

Second of all, I hate the Hot Guy romance. Again, I know I'm alone in this, but I hate overly romantic guys. Not just on the basis that it's awkward, but because it's patronising. Most of the time, this 'Perfect Guy' is just completely belittling the main character with their affection.  They expect to be able to go about their supernatural business while completely leaving the main girl in the dark, because of course she can't handle the truth because she's just poor widdle girly. Really? I find it difficult to idolise these kind of guys as 'perfect'. I find within many paranormal books that there is a significant imbalance in the relationship, and the guy and the girl are not on equal ground, but it's fine because he's got a nice face or a nice chest? I don't think it's good that a lot of the time they'll rarely even converse with each other throughout the book, that most of the time they will just kiss and talk about how much they 'love each other'. 

Thirdly, the fact that we forgive their many, many flaws just because they are physically attractive. No offence, I don't have a problem with people liking hot guys or anything, and I'm not trying to be all hoity toity or anything, I just want to say this. I think it's kind of sad that pretty much anyone with abs, be they fictional, is deemed pretty much perfect. That they can be patronising and belittling and contrived, and that that is essentially our idea of a 'perfect guy'. I've noticed lately that I find it incredibly difficult to fancy any guy in paranormal YA fiction. Obviously there are exceptions, but that's in regards to the fact that they're usually normal, nice guys, that treat the main character/love interest like their equal.

I really want to see some paranormal books with normal guys as the love interest, with awkward heroes and guys who wear glasses, and guys who read comics and have never kissed a girl and are just kind of adorable, instead of chiselled and cheekbony. Nobody said a nerd couldn't be attractive. Why shouldn't he be the Angel, or the vampire, and it not be a funny book? Why shouldn't in all seriousness, he be the romantic hero, that doesn't have cheesy 'eternal love' lines, and doesn't fall in instalove with people and respects his girlfriend the same way she respects him? Because the stereotypical romantic lead is bad for young boys and girls. It makes awkward nerdy boys think that every girl wants a guy with a six pack and a scary, unnatural desperation for the girl (which seriously creeps me out), and it makes young girls think that a hot guy is automatically a good guy, and a collective of teenagers that need a bit of a reality check.

I think the most perfect example (that I've read) about this kind of 'Paranormal' relationship in a real life situation was in Lola and The Boy Next Door. For those of you who've read it, you'll know what I mean. Max. Max is a manipulative jerk who is characteristically similar to a lot of romantic leads, and he is the epitome of what they would be like IRL. He's the kind of guy who uses the idea that they are in some kind of 'real love' as a tool to manipulate Lola, and he's possessive and jealous and everything that I kind of think are the worst traits in a guy. Like, excessive jealousy is never a good thing, right? I love how Stephanie Perkin's took this kind of person into a real life context. And I love how the nice guy won. 

So yeah. Please feel free to disagree with me and everything! I don't mean to be rude or anything, or mean about this kind of thing, that's just my honest opinion on the matter at the time being. Please tell me what you think about it too!

*Note: Before you shout at me, I'm not talking about EVERY guy in paranormal, but you know the one's I mean.


  1. Yay! This post is great! It made me think - I guess I've never really thought about what would happen with these guys if it was actually in real life... I just sort of get on with the story and ignore the fact that it's unrealistic :/ And YES! Lola is an AWESOME example of great, nerdy boys, now that I think about it :D Next time I read a paranormal romance, I'll most definitely look at him differently ;) Thanks for the AWESOME post Cic! No need to be worried, I promise ;)

  2. Woo hoo! I agree 100%. It's actually one of the reasons I avoid YA paranormal... I just can't take it seriously. I'm sick of hearing about blah-girl is so lucky because Hot Guy picks her out of all the other lowly girls to pour his affection on. GAG.

    Lola is definitely more my type of YA romance. And Perkins other book, Anna and the French Kiss. And hell, even in The Hunger Games the nicer boy wins!

    I'm with you - the Hot Guy fad in books sucks. YAY for the nice nerdy guys!

  3. I agree completely. Another problem is that these ridiculously blandly 'perfect' guys and the insta-love they bring with them mean zero romantic tension or drama. There's no mystery, no will they or won't they. Yawn.

  4. I totally agree. His is something I loved in Pink which I read today, I recommend it ;)

  5. This is actually the main reason why I'm avoiding paranormal series!!!!! To be honest, I was SUCH a huge fan of Becca Fitzpatrick's Hush Hush... up until the sequel. OH MY GOD. I was so pissed off that despite the fact that Patch basically cheated on her, Nora just accepted his reasoning. And I don't understand how readers can still swoon over him. He's a jerk!

    I really hate the trend of insta-love with hot guys. I completely agree that it's not realistic.

    Fantastic post!

  6. Yes yes yes! We completely agree with your reasons, and we were totally going to suggest Cricket and Lola as a good example of REAL characters falling in REAL love.

    (However, we kind of liked Max. Not as a love interest! Just as a real character. He actually did a lot to try and be a good boyfriend, going to the brunches and surprising Lola with stuff. But in the end they weren't the right fit, and he probably had some temper issues to work on. That doesn't make him evil. Just human. Which is the point!)

    ANYWAY. We too are sick of the Perfect Hot Guy. We try really hard to make our heroes lovably imperfect, because those are the kind of guys we like reading about too.

    You might also like Eldric in Chime, Joe in The Sky Is Everywhere, and Bradford in Entwined, and the guy/s in The Book Thief.

  7. Yeah I agree with you. I find it so hard to find love interests attractive, and when I do, it's usually the personality traits that attract me rather than the whole 'he's hot' thing. I mean, it's FINE for girls to find the love interest attractive, *I* find my boyfriend attractive and I'm sure pretty much every other girl does too. But he doesn't have to be THE perfect male to be an attractive one, and sometimes flaws can be just as attractive. Great post Cicely!

    The Cait Files

  8. I couldn't have said it better myself. The thing I don't like about is the fact that it spread the idea that unless you are good looking you're not worthy of love. You're lucky if someone loves you with your flaws. Even luckier if that someone is perfect. Completely agree with CIALINA about Hush Hush too. Although, there are some paranormal romances out there that are really interesting still. You have to take everything with a pinch of salt.
    Paula @ PaulaSHx


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