Tuesday Top Ten-Favorite YA Female Characters

So I’ve totally already done this Tuesday Top Ten before, information pills but it was kind of my favorite one to do (besides maybe my favorite fictional boy crushes) because there’s SUCH an outpouring of strong, amazing, kickass, well developed awesome female characters out there and I want to be able to share the ones that I like so much with all of you.

I also did this list way back in November and I had probably, hmmm, like five followers back then, which included my dad and my boyfriend and maybe a few friends. Now I have nearly 1000 followers and so I want to write it again, so all my new followers can now see this :)

So here we go! My top ten (err…eleven) favorite female characters in young adult literature!

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11. Katniss Everdeen from The Hunger Games 

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Katniss is a badass, and she’s one of the first characters that comes to mind when you have strong female characters of YA, especially with the immense success of the Hunger Games movie and Catching FIre hitting theaters this fall. I like Katniss a lot, but mostly from the first book, not so much the next two. My personal opinion is that she gets a little whiny toward the end. Again, thats my personal opinion. But I do think she’s a great character. She’s a girl that doesn’t give up, even though most 12 year olds probably would. Instead of crawling into a hole, and letting her family starve or letting her and Prim be taken away, she figures out a way to survive and hunts, and trades and does whatever she can to help her family survive. And these skills that she learns for survival are the KEY to her survival in the Hunger Games. She’s extremely clever and she’s very caring as well, for her family, and for the people that come into her life like Peeta and Haymitch and Cinna and even Effie. She’s a GREAT character and Jennifer Lawrence is a great actress to play her.

10. Tessa Gray from The Infernal Devices 

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I love Tessa Gray because of her bravery, her resilience, her cleverness and the fact that she loves books so much. I love that Tessa Gray only wants to do the best that she can and that she cares SO much. The thing about Tessa is that she is unique, in so many different ways. First off, she’s an American in London. Then she’s amongst a bunch of Shadowhunters, which she is not. Then she’s not even sure what she is: possible a warlock, but without a warlock’s mark and no explanation of what she is. The Infernal Devices trilogy is not only the story of the London Institute and the Shadowhunters attempting to defeat Mortmain and his revenge plan but its also about the journey that Tessa takes in discovering herself and who she is and what she is and what her purpose is. I love that she loves with all of her heart and she loves her brother, even though he isn’t what she thought he was, and she loves the people she meets through the London Institute. I love that she loves both Will and Jem, and not in a whiny Bella Swan kind of way but in such a real, genuine way, the way people love in real life.

9. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter series

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J.K. Rowling once said about Luna Lovegood that she has an unbelievably rare quality of a person who just doesn’t give a damn about what people think about her and for that, she’s on my list. Because let’s face it, no matter what we say, no matter how much we profess it, we all care at least a little bit what people think of us. That or, we care what CERTAIN people think of us. Luna has the quality of being an absolute badass because she’s so sure of herself. She is teased and bullied, and people mess with her and think she’s weird but she doesn’t even notice. She’s so happy in her own world and I, for one, envy her for that. But she’s also a seriously loving and caring and brave person. When she finally makes friends, she is so good to them, and she is a pivotal character in my opinion. I don’t think the Harry Potter series would have been right without her in it, and there’s a reason why everyone calls me Luna <3

8. June Iparis from the Legend trilogy 

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Okay, June is an absolute badass, and honestly, I think she’s one of the strongest female characters I have read in a novel, especially in the overflow of young adult lit that is going on right now. I was amazed at June’s…tenacity and her fire and her strength. I was discussing June with someone online once and they said she was cold, she didn’t have a personality, that she wasn’t as easy to like as some of the other heroines that are out there, and that’s exactly why I like her. She’s different. She’s trained as a soldier and thinks like a soldier and has a hard time breaking that habit, even when things start stacking up against everything she ever knew. Its hard for her to be as trusting of people, especially someone like Day, who she is told over and over again is a criminal. I think she’s very human, and I love how her feelings for Day are always in question, always a work in progress. I like that there’s a love story in this novel, but not the kind that takes over the story. I love June because she has a head on her shoulders, and she uses it before she falls in love. I love how smart she is, and how reluctant she is to accept the truth…because she wants to know its the real truth before she believes it. She’s such a great character.

7. Tris Prior from the Divergent trilogy 

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I think one of the biggest reasons that I love Tris is because she’s so little, and people don’t really believe in her because of that, and she proves them all wrong. She’s the tiny, little, divergent (read: normal) girl, who takes a chance, leaves her parents behind for a different faction, a faction so vastly different than the one she was raised in and just…just rocks it. I mean, sure, not at first. She’s weak, scared, shy. But she does all the work she needs to do to not only become part of the Dauntless faction, but to be number one in the initiates. I love that. I love that she’s been taught so much about the act of being silent, being selfless, lacking of affectionate and all of that sort of thing, but when she comes to Dauntless, everything she does is so real, and so genuine. She makes friends because she is so genuine. And Four falls in love with her because of that, and that’s just too darn cute for life. I am jealous for Tris and her relationship with Four, because…well he’s Four, and do you see the picture above? Theo James is QUITE the looker. But in all seriousness, I admire Tris for her bravery, her cleverness, her selfishness and selflessness, and her never ending drive.

6. Clary Fray from The Mortal Instruments

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I know that most of you know how addicted I am to the  Mortal Instruments series, and I’m sure you’re wondering why on earth the main character would not even be in the top 5, and there are reasons for that, and I totally have a TMI character in the Top 5. So hush. I love Clary, I super adore her. I enjoy watching as she takes the journey from normal teenager girl, to a budding Shadowhunter. I love that she’s brave and fearless, and she wants to save everyone: her mom, Simon, Jace, everyone. I love that the Shadowhunter world is SO confusing to her, but she goes with it, and she adapts quickly and that, I don’t know, she sort of grows into what is her natural heritage. She was born to be a Shadowhunter, even though her mom held that away from her for so long. I think the biggest reason why I love Clary is because of her loyalty. She is SO incredibly loyal and loving to the people she cares about: her mom, Luke, Simon. And when she meets the Lightwoods and Jace and Maia and Magnus, she cares for all of them as well. She just can’t help but care, and her caring is what makes her so brave.

5. Alina Starkov from The Grisha Trilogy 

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Alina is one of the most interesting characters that I have read in awhile. One, because she’s incredibly powerful…more powerful than pretty much every single person that she knows. And at first, she strays away from that power and is reluctant to use, reluctant to get any stronger. But as the story goes on, she almost begins to crave that power. She begins to grow addicted to it, and she feeds off of it. I think so many times we see characters that are so inherently good all the time, so good even when they make mistakes or make wrong decisions but Alina kind of represents a different sort of heroine. I think that we see Alina struggle more than any other character, because power is a dangerous thing. I don’t think that Alina is evil or a bad person, but that all depends on what happens in the final book of the series. We leave off, with all these people believing she’s a saint, a savior, and with her on a crazy, impossible quest to track down ways to make herself more powerful. This is incredibly dangerous and makes Alina a very complex, and addicting character. I just keep wanting to read and find out what happens next.

4. Alianne Cooper from The Tricksters Series

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One of the strongest female characters that I’ve seen in the young adult genre, and just one of many that Tamora Pierce has created in her Tortall world: Alanna, Thayet, Buri, Daine, Maura, Keladry, and so so so many more. But when it comes down to it, Aly is easily my favorite and I think a lot of that comes down to that she was the first Tortall woman that I met, and she ushered me into a book series, and a book saga, that would seriously change my life. Aly is a sixteen year old girl with the kind of skills I could only dream of having at twenty-five years old. She’s incredibly clever, and has the knowledge and abilities to become a spymaster for a massive rebellion and be incredibly good at it. She knows about spying, and codes, and the sneakiness that comes with it. She knows about war and the way it goes, the way its run. She knows politics and crops and government and trade, social and culture, she’s just so incredibly smart. She can wield daggers and has wicked hand-to-hand combat skills. She’s quick on the spot, and can turn a lie in an instant. She’s charming and funny and relatable. She’s amazing, and one of the characters I always, ALWAYS bring up when talking about young adult literature.  

3. Isabelle Lightwood from The Mortal Instruments series 

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Can I say that if this was favorite female CRUSHES, it would be Isabelle at number one, easily? One, Jemima West is absolutely gorgeous and I can’t wait to see her as Isabelle in the movie this summer. But I like Isabelle because she’s the badass of the books. She is one of the best Shadowhunters there is, gender aside. She has her awesome gold whip, and she takes down demons and fights with Jace and Alec. I also love her humor, her personality. She always has a smile on her face; she’s always finding a way to joke through things, and laugh her way around, even when everyone else is so down. She’s a fierce, strong character and I think sometimes is overlooked but she’s one of my absolute favorites. Alec and Jace both say, that though the Shadowhunter world has changed, that it is still hard for girls to become true warriors, and yet Isabelle works her ass off for it. And she’s another fiercely loyal, and caring person as well. The amount of love that she feels for her family: for her parents and Alec and Max and Jace is unparalleled. She is willing to do anything for them. Plus I just want to be HER: sexy, strong, brave, fearless, charming, a fighter…a fierce, fierce fighter.

2. Raisa ana’Marianna from The Seven Realms series 

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Raisa is seriously….I can’t even…she’s just so awesome. I knew from page one that I was addicted to this character. She’s everything realistic about being a teenage girl plus SO much more. She is young, and pretty and wants to enjoy both of those. She wants to flirt with boys and have fun, and not worry about taking the throne just yet. But then drama goes down (as it is wont to do) and Raisa is forced to run away from her kingdom, hide herself from her own mother, and eventually come back to take her rightful throne. She is so much stronger than a lot of the characters we’ve seen in YA in that…even though she falls madly in love with someone she can’t be with, she doesn’t really cave to that. Her duty comes first and foremost through it all, and she follows the rules, to keep a hold of her unsteady claim on the throne. Spoiler: I honestly didn’t think she was going to end up with Han, for a VERY long time. We really don’t figure out that Raisa is willing to push buttons until she has fought for her throne and she feels the strength to do so. But she has fire and passion and a good head on her shoulders, even as she makes the same mistakes that any human would do. She is a character that I would LOVE to see her on the big screen.

1. Hermione Granger from the Harry Potter series

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I don’t think its any surprise that she is the best YA female character, at least according to myself. She is the first female character that I really read that I connected to, and that I still continue to connect to. Before I discovered Harry Potter, I was reading formula books like Sweet Valley High, Baby-Sitter’s Club, Pony Pals and the Boxcar Children. In other words, books that weren’t challenging me in the slightest. I first read Harry Potter when I was 10 years old, just one year younger than the characters themselves and Hermione immediately jumped out to me. One, she really was the only female character that we got to know in that book, besides, like McGonagall and Mrs. Norris haha. But I loved how smart she was, especially since she wasn’t born into that world. I loved how, even though she was teased and bullied, and had no friends, she didn’t stop being smart just for that. I love that she was always proud of her brain and her intelligence and she never, ever dumbed herself down for a boy, ever. I loved that she was brave, and loyal and kind and selfless and quick thinking and all of that. She is AWESOME and Emma Watson did a wonderful job portraying her :)

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I hope you enjoyed this week’s edition of the Tuesday Top Ten.

Don’t forget to check out last week’s Top Ten, on my favorite fictional dads, and other lists here.

Who are some of YOUR favorite young adult fictional female characters? As always, share in the comments!

Tuesday Top Ten-Fictional Male Crushes

So this was one of my first blog posts way back in May of 2012, viagra 100mg when I first started my blog.

The reason that I’m doing it again is this: when I first started my blog, unhealthy I had about 15 followers, for sale that were mostly my friends and family, and most of my friends and family were just like, “Okay, Sara, we’ll follow your blog but we don’t really get it…” Now, I have a lot more followers, and I’ve met more girl bloggers and I’ve really expanded myself out there. More people are coming to WhatANerdGirlSays than before.

I’ve also had a HUGE increase in followers in the last few weeks because of the contest I just held and because I’ve been passing out my blog business cards. Which means a lot of people haven’t seen the other lists that I’ve made. And I know that my blog mostly attracts girls, nerd girls, fan girls, you know? This is a girl blog, though I do write for both genders, and one of my favorite parts of reading books and watching my shows and movies, is having that character crushes, both male and female.

This time, I’m going to be doing an updated, though not super changed, top ten of my favorite male crushes in fictional worlds. I’ll probably do an updated top ten of my favorite female crushes soon too. But I’ve decided to kind of update some of the older ones for you new followers to enjoy :)

I’m laughing a little while I write this because one of my biggest followers is my dad, and he loves reading the Tuesday Top Ten because its my more gender equal posts, and he’s always bugging me about that post, like he did today. I think he’ll be a bit disappointed in this.

But for the rest of you awesome people, enjoy!

Top Ten Fictional Male Crushes

10. Han Alister 

I couldn’t find a photo for Han Alister, mostly because he’s a book character, and a book character that has not been made into a movie, so its near impossible. I also couldn’t find any fan art like I really liked. So Han doesn’t get a picture. Oh well. Han Alister is one of the main characters, besides Princess Raisa, in the Seven Realms trilogy by Cinda Williams Chima. Princess Raisa is the heir to her country, and determined to become a good queen, to be good to her people and help them, and to find a person who she can marry that will benefit the kingdom. Han is a former streetlord, suddenly discovering his magic powers and learning to harness them and fighting hard to make something of himself. Their stories intertwine as unrest both outside and inside the borders of the country threatens them both. What I like about Han is the sort of…confidence he has and the way he holds himself. He still has that confidence and easiness of a streetlord, that casual arrogance but he also has determination and ambition to BE someone, especially when he realizes how he feels for Raisa, and knows that his station doesn’t permit him to have her. I like ambition in a man :)

“So here’s the truth – I love you. I love everything about you – the way you stick up for people even when it costs you. The way you keep trying to do the right thing even when you’re not exactly sure what the right thing is. I love how you put words together. You’re as skilled with words as any knife fighter with a blade. You can put an enemy down on his back, or you can raise people up so they find what’s best in themselves. You’ve changed my life. You’ve given me the words I need to become whatever I want.”

9. Tony Stark/Ironman 

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So awhile back, I was watching TV and one of those entertainment shows, E.T. or whatever, did a piece on Robert Downey Jr, and all the drama he once went through and how everyone thought he was done and would never recover and whatnot. They showed a People magazine that was something like, Robert Downey Jr will never bounce back, or recover, or be important again, or something. Then they showed a People magazine that came out probably after Ironman, and they were like “Oops! We were Wrong!” And its so TRUE. Robert Downey Jr came back with a vengeance and the Ironman movies are my favorite to come out of this comic book character storm. One, they’re just great movies, and two, Tony Stark is an awesome character. He’s cocky and arrogant but wicked smart and honestly, I do believe he wants to save the day. I like him because he doesn’t have super powers, much like Bruce Wayne/Batman but instead of having just the heaps of money, he really does have the brains as well. He is seriously intelligent. And hot. So hot.

 “All right. Yay. All right. Good job, guys. Let’s just not come in tomorrow. Let’s just take a day. Have you ever tried shawarma? There’s a shawarma joint about two blocks from here. I don’t know what it is, but I wanna try it.”

8. Sherlock Holmes 

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I’m starting to see a trend in my crushes, and I’m only on #7. For those of you who don’t know, or are basically living under a rock, this is Benedict Cumberbatch (also appearing as the necromancer and Smaug in The Hobbit) as Sherlock Holmes in the BBC show, Sherlock. This is the show that inspired the American adapation, Elementary (because god forbid we come up with new ideas here haha). Anyway, it seriously must be his dashing good looks and charming British accent because Sherlock Holmes the character is kind of a jerk, and definitely arrogant. Not even a little bit, he most definitely is arrogant, and in the beginning, is almost lacking of humanity. He gets excited when there’s a serial killer because its interesting and gives him something to do with that big ‘ol brain of his. But I like that, as the show goes on, he gains more of his humanity, which I think comes a lot from his partner in crime, John Watson. He makes jokes and laughs, and cares. I mean, sure, he’s still Sherlock and he’s still a JERK but he gets better and I adore him.

Sitting on a couch in Buckingham Palace
John Watson: Are you wearing any pants?
Sherlock Holmes: …No.
John Watson: Okay.

7. Will Herondale

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Yeah, there’s a trend. There is so definitely a trend. William Herondale is one of the main characters in Cassandra Clare’s second Shadowhunter series, which takes place in the Victorian age and features people who may or may not be related to those in the Mortal Instruments, her original series. Will starts off as an asshole. Excuse the language, but he really is. He isn’t just mean, he’s cruel at times. He casually uses the drug that is KILLING his best friend, he treats Tessa like nothing more than a prostitute. He has harsh jokes and sometimes you are just like…how could this be happening? And he’s the first male character that you, and Tessa, meet and he’s abnormally handsome, with the dark hair and blue eyes and you’re hoping that this is the one for her and he’s just so mean. It gets better though in Clockwork Prince when you realize that he is under a curse, that everyone he loves will die and so he is cruel to them, to save them. Once he realizes that he was lied to, and has never been cursed, the real Will comes out and you realize what a loving, and caring and selfless person he is, especially in Clockwork Princess. And you feel sympathy for him…how hard would it be to convince people NOT to love you?

“Jem told me what Ragnor Fell said about my father,” Will said. “That for my father, there was only ever one woman he loved, and it was her for him, or nothing. You are that for me. I love you, and I will only ever love you until I die…”

6. Rhett Butler 

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Rhett. Butler. Totally doesn’t fit this list in the slightest but is one of my absolute favorite male characters of all time. I can’t even remember how young I was the first time I watched this movie, and I read the book for the first time when I was 13, and have read it several times since then. Its one of my absolute favorite books of ALL time. I like Rhett Butler because, straight up, the guy has more guts than anyone in the entire book. Ashley Wilkes is all about honor and serving his country even if he doesn’t actually believe in what he’s fighting for. Charles Hamilton is just a big softie and was just not the match for Scarlett in the slightest. Frank Kennedy was smart but bland. There wasn’t much to him. The most amazing man in the book was Rhett. He had the intelligent and charisma and cleverness and slyness and all of it. He made his money, on his own after his family disowns him, and even if its not the “proper” way, he still does it. He does things for himself and I like that. He has ambition and guts. He doesn’t have his hand up in the clouds, he’s going to do what he has to do!

“Well, my dear, take heart. Some day, I will kiss you and you will like it. But not now, so I beg you not to be too impatient.” 

5. Sirius Black 

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Even though I think Gary Oldman is sexy man, he’s not what I pictured as Sirius Black. I always pictured Sirius as a youngish, slightly arrogant and just funny as hell. (Damn, there goes my trend again…). Sirius is arrogant and he is immature. He never quite grows up from his popular days at Hogwarts and he never really gets over his childhood hate of Snape. But I still think that he is a really good person. So many people complain about his inconsistencies but people in general are inconsistent. And I think he was trying his very best to be a good godfather to Harry. He spent 12 years in Azkaban and he went in at a young age, only 21 or 22 years old and he came out as a middle aged adult but he never really got the time to truly grow up. He was beginning to grow up, in his time outside of prison. And he truly loved Lily, James and Lupin, and Harry. He was trying to do his best by them and it was admirable. And he was supposed to be good looking as hell and he had that cockiness and easy goingness, and he was a loyal, loyal friend.

“Then you should have died! Died rather than betray your friends, as we would have done for you!” 

4. Michael Moscovitz

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Michael Moscovitz, I think, was one of my first fictional crushes. Definitely one of my first book crushes. I discovered The Princess Diaries and Meg Cabot when I was 12 years old. I loved Michael. He was the super good looking senior who fell in love with super awkward and geeky freshman, Mia, and it was like a dream to me. I was super awkward and gangly and shy in middle school and high school. Hell, I still am, minus the shy part. But I’ve always been geeky, with my head in my journal or a book and wrapped up in my fictional worlds and I always wished some good looking older guy would come out of nowhere and love me despite my awkwardness haha. But Michael is great. He’s hot, he’s smart as hell. He gets into Colombia, early admission, and invents a robot arm that assists in heart surgeries. He’s musical and in a band. He’s really really really good at math and helps Mia pass math, because she can write a good story but she couldn’t solve the quadratic formula if her life depended on it. He’s geeky and quotes Star Wars and Star Trek and loves Buffy and he’s awesome. He’s just awesome. And now that I’m 25 and its been over a decade since I first read these books…I get a kick out of the similarities between me and Mia and the similarities between Michael and my boyfriend Jon.

“Mia, I’m not sorry. And I’ll wait.
Love, Michael.” 

3. The Doctor

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I don’t see how a girl who loves Doctor Who could NOT have a crush on The Doctor. He can give you the entire universe. He offers you the most appealing deal in the history of all deals. He has a spaceship that can go anywhere in time and space. You can go to any time, any planet, any where. Wherever you want to go. And sure, every time you go somewhere, things inevitably go wrong, but his life is interesting and fast paced and different. Its so different from this “boring, monotonous” life. He’s hundresds of years old and he’s been everywhere and seen everything. He’s smart and funny and selfish and selfless at the same time. He’s always determined to save the day, but he always has fun while he’s at. And he cares SO much. The depth of his emotions and his caring is what makes him so real. He’s an alien, not even human and he’s older than any human can even begin to understand but its his emotions, and passion that give him his humanity. If The Doctor showed up on my doorstep, you bet I’d want to see the galaxy.

“Amy Pond, there’s something you better understand about me ’cause it’s important and one day your life may depend on it…I am definitely a mad man with a box.”

2. Han Solo 

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My first fictional crush, easily. I was about seven years old when my little brother Joey broke his leg at 2 years old, so severely that he was in a full body cast. The kid was a toddler and couldn’t even move. It was just the saddest thing and as the eldest child, I’ve always kind of felt…a responsibility to take care of my five younger siblings. And the only thing my little brother ever wanted to do was watch Star Wars, the original trilogy…over and over and over again. As soon as one of the movies would be over, I’d press the rewind button on the VCR (wow, I feel old) and we’d watch it again. It became something we did together, and we’re both big Star Wars nerds now. And while so many other girls I’ve known have fallen for Luke (though, Mark Hamill did NOT age well), I was a Han Solo girl, through and through. He was the funnier one, the more handsome one and he was more confident than Luke was. Even though he was still trying to figure out things himself, he was confident and he found his way through it. And he was just plain funny. He always had some of the funnier lines in the movies…and he had the cocky attitude as well, its so irresistible.

Princess Leia: I love you
Han Solo: I know

1. Jace Wayland Morgenstern Herondale Lightwood

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Its funny, a week ago, I would have put the picture of Jace on the cover of City of Lost Souls as the picture. I was happy with Jamie Campbell Bower, but not 100% convinced. After meeting him at WonderCon this past weekend, and seeing him in person, I’m convinced. Sure, he’ll never be my perfect Jace that I pictured in my head but he’s great and he’s going to be a perfect Jace. I found the Mortal Instruments in the summer of 2010 when my boyfriend and I broke up for a period of time and I was miserable and needed some serious distraction. I picked up these books, literally devoured them in a matter of a few days and fell in love with Jace Wayland (and many other names depending on the book). He was that guy that you didn’t want to like but couldn’t help but liking. He was cocky and super arrogant and had that sarcastic humor that you don’t want to find funny but its totally funny. And he’s so hot, so so hot. And exactly what I needed at the time, which is why he’s probably stuck with me. Its like Maia says in City of Ashes, “Some guys look at you like they want sex. Jace looks at you like you’ve already had sex, it was great, and now you’re just friends-even though you want more. Drives girls crazy.” So. True. And he says some of the sweetest things, once he lets his guard down, and lets people in. Once he loosens up a bit on the bad boy-ness and the cockiness, he is such a loyal friend to the Lightwoods, and so protective of Clary, and just brave as hell. Sigh.

There is no pretending,” Jace said with absolute clarity. “I love you, and I will love you until I die, and if there is life after that, I’ll love you then.” -City of Glass

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All right, well apparently I have a type: hot, sarcastic, cocky, arrogant, ambitious, bad boys or something haha. I like the boys who have that sexy arrogance and don’t give a crap attitude, but when you look, are totally sweethearts. Man, am I obvious haha.

What are some of YOUR favorite fictional crushes? As always, share in the comments!

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Come back soon to see my Top Ten Favorite Baseball Movies and my Top Ten Favorite Sidekicks!