Young love: there’s nothing quite like it!
One day, you’re picking up Little Women for the first time, expecting a warm story about sisterhood; the next, you’re cursing the gods (“or whatever”) for making Theodore “Laurie” Laurence a fictional character rather than a flesh-and-blood person for you to love and kiss IRL.
But the course of true love is rocky (read: not smooth), and what kind of person would you be if you let this little caveat stand between you and your star-crossed lover? You’ve been reading books for a few years now, so you know a thing or two about romance: never mind practical restraints! Go all in! WWJD? (What Would Juliet Do?)
Jokes aside: crushes on fictional characters can be visceral. Which makes sense, when you consider that the objective of reading is to wander around in another person’s head. Is that not also a virtue of love? Getting to know a fictional character is a viable and fun means of exploring romance and sexuality — as evidenced by the hordes of fan fiction that exist around popular books.
For preteen and teen readers — especially those who identify as queer or otherwise don’t see themselves in popular representations of love — reading is an avenue for sexual exploration. Imagining interactions with a made-up character is just one way to question, consider, and express oneself.
At HuffPost, we have a few fave fictional crushes. Gilbert Blythe’s kindness, Marcus Flutie’s red locks and Jacob Black’s sensitivity caught our attention. Here’s a brief overview of the fictional characters who sparked our sexual awakenings:
1. Gilbert Blythe from Anne of Green Gables
2. Sandy and Dennys Murry from A Wrinkle in Time
3. Dirk from Weetzie Bat
4. Marcus Flutie from Sloppy Firsts
5. Artemis from Artemis Fowl
6. Sonny from Manchild in the Promised Land
7. James Potter from Harry Potter and The Order of the Phoenix
8. Jacob from the Twilight Series
9. Theodore “Laurie” Laurence from Little Women
(Read more here)