1. Gilbert Blythe, Anne of Green Gables series. Gilbert Blythe doesn’t literally live next door, but he’s exactly the type – he grows up with you, teases and pulls your pigtails when you’re younger, than turns into a kind, sweet friend, then a smoldering romantic interest. Mostly though, he’s just that sweet, dependable, good-looking guy next door that you’ve always taken for granted and one day fall for.
Drug of choise: Watch webseries Green Gables, which is utterly dull for most of its run but sparkles right up with the introduction of Gilbert Blythe offering warm coverings in the rain. See also Staircase Wit’s Top Ten Most Romantic Anne Shirley and Gilbert Blythe Moments.
2. Cricket, Lola and the Boy Next Door. In Stephanie Perkin’s delightful second novel in her young adult series, Cricket literally lives across the street from strong-willed aspiring clothing designer Lola. The two kind of grow up together, then start to fall in love, have a fight, and Cricket moves away…until he comes back in Lola’s senior year of high school. Lola’s first love now inhabits the balcony across from hers. Cricket is a family friend, loved by her parents, and creative like her – his hobby is mechanical inventions made of metal and wood. Funny, supportive, and vulnerable, he’s very much a boy next door.
I know there are more, but most fictional heroes frankly fall into the snarky, aloof mold or the icy arrogant, combative mold. Who are your favorite boy-next-door figures?
Tagged: Anne of Green Gables, books, boy next door character, children's books, Cricket Lola, Cricket Lola and the Boy Next Door, favorite boy next door, fictional heroes, Gilbert Blythe, literary tropes, Lola and the Boy Next Door, romantic archetypes, romantic heroes, romantic leads, romantic novel tropes, Stephanie Perkins, YA, YA fiction