Okay. So I can't enter my own contest. But that certainly doesn't mean I'm not going to participate in what it stands for. When I came up with the idea for Who Do You Love it was first and foremost because this was something I wanted to do myself for valentines day. ...And then I sat here, trying to figure out who I would pick!
There are many, many book boys that I really love. Joe Fontaine from The Sky Is Everywhere. Brom Griswald from Dearly, Departed. Daemon from Obsidian. Kishan from Tiger's Curse.
But much like the genie in the Aladin movie when he's trying to choose a mode of transportation, I kept snapping my fingers as I went through my favorites and going "not enough".
Then the answer came to me and it was so simple I couldn't believe I hadn't been planning it all along...
The Book Boy I Love Is...
Peeta Mellark from The Hunger Games
Peeta is the district 12 tribute selected alongside Katniss who is going to compete in the 74th Hunger Games. He has been in love with Katniss since childhood although the two have only ever had one major interaction prior to the games, when Peeta deliberately burnt bread so that he could give it to Katniss to keep her family from starving.
Why Do I Love Him?
Romantically, he takes the lead. In so many books I've read, its the girl who wants the guy and the book is about her chasing him. In The Hunger Games, it's Peeta who has had feelings for Katniss since forever. Further, these feelings are not an afterthought in the novel, but actually at the very heart of the story -- of the characters' very survival -- as the book moves along.
Marching to the beat of a different drummer. Most people who end up in the Hunger Games are most worried with simply not dying. Peeta is more worried about making sure that he is himself the whole way, whether he makes it through the games or not.
Only I keep wishing I could think of a way to... to show the Capitol they don't own me. That I'm more than just a piece in their games.I think this is incredibly important. It's one of the things that makes this character, and these books, stand out. Especially when you combine it with the fact that...
Peeta and Katniss reverse the roles that we generally set for heroes and heroines on a subconscious level. As a default, guys tend to be tough and girls tend to be the ones representing emotion, humanity, etc. in a book like The Hunger Games. Yet that could not be further from the truth here. Peeta is more concerned with preserving his humanity and protecting Katniss then he is about getting out alive, where Katniss (at least initially) is able to keep going because she has promised her family she will not die.
Killing is his last resort. On the rare occasions that Peeta does kill someone, it tends to either be a flat out accident, or he tends to regret it.
Smarts are strength, compassion a weapon. Peeta always seems to know the right thing to say, and while Katniss might be the one who knows how to survive the Arena it's Peeta who knows how to survive the Capitol and who willingly uses his (very real) feelings to protect the one he loves. He is essentially able to take who he really is and use it to his advantage.
You love me. Real or not real?Definitely real, Peeta. While I love many of the characters in The Hunger Games, it was you that first drew me in and compelled me to keep reading despite all better judgement. It is for you that I read Catching Fire and Mockingjay after telling myself that I wouldn't. But I think Katniss sums up why you're worth loving the best:
What I need is the dandelion in the spring. The bright yellow that means rebirth instead of destruction. The promise that life can go on, no matter how bad our losses. That it can be good again.
This times one thousand. War is a terrible thing, conflict of any kind is. What makes Peeta so important and special is that he is a reminder of what people fight for and why they are fighting. No matter how terrible a conflict, people fight because they think they can make things 'better'. But Peeta reminds us that if you lose yourself along the way and don't have the strength to find your way back to being essentially who you are, winning or losing a battle doesn't matter. Because in failing to be true to yourself, you ultimately lose everything.
The greatest power of love is its ability to let us cling to hope even in our darkest hour, and it is because of this that I feel Peeta is a step above even the finest book boyfriends.
Now that you've read about who I love, it's your turn! Click here to go to the contest page for Who Do You Love, make a post on your blog with your choice and link it up!