What do you do when you’ve got a book crush? When you read a book and find a character in it so extremely swoony that you can’t stop thinking about him or her? When that character takes up all the room in your head? When you’re supposed to be writing a very important email to your boss but instead find yourself wondering out loud if maybe one day Mr. Darcy will march across a field for you? Book crushes are real, people and they should not be taken lightly.
So, how do we combat these all encompassing feelings? Perhaps we should take a, um, page out of Jenny Han’s best-selling YA novel To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before (which gets the Netflix movie adaptation treatment on August 17th): Heroine and hopeless romantic Lara Jean Song Covey has an effective way of getting over her biggest crushes—she writes them love letters. Lara Jean’s letters aren’t meant to woo, instead they are meant to help her get a boy (there are five in total) out of her system once and for all. She writes them, tucks them away in her hatbox, and then moves on. Of course, those letters eventually get out and angsty teen romance ensues, but still, the idea of writing letters to get over an obsession is one we can get behind. And so, we did. We selected five literary hunks we just can’t seem to quit, attempted to figure out why exactly we’re crushing so hard, and imagined what a love letter sent to each of them (sealed with a kiss, naturally), would look like.
The Recipient: Fitzwilliam Darcy (Pride & Prejudice by Jane Austen)
Why Him?: Um, he’s only the most romantic leading man in all of literature. Also, he’s very rich but nice to all the people who work for him. See above RE his prowess in walking across fields. If that’s not enough, he always keeps his pond well-stocked which is really something that’s underappreciated these days. Plus, Darcy has proven himself adept at letter-writing—his letter to Elizabeth explaining his past with Wickham is one of the most famous in literature—so he’d probably appreciate a well-written letter.
Contents of the Love Letter: In Darcy’s declaration of love to Elizabeth, he basically gives her a pros and cons list about her character, so this letter would be similar: Dear Darcy, A well-mannered man is hard to find these days—especially one as tall and as brooding as you! I’ll overlook the fact that you refuse to dance (why do you hate fun?) and think literally every person is too loud, because you have said the sentence “My affections and wishes are unchanged; but one word from you will silence me on the subject forever,” out loud and that is so hot it hurts.
The Recipient: Nicholas Young (Crazy Rich Asians series by Kevin Kwan)
Why Him?: He’s the Asian Prince Harry! Not only is he extremely handsome, basically royalty, and a true romantic—but the guy knows how to have a good time. He had me at Singaporean street food. Okay, he also had me with his access to several chateaus.
Contents of the Love Letter: Nick has lots of admirers, and has heard it all before, but he’s a man who appreciates sincerity: I know your family’s crazy—I love you anyway. I know people will always want things from you and sometimes you’ll have to give it to them—I love you anyway. I know your mom is, well—I love you anyway. I know some of your homes you share with family—I guess I’ll learn to live with that.
The Recipient: Laurie (Little Women by Louisa May Alcott)
Why Him?: He’s charming as hell and he gets done dirty by the March sisters. I mean, Amy? He ends up with Amy? Hasn’t the poor guy suffered enough?
Contents of the Love Letter: When writing to Laurie, one should keep in mind that the guy’s first love was a writer. I know you’ve had your heart broken before, that you’ve suffered many losses in your life, and I wish I could take that pain away. But we could be happy together, Laurie! Traveling all over the European continent taking in the wonders of the world or just staying home and keeping warm during the Massachusetts winters, all of it would be a great adventure because we would be together. You have been worthy, Laurie, and so perhaps your worthy love has come.
The Recipient: Captain Hook (Peter Pan; or, the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up and Peter and Wendy by J.M. Barrie)
Why Him?: HE LIVES ON THE OPEN SEAS AND HE HAS LONG LUSCIOUS HAIR WHAT MORE DO YOU NEED?
Contents of the Love Letter: Dearest James, Your passion, drive, power, and sailing skills are all very appealing. If only you would stop being obsessed with a gaggle of children who won’t grow up, maybe we’d have a chance. Think of it! We could sail the seas together, wind in our long, wavy hair, avoiding crocodiles and never using clocks. There’d be no bad form about it. What an adventure!
The Recipient: Sirius Black (the Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling)
Why Him?: Although Harry Potter is littered with crush-worthy characters, there’s just something about Sirius Black that sets him apart from the rest. Maybe it’s the whole “I’ve been wrongly imprisoned for the death of my friends and muggles most of my adult-life” thing. Or that he loves Harry so much and is our boy’s first real chance at having the family he’s always dreamed of. But probably, mostly, it’s the fact that he can turn into a dog. A boyfriend and a dog all in one? That is something we could get used to.
Contents of the Love Letter: The letter would need to be bright and cheery since Sirius spent 12 years in a cold, dark cell in Azkaban, and it would most definitely include something like: I don’t care that you have fleas or that your family is the Actual Worst—we all come with baggage. I love you for your bravery, your fiery soul, and your gloriously tousled hair (never cut it). I love you for your loyalty to your friends and the children of your friends. I love you for your interior decorating skills—I mean, it’s a little dark but all the wallpaper at 12 Grimmauld Place is top-notch. Oh, and no big deal, but when you have to go to the Ministry of Magic to save Harry please, please, please, keep your eyes on Bellatrix Lestrange. Okay, byeeeeee.
How about you? Who’s your biggest literary crush and what would you say to him or her in your love letter?