Beautiful Creatures: What’s so hot about a nice guy?


We’re featuring Kami Garcia & Margaret Stohl’s Beautiful Creatures as our Book of the Month for February 2010, and today we’re turning the spotlight on the book’s narrator, Ethan.

We love Ethan. Ethan is sweet, charming, sincere … the list goes on. He’s also a nice guy. So many of our favorite supernatural books are centered on a bad boy (or at least a good boy with bad boy tendencies). Look at Patch from Hush, Hush … or Jace from The Mortal Instruments. Heck, even Edward Cullen has his darker side (hello, he wants to drink Bella’s blood!). But Ethan is all good guy. He’s just human. He plays basketball. He hides books under his bed. And yet, we love him all the same. Why is this?

Garcia & Stohl talk about this very principle in a recent article they shared over at RomCon:

The hot guys have always been bad. There were bad boys as far back as James Dean, and they kept causing trouble whether they were climbing out of the General Lee on The Dukes of Hazzard or losing their souls on Buffy the Vampire Slayer. More recently in the world of fantasy, there is Cassandra Clare’s Jace, who’s covered in sexy scars and won’t do a thing you want him to, and Sarah Rees Brennan’s Nick, who is so insensitive you want to hate him, except you can’t—because he has his reasons. Melissa Marr’s king of the Dark Faery Court, Nial, is his own hot mess, and Becca Fitzpatrick’s Patch should practically be arrested.

Ethan isn’t like any of them. He’s the kind of guy you could bring him home to your parents. In fact, Lena does. And it goes well, until the whole curse thing gets in the way. Ethan helps his great-great-aunts raise baby squirrels and gets them to church on Saturdays. Falling in love with a supernatural is the only real trouble he’s gotten himself into.

So why do we like him?

Maybe it’s time for a girl to be powerful and magical—to be the center of the mystery, the one who can tip the scales between good and evil. Maybe it’s time for a guy to be loyal and true, to love and be loved, to remind us how a relationship should be or could be, rather than how it shouldn’t or can’t. We loved Spike as much as the next girl. But you have to wonder, wouldn’t Angel have been a better boyfriend in the long run? Didn’t it kill you when Buffy had to send him back to hell? Because you loved him, admit it.

In the end, Ethan Wate is a good guy through and through. Maybe that’s a curse all his own. Still, if you give us a choice, we’ll take Ethan any day. We have enough problems, and as Amma would say, “Don’t go lookin’ for trouble, it’ll find you when it’s good and ready.”

In BEAUTIFUL CREATURES, magic causes trouble, but love is a magic all its own. And you don’t have to be a supernatural or a bad boy to cast that kind of spell.

Read the rest of their article here.

See the February Book of the Month: Beautiful Creatures homepage for more goodies!

For the comments: So, what do you think about the nice guys vs. the bad boys? Tell us your thoughts!

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