Michael Barakiva's Girl/Boy Friend List

I haven't posted a Boyfriend List on the site in a while, but since the gorgeous OMNI of the Ruby Oliver novels, THE BOYFRIEND QUARTET,  is now on ebook, I figure I should do some more. They used to be the most popular element of this blog, and you can see them all by clicking here -- including lists from Paula Chase, Jennifer Lynn Barnes, John Green, Diana Peterfreund and more. 

Here is the Omni jacket in case you don't believe me it's gorgeous.

OKAY.  Now, a girl and then boyfriend list that is as thoughtful and sweet as the novel it's promoting. 

Michael Barakiva is the author of the adorably Armenian and romantic ONE MAN GUY, a gay love story with lots of humor, skateboarding, delicious food and charm. Barakiva is a theater director and  yet ANOTHER Vassar grad who has written young adult fiction (here's a list), and went to Julliard as well. He plays soccer with the New York Ramblers, has recently founded The Upstart Creatures, a theater ensemble dedicated to creating events that co-mingle art and food, and  lives in Manhattan with his husband, Rafael.

Michael Barakiva One Man Guy


Michael Barakiva's Girl/Boy Friend List

1)  Cindy  – Cindy and I met when we were 11, and spent most of the year awkwardly flirting with each other.  Then I screwed my courage to the sticking place and asked her out to the Fifth Grade Dance.  We lost touch until a few months ago, when she read about OMG online and got in touch with me via the magic of Facebook.  I see now that Cindy is happily partnered to a woman with two beautiful children.  Were Cindy and I drawn to each other because of our queerness?  Who knows?

2)  Debbie  and I dated for like three weeks or something when I was in seventh grade, but drifted over the summer and pretended it had never happened when we returned to school the following autumn.  She was one of the few other people who was in both band and choir, so we obviously had lots in common (she an alto and clarinetest, I was a baritone and bassoonist).  We didn’t really last, but I remember thinking her brother Frank was hella cute.

 3)  Gail  – This is really where it got serious.  Gail and I had known each other since 1st grade at McKnight, before my family moved a few blocks and I got rezoned to Drew.  Then we became friends again in high school, where all the schools fed back into each other.

Gail was in the Lutheran Choir, as was I (don’t ask how an Israeli/Armenian ended up in the Lutheran Choir).  We started dating my freshman year of high school and I thought we were very happy, until her best friend Sarah Barnes told me that Gail wanted to break up with me but didn’t know how.  I did it for her, on the back of a school bus, on the way down to Culpepper, VA on a band/choir exchange (band and choir are figuring much more prominently than I would’ve guessed in this list).

Ironically, I met an oboist on that exchange (the double reeds are always sat next to each other) whom I would briefly date when he and I re-met in NYC a decade later.

Gail, like Cindy, got in touch with me recently when she read about OMG.  She works in the same building in Central Jerse as my sister and my mom.  Gail sang like an angel, and I’m incapable of thinking about her without hearing her dulcimer sounds. 

4)  Kim  – Kim and I met after my sophomore (her freshman) year of high school, at McCarter’s Summer Shakespeare Camp.  We continued dating for years.  I remember the first year or two happily, and the rest as…well…how shall I put it?

Kim remains one of the smartest, most talented and most beautiful women I’ve ever known.  I always felt like we were soul mates, and after we finally finally finally broke up, I kept on waiting for the time we’d become friends again.  As is incredibly clear from her rejection of my facebook request, she is clearly not eagerly anticipating that time.  We still have a few friends in common from our Shakespeare days, and occasionally I can fb-stalk her via them to she what she’s up to, but I can’t help but feel a sliver of sadness because I think if I had already been out when I met Kim, she and I would be great friends today.

Or maybe not.  Maybe Kim’s narrative is radically different than mine, and I’m just this annoying guy she met who detoured her romantically for a few years.  Who knows?

5)  It’s hard for me not to get sentimental when writing about Linsay, my last girlfriend.  We met in college.  She was a director, also.  She was a Drama/English double major, also.  She was a year ahead of me.  We became good friends.  She graduated.  We started dating.  The best parts of my senior year I remember spending in her railroad apartment on 6th between B and C.  Linsay grew up outside of the city, knew it well, and introduced me to it, much the way Ethan does to Alek in OMG.  My 21st bday fell in the six months we dated, and she took me to Lutèce. 

 We broke up.  It wasn’t pretty.

We tried to be friends again.  It didn’t work. 

We didn’t talk.  It wasn’t pretty.

Then we tried one more time. 

This time, it really came together. 

Linsay and I have seen each other through everything.  Her daughter Julia, the most gorgeous creature on the earth, is my goddaughter.  Last weekend, my husband and I went to Brooklyn to celebrate Linsay’s birthday in Prospect Park, where I realized I liked her friends almost as much as mine.

 Linsay’s best friend from college, Joy Peskin, is the editor of OMG and the reason it happened.  Linsay is one of the best board game players and cooks I know.  Sometimes you wonder who in your life is going to be there forever.  Sometime around ten years ago, I stopped wondering with Lins.


 6)  Ricky  was the first person I met when I started backpacking through Europe.  It was the summer after my second year of grad school.  I was supposed to start a theater company but the funding fell through last minute and I was depressed so I marched into Juilliard’s Financial Aid Office, insisted on taking some crazy loan with crazy interest rates that I’m still paying off, and used that money to flee to Europe.

 Ricky was a smashingly handsome 6’4 Aussie who was kind and fun and the kind of person whom everybody loved.  I met him in the hostel in London, he joined me in Paris the following weekend, I skipped Budapest to spend an extra few days with him in the middle of my trip, and then he sorta showed up in the States ten days after I’d left him because we decided we couldn’t be apart.

 We dated for almost two years and broke up right before 9-11.  He’s back in Oz now (Sydney, I believe) and if he’s still single, snatch him up, Ozzies.  He’s a catch.

7)  Raymond  and I met at one of the more underground gay bars in the East Village.  He was pale with blue eyes, a combination I should’ve learned to avoid by then because of how my knees quiver around it.  He had a real job, and a real apartment, and lots of other real things that real adults have.  He also had lots of real problems, which I didn’t realize often accompany real adulthood.

 We lived together for 12 of the 18 months we dated.  When it was good, it was good.  And when it was bad, well…  We’re not in touch much, having gone through that post-break up phase where we ignored each other, then that next phase where we went out and drank too much wine and one of us would cry and apologize for hurting the other so.  Now we’re in that phase where I refuse to call him because he always made me initiate everything, and he doesn’t call me because he never called me, before during or after our relationship. 

 He wrote me the loveliest email the day that OMG came out.  I wish him well.

8)  I met Rafael  shortly before I left NYC for a year on a gig.  We wrote each other letters.  Real letters, with postage and envelopes and everything. We fell in love in absentia, which I believe is really the easiest way for other people to do it with me.  I came back.  We started dating.  And even though our relationship has not always been “a bed of roses,” and we are no longer “spring chickens,” (both examples of phrases he uses that made me fall in love with him), we got married on May 26th, 2013 and I have been happier than I thought I could with this warm, handsome and incredibly kind man.




My first boyfriend, Tumblr, and more.

So, this video shows me talking about my first boyfriend, and I made it hiding in the bathroom at a ballroom dance studio. It's part of a promotion for Julia DeVillers' fun new middle-grade series launcher: Emma Emmets, Playground Matchmaker.  

If you click through to the video on YouTube, you'll see similar videos by loads of other authors, including Lauren Myracle, Lauren Oliver, Elizabeth Eulberg, Jon Sciezska, Julia DeVillers, and way more. You can also watch this "first crush medley," which is pretty darn amusing. 
In other news: I have attempted Tumblr. The results are mixed so far. I haven't totally got the hang of it, so if you stop by or follow me, bear with me while I learn. 
I am reading reading reading right now, rather than writing, because I am judging the National Book Awards this year. They recently put up an online exhibition of all the Young People's books that have won the NBA, including finalists. There are lots of articles and fun facts on there, and I encourage you to check it out. Here's the link to the section of books 2007-12, which includes The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks
Happy summer!  I hope you are all eating pie, feeling sand beneath your toes, and slagging off work.

Sept 20, First Brooklyn Fundraiser. Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins

Hello from vacation. I have been working and working on my new YA book, which has gone through 48 titles. Well, not 48. But A LOT. I have no idea what the title is. But I finished a draft. I finished eight drafts. Then I gave it to writer pals Sarah Mlynowski and Robin Wasserman and they told me all the things I needed to do to FIX THE BOOK. Which is a holy huge amount. 

So I am cavorting by the seashore for a week while I absorb all the feedback, and then when Sept is up and running, I will be too. 

Now. COME SEE ME! If you're over 21 and you live in NYC.

Sept 20, come out and see me at the First Brooklyn Fundraiser, together with Michael Northrup, Gayle Forman and Matt de la Pena. We are chatting (a panel on realistic teen fiction), there will be beer and cupcakes, and the money all goes to First Book. It's in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. 


Get tickets here: http://wordbrooklyn.com/event/first-book-brooklyn-fundraiser

First Book-Brooklyn Fundraiser


First Book-Brooklyn is an organization that provides books to children in need in Brooklyn communities.
Tickets are $10 each, and include one raffle ticket for fabulous prizes including signed books and goodies from local vendors.
Beer and cupcakes will be lovingly provided by Brooklyn Brewery and Robicelli's, so this event is 21+. All ticket proceeds will go towards funding First Book here in Brooklyn!


If you like my books for younger readers, or if you KNOW a younger reader who needs a book for a present -- the department of self-aggrandization wants me to tell you about Invisible Inkling: Dangerous Pumpkins. It's a Halloween book. It has killer unicorns, loads of candy, crazy ice cream flavors, a deeply neurotic hero and a wisecracking invisible sidekick.

Perfect for boys ages 7-10.  Preview it here.

Here's a guest-blog post I did on the IRA Engage website about the writing process on Invisible Inkling & Dangerous Pumpkins, plus my school visits in elementary schools.



Paula Chase's Groupie boyfriend list!

Paula Chase's YA novel, SO NOT THE DRAMA (love the title) - -is about a girl who wants to get in with her high school's glitterati -- only her best friend does it first, and she's not invited. Plus her sociology class's experiment to rid the school of prejudice is seriously backfiring.
Preview it here.
Her boyfriend list, below, gave me some serious new crushes.

By Paula Chase
Now, I’m not advocating becoming a groupie. But IF I ever were to be one, the guys I’d stalk, err…admire from afar are basketball players, drummers, saxophone players and the occasional rapper. Keep in mind that these guys are ideal boyfriends, not because of their appearance but their skill. So, here’s my, If I were a Groupie boyfriend list:

•Questlove – the drummer for The Roots. First of all, he looks like a big ol’ teddy bear. And what’s not to love about teddy bears? Second, he’s the drummer but basically second in command of the group. Men in charge are hot! Third, have you heard any of The Roots music? If not, shame on ya. They’re like this crazy eclectic, soul/hip hop band. No misogyny here! And when a guy respects his momma enough to make sure their music’s lyrical content is respectful…you got it, that’s hot!

•Allen Iverson – I know Alley I is coming up on his twilight years in basketball. If he leaves the NBA without a championship, it’ll be nothing short of a shame because he’s sacrificed his body for his profession. He plays hard and has the injuries to prove it. I’ve loved A.I.’s skill since his days at Georgetown. He was the fastest, scrappiest dude on the court and nothing is sexier than a feisty point guard.

Boney_james•Boney James (saxophone player) – Saxophone music, I think, is the most sensuous sound on planet earth. Boney James is one of contemporary smooth jazz’s kings. His music could put you in a coma and I mean that in a good way! It’s just that smooth. I won’t even go there about the lip strength necessary to play the sax. I won’t even go there.

•Jay-Z – Hova has this whole former bad (very bad) boy turned millionaire mogul thing going on that is irresistibly attractive. Diddy only wished he were as smooth and genuinely confident as Jay-Z. Not to mention his lyrical flow is sick!! Listen to some of Jay-Z’s raps, especially his earlier stuff. The production combined with his linguistic gymnastics is groupie inducing. And his lips…shoot, I’m going there again.

Buy the book. Be Paula's Myspace friend. Read her blog!

Sara Rosett's Boyfriend List

Mystery novelist Sara Rosett sent us her real-life secret crush boyfriend list!
(Here's her Fly Survey from last time she visited.)

The boyfriends I never had (aka secret crushes)
by Sara Rosett

1. Michael—(6th grade) athletic. That’s about all I remember!
2. Robert—(junior high) quiet, smart. He was a swimmer with white blond hair and great shoulders. Sigh.
3. John—(high school) Witty, always made everyone laugh and kept it from getting too serious. Another blond (I’m seeing a trend here that I hadn’t ever noticed). I always had a hard time concentrating in typing class.
4. Jack—(college) Dark hair this time, but not interested. This was probably my shortest-lived crush because it wasn’t long after Jack that I met the guy I would marry. You guessed it, a blond. We’ve celebrated our fifteenth anniversary last year!

Rosett's new book, STAYING HOME IS A KILLER, features Ellie Avery, military wife and mother – and of course, sleuth. Ellie's ordered world is thrown into disarray when a fellow military spouse’s death looks more like murder than suicide. Toss in her husband’s deployment and her daughter’s separation anxiety, and Ellie has to keep the home fires burning as she sort clues from chaos and proves that home is not for killers.

So if you like Jill Churchill or Ayelet Waldman, Sarah Rosett's for you – and check out her blog! And her other blog, which is called Good Girls Kill For Money -- and the tag line is "Coffee, tea, or murder?". This one especially amuses me.

An Abundance of Logans

TattooJennifer Lynn Barnes wrote Golden, which is a supernatural high school story about a girl who can see auras. She's an X-men fan (check out her Fly Survey), a former cheerleader, an autism researcher and a recent Yale grad. Her new book TATTOO, can be summed up thus:

Four friends
Four tattoos
One ancient evil

Sounds fun, eh? More details here.

Jen wisely refrains from telling us all about her ex-boyfriends on the internet, and instead gives us:
AN ABUNDANCE OF LOGANS, revealing a penchant for broody dudes with superpowers.

"In honor of AN ABUNDANCE OF KATHERINES by John Green, which just won a
Printz honor, I decided to do a boyfriend list on the abundance of
Logans who've won my hear
t. If only they weren't all fictional."

-- Jennifer Lynn Barnes

1) Logan from X-men. Oh, Wolverine. What can I say about him other
than the fact that he's played by Hugh Jackman AND has adamantium
claws? I mean, seriously! Claws! The come out of his skin! That
just doesn't get any less awesome as time goes by. Plus, like many
Logans, he has this broody bad boy thing going for him, and I love his
soft spot for Rogue.

2) Logan Huntzberger from Gilmore Girls. I'm somewhat of a fickle
Logan-lover, and I have to admit, of all of my Logans, this one is my
least favorite. In fact, I have some doubts about whether or not I
ever would have cast him as my fictional boyfriend were his name NOT
Logan, but it is, so I didn't stand a chance. He's spoiled and rich,
but he's got that essential soft spot, and if only because his name is
Logan, that's enough for me.

3) Logan Echolls on Veronica Mars. I didn't think there would ever be
another Logan who could give the Wolverine a run for his money, but
this Logan did it- and without the aid of any awesome claws. This guy
is the very definition of tortured. I hated him when I first saw him,
but I love him now. The road to redemption is rocky, and he's always
going to slip and fall, but he's got this wonderful vulnerability
about him that he hides under the snark and sarcasm that I find just
as delicious.

4) Logan Cale from Dark Angel. Of all of the Logans, this one is the
only on who has the distinction of having a last name almost as hot as
his first. Like most Logans, he's got the broody thing going on, but
unliike all of the others, he has this unfailing moral compass that he
somehow managed to make really unbelievably hot. Plus, as "Eyes
Only," he's got these great and very soulful eyes, AND he's pretty
tall for a Logan.

Kyra Davis dated some eccentric men

Kyra Davis wrote the lighthearted mysteries Sex, Murder And A Double Latte and Passion Betrayal And Killer Highlights -- but her new book is based on her own experience being married to a man with bipolar disorder.

SO MUCH FOR MY HAPPY ENDING asks: What happens when the man you love and subsequently marry turns out to be someone entirely different from the man you dated? How do you recognize the difference between mental illness and the usual marital problems that afflict all couples?

But never fear, Davis doesn't leave her wit behind. Romantic Times called it both entertaining and horrifying at once…hopeful and even wildly funny at times."

You can find Kyra's blog here on myspace , read her fly survey for Passion, Betrayl and Killer Highlights here -- and of course, when it came to writing a boyfriend list, she gave us the weirdest guys she ever dated!
(My favorite is the last).

Kyra Davis's ECCENTRIC boyfriend list

1) Jason---this guy lived in a warehouse with a bunch of friends. His “bedroom” was a self-built loft and he had to climb a ladder and then carefully walk across a plank of wood in order to reach it. If he needed to get down quickly there was a “fireman pole.”

2) David---He imported iguanas from Nicaragua so he could kill them and sell them as Iguana-jerky (I swear I’m not making this up—in my defense I didn’t know this until I went out with him which is why we only had one date).

3) David #2---He would stop and talk to people on the street in hopes that they might know some guy named Gary-the-homeless advocate. He never actually met Gary but there were times when he could “feel his presence.” (this was another one date deal).

4) Mark---Ah, Mark. Nice, cute, athletic, employed…unfortunately he had pictures taken of himself while he was playing lacrosse, had the pictures blown up, laminated and made into placemats.

Laurie Stolarz takes the Fly Survey

Happy Halloween!
I have the PERFECT Halloween guest today: Laurie Stolarz, who wrote the Blue is for Nightmares series -- now available in a boxed set.

Laurie grew up in Salem, and I don't know if that influenced her supernatural imagination or what, but the series is about a girl whose persistent nightmares predict real-life horrors. Together the books have sold over 250,000 copies.

BLEED is equally eerie: it's ten interlocked short stories. Like these: Over the course of a single day, the lives of ten teenagers intersect.Among them are Nicole, whose decision to betray her best friend will shock everyone, most of all herself; Kelly, who meets the convicted felon she’s been writing to for years; and Maria, whose definition of a true friend is someone who will cut her. Derik discovers his usual good looks and charm won’t help him get the girl he really wants, while Joy, a fifteen year old waitress, hoping for true intimacy, narrowly escapes a very dark fate.

Here is Laurie's boyfriend list from last time. And her blog. And here's her Fly survey! (If you don't know already -- Fly on the Wall is about a girl who's obsessed with Spiderman. And then she kind of becomes a superhero. But only only kind of.)
Laurie's Fly Survey even includes CANDY and CATS. Very Halloween-esque.

Be safe tonight!


The Fly on the Wall Survey
questions by me, answers by Laurie Stolarz

1) If you could be a fly on the wall somewhere, anywhere – where? I’d love to be a fly on the wall in TomKat’s mansion. Honestly, what’s the deal? Is Tom really that weird? Is Katie really that brainwashed? Or, are they just fabulously happy? Enquiring minds want to know.

2) If you could have one superpower, what? The ability to be invisible. It’d be very convenient to be able to shop in my pj’s or go out in a mud mask and not worry about getting weird stares. I’d also be able to eavesdrop on whomever I wanted.

3) What is your superhero name? Why? Yoga Girl, able to down dog, Chataranga, and drop crane in a single sun salutation.

4) Who is your favorite superhero? Wonderwoman. When I was little I wanted to be her - who else can use their accessories in defense?

5) Favorite non-super hero? My mom.

6) Recommend us a superhero movie. Superman. Who doesn’t love Clark Kent?

7) If you could turn in to any animal, what? Why? A cat – my cat. She’s a princess and treated that way.

8) Comic books? As a kid, I used to love collecting and reading Bazooka Joe bubble gum wrappers.

John Green's Girlfriend List

Abundancekatherines_2Mr. John Green won the Printz award for Looking for Alaska (that means it was the best young adult book of the year) and I like his second novel, An Abundance of Katherines, even more. It's got romance, a giant warty pig type of thing, the mathematical formula for predicting the outcome of a love relationship, child prodigies, anagrams, and the funniest sidekick since Vince Vaughn in Swingers.

John now adds to his various accolades by becoming the author of our FIRST STRAIGHT MAN girlfriend list, here at The Boyfriend List. Yes, it's true! We have had lists by men. We have had girlfriend lists. But this is the first straight man girlfriend list -- and it's LONG.

Because John has been dumped I think 53 times. Something in the 50s. This is not a secret. However, it is a bit of a mystery as he is officially a hot man of children's literature. (Fuse #8 has an ongoing series on the subject; scroll down and look in the right-hand column).

Anyway, I am very serious in saying this. Katherines is my favorite book of the fall season and you should read it.

John Green's girlfriend list
(which contains last names because he is utterly fearless about his ex-girlfriends googling themselves! a braver soul than I)

A brief explanation from John: My new book, An Abundance of Katherines, is about a boy, Colin Singleton, who has dated 19 girls, all of whom dumped him and all of whom were named Katherine. Some people may say, "Well, what entitles you to write such a book? Why do you presume to be such an expert in the field of getting dumped?" And so, to prove to you that An Abundance of Katherines is born of an Abundance of Experience, here are 19 sentences about 19 girls who dumped me.

1. Jennifer Keene was the cutest girl in third grade, and as such was really out of my league, which she realized after four days.

2. After it ended with my fourth-grade girlfriend Julie Baskin, I wrote in my journal, "my life is a waste" (seriously).

3. Tiffany-whose-last-name-I-can't-remember told everyone at camp I kissed like I was eating a sloppy joe, and then broke up with me during pottery class.

4. Davonne Raizor, the cutest Cure fan in all of ninth grade, eventually revealed, "I keep trying to be attracted to you, but it isn't working."

5. Barbara wanted someone harder core.

6. Holly Brown liked Stuart more.

7. Fran realized she didn't like boys.

8. Jen Spears realized she still liked Gilbert.

Lookingforalaska9. By way of parting, Jeanette said, "You don't need a girlfriend; you need a robot who says nothing but I-love-you," and in doing so, made her way into "An Abundance of Katherines."

10. After several hours-long conversations about our relationship told me, Jenny told me, "I would prefer to HAVE a relationship rather than just discuss one," which proved impossible.

11. After two years, Major College Girlfriend and First Real Love Marie Ponzillo was like, "If we're not gonna get married, we should probably break up, and we are SO not getting married."

12. Jill dumped me because I couldn't get over Marie.

13. Annika dumped me because I couldn't get over Jill.

14. Then came the smothering trilogy: Jessi Johnston felt really smothered.

15. Carrie Sanders felt really smothered.

16. Lesley Martin felt really smothered.

17. After my junior year of college, Mary-whose-last-name-I-can-remember-but-she-is-a-lawyer-and-has-threatened-to-sue-me drove with me to Alaska, where we were spending the summer in a town of 18 people, and in pretty short order, Mary dumped me for one of the other 18 people.

18. Emily Chambers was my Alamo: there were no survivors.

19. Sarah Urist dumped me after two dates, because I was awkward and couldn't talk to her (but then we stayed friends and I got slightly less awkward and then four years later we got married).

P.S. Come see me and John at the Southern Festival of Books! if you are in Memphis. It's this weekend. The other thing John and I have in common is that he has reviewed many books about conjoined twins (see his bio) and so have I! Just a factoid for ya. True, I swear. /E

Diana Peterfreund's Literary Boyfriend List

SkullsOkay, I am TRYING TO WRITE A NOVEL about a secret society at boarding school,
and I'm doing serious research like watching The Skulls
starring Joshua Jackson as this dude who joins this hokey secret society where the initiation rites involve sleeping in coffins
and with prostitutes
and really, it's downhill from there --
and I decide that the secret society in my novel I'm trying to write had better be VERY RIDICULOUS and all played for comedy,
because this serious and uncampy Skulls movie was bad (except, maybe when Paul Walker took his shirt off) and I don't want to write a bad book.

But I am still halfway despairing of my project, and then along comes
the gorgeous and talented Diana Peterfreund, who is on the GCC with me and has written SECRET SOCIETY GIRL, about a girl who's one of the first females ever tapped to be a memeber of a secret society at an ivy league university
-- and we know Diana went to Yale where Skull & Bones is, and she's got the inside dirt.

SecretsocietySo Diana proves that you can write a darn good book on this very very interesting topic, and it doesn't have to suck like The Skulls did, and I am not so despairing anymore -- except I better make sure my story is radically different from hers. Which it will be because mine is very goofy-ass, whereas hers is funny but also well-researched and intelligent.

Check out her reviews:

"SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is Peterfreund's titillating debut entry in a new series featuring plucky heroine Amy Haskel, one of the select few with the dubious distinction of being among the first females "tapped" for Rose & Grave. The author, a recent Ivy League Grad herself (Yale 2001), knows the world of which she writes and every page rings with an authenticity that will have readers immediately recalling their own giddy collegiate romances, fast friendships and late-night cram sessions."
- Bookreporter.com

"SECRET SOCIETY GIRL is a blast! Fun and witty, with an engaging theme, heartfelt situations, intriguing dialogue, and a cast of characters that you'll be cheering for, it's a story you won't want to put down."
-- Teensreadtoo.com

Diana's blog is also good fun; she posts the word counts on her various works in progress (including Secret Society Girl #2), the books she's been reading, her glamorous book parties -- and I've learned that she is a musical theater dork, which makes me love her all the more.

Sorry for all the rambling. This is an epic post. But now I give you Diana's literary boyfriend list -- which includes Odysseus! Who is never HOME! (not my idea of a boyfriend) and Colonel Wentworth (who is absolutely my idea of a boyfriend) and also, curiously, Edmund Pevensie.

by Diana Peterfreund

In my book, my heroine, Amy, has what she calls "A Hit List" or list of boys she's... well, you know. But since grandmothers know how to use the internet... I'm going to borrow another of my lit major heroine's traits and instead talk about all of my literary boyfriends.

1. Edmund Pevensie from the Chronicles of Narnia books. Now, most of you think of him as the petulant traitor from The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, but that was just the beginning of Edmund's story. After that whole debacle, Edmund became one of the wisest and most noble characters in the series. Edmund was more interesting to me than Peter because he knew what it was to have almost lost everything and so seemed to value it more than the others, when he speaks to other characters who are teetering on the edge of making wrong choices, we don't see him as acting all holier than thou but rather, honestly trying to help a bloke from making the same mistakes he made. He was always the most practical of the four children, and you can see his thoughtful and intelligent reasoning at every crossroads in the book. He's always the one making the right decisions, from there on out. He was the only one to stand by Lucy in book two, gives solace to Eustace and keeps King Caspian from getting too hot-headed in book three, and rocks my world as an adult king in book five.

2. Gilbert Blythe from the "Anne" books. If you stopped reading Anne of Green Gables after the first book, you are missing out on one heck of a hero! The bad boy who teases Anne and pulls her hair in the first book turns into a gentle, intelligent soul who becomes one of Anne's closest friends in the second book. The third, in which both Anne and Gilbert travel to the mainland to attend college, is a gorgeous romance, in which Anne almost misses out on true love because she doesn't see wonderful wonderful Gilbert for the amazing man he is. And THEN he becomes a doctor!

3. Dionysus. Okay, say what you will about those drunken orgies, but Dionysus was there for Cretan princess Ariadne when that jerk Theseus abandoned her on Naxos. (She should have let the Minotaur eat him!) He married her, made her a goddess, was faithful (unlike most of the rest of his godly family), and put her crown in the stars. What a great husband!

4. Odysseus, from the Odyssey. Okay, he basically sleeps his way through the Greek islands, but he does eventually come back to Penelope, and man, he's a hottie, and clearly good in a crisis. He's like the Indiana Jones of ancient Greece.

5. Gwydion, from The Mists of Avalon. He grew up to be King Arthur and everything went to hell, but there was a part of him that would always remain the adolescent Gwydion that made our hearts pound just as much as Morgaine's. Too bad they were related.

6. Peregrine from M. M. Kaye's The Ordinary Princess, because he fought for Amy, and saw the acorn necklace underneath all her jewels. Plus, he's got his own kingdom, which is always worth bonus points in my book.

7. Finny from A Separate Peace. Can't even talk about this. Major tragedy in my adolescent life. I cried; oh, how I cried! I loved him!

8. Phillip Ammon from A Girl of the Limberlost, because anyone who wants a woman enough to risk brain fever is my kind of guy. It took him a while to realize what Elnora meant to him, but once he did, watch out!

9. Mr. Darcy. Duh. Who doesn't have a huge crush on him?

10. Colonel Wentworth, because if there is anyone who can knock Darcy off the top of my Austen crush pedestal, it's him and his remarkable letter-writing skills. Still makes my heart pound, and I've read it dozens of times.