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Monday, July 11, 2011

Book Chatter (1): Do Good Guys Finish Last?

Pull up a chair, relax, and let’s discuss the wonderful world of books.

Do you enjoy discussing anything and everything pertaining to books? YES!

Well, you’ve come to the right place. Every week, I’ll be sharing my thoughts on various book topics and offering prizes that pertain to the topic at hand. That’s not all – You will get to choose the weekly topic by voting on which topic to discuss for the following week. You will also be able to suggest topics by clicking on this FORM.

Do Good Guys Always Finish Last?

I know you’re probably familiar with the quote, “Nice guys finish last.” This could be attributed to how the fairer sex envisions her ideal romantic interest. Attributes that I would associate with a nice guy entails someone who’s caring, avoids confrontation, he’s not afraid to be expressive, and he’s not averse to commitment. These traits sound dreamy right? Well, sometimes you get the other end of the spectrum whereas these traits can seem more negative. Some may believe that the “nice guy” is perceived as boring, timid, or insecure.

Personally, I relish reading books that revolve around some type of romance whether it is paranormal, contemporary or etc. With any book that has this element; readers may differentiate on their preference of the romantic interest. I’ve been reading a lot of books that involve more than one romantic interest. Most readers will have a preference of one over the other. There is a current preconception of:

Good BoyBad Boy
Dependable Confident
Not too available
Don't tolerate BS
Sense of humor Decisive and doesn’t worry about offending others

Although some readers may feel as though these attributes can go both ways, I would gather that books involving more than one romantic interest would connect these traits to one or the other in some form or fashion.

I tend to find myself falling for the “bad boys” per say. That doesn’t always mean that they come out on top by the end of the novel or series but it’s always interesting to see what his chances are. Case in point, take these two series in particular:

The Mortal Instruments Series
There are two romantic interests for main protagonist Clary Fray.

Simon Lewis
  • loyal and would do anything for her.
  • best friend for about 10 years and he is also in love with her
  • nice caring
  • smart
  • funny
  • cool
  • witty
 Jace Wayland
  • moves to the beat of his own drums
  • arrogant
  • conceited
  • hides his emotions
  • doesn't play by the rules
  • enjoys danger
  • sarcastic
I could say that Simon fits the good boy traits while Jace fits the bad boy traits perfectly. In this series, I was all for Jace. It was kind of hard for me not to root for him.

The Hunger Games Series
There are two romantic interests for main protagonist Katniss Everdeen.

Gale Hawthorne
  • friends with katniss since she was 12
  • devoted to his family and protective of Katniss and her family
  • passionate about his beliefs of the Capitol
  • bit of a temper
  • has a steady presence & offers security
  • questions everything
 Peeta Mellark
  • protective and willing to go to extremes to keep Katniss alive.
  • has a likable personality
  • he is very selfless, and willing to do anything to protect Katniss.
  • kind
  • steady
  • charismatic
With each of these guys, their strengths are different. So, as I read this series, I looked at who I thought would be a better match for Katniss. Well, I think Gale could fit either trait but for readers who are familiar with this series, you know who comes out on top. By the way, I was Team Gale. *Runs, ducks, and hides*

There are also some extreme cases where Teams are formed: In almost every case, one of the characters competing for the heart of the female love interest fits the good boy/bad boy attributes.

Team Peeta vs Team Gale
Team Edward vs Team Jacob
Team Dimitri vs Team Adrian
Team Stefan vs Team Damon
Team Ash vs Team Puck

You get the point.

So this comes back to the question: Do good guys always finish last?


Winners will recieve his/her choice of book in any of the series mentioned (this includes books mentioned from the Teams).

Rules: 2 Winners! Must comment to be eligible.

Please fill out this FORM!

Contest ends @ 11:59pm (CST) July 25, 2011. US & Canadian Residents only.


  1. Hi Tina. *waves* These posts are a great idea!

    This was a bit of a tricky one for me because in real life I prefer the good guy who will be my friend as well as something more. But unfortunately in most of the books I read the good guys are always very dull compared the the electric personalities of the rebels/bad boys. So I'm usually in the bad boy camp. I'd like to see more balanced personalities where the good guy doesn't just fade into the background, but can also have a vibrant personality to go with his nicer traits.

    Great question!

    The Word Fiend

  2. Hi Shelagh

    I totally agree with you about the nice guys fading into the background. Most of the books that I read that has the nice guy traits are lacking that extra umph.
    Especially if a love triangle is involved - I always fall for the bad boy.

  3. I definitely agree that dullness plays a part in the lack of appeal of the good guy. But I have to say I get annoyed by the bad boys sometimes, especially in YA literature, they're so wishy-washy on their feelings and make the female character turn all wobbly and annoying, willing to do anything to be with them.

    If they went with the good guy.. they wouldn't have to go through all that life or death nonsense, but the story would be a tad bit duller. Hrm. :)

    I picked a somewhat bad boy who has good guy qualities maybe that is the key. :)

  4. I was trying to think of some bad boys that I thought annoyed me but I got NADA. It was always the female protagonists that made some questionable decisions pertaining to said bad boy.

  5. Sadly, the nice guy hardly does it for me, too nice is boring and there is no lusing/wanting, just depending on. I always fall for the bad boy in books, but in reality over the long term unless they change it never ends good.

  6. Great idea for a post! :D I don't think good guys ALWAYS finish last, but they certainly do finish last a lot of the time. :P

    They're definitely overlooked a lot because they don't have the whole cocky and overconfident attitude. And when they have to compete with that, they tend to be ignored, although not always. With your examples, Jace always stood out to me. Simon was funny, and I liked him...but I liked him as best friend, nothing more, like Clary did. So it depends on how the main character sees the boys too, like for Katniss, she honestly didn't know what she wanted, so you kind of have to choose for yourself. I always preferred Peeta myself, but don't worry, you don't need to hide because you like Gale. :P haha

    Anyways, I think it's refreshing to see a good guy get the girl, but I think in real life, when it comes down to it all, those are the guys who get the girls. They're the ones who girls settle down with. The bad boys are the ones who they have fun with, and in books, the girl gets the bad guy and gets to change him, which rarely, if ever, happens in real life. It does happen sometimes though, since not all "bad" guys stay bad. This isn't exact or anything, just some thoughts. :)

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts, Tina! :D

  7. @Mel - I hear you on that! I fall for the bad boys 99% of the time.

    @Ambur - I totally agree with you. In real life, we want the good guy but there's just something about being the woman who changes that bad boy.

  8. I would have to say yes, good guys finish last. There is just something about a decisive bad guy. The guy who knows what he wants and goes after it but doesn't always play by the rules. I think it because the nice guys tend to get walked on and that makes them look weak.

    Great idea for a post.

  9. I was just racking my brain for one bad boy that annoyed me, but you are right- it's always the female protags that lose their cool. The bad boys always stay calm, cool and all sorts of sexy! ;)
    In real life I'd definitely want the good guy in my life but when I escape into a great book, it's always the bad boy that gets my heart pounding! For some reason, one that immediately popped into my head was Daniel Calibi from The Dark Divine. (Although technically he was more misunderstood than anything else). I love those kind--the ones that really are teddy bears under their tough exteriors. GREAT post idea Tina. Keep up the great work!

  10. re: Danielle - definitely! The bad guys walk to their own beat and there's just something sexy about that. I think for me, the good guys tend to step back and leave it up to fate.

    Re: Kim - Thanks! I agree. Those misunderstood bad guys are right up my alley. You just want to break down their barriers and see what makes them tick.

  11. To answer your question, I studied the list of books I read and I thought about the boys in these books.

    In both fiction and in the real world, good guys don’t always finish last. They do get the girl they want sometimes.

    I think the reason it seems that bad boys almost always get the girls is because many popular books in the YA and YA/Paranormal genre feature bad boy types as their male protagonists.

    Bad boy types are possessive and super protective. Often, they have some emotional wounds that the female protagonists wish to ‘heal’ with their love. They are mostly rebellious. Most of them are super smart-mouthed and sarcastic.

    I think, if you’re the good-girl type and you’re looking for adventure and a bit of mystery, you’ll fall for the bad boy. All that emotional wounds and secrets and possessiveness just makes them endear themselves to us. Of course, most of the time, the female protagonist is forbidden to love the male protagonist. That just makes the girl want her forbidden love even more. There’s just something about forbidden things, the allure just intensifies.

    Note: Jace, Edward, Daniel, Patch, Ash, Dimitri, Will Rutledge, Edward Rochester, Alex Fuentes , Jack Force etc.

    And then, I thought about the good boys. The nice boys.

    Gilbert Blythe from the Anne of Green Gables. There’s not an ounce of bad-boyishness in him. He’s kind, friendly, intelligent, focused, gentle and most importantly, he loves Anne! I grin every single time I read the part where Anne realizes that it’s Gilbert she wants.

    Other nice boys.
    Tucker from Unearthly. Will from Angelfire. Hale from Heist Society and Uncommon Criminals. Joe Fontaine from The Sky is Everywhere. Xavier from Halo. Luke Brandon from Confessions of a Shopaholic. Tristran of Stardust.

    I don’t know if Mr. Darcy is a bad boy or a good boy. But he is the ultimate boy. The ultimate man. He doesn’t seem possessive. He hides his jealousy well. He isn’t really smart-mouthed except when he’s arguing with Lizzie. But, for the sake of this post, I’ll say he’s a good boy. After all, he is so honourable.
    He got the girl too!

    They don’t always pit the good boy types against the bad boy types though. Ky and Xander are both good boy types if you think about it.

    I think the bad boys of the YA/Paranormal genre are what a lot of girls dream of and want. In real life though, what we need ultimately are guys who are mixtures and hybrids of both. If he’s too bad-ass, we’ll always be in danger and fear. If he’s too good and safe, we’ll be bored to death.

  12. I think if a guy is too nice, then he might finish last. Younger women are more drawn to exciting bad boys over wimpy nice guys. This isn't always the case when a young woman grows up and matures. She probably will see that the bad boy is in jail and her nice guy suitor is living in his mansion on the hill, making millions every minute in the stock market. Not that money is more important than anything, but you become attracted to what's more practical and secure by then.

  13. Re: Zoe - I am familiar with the majority of the guys you mentioned and I have to tell you that a lot of my favorite re-reads come from the bad boy list. On the good guys list, I fell for both Tucker (Curious to see how he progresses in future installments) & Joey. There was just something special about these two. I agree if only we could get more hybrids

    Re: Cathy - totally! I'll take the bad boy for the run of the mill but settle down with the nice guy but best believe he would have to have a mixture of both qualities.

  14. Tina..

    I know right? We definitely need more hybrids..

    I haven't found a literary hybrid yet.. Sadly.

  15. I generally go for the nice guys in literature, but I'll also take the nice guys that have a little bit of darkness in them. The bad boys tend to annoy me, and I tend to get annoyed with the girls in literature falling for them because I know it isn't going to end well for them.

  16. I definitely think the nice guys finish last since the bad boy is always more intreaguing and the bad boy always ends up being sensitive and caring (especially towards the heroine). I'd definitely say that the bad boys have all the fun!

  17. I wouldn't say that good guys always finish last. I would say so in real life, since most girls (including myself) dig the bad boys and their irresistible-ness & charm. the good guys aren't dull or boring - they are just not someone girls typically picture for their love interest - especially with all these tall dark & mysterious guys out there.
    But in books, bad boys don't always win out.
    Take Peeta. He's this sweet, amazing, chivalrous dude, and Katniss ends up with him (whether Gale skips out or not) because he balances her out.
    She's this fiery kick butt heroine, and he's the loyal charismatic sweetheart.
    & Clary. She's kind, caring, considerate, and just a "good girl" all around. She works well with Jace because he's the complete opposite - sarcastic, conceited, rule-breaker. They balance each other out also.
    It all depends on the heroine's personality, for me. I couldn't see Clary with Simon, or see Katniss and Gale be more than friends.

  18. A lot of cases the good boy finishes last, but it's also more final. The chick may go out with the bad boy to begin with, but then goes with the nice. I can't think of many books where this happens, but I see it alot in real life.

  19. I hadn't even realized I'm all for bad boys until I read this O.O

    and even though girls in books usually go for the "bad guy" and it all seems to work out and it turns out he does have a soft spot only for her, in real life, they en up being assholes ¬¬...

    ^^ I will be on the lookout for more Book Chatters :D! its a really good idea :)

  20. I'm Team Bad Boy All the way! LOL

    Thanks for the insightful post and the chance to win some books!



    Good guys do finish last. I've noticed that females are attracted to that dangerous, unknown aspect of bad males, and that makes them curious and intrigued. And adding a sexy and hot look to those boys? The I-see-hotness radar is beeping like crazy. I find bad guys more intense and passionate than the good ones. They've been through the hard things more than the good guys, and that adds another WHOA element to them.




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