Top Five Toxic Boyfriends in YA

YA lit has its fair share of bad boyfriends.  But there are certain love interests in YA lit that really want me to go all J Lo from Enough  on them.  Let’s look at some of the creepiest love interest in YA from  and how/if these relationship can be saved:

5) Daniel from the Fallen series by Lauren Kate: I just started reading this series and I have to say I have not seen anything as messed up as Luce and Daniel’s relationship.  And yes, I know his reasons for acting like such an asshole to her throughout the book.  But a simple conversation would’ve sufficed instead of Daniel acting like such  a dick for three hundred plus pages.   And it really, really bothers me that the one nice guy in this series gets shafted and vilified   Just saying.

Can This Relationship be Saved:  Not really.  But it could be improved.   Daniel just talk to her.  If you have to be an asshole the least you could do is explain your actions so I won’t have to listen to Ms. Whiney  obsess over you throughout the book.

4) Xavier Woods from The Halo Trilogy by Alexandra Adornetto: Xavier isn’t your stereotypical abusive character.  With his floppy walnut hair and turquoise colored eyes he seems harmless enough.  It’s just his attitude that is so abusive.  Though, admittedly, his girlfriend  doesn’t help matters.  Codependency in this eyes couple is healthy.  Here’s the thing, I think that an important part of a relationship is trying to maintain some sense of individuality and having your partner support that unique part of you.  Xavier doesn’t support Bethany as an individual at all.  They like the same sports teams even though Bethany knows nothing about football or whatever, she becomes an omnivore for him, and essentially asks him if she can hang out with her friends.  Besides this, Xavier has no trust in Bethany at all.  In the first book he thought she cheated on him just because of some supposedly compromising pictures that turn up in Facebook and in the second one he almost gets mad at her because she’s almost raped.

Can This Relationship be Saved?: No.  For the love of God, break up.  These two kids need to spend some time apart, if they really love each other they can get back together.  But they need to realize what it is to be an individual first.  Changing yourself for a guy is never going to mandate a healthy relationship.

3) John from Abandon by Meg Cabot: Okay, okay, Cabot fans I hear you booing at me.  I thought about not even putting John on the list if you want to be honest.  But I just had to.  With leading men such as Michael Moscovitz, Jesse de Silva, and Cooper Cartwright, I find it so hard to believe that Meg would create a character like John.  And I’m going to be honest with you guys, I sort of do like John.  I do like broody men (i.e. I had a huge crush on Batman in my youth), but there is a fine line between broody and obsessive Edward Cullen territory.  And many people state that John has crossed that line.  Plus, it doesn’t help that he’s sort of obsessed with Pierce and in the first book their relationship is sort of explosive.  I mean, in every single scene he’s in he beats up someone and he and Pierce exchange quite a few nasty words.  I guess though when you’re a lord of the underworld you sort of have an excuse.  And admittedly, John does improve a lot (to me at least) in Underworld.

Can this Relationship be Fixed?: Maybe with anger management and career reassignment.  If John was able to channel his anger in a different way, perhaps his brooding would decrease where he’d be a much more tolerable character.  It also might help if he gets to know Pierce better too.  However, I am already starting to like John a lot more than I did previously so I do think there is some (okay, a lot) of hope for him.

2) Jace from The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: As far as toxic boyfriends go, Jace could be much worse.  He only tries to kill Clary a couple of times in the series and that’s because he was possessed.  And for the most part his a-hole-ness is limited to verbal abuse.  Really, if we’re going to get done to it the biggest issues I have with the Jace/Clary romance are with Clary.  She seemed to be the one pushing the romance thing after they found out that they’re brother and sister and she didn’t do what Jace asked her to do in City of Lost Souls.  However, that doesn’t give Jace an excuse for some of the crap that he pulls.  Being emotionally cold, rude, and abrasive are never good things even if you do have a sad childhood.

Can this Relationship be Fixed?:  No, but maybe with some therapy Jace is salvable.  I mean, he does have some pretty good one liners.  And maybe if he did dump Clary, find a girlfriend that had impulse control and he didn’t suspect was his sister, I’d like him better.

1)Patch from Hush Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick: Patch makes Edward Cullen look like the epitome of all boyfriends.  In fact, if we’re going to be honest about it he’s the real reason why I get annoyed with the Hush Hush Saga.  Okay, so Nora and her friend are annoying, but I could deal with their foulness if it wasn’t for Patch.  This guy who is proclaimed to be the ultimate bad boy, in reality he’s the ultimate sociopath.  He tries to kill Nora in the first book.  In the second book they have some weird break up thing that’s going on that reminded me of a more toxic version of New Moon.  Seriously, how do you get more abusive than New Moon and then there’s the third book where he essentially mind rapes Nora.  Mind raping is never good people even when you do it to protect the person you love.

Can this Relationship Be Saved?:  Hell no!  I think there needs to be a stamp on Patch that states avoid at all cost, run away, get out the pepper spray.  There’s no way to treat a sociopath or dark angel.  Nora really would do better off dating a nice human boy or better yet not dating at all for a few years and get her priorities in check.  As for Patch, well, he can just be killed off in the series.  Maybe in a “power of love” act.  I think that this would be a nice compromise since his fan girls would get to say how “brave” he was for sacrificing himself for Nora while I would get to smile knowing that he was truly gone and not going to haunt me with a fifth book.

Any boy that I left out that you think should’ve made the list?  Feel free to leave a comment.


6 thoughts on “Top Five Toxic Boyfriends in YA

  1. I think you covered plenty – though I'm not sure I agree on John, I get you on the fact that when you compare to Michael, Jesse or Rob, he doesn't look so good. But yeah, I don't understand why authors want to portray obsession and abuse as ideal relationships.

  2. Yeah, I wasn't sure if I should or shouldn't put John on the list. Personally, I like him (not as much as Michael and Jesse) but I have been reading a lot of reviews stating that he came off as being a little toxic. And I can sort of see why after Abandon, but he really did soften in Underworld and hopefully he will soften even more in Awaken. Anyway, long story short I put him on the list for the purpose of debate.

  3. I almost did put Edward on there. But I've been featuring Twilight on these lists a lot lately, so I decided to give SMeyer a break. As for Jace, I put him on there mainly because I wanted to show how abuse can vary. He's not physically or emotionally crippling like Patch is, but he is verbally abusive to a degree. The mind games that he played with Clary sort of drove me crazy. But I get what you're saying compared to a lot of these clowns on the list, he doesn't seem that bad.

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