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Rose Zarelli, self-proclaimed word geek and angry girl, has someconfessions to make 1. I'm livid all the time. Why? My dad died. My mom barely talks. My brother abandoned us. I think I'm allowed to be irate,don't you?
2. I make people furious regularly. Want an example? I kissed Jamie Forta, a badass guy who might be dating a cheerleader. She is nowenraged and out for blood. Mine.
3. High school might as well be Mars. My best friend has been replaced by an alien, and I see red all the time. (Mars is red and "seeing red" means being angry—get it?)
Here are some other vocab words that describe my life: Inadequate. Insufferable. Intolerable.
(Don't know what they mean? Look them up yourself.)
(Sorry. That was rude.)
(Fictional) Men I've Loved
by Louise Rozett
The title of this post is “(Fictional) Men I’ve Loved.” If you’re wondering why “fictional” is in parentheses, it’s because these men do not feel fictional to me at all. Not in the slightest. Never have, never will. I guess I’m a romantic at heart, huh? (Or maybe just delusional.)
I’ve been thinking a lot about these men lately, probably because I’m a little bit in love with Jamie Forta, the guy the main character Rose falls for in the book I wrote, Confessions of an Angry Girl. It’s no surprise—I fell for a few complicated, mysterious, unavailable guys in high school and had my heart broken more than once. (That didn’t stop me from doing it again, of course).
Whenever I was nursing that very particular kind of broken heart that comes from (mostly) unrequited love, I found solace in books, movies, and plays, where I could safely love those complicated guys without getting hurt. So here, in honor of Jamie, are five complicated men who captured my heart at times when reality was just too tough to deal with.
• Phineas in A Separate Peace by John Knowles
The first time I can remember falling for a fictional character was when we read A Separate Peace in English class. We were learning how to write and revise a paper, so we had to read the book multiple times. I don’t think I’d ever been so happy to read in my entire life. I was madly in love with the perfectly beautiful and tragic Phineas, who knows way more than he lets on and does what he can to protect his best friend Gene for as long as he can. Every single time I read that book, I hoped against hope that it would end differently. It never did.
• Atticus Finch (or was it Gregory Peck?) in To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee
We read To Kill a Mockingbird in school, and I remember thinking that Atticus Finch was an amazing man and father. But when we watched the movie in class, I decided that even though I believed marriage wasn’t for me, if the magnificently moral and handsome Atticus Finch (as played by Gregory Peck) stepped out of that movie and proposed, I would say yes without hesitating. (In a funny turn of events, one of the actors on the Pinterest board “Who Should Play Jamie Forta?” is Ethan Peck, Gregory Peck’s grandson. Coincidence? I think not!)
• Septimus Hodge in Arcadia by Tom Stoppard
This is possibly the most beautiful, brilliant play I’ve ever seen. It is so tantalizing to watch the charming, extraordinarily smart—and yes, tragic—Septimus Hodge, who is tutor to the young Thomasina, begin to fall for his charge as she grows up. He tries to ignore his feelings, but Thomasina is a force of nature that will not be denied. I saw Billy Crudup play this part on Broadway after he had just graduated from acting school, and I became a fan for life.
• Joe Kavalier in The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay by Michael Chabon
Kavalier & Clay is probably my favorite book of all time. I fell hard for Joe, which surprised me because I was an adult when I read the book and I hadn’t had the experience of falling in love with a fictional man in a long time. But oh how I loved the heartbroken Joe, who escapes from the Nazis in 1939 and comes to America, forced to leave his family behind. Joe finds big success as an illustrator and innovator in comic books, but his desperate plight to save his family tortures him. I constantly wanted to just step into the book, put my arms around Joe, and tell him that everything was going to be all right. Even if it was a lie.
• John Reddy Heart in Broke Heart Blues by Joyce Carol Oates
John Reddy Heart is absolutely irresistible to anyone who loves old-school rebels like James Dean and Marlon Brando. He is the ultimate inaccessible bad boy who barely notices that people of all kinds are deeply in thrall to his every move. He’s too busy trying to exist under the weight of a dark secret, which of course is the very thing that gives him an aura of mystery and makes people desperate to have him, to know him, to claim him. How quickly I became one of those people...
And there they are—the five fictional men I shall always love. Thank you, gentlemen, for getting me through heartbreak and inspiring me to bring Jamie Forta to life. We both owe you a debt of gratitude.
A huge thanks to Louise for stopping by!
Check back later for my review of "Confessions of an Angry Girl"