1. Henry deTamble from The Time-Traveler’s Wife
Stupid space-time continuum getting in the way of perfectly lovely relationships! But oooh, what a perfect specimen.
2. Mercutio from “Romeo and Juliet”
His rakish and witty banter put him so laughably far above that whining lump known as Romeo. Verona lost a true studmuffin the day he got impaled :(((
3. Harriet Welsch from Harriet the Spy
Harriet was the incredibly charming combination of fiercely independent, curious, ambitious, flawed, and caring. She totally made you wish she’d write nice things about you in her notebook, and you’d have taken down Marion Hawthorne with her any day of the week.
4. Encyclopedia Brown from Encyclopedia Brown
OKAY REAL TALK: why didn’t Encyclopedia and Harriet cross paths in their respective fictional universes and date? Come to think of it, maybe they did, and eventually grew old together as philosophy and English professors at a small, highly selective liberal arts college located in the scenic Hudson Valley.
5. Seamus Finnigan and Dean Thomas from Harry Potter
20/10, would bang. In a series filled with fantastic friend duos, this one rises above the rest due to sheer mischievous banter and stunning good looks.
6. Luna Lovegood from Harry Potter
Who doesn’t secretly wish they could see the world through Luna’s completely cuckoo-bananas eyes? And that HAIR.
7. Draco Malfoy from Harry Potter
JUST GO WITH IT OKAY SOMETIMES YOU DON’T QUESTION THINGS.
8. Joe Kavalier from The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier and Clay
So confident, so talented, so brave in the face of adversity. Also: magic, cartoons.
9. Tibby Rollins from The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
So Bridget was supposed to be the sexy one, and Carmen was curvy, and Lena was so beautiful that eventually Ann Brashares ran out of adjectives to describe her (JK ILY), but for real it was all about Tibby: small and cynical and punk-haired, who went through so much loss and change and came out the other side with the sweetest sense of gratitude without ever losing her kickass edge.
Plus her boyfriend got wicked hot over the course of the series so it was easy to get a couple-crush on them both.
10. Nick and Norah from Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist
UGH TALK ABOUT COUPLE-CRUSHES AMIRITE. I would be lying if I said that this book wasn’t a medium-sized reason I first wanted to move to New York; clearly it’s all about eating pierogis with tousle-haired bassists and busty geniuses after midnight. Also: makeouts.
11. Edmond Dantés from The Count of Monte Cristo
False accusations! Mistaken identities! VENGEANCE. Rawr.
12. Will Parry from His Dark Materials
Totally heartbreaking when he and Lyra realized they couldn’t live in the same world (see: Henry deTamble), but that doesn’t mean he can’t live in yours.
13. Alanna from The Song of the Lioness
I died when I found out there was an actual series of books about a redhead named Alanna (spelled the way I spelled it, no less!) and then I died twice when I discovered what a complete gender-bending kingdom-saving BAMF she was. Also, remember Jonathan of Conté? If you are a human with a pulse who so much as touched one of these books, you totally do.
14. Dave the Laugh from Confessions of Georgia Nicolson
Lol if you were ever Team Robbie or Masimo or any of those other clowns who managed to hold Georgia’s attention for even a fraction of a second while this paragon of perfection was in the picture.
15. Michael Moscovitz from The Princess Diaries
If the guy from Rooney plays you in the movie version, you know you’re doing something (fictionally) right.
16. Lizzy Bennet and Mr. Darcy from Pride and Prejudice
HA HA HAAAA duh.
17. Susan Pevensie from The Chronicles of Narnia
Susan got a raw deal: she basically got kicked out Narnia for growing up and starting to wear lipstick. But before she vanished from the series completely, she was super hot and sweet and never once betrayed her entire family in exchange for Turkish delight, which is gross anyway.
18. Q from Paper Towns
Basically every last one of John Green’s protagonists is capable of inducing a massive book crush, but Q’s totally realistic and compelling inner voice is especially appealing.
19. Claudia Kishi from The Babysitters Club
Is it possible to have a crush on a wardrobe, you ask? Look no further for your answer.
20. Gale OR Peeta from The Hunger Games
You only get one, don’t be greedy, make your choice, THEN LIVE WITH IT FOREVER.
21. Sherlock Holmes
Encyclopedia Brown grew up to become him (after an Oxbridge education and a fair amount of cocaine). Imagine sitting around a crackling fire, matching wits with him over a glass of port. Imagine what he’d do when you figured out that the butler couldn’t possibly have been left-handed because look at how he did up his French cuffs. Imagine.