Guys in young adult novels are freaks. I love them, but they are sometimes freaks. Why?
They listen to the girl in their life.
They are sensitive, and protective, to the right extreme.
They read books, listen to sappy songs and think about the future.
They are heroic, gallant, etc., etc., blah blah blah.
So are authors setting up false expectations of guys for girls?
Will a teenage girl read a book and think that guys like Edward, Peeta and Sam actually exist? Will they hold out for that chivalrous, poetry reading, classical music loving, baking gods who make their knees go weak? I mean he could probably slit their throat if the situation called for it, but he'd do it with feeling. :)
Are these literary guys ruining a generation of girls with a lie that real guys can't live up to?
I think not.
Think about it, I've never read anything that questions whether classic literary figures spoil our expectations. I've never heard anyone complain Mr. Darcy, Mr. Rochester or Heathcliff set a bad example. These guys have been aloof, mysterious and consumed by love with dangerous consequences for a lot longer.
I know, have known - and dated - nice guys. There are still guys who hold the door open for you. Guys who listen and can share an intelligent conversation. Guys who are emotional and sensitive. Can they get grumpy, snap at you and sometimes - shock, horror - ignore you when you are being over-dramatic? Yeah. But even us girls sometimes do that :)
Are nice guys out there? Yes. And the best thing is they are real.
Maggie Stiefvater the author of Shiver (and other awesome books) also answered the question on her blog. I think her answers are interesting.
Also, check out this Jackson Pearce clip and her response to the question:
So remember, nice guys DO exist...and they poop.