Last week, I introduced our Fictional Boyfriend feature, a thinly veiled excuse for me to gush about the boys who’ve been leaping from the pages of the latest hot YA reads and may very well make it to the big screen soon. This week, I couldn’t choose between two boys stealing my heart, particularly due to the fact that both books just came out on Tuesday, and the fact that they both have quite a bit in common.
Who: Adrian Ivashkov and Kaleb Ballard
From: Adrian’s from Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series and its Bloodlines spinoff, most recently The Golden Lily. Kaleb’s from Myra McEntire’s Hourglass and its sequel, Timepiece.
What’s Their Story? Adrian is the playboy college dropout son of an aristocratic family. Also, his family happens to be Moroi, a race of vampires (that are born, not made). We first met him when he started hanging around the titular Vampire Academy boarding school and eventually started dating half-vampire Rose Hathaway. We all knew her true love was her mentor, Dimitri, but he was a pretty interesting diversion. Now he’s hanging around another boarding school (and for some reason this is not creepy), as he helps protect and hide the Moroi queen’s younger sister. That’s how he befriends Sydney Sage, a member of the Alchemists, a society of humans dedicated to keeping vampires’ existence a secret from the world. All this sounds very complicated when summed up in a single paragraph, but don’t worry, it’s a mythology that’s easily absorbed in the books.
Kaleb, too, was “the other guy” in Hourglass, a mind-bending story about people with the genetic ability to time travel. Though the first book’s protagonist, Emerson, clearly belonged with her soul mate Michael, we certainly wanted to see more about the tattooed, moody son of the Hourglass school’s founder. In Timepiece, Kaleb is the narrator, and we see how much his sadness over his dad’s (now-reversed) death and his mother’s coma state are what’s led him to build up a lot of walls. When another time traveler threatens Emerson, his family and basically the entire space-time continuum if the Hourglass doesn’t find a rogue former member, it’s time for Kaleb to let go of his baggage.
Why We Love Them: Both of these guys have a similar ability to read the emotions of everyone around them — Adrian can see auras, while Kaleb directly feels the moods of anyone nearby. So, their bad-boy facades actually cover up the most sensitive of souls. And damn, it would be nice to break through and be the girl they act themselves around. Adrian drinks, smokes and jokes his way through life, but when Rose and later Sydney see the better side of him, he shows he can actually live up to their higher expectations. Kaleb hooked up with anything on two legs before the drama of Hourglass began, but when he falls head over heels for Emerson’s best friend Lily, you can see his potential to be a one-woman man.
Where Will This Love Go Next? Richelle Mead has said she’ll write six Bloodlines novels, so we’ll read plenty more about the vampire’s adventures in Southern California and beyond. Vampire Academy is optioned for a movie (though we imagine any studio is going to wait a beat for Twilight mania to die down). Book three of the Hourglass trilogy is due out next summer, and this story has also been optioned. We played a bit of fantasy casting for boys that could play either Adrian or Kaleb: After seeing Max Irons in stills of The Host, we kind of want that amazing bone structure put to use everywhere, and he has the kind of intense glare that could make you think he sees into your soul. Liam Hemsworth has the kind of mesmerizing eyes both Kaleb and Adrian are described as having, and it would be interesting to see him tackle a role with this kind of depth. And then there’s Ed Westwick, who’s got that sensitive playboy thing down so well, it’d be a shame not to see him do it outside of Gossip Girl.
Who do you picture playing Adrian or Kaleb? Share your thoughts in the comments!
[Photos: Getty Images, Egmont USA, Razorbill]