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Book Angel Booktopia is delighted to welcome Suzy Cox today to share her character crush as part of the Dead Girls Walking Blog Tour. My daughter loves this series, I wish I could get her to write reviews for it but it’s like pulling teeth πŸ™‚

Character Crush: Laurie from Little Women

My mum introduced me to Theodore Laurence when I was 8-years-old. Normally, girls hate any guy their mum loves, but in the case of Laurie, I let him off. He was funny, rebellious, cute and liked a good snowball fight. Plus, I hadn’t yet hit my teenage years, so I didn’t know that crushing on someone your mum approved of was the height of uncool.

Laurie – as everyone calls him – was my original boy next door (in real life I grew up next to two very lovely sisters who were a lot of fun to ride bikes with, but totally not my type). Yes, within the pages of Little Women, Laurie was basically the only boy his neighbours, the March sisters, hung out with that they weren’t related to, but that wasn’t why he was hot. There were many other reasons he was my first book boy crush.

Laurie was all dark eyes and curly black hair. His dull old grandfather wanted him to get into finance when he grew up, but he dreamed of being a musician and going on tour. He was just the right mix of moody and sunshine to make him mysterious. And he had access to the best library in the world.

But most importantly Laurie *got* women – like no other bloke in the buttoned-up, do-the-right-thing world of Little Women could. When Jo burned her dress and spilt lemonade all over her good gloves before a society party, he told her it was no biggie, then danced with her, out of view, so she wouldn’t feel bad at all. When she chopped off all her hair and secretly hated it, he made her feel like she was the coolest girl around. Then there was the white-knight way he saved Jo’s little sister Amy from drowning when she fell through the ice (even though every single reader, at that point, would happily have left her there to freeze). Or how he rescued Meg in his carriage when her ankle got sprained.

Laurie taught me that it was possible for boy characters to be hot and puzzling, open-hearted and kind, and loyal and vulnerable all at the same time. When I was writing the lead guy in The Dead Girls Detective Agency, I tried to pour all of those qualities into Edison Hayes. Sure, his story is set almost 150 years later, and Edison is a ghost trying to solve his murder in New York, but he’s still the boy next door – even though he’s the dead one. He’s the only guy in a predominantly girls’ world; he’s into music and books and causing a mischievous stir. He confuses the hell out of Charlotte – his possibly-maybe-one-day girlfriend. But, secretly, I think he understands her way better than she does herself.

To this day – years and years later – I still haven’t forgiven Jo for turning Laurie down and marrying boring old Mr Bhaer instead. I mean, really: some round-middled German professor over a guy who’s going to take you to Italy, make you laugh every day and gets on with your family too? Whether Charlotte and Edison make a go of it in limbo Manhattan remains to be seen. But I think you know how I’d like it to end…