Some guys don’t constantly need to prove themselves, and can completely negate that ridiculous old adage that nice guys finish last. In Sam’s case, he’s a 19-year-old college drop out who discovers he’s a necromancer. Sam’s a lovable loser who transforms, throughout several intense situations, into the kind of guy who’s worthy or admiration and deserving of respect without a set of washboard abs or a penchant for losing his temple. Sam is thoughtful and adores his on-again, off-again love Brid, an alpha were who sees what a gem Sam is, even though there’s a queue of eligible alpha males in her pack jockeying for her attention.
I realize that Beta Males are often glossed as passive or soft, but I think that’s an oversimplified way of looking at these guys. They rise to the occasion again and again, like Neville wielding Gryffindor’s sword, or Jem patiently showing Will how to throw a knife or Simon getting in way over his head to help Clary. Sam is aware that he’s a tall lanky pop-culture junkie in a world of gladiator-looking warriors, but as his power grows, so does his confidence, and as a reader you never doubt why Brid is in love with him. The same way readers understand why Isabelle falls for Simon. Sometimes when you’ve been surrounded by alphas your whole life, it takes a Beta Male to come first in your heart.
Some favorite Sam quotes:
“On top of all that, you’re naked. And while I’m going to hate myself for this later, could you put on some clothes? At least just for a little while, so I can think. Then you can go right back to being naked. All the time. With my full blessing.” — after meeting Brid — who’s completely naked — in a cage, “Hold Me Closer, Necromancer”
“There were upsides to the whole mess. While Douglas was holding me hostage, I’d met a girl—I mean, screw dating websites and house parties; apparently all the really eligible ladies are being held in cages these days. I would have liked to see Brid fill out a dating questionnaire, though. What would she put? “Hi, my name is Bridin Blackthorn. I’m next in line to rule the local werewolf pack. I like long walks on the beach and destroying my enemies. I have four older brothers, so watch your step. We’ll be forming a queue to the left for potential suitors.”
And, trust me, there would be a queue.” — (on his girlfriend Brid) “Necromancing the Stone”
“No wonder I’d always felt lost. I actually was. The knowledge felt terrible, but in a strange way, it also felt good. Now I knew why I’d never connected to anything. Why I felt like I was outside the world around me, moving at a different speed from everyone else. That amputated piece of me explained everything, even why I’d failed at college. But that kind of blanket excuse can be dangerous. Crutches usually are.” — on discovering his supernatural abilities
So who are your favorite Beta Males in YA? What makes them awesome?