Name: Josh Bennett
What does he look like? Josh is tall, muscular, with amazing arms (he’s a carpenter, he’s gotta have great arms) and “sickeningly perfect” blue eyes. He usually wears T-shirts, jeans, and steel-toed work boots. He smells of sawdust.
What does he do? An emancipated minor, Josh is a senior in high school. His favorite subject is shop class, because he’s a carpenter and furniture maker. He spends most of his free time building furniture in his garage, a converted woodshop.
Whom does he love? Nastya Kashnikov aka “Sunshine”
Why him? Josh is one of my all-time favorite Literary Crushes, right up there with Jonah Griggs and Finnkin of the Rock. He’s got a lot of emotional baggage from grieving the loss of so many people who love him, but he’s also got so much to offer and doesn’t fully realize it. For all the small things he does for Sunshine — giving her a bucket of pennies to throw in a fountain for wishes; ordering *all* of the ice cream flavors when she’s cranky; driving her to the best-reviewed Italian restaurant even if it’s more than two hours away (just so he can talk to her) — he’s also her rock, her true north, her “force field” from the cruel reality of her past pain and sadness.
Swoon Worthy Quotes:
“You know I meant it. I am human. And male. And not remotely blind. Do you want me to say it again? You are distractingly, even-if-that-is-not-a-real-word, pretty. You are so pretty that I bullied Clay Whitaker into drawing me a picture of you so I could look at you when you aren’t around. You are so pretty that one of these days I’m going to lose a finger in my garage because I can’t concentrate with you so close to me. You are so pretty that I wish you weren’t so I wouldn’t want to hit every guy at school who looks at you, especially my best friend.” I stop to catch my breath. “More? I can keep going.”
“I wished my mother was here tonight, which is stupid, because it’s an impossible wish.” He shrugs and turns to me, drowning the smile that cracks me every time.
“It’s not stupid to want to see her again.”
“It wasn’t so much that I wanted to see her again,” he says, looking at me with the depth of more than seventeen years in his eyes. “I wanted her to see you.”
“Just so you know,” I inform him, “one day, I’m going to get tired of sharing your affection with that coffee table and I’m going to make you choose.” “Just so you know,” he mimics me, “I would chop that table up and use it for firewood before I would ever choose anything over you.”