Literary crushes: Lincoln O’Neill

An occasional series about falling in love with imaginary boys.

Before we get to Lincoln, I should probably clarify that I have an enormous, abiding, deep and devoted lady-crush on Rainbow Rowell. Partly for her books, sure, but also because she is funny and warm and has awesome hair and rocks a statement necklace. This is me barely containing my excitement at being in her presence at a reading last year: 

(If you look closely you can see her special Landline themed nail art. 💅🏼💯💚💛).

But before I knew I loved Rainbow, I was already in love with her characters. ALL of them, basically. I want them to be my friends; I want to rescue them when they are in horrible situations. And, in the case of Lincoln O’Neill, I kiiiiiind of (very much) want to take them out to dinner.

Lincoln hates his job. He’s socially awkward. He still lives with his mum. He’s so shy he might never ever work up the courage to talk to you, even if he’d already fallen in love with you because he’d been listening in on yours conversations for so long.

Listening and loving. Listening and loving. Listening and loving until he knows you inside out.

“There’s never been a moment,” he barely said, “when I didn’t recognize you…I’d know you in the dark,” he said. “From a thousand miles away. There’s nothing you could become that I haven’t already fallen in love with.”

Lincoln is funny. He is kind. He is hella romantic. And obviously he is cute, but I think I’d be crushing on him even if he wasn’t.

He perpetually gets in his own way – and who among us doesn’t recognise themselves in that? You cannot help but root for him.

Lincoln O’Neill is as endearing as any romcom hero. I have no higher praise than that.

Previous crushes:


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