The Ultimate YA Survey: Choose Your Own Love Interest

titleWelcome to the newest feature of The Social Potato, The Ultimate YA Survey! You’re probably thinking what sets this survey apart from the rest that are being posted out there daily, on blogs and news sites and even on Buzzfeed (now come on, did Buzzfeed actually guess your name correctly?). In this feature, the girls and I would be presenting you made-up and controlled profiles of various things, and you’d be choosing the profile that attract you the most! 

And today, we’d be letting you choose your own love interest!

I really wanted to do this for a long time, because I know that we have our own likes and preferences (the bad boy, the broody guy, the silent hero), but what if we make up various backstories, fears, strengths and weaknesses, present them to you, and let you choose the guy you’d want to read in a story?

Who knows, maybe we’d eventually draw a comic of whoever wins *cough*.

So how does this work? Read every profile carefully, and choose the love interest you’d want to see in your ultimate YA story!

Without further ado, the love interests:

The Honor Student

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Name: Mikhail
Birthday: February 16, 1997
Age: 17 years old
Favorite food: Steak and fries
Favorite drink: Orangina
Favorite book: Animal Farm by George Orwell (He thinks the idea of talking animals is awesome.)
Known for: Being the top of his class AND his batch
His secret: He really, really likes animals, and personally wants to open a wildlife safari in Africa.
Worst nightmare: Losing to his older brother

Backstory: Mikhail comes from a family of overachievers. His mom is a nobel prize winner, his dad is the CEO of a small yet successful company, his little sister is a prize-winning math whiz, and his big brother is studying in Harvard, working on a double degree. Mikhail never really liked studying so hard, but he feels pressured to do so due to the expectations of his parents, and the more he studies every day, the unhappier he becomes. Every time he wins an award or gets praised for being the top of his class, he feels more hollow inside because they were earned through a knife to his neck and not willingly. Despite this, he is everyone’s friend, but he doesn’t really have any close buddies, so he feels lonely, too.

Strategy to get his heart: Bring him to a zoo.

The Pretty Boy

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Name: Shinichi
Birthday: May 23, 1997
Age: 17 years old
Favorite food: Hamburger
Favorite drink: Coca-Cola
Favorite book: Arama! Japan (It’s a magazine, and shh, don’t tell anyone!)
Known for: Looking like Lee Min Ho
His secret: He suffers from an eating disorder
Worst nightmare: Everyone finding out he used to be fat

Backstory: Shinichi takes Bishounen (translation: pretty boy) to a whole new level. He is the epitome of prettiness, sporting fashionable clothes and looking like the hottest Asian stars (his idols). He basks in the attention he gets and relishes the fact that he has his own fan club trailing his every move in school. However, all this attitude comes from the fact that he used to be fat. When he was young, he was isolated, bullied, and made fun of because of his weight, and so when they moved, he vowed to be a new person who will turn heads at every corner, but it has come at a price, and until now he still has an eating disorder he cannot get rid of due to his need to keep up with his image.

Strategy to get his heart: Get him a ticket to a L’arc-en-ciel concert

The Athlete

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Name: Sean
Birthday: March 2, 1997
Age: 17 years old
Favorite book: The Very Hungry Caterpillar by Eric Carle (He reads this to his little sisters aloud every night.)
Favorite food: Chicken breast fillet
Favorite drink: Gatorade
Known for: Being a part of the Swimming Varsity
His secret: He has a dream catcher in his room because he’s afraid of nightmares of a past mistake haunting him.
Worst nightmare: Seeing his sisters get hurt

Backstory: Sean is an athlete in heart, mind, and soul. He learnt how to swim at the age of 10 and has been great at it, winning competitions left and right and being scouted for Varsity teams all over the county. He is jovial and is friends with everyone. He wants to continue working out to make himself stronger, but his reason for doing so is not aesthetically-related. When he was 8 years old, he witnessed his older sister die in the hands of a jealous, possessive boyfriend. He was powerless to do anything about it, and so, he decided to buff himself out so the same thing wouldn’t happen to his younger sisters, Elodie and Mira. This also makes him hesitant to open his heart, because he wants to prioritize safeguarding his sisters first.

Strategy to get his heart: Bring his sisters gifts or rides to the carnival.

The Musician

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Name: Jonathan
Birthday: September 18, 1996
Age: 18 years old
Favorite food: Carbonara Pasta
Favorite drink: Lemon Juice
Favorite book: The Classical Style: Haydn, Mozart and Beethoven
Known for: Being able to play Beethoven’s and Mozart’s pieces to heart
His secret: He really, really, really hates his weekly luncheons.
Worst nightmare: His piano taken away from him.

Backstory: Jonathan is a gifted pianist. He lost his parents to a fire and has been adopted by his grandfather ever since. From the tender age of 5, he was trained by his grandpa to be like a noble and act like someone worthy of their family name that could be traced to dukes and duchesses in the past, and that includes being able to play beautiful music for guests during weekly luncheons. He absolutely hates being someone he is not, hates all the schedules, activities, and excursions imposed by his grandparents, but somehow finds solace in music. This is where he escapes all the stress and pressure. He oftentimes visits the piano in his High School’s music room because there he could play whatever he wants without someone breathing over his neck.

Strategy to get his heart: Play alongside him with another musical instrument.

The Aimless Wanderer

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Name: Paul
Birthday: December 6, 1996
Age: 18 years old
Favorite food: Tofu
Favorite drink: Hot Chocolate
Favorite book: Wreck This Journal by Keri Smith (But honestly, keeping a journal makes him even more confused.)
Known for: Being harmless.
His secret: He hates dandruff and is turned off by girls who have them.
Worst nightmare: To die not being known for anything other than being harmless.

Backstory: Paul is nearly an adult and doesn’t know what to do with his life. He is kinda good at math, kinda good at science, kinda good with kids, and pretty much kinda good at everything, but he’s not great at one thing at all. He hates that he is all over the place and is having trouble finding his place in such a confusing, demanding world. He is laid-back and a bit distant, but he is known to be a harmless kid. He is desperate to find his purpose, but the lack of options make him even more discouraged, and thus, becoming ever-more elusive by the day.

Strategy to get his heart: Currently unknown.

So, who is the love interest of your ultimate YA story? Choose now and vote for him here:

Next Ultimate YA Survey:
Choose Your Own Fantasy Love Interest!

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A 21 years old Filipina who loves books, games, languages, and most especially, food. Secretly wishes to be an astronaut so she can explore the stars. Has a love-hate relationship with Philippine politics. To get in her good graces, offer her Foie Gras, Or shrimp. Or a JRPG. A YA sci-fi book works, too. You can follow her on twitter here: @kawaiileena


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  1. says

    Nooooo! I don’t who to choose. I’m torn between Mikhail and Paul. Normally, I don’t like smart guys but Mikhail loves animals soooo <3. I also think Paul and I are like the same person because I don't really know what to do with my life right now too. Ugh so hard.
    Angel recently posted…BOOK REVIEW: Untaken by J. E. AnckornMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Awwww, but sometimes, we must! ;) Especially when we can only choose one among 5! Haha! And to think a love triangle is already hard enough…

    • FayeFaye says

      Good thing we’re going to have a Choose Your Own Love Interest PART 2! Maybe you’ll find your ultimate love interest there :P Mwehehhee

  2. says

    Even while we were editing this and brainstorming, I already had a tough time choosing. xD If we were just looking at the photos, Jonathan is SO my type, but based on the descriptions… asdfghjkl. I know that Jonathan (I couldn’t care less about music) and Paul (not a fan of the confused type of guy) are both not my type. The other three were so hard to choose from! I like Mikhail because smart guys are totally attractive. I love Shinchi’s backstory. And I like Sean because guys who are sweet to their siblings are the best! But I think in the end, the one that interests me most is Shinchi. <3
    Aimee @ Deadly Darlings recently posted…Review + Giveaway: The Wicked Will Rise by Danielle PaigeMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hahaha! I don’t even want to choose myself, but if I had to, I’ll go with Shinichi as well. He seems to be a really complex character, no?

    • FayeFaye says

      There will be more of where that’s coming from! The Fantasy version should have someone that might catch your eye!

  3. Molly says

    The Aimless Wonderer, of course……….or are we too much alike?

    Does Shinichi think he looks like Le Min-ho from City Hunter or like the one from Rooftop prince? Hmph….

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes, isn’t piano music amazing? I would love to listen to that all day long <3 The situation you mentioned sounds amazing! <3

  4. says

    I adore this feature! Please do continue it (: I loved reading all of the different profiles and even the random facts. Because yes, a dude’s favorite food is definitely a deciding factor in whether I want to date them [; Hah. I also love all of the graphics you added to this post, clearly you put a lot of effort into them. And… I just like staring at pretty boys [;

    I felt conflicted between all of these gorgeous men. Looks wise I’m up for all of them LOL, clearly I’m a player. But profile wise my options narrowed down to The Aimless Wanderer and The Honor Student. The Aimless Wanderer appealed to me because I saw a lot of similarities between him & I. I’m sure we could both bond over our shared existential crises haha. I also got some serious travel vibes from the graphic, which is something I love. I’d love to travel with a cute boy [; However, what deterred me from picking the Aimless Wanderer is the fact I feel like he’d end up being too elusive and broody for my tastes. I just want a fun traveler, not some melodramatic oh my god what am I doing with my life.

    I picked the Honor Student because I loved his backstory (: Also I do love having those deep intellectual conversations, which I feel like he’d offer. Smart guys and smart conversation definitely attracts me. He also loves steak and fries, which I practically live of off <33 So I guess we could just eat that every night. The Honor student also likes animals!? Awww. I'm always up for a fun trip to the zoo to see some adorable animals.

    LOL. I feel like I took this post so seriously. I adored it though (:
    Larissa recently posted…Midnight Madness Newsletter (83)My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Hahaha, food would be such a great factor, too! It’s nice to know that someone appreciates the same kind of dishes, you know what I mean?

      I understand why you went for the Aimless Wanderer first. I know someone who I talked to about our shared existential crisis while looking at the stars and it was quite romantic! But then again, having to deal wiht someone confused would make for a very frustrating love life. LOL!

      The honor student was my 2nd guy I would have loved to pick! Alas, Shinichi intrigued me more XP

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much, Valerie! Damn, you sure like a lot of guys ;P I have never heard of the Animal Farm, either!

  5. says

    FAY THIS IS HILARIOUS :D I chose The Athlete partially because he looks like Zac Efron (but also because he loves his sisters, but you know….. he looks like Zac Efron, so.) I like the musician too because I love to play the piano as well. Haha. Can you make more of this? This is hilarious :D
    Jillian recently posted…Comment Etiquette, Everybody.My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      But, he is ZAC! Haha, compliments to Kelly @ Diva Book Nerd who absolutely insisted that I place him there ^^’

    • FayeFaye says

      I have no idea what Sophie Choice is =)) But nevertheless, I’m afraid it was a necessary evil ;P Plus, you know you enjoyed it!

  6. says

    ZAC EFRON! Be still my beating heart! Oh he’s hotness wrapped up in a whole heap of sexy. And considering he’s only 7 years younger than I am, that’s not even considered creepy. HOORAY! I don’t usually buy into the book boyfriend craze, I’m too old now anyway, but the one book boyfriend that’s closest to swoon worthy for me is the quirky, funny guy. He’s goofy and often the best friend or gay friend even. They just seem more realistic and wear their faults proudly. If we listened to fiction, most women would be unmarried, possibly still waiting for that once change to save the world and Mr. Perfect would be knocking down our door demanding we repay our debt for killing a fairy in disguise.

    Yes, It’ll be a while before I forget about THAT hotness.
    Awesome post Faye <3 really inventive.
    Kelly recently posted…Giveaway! Ice Kissed by Amanda HockingMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Thank you so much, Kelly! I should’ve put a funny guy here, but I actually haven’t thought about that O_O NEXT TIME!

  7. says

    Well, after trying to convince myself that picking one of these guys would NOT make me a felon, I picked Sean. Because of swimming. Well, 90% swimming, and 10% the sister thing. But listen, if the cops come to my door, I am blaming you guys ;) But in all seriousness, this is SO FUN and I love this idea!!

    • FayeFaye says

      Yes, the love for sisters is such a fantastic trait! There should be more loving brothers in fiction :)

  8. says

    What a fun idea! I voted for Mikhail as I think there should be more love interests in books that love animals. I can easily relate to characters who love animals as I love animals as well. I do think it’s interesting how in such a short bio you still managed to paint a picture of all of these characters and what they are like and they all have backstory. To be honest I would love to read about all of these, as they sound interesting and it would be interesting to see how their backstory comes into the story.

    • FayeFaye says

      I agree! Love interests that love animals would be such a great plus! And I’m glad you liked every profile. Hopefully we’ll read these awesome boys in books soon!

  9. says

    This post is so funny and cool! If I had to choose by looks and backstory I would say Shinichi – he’d be the most interesting character to read about (plus white male love interest is getting boring lol)

    I’m way too much like Mikhail in personality so I’ll just compete with him on everything tbh and Paul’s secret is so silly lmao Sean is the least appealing for me because I have zero interest in sorts unless we’re talking about sports anime.
    Ju @ Fictional Skylines recently posted…Review: The Heir by Kiera CassMy Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      I agree! In our next survey there would definitely be more diversity! :D I love Shinichi’s backstory so much, too.

  10. says

    Faye. This was amazing. I love all of them as people, tbh. However, I really would love to be friends with the musician or the pretty boy. they both seem like such fun!

    what i really love is that you put flaws and fears in their personalities to make them real. so often, authors make the male leads PERFECT which is unrealistic and in my opinion, unhealthy.
    Nova @ Out of Time recently posted…Nova Rants: Do YA Parents Hate Their Children?My Profile

    • FayeFaye says

      Awww, I appreciate that, Nova! As someone who used to play the piano, I’d love to be friends with him and possibly ask him to teach me how to play piano again :P

      And I agree! There should be more flawed characters eveyrwhere. More relatable!

  11. says

    This was a lot of fun, Faye, and pretty funny, too! Such a neat idea, and I think you definitely pulled it off well! I have to say, though- I couldn’t choose between a couple of these LIs. They have aspects I like, you know, but none had the absolute “something” one searches for (I sound so whimsical right now)! I’m hoping you’re going to be putting in some females, too, in future editions? I can definitely say I would appreciate that 100%.
    Looking forward to the next edition! xx
    Romi recently posted…Fiction to Film (1)My Profile

  12. says

    I was ready to vote for the honor student, but saw Sato Takeru and Laruku on Pretty Boy so I chose him instead. I’m proud to be biased! lol x

  13. says

    Just for the record: it is almost entirely impossible to just choose one! I am not just torn between two of them, but all of them!!!
    I personally relate a lot to Paul though, so I ended up picking him.