The Jock-Nerd Love Story, and why we love them - Candice Gilmer Books

The Jock-Nerd Love Story, and why we love them

Who hasn’t fallen for a jock in high school? I know I have. Had several jock-crushes, as a matter of fact. I was that girl, stalking them in the hallway, knowing when they would be in “C” hall or “D” hall, and waiting, with baited breath, that they’d say “hi” to me.

Never did, but hey. That’s high school love.

Probably why I love the whole Jock-falls-for Nerd storyline. It’s a common enough theme in entertainment--movies, books, music, and television all bank on this particular idea.

But what is it? What is it really?

The Cinderella story, of course.

While we don’t have mean stepsisters, kings, princes, and fairy godmothers in modern day life, we do have the Jocks (princes or princesses) and the Nerds (the serving class). And there’s always the wicked stepsisters, though many times they are the cliques at school or in life. And of course, you cannot forget the fairy godmother--whether it’s a best friend, a teacher, or another inspirational person who helps the Nerd find their Happily Ever After.

In its most elemental story, Cinderella is the elevation of status of a lowly member of a society to the highest rank while finding love.

In the Jock-Nerd dynamic, it’s recognizing the beauty (or the beautiful transformation) of the Nerd, into the Beauty, who steals the Jock’s heart.  (See the Taylor Swift song “You Belong With Me.”)

It’s a classic storyline that will likely endure for all time. So much ingrained in storytelling, I hardly realized I had written my own Jock-Nerd love story, with Roark and Stephanie in Magic Under His Nose until it was pointed out by a friend. It even has a fairy godmother in it--though Christy’s more apt to knock Roark upside the head than use her magic to show him what he’s missing.

But it is, in essence, a very obvious Cinderella/Jock-Nerd love story. The stud from the high school wrestling team--Roark-- and the girl from the other side of the tracks--Stephanie--are two people that should have never come together, wind up being friends.

And it’s Christy’s job, as fairy godmother, to figure out how to bring this odd couple together, for their Happily Ever After.

Whether it has a bit of magic to it, like my story does, or remains focused on the real world, Jock-Nerd love stories are here to stay.

And will probably be as classic as the Cinderella story.

PS: If you're interested in seeing all of my books, sorted by trope, check it out here!


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