Getting into a debate on the Internet about the best Gilmore Girls boyfriend is stepping into pretty dangerous territory; everyone has their own very strong ideas. But as far as I'm concerned, there's only one right answer: Jess Mariano was Rory's best boyfriend, and that's final. And if you consider yourself a true book-lover, then I know you're right there with me on this. Because Jess Mariano was the book-loving boyfriend of all of our dreams.
Look, there were a lot of things to love about Jess. First thing: he was gorgeous. That crooked smile, that sexy hair... excuse me, swooning over here. Second thing: he was the bad boy with a heart of gold. (Yeah, that old trope — but it never fails to win my heart.) Jess was rude, unpredictable, and frustrating — but he never meant to be unkind. His behavior only came from his own troubles and insecurities; on the inside, he was an old romantic who deeply cared about Rory (and about his uncle Luke too).
But it's the third thing that really seals the deal: the boy loved books as much as we did. Hell, he loved books as much as Rory did — and that's saying something. Here are just eight of the times Jess stole our book-loving hearts.
1. When he annotates Rory's book
This was the moment we first realized (with a gasp of excitement) that Jess Mariano was a bookworm. Sure, it's not very cool to write on someone else's book without asking them — but you know what? I'd let Jess scribble over my entire bookshelf.
2. When they promise to read each other's favorite authors
Sharing your favorite books and writers is a joy for any book-loving couple. Right from the beginning of Jess and Rory's friendship, they're willing to try out each other's favorite authors — even though Rory hated Hemingway in the past, and Jess could never get on well with Ayn Rand. If that's not love, what is?
3. When even their euphemisms are book-related
Instead of just coming straight out and saying "Let's go upstairs and make out," these book-obsessed love-birds have a much dorkier euphemism: "Let's go upstairs and look at the book."
4. Every time he has his nose in a book
It made all our bibliophile hearts flutter every time Jess got his super-focused reading face on. Read me like a book, Jess!
5. When he can't take his eyes off Rory
Even better than how hard Jess concentrates on his books is how Rory is the only one who can get him to tear his eyes away. That intense stare he fixes her with while pretending to flick through a book? Enchanting.
6. When he reads a self-help book
Jess had his bad moments, but deep down, he really wanted to be a better person. And like any good book-lover, he knew that reading is the best way to achieve that goal. When Luke catches Jess reading his self-help book, all of our hearts melted at once.
7. When he kisses Rory in a bookstore
OK, we're getting into sexual fantasy territory here — but getting kissed in a room surrounded by books is every bookworm's dream come true, right? Sadly, Rory had a new boyfriend by this point, so the timing just wasn't right — but I can't blame the girl for getting swept away in this perfect moment.
8. When he wrote a book — all because of Rory
After leaving Stars Hollow, Jess got his act together — just like Rory always knew he had the potential to do. When Rory's at the lowest point of her life so far, Jess shows up with a whole damn book that he wrote, and says that it's all thanks to her.
So come on Rory, you know who you've got to pick when Gilmore Girls reboots at the end of this year. Dean may have been sweet, and Logan was certainly exciting — but Jess wrote a book for you, girl. There's only one way this story can end.