Discussion: Love Triangles Love/Hate?
by P.E. Mari 9:00 am 10 comments
A discussion with Mari and P.E.
If you've been reading YA for a while (or a month) you've probably noticed one of the prominent aspects of YA, romance. We all love a little bit of spice in our books, and who doesn't? However, more times than not these romances are surrounded by a love triangle. Love them or hate them?
What if I was incredibly wimpy and diplomatic and said it depends on the context? See, I very rarely read a book for romance. Romance can be in the books I read, but I don't consider it essential to my reading experience. I'd rather a book be based on a character and plot and romance be like a side dish that helps explore the character/plot, but one that can also be discarded without too many ill side effects to the story. Thus, when it comes to love triangles, it depends on whether the romance in general appeals to me. I feel like it's hard to write a good love triangle, and when they're in stories they tend to take centre stage so it's easier to fail at them. That being said, many favourite stories of mine have love triangles (Vampire Academy, The Vampire Diaries, Unearthly). I know you're more of a romance reader than me so what do you think?
Like most things, when done well it is hard to not appreciate it. One of my all time favourites is in Cassandra Clare's, Infernal Devices Series. I was completely ripped between Jem and Will (though my allegiance will forever reside with Will). However, most of the time I prefer not to have a love triangle. I can't help but wonder how this mediocre girl, who never got any male attention before the events of said book, all of a sudden is so attractive she can't choose between two insanely hot guys. It's unrealistic and gets quite repetitive when every story you read has a love triangle.
There's another side of it too. I feel like it's incredibly cruel. I mean, in theory, it's awesome. Like, this MC is so freakin' brilliant that she has her choice of amazing guys. However, I also feel like it's incredibly selfish and often there is a little cheating which doesn't seem to get the reaction it should get. For example, let's say the girl, while dating guy A, makes out with guy B in the most amazing kiss in the world, people are excited and happy about that in general. I mean, guy B is perfect for her, right? But I don't like it when the girls flip flop around and end up cheating on their guy. It drives me insane because this is seen as romantic, when it's a little tragic. Bloodrose by Andrea Cremer had so much of this that it made me hate the main character.
OH MAN! The infamous flip flop romance. Respect is important to me in life and in my books. If a MC can't seem to make her mind up on a guy and continues to go back and forth between them, I have no respect for them. In my opinion, a book is not worth reading if you can't even respect the MC's decisions.As for Andrea Cremer's Nightshade series, this is one of the reasons as to why I haven't read Bloodrose and probably never will.
Sidenote, but I'm probably too harsh on that book... Anyway, how about when it's two girls going after the same guy? I always find that annoying.
That's less common so I wouldn't mind seeing some action, as long as the roles aren't reversed and it's not the guys turn to flip flop between girls; we get enough of that on The Bachelor. At its core though, it is the same story just flipped and I don't like it. Do it well, don't do it repetitively and I will appreciate it. Add it to every book you write/publish and it's getting too repetitive. As a whole though, I prefer a normal one gal, one guy romance. It's much more relatable because lets face it, we're all normal people and no I don't have three guys who are dying for my eternal love.
I actually don't really care about how common it is as long as it's done well. I don't feel like every book needs a romance and most seem to have one, and I'm okay with ignoring it if it sucks. Just, if you're going to write a love triangle, treat the characters right, and please don't make it the focal point of the story. This shouldn't be the biggest plot twist anymore.
Overall, love triangles are great every now and then, especially when they're done well and not the main focus point.