I have to be honest — as soon as I hear “love triangle” when pertaining to YA literature I tend to get eyerolly and sometimes even run the other direction. Mostly because I’ve experienced a lot of love triangles that just didn’t work for me and some that were just outright annoying.
The sad thing is… love triangles that makes sense and just aren’t haphazardly thrown into a story for the sake of ” LOVE-TRIANGLES -SELL. I WANT-READERS -TO -TRIUMPHANTLY-BEAT-THEIR -CHESTS-AND-DECLARE-THEIR-TEAMS-WHILE-BATTLING-GLADIATOR-STYLE WHEN-MY-BOOK-COME- UP” actually can be a beautiful thing. All of that TENSION. All of that WONDERING. We naturally choose sides and root for the one we love or think is best for the MC.
But I am SO SO SO sick of these superfluous love triangles or the ones that get in the way of an amazing story.
The fact is, if I’m honest, love triangles have happened in my life. To me. So I know they are a REAL thing and are a valid area to explore. Sometimes I knew what sort of struggle I was in. Sometimes I was honestly wasn’t even aware of it. I mean, my situations were NEVER as dramatic as the things I read in books but they were certainly love triangles. Two of the most “important” ones in my life that I thought I’d share because…I don’t know it’d be fun:
1) In high school I was dating a guy I TOTALLY was into forever. He was a year older than me and ended up going into the Navy. So while he was away, I was spending a lot of time with my, at the time, best friend who was umm a boy. We started hanging out a lot and suddenly it was evident feelings were changing so I ended up going out to his Navy graduation, seeing if I still felt the same way for him, I didn’t and then I ended up breaking up with him the next week. Then the former bff and I slowly became a COUPLE. Ex boyfriend still pined and called all the time and wrote really sad letters. EXCRUCIATING time in my life. Even worse when the bff turned boyfriend ended up breaking up with me a few months later. All about the chase apparently!
2) THIS ONE IS IMPORTANT! So I had been friends with this guy at college for two years and we hung out a lot but then apparently he started to like me (unbeknownst to me). He introduced me to a friend on his basketball team (Will — you may know him now as my HUSBAND) and we all would hang out. It was honestly the three of us hanging out a lot and, stupid me, had NO idea that the boys liked me. But the problem was that Boy A was coming on strong when he realized that Will liked me, too. And at that point, I was kind of digging Will but didn’t really know him that well and still didn’t know my true feelings towards BOY A and so there was this couple month time period where I was literally hanging out with them on different nights to try and figure out what I wanted. Like one time I even pulled in to the parking lot of my dorm and Boy A gave Will the staredown because I was with him. I eventually knew, as I started to get to know them both, that Boy A was NOT for me (so many times I had to pay for our dates and he was full of himself), so I made it pretty obvious that I was into Will and the love triangle had to end. And then a half year of rumors started from the asshat that I rejected. GOOD TIMES. But clearly I made the right decision!
ANYWAY. This whole pointless post was prompted by the fact that I read a series where an author made me realize how amazing a good love triangle can be! You’ll see my reviews of Unearthly and Hallowed by Cynthia Hand up at some point but this series has SUCH a good love triangle where literally both guy makes sense. They were both charming and nice (and HOT apparently) but you could understand the things about them both made her have such a hard time figuring things out. There was depth to both of them. They had personalities. They challenged her. Sometimes I even found MYSELF waffling with who I thought was best for her and who I liked the best. I don’t even know who I think she is going to end up with in the final book Boundless. The thing with other books with love triangles is that most of the time I don’t give a crap because 1) one boy is a cardboard character who just seems like filler 2) one is a big asshole with pretty much no redeeming qualities except for being SUPER HOT) 3) it’s glaringly OBVIOUS who she is going to choose and who she is going to be with so why draw it out. Cynthia Hand’s series had none of that!