Tuesday, December 4, 2012

How Do You Feel about Love Triangles


All, right. Let's get right down to it. In YA literature, love triangles are everywhere. Example from Twilight: the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle.

I want to know how you feel about love triangles. Do you like them? Hate them? Don't really care? Depends on how it's written?

As a genreal rule, I don't like them. I don't mind so much if it's simply a case of two people liking the same person. Two boys like the same girl. What I hate is when that one person strings along the other two.

I have to fall back on the Twilight example. Bella likes Edward, and she seems set in her feelings towards him. But she also sort of likes Jacob, even though she claims there is no chance she'll ever end up with him. Instead of cutting him loose she strings him along. We see this kind of thing all the time in YA lit.

I think the reason I can't stand this type of scenario is because it makes the character doing the stringing appear unfaithful, cruel, and selfish. Why would either of the guys put up with that? The story loses credibility and my sympathy for the characters.

What are your thoughts on the love triangle?

7 comments:

  1. They drive me crazy. I've rarely enjoyed a book with a love triangle. I know it adds drama and emotion, but not the kind I enjoy. There are better ways to add suspense or emotion to the story.

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    1. The love triangle sometimes does feel like the author just wanted an easy way to add conflict.

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  2. I don't mind those issues if they are addressed. If the character feels guilt over stringing someone along, and it is true conflict, then I think it can work. What bothers me about Twilight was that it seemed like Jacob was the more responsible choice--other than Bella choosing herself and no guy at all. For Jacob she wouldn't have had to give up her soul or disown her family. I'm bothered by what that says to young readers. Love triangles can work, but my hope is the characters are realistic in what they choose to do, and that the consequences seem as real.

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    1. Great comment. They have to feel real!

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  3. AMEN!! I'm so tired of love triangles. I could rant forever, but I'll just cite one other example of an annoying love triangle scenario. I hate it when the triangle is easily resolved, but for some (not very good) reason the characters just don't resolve it. The best example I can think is in The Forest of Hands and Teeth. Not a great book overall, in my opinion, but one of the worst parts of it was the "love square". 2 girls, 2 guys, each in love with the person they were not betrothed too. All they had to do was switch. All four would have been happy. But for vague reasons involving tradition and customs they weren't willing to do it. What about the lessons we learn from Fiddler on the Roof? Even though it's important, sometimes we have to break tradition!
    Love triangles have a time and place, but they are being grossly overused by authors of young adult fiction. Probably all types of fiction, but I mostly read young adult. :) And you explained the reasons very well in this post.

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    1. I knew this would get a reaction from you. We've talked about love triangle many, many times!

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    2. :) I think we've even talked about the love triangle in The Forest of Hands and Teeth, which truly is one of my least favorites. I'm hoping love triangles are just a fad that become less popular soon.

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