Love triangles aren’t exactly a new invention – they were present in the works of Shakespeare and Austen, so why all the hype recently? I was first introduced to love triangles in seventh grade while reading The Hunger Games series, and I fell in love with the “nifty, sophisticated creations” that I initially perceived them to be. The novelty quickly wore off, however, and five years later I absolutely can’t stand love triangles – I visibly cringe at the first sighting of one. So what’s changed?
According to the Urban Dictionary, a love triangle can be defined as…
“The only thing worse than the friend zone. Usually fated to occur when two best friends who like a person of the opposite gender. Either resolves in the friendship being destroyed or neither one getting the girl. Either way, everyone loses.”
How’s that for cheery and uplifting? It fairly accurately translates over into my emotional response when faced with an oh-so-enticing love triangle (sarcasm intended). Often times, the plot takes a backseat and the romantic interactions take precedence. And everything generally goes downhill from there. In most scenarios, the heroine is forced to pick between the nice “gentleman” who receives full parental approval and the suave and sophisticated yet mysterious bad boy. And apparently that decision is the most challenging of the heroine’s life, and she spends the book (or series) in its entirety attempting to reach a conclusion.
Not only is this cruel to all concerned parties, this indecision is one of my least favorite aspects of love triangles. In most cases, a clear winner is not defined until the final chapter of the book. As someone who likes to watch a romance develop and unfold slowly, I prefer to read about a couple and their interactions together, rather than simply imagining their time together after they have skipped happily off into the sunset together at the conclusion of a book.
I’d be the first person to admit (and something tells me that many of you would agree) that love triangles have become an all-too-common installment in YA literature, particularly within the past 5 ears – I blame Twilight. And most of these love triangles were very poorly executed, leading to my gradual dislike of them. Romance is complicated enough to begin with, and love triangles add an entirely different dimension that’s equally challenging to master.
If you’d like to hear more of my rambling about my dislike of love triangles, I’ve expanded upon it in my reviews of Twilight and The Selection. However challenging this may be to believe, I haven’t despised every love triangle I’ve come across – I thought those in Clockwork Angel and Delirium were executed extremely well.
Where do you stand in relation to love triangles? What are some of your favorite and least favorite love triangles?