Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Hated Love Triangles

A companion to My Acceptable Love Triangles post :)

**Firstly, I would like to say that though I list these love triangles as ones I hate, it by no means reflects on the author--that is to say, most of these authors are among my favorites. Even if I am not a fan of what they did romantically, I still enjoyed their series... and also, though I disagree with their decision to do create these situations, I still admire and respect them.

**Secondly, I welcome any and all opinions.  I have a feeling many of you will disagree with me.

**Thirdly, I don't think that I am the right kind of reader for love triangles. I don't mean to be offensive, so please please please don't take any of what I say that way.

1. Jem/Tessa/Will
  • What: the Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare
  • When: throughout the trilogy (or so I'm guessing)
  • Why: Let me first say that I love Cassandra Clare's writing and the world she's built... but I'm on the opposite field--I completely disagree with Malinda Lo when she says that love triangles are at their best when the love interests are all interconnected.  To me, that just means the love triangle is unnecessarily dramatic.  There was a time when I liked the same guy as my friend, but I stepped aside and didn't let the guy know, because I valued my friendship more than that.  And though all that has been released of the Infernal Devices trilogy is the first book, I worry that though the guys may not actively fight against each for Tessa, it will eat away at their friendship... Which could be avoided... if there wasn't a triangle in the first place!  SO much drama!  Argh. And worse is that I actually like the characters, the romantic interests, but instead of making me Team Jem or Team Will, it makes me dislike that neither of them can SEE the other's interest.

2. Gale/Katniss/Peeta
  • What: the Hunger Games trilogy by Suzanne Collins
  • When: throughout the trilogy
  • Why: One, Katniss is a fighter so it seems absolutely ridiculous to me at least that she would be caught up in something like a love triangle. Two, I absolutely hate the way this was resolved. Gale makes one mistake and bam, he's out of her life. While this says something about Katniss, it also seemed like a cop-out; how to make Katniss would choose between the two? Make a situation that's impossible to ignore.  Also, I hate that just because one guy made a mistake means that the other guy is automatically assumed "in" with the girl.  I feel like Katniss would have been the perfect protagonist to be like 'eh, sorry, I don't need either of you.'  (Which would be such an interesting addition to YA.)

3. Puck/Meghan/Ash
  • What: the Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
  • When: throughout the series
  • Why: I don't understand what is the purpose of this love triangle.  And for it to even work, you need the interests to actually show interest in the character.  Puck's attempts to woo Meghan felt meager at best in the second book. Puck never had never a chance, so why make the best friend fall in love with the protag.?  More unnecessary.  Also, am I the only one to think that it's kind of creepy that Puck, who knew Meghan since she was six (I think?) and who is a centuries old fairy, would fall in love with her?  (Even the Ash thing is a little creepy, but at least Ash didn't watch her grow up.) The most I could glimpse from this love triangle is that Puck needed to be willing to follow Meghan through any crazy plan she had, but really, with Puck's personality, it seems rather trite and unnecessary.  Seems like he'd follow her anyways out of loyalty towards his king and friend.

4. Adrian/Rose/Dimitri
  • What: the Vampire Academy series by Richelle Mead
  • When: Mostly books 5-6
  • Why: Because, just like with Hunger Games, we knew who the protagonist would end up with, and it was doomed from the start.  Whenever that happens, it again feels unnecessary. Rose wasn't struggling with choosing who made her her; she was struggling with the fact that Dimitri had rejected her.  She turned to the nearest available guy, which was a completely mean move on her part.... And added more drama when one guy got hurt due to her actions and what she knew was wrong. I still like Rose as a character - she's definitely flawed - but cheating is one of those issues that my beliefs are completely black-and-white on.

5. Shay/Calla/Ren
  • What: the Nightshade series by Andrea Cremer
  • When: throughout the series
  • Why: I love Andrea Cremer's writing and I love that there are such sexy scenes in her YA books--that she doesn't shy from addressing a girl's libido... but to me, this triangle isn't necessary.  It is sort of like Calla is choosing two different sides--questioning her destiny and (perhaps) trusting the Searchers with Shay or accepting what has already been chosen for her with Ren--but neither "side" feels like it's one half of her identity (if that makes sense). Calla is still a wolf around Shay and will never stop being a Guardian regardless of her choice to ally herself with the Searchers, and in his ignorance, Ren isn't even really on the other side either; if he was, maybe this triangle would acceptable--it would then be a choice between what side of the War to fight on and would reflect Calla's beliefs... And the feminist edge to the story would really shine if Ren was less nice.

6. Cam/Luce/Daniel
  • What: the Fallen series by Lauren Kate
  • When: Book 1
  • Why: I still don't understand this triangle. It was like, hey, Cam is showing Luce interest for what purpose? For what end is he trying to tempt her and why is he fighting for her? And later on, it was never explained why he liked Luce; it seems more like he just wanted to piss Daniel off though really, his interactions with Luce didn't come off that way at all.  On the other hand, the Miles/Luce/Daniel triangle is interesting because that actually reflects what Luce believes--whether or not she'd choose "everlasting" love with Daniel despite its cursed edge or settle for normalcy with Miles.

7. Jacob/Bella/Edward
  • What: the Twilight series by Stephenie Meyer
  • When: Books 2-4
  • Why: Because really, if you hate love triangles, this one is pretty much the prime example to use. Two guys interested in the same girl (though I will never understand why) and the girl is "torn" between them though you know who she will choose in the end etc. etc. etc. And choosing between both boys has nothing to do with choosing different lives or different aspects of herself. It's just a which-love-is-more-true kind of thing.
In case you haven't noticed, I pretty much hate drama... so I don't think that I'm the right reader for love triangle issues.

But what really bothers me is that love triangles make the character look worse... makes me dislike the character... because it's really not fair to both people to string them along just because you can't choose who you think "will be better for you."  Or who you think you like more.

What I usually like about contemporary novels is that thankfully, they usually don't have love triangles (except for Stephanie Perkins's work, which I think works fine for her plots).

Also... I think that there's about an 85% chance that if a book includes a love triangle, I will hate it.

What about you :)?  Agree / Disagree?  More to add to the list?


  1. I absolutely agree that the Hunger games love triangle was RIDICULOUS! You're right about the Iron Fey trilogy too...even though I like Puck I never felt as if he even had a chance!
    Sometimes it's very annoying when there's a love triangle in a really good story.It totally adds too much unnecessary Drama!

    Krazyyme @ Young Readers

  2. It is so true about love triangles! Sometime they're just unnecessary! I definitely don't like the love triangle in the Iron Fey series! I'm so completely team Ash that Puck would annoy me sometimes! Great post :)

    Crystal @ Elegantly Bound Books

  3. Just add an extra tally to the "hate" box for all of these love triangles. It seems like such a staple of YA anymore, and 50% of the tension/drama in any book is caused solely by the love triangle, which I think is a bit of a copout.

  4. While I agree that the final decision in The Hunger Games love triangle was disappointing and anticlimatic, I disagree that she chose Peeta just because of a mistake Gale made.

    My impression was that she chose Peeta because she thought she needed someone to balance herself out. Gale had a personality very like hers, Peeta was much calmer.

  5. i have to say I was a little nervous to read this. I don't call myself a fan of love triangles but i do like some of the drama. Some. Out of the ones you picked I completely agree with The Hunger Games. I don't think that one was worth making into a love triangle. I mean really, Gale didn't need to be thrown into the mix. And as much as I hate to say it, I also agree with The Infernal Devices. From what I know, Jem and Will have an EXTREMELY tight knit relationship, and things with Tessa will only hurt one of them in the process, ultimately damaging their friendship in one way or another. As for the Iron Fey, I am completely Team Ash...Puck never had a chance.

  6. Okay, pardon my prattle in advance!

    My issue was this was that I absolutely loved Gale (early on), but his storyline almost either seemed to be forgotten about or did a 180. I thought for sure that when I started it that Peeta never had a chance. Don't get me wrong, I like Peeta and I like Katniss and Peeta as a pair, but I would've thought that Gale might have cropped up somewhere other than her occasionally running into him when she went back home. However, what Gale did was pretty crummy, and I was mad with him after that, too. Still, I wish it had played out better from the beginning.

    The Iron Fey:
    While I liked Puck, I didn't love Puck until I read Summer's Crossing. Being able to see him from his own POV changed everything for me. It was pretty clear that it'll never come to pass, though. I'm pretty team Ash, but I have to admit that I love having Puck around for the banter between he and Ash. :)

    Hm. I can't even lie that I absolutely 100% adore Dimitri for reasons that almost seem inexplicable. Rose did a crappy thing with Adrian, but what I guess I liked about it was that it was believable to me? (If Dimitri had never been in the picture, for me, Rose and Adrian could have made sense.) That sort of made the difference, although she was really in no position to be starting much of anything.

    I haven't read the rest (yet) except for Twilight, and well, I have a lot of issues with the relationships in that book as a whole.

  7. Yikes! 85% chance of hate? Wasn't it you who said I was harsh for not wanting to read books where the MC has an annoying name? We're not so different really :P lol

    Everybody hates on the Twilight love triangle and while it was predictable and OTT, I really enjoyed it when I first read it (granted I was in the tween age group at the time).

    I'm not even going to comment on Fallen's love triangle. Jeeze.

    How can you hate the Hunger Games love triangle? For me it was never a triangle, Gale was never even in the running, especially not in the first book.

    Brilliant post :D


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