Love triangles or “that crap I dislike”

~ Disclaimer: There will be spoilers of the books mentioned and gifs! ~

It’s not like love triangles are something new and unheard of, but nowadays few YA or Adult novels don’t have a love triangle storyline. I guess it was getting boring for authors to write about the ole’  love story between a guy and girl, so love triangles are all the rage now.

There are people who enjoy them, welcome the love triangles with open arms, then there are folks who are immediately put off by the mere idea of  such a relationship in a book.

I’m somewhere in the middle, I’m ambivalent, with the scale tipping towards the dislike, often.

It’s not the idea of one woman/girl – two men/boys (poor choice of words, I apologise) that bothers me. It is the indecisiveness of it. The drama. Because it never goes like this: dump X, hook up with Y. X still loves you, you still care for him, but, eventually, he slowly fades back into the story. Nope, never like that.

It’s a veritable dance the heroine does, between the two guys. It is dramatic, lamentations and despair ensue.  She can’t make up her mind, she cares for one, loves the other, doesn’t want to hurt either of them. Yadda, yadda, drama, yadda.

As I’ve said before, it IS possible to write a book without relationship drama, and guess what? The book is just as good, if not better, than one featuring a love triangle.

I mean, as long as the MC doesn’t adopt Anita Blake’s dating schedule, who she dates in the novel doesn’t bother me. Barring the author doesn’t write the plot as an afterthought to an otherwise boring, annoying, theatrical relationship. Which often times happens where triangles are involved.

Another reason I have for disliking ♥ Δ is that they inevitably lead to instances in which I have no other choice than to think the MC is of the TSTL (Too Stupid To Live) variety.

See, at first, I thought it was just me, that because of the stubbornness that characterizes me, I’ll always oppose the author’s choice of guys for the heroine. Alas, it’s not that. (Although, in some small way, it’s probably that, too.)

It’s because the “right guy” is always a cookie cutter, cardboard cut-out with no personality, discernible traits (or anything to behold, really) except for the following:

  1. Smoldering gaze.
  2. Hawtness
  3. ……..Ugh, there’s no no. 3.  1& 2 are enough. However, if he’s a douchebag too, he’s that more perfect. 

Then there’s the other guy, the one who’s not “the right one” for the heroine, in the author’s vision, and he’s usually her best friend/long time buddy. He’s cute, sweet, an all around good guy who treats her well.  Not being the cardboard cut-out of the wannabe “brooding hero”, he’s actually a more fleshed-out character, usually.

….aaaaaaand, he ends up friend-zoned. Snap. Yeah, this is annoying. I’m thinking of the Meghan-Puck-Ash love triangle, from Kagawa’s The Iron Fey series, but to be completely fair, it’s Julie friggin Kagawa! Anything that woman writes is GOLDEN!

Another example that comes to mind is the Ever-Toby-Frankie disaster from Jenna Russo’s Ever. True, Frankie’s a ghost, no matter what a good guy he is, and they will never have a future together. But, for the love of God, what exactly does she see in Toby, except his apparent good-looks?

I don’t want to generalize, not all novels with a love triangle romance are like this and they’re not all bad. In the hands of a skilled, talented and smart writer, they can make sense, be fun to read about and enjoyable.  I can say, with 100% certainty, that the Shade series love triangle is one of my favorite romances, ever. It’s not annoying, it’s understandable. It would have boggled my mind if it had happened any differently between Aura, Logan and Zach. It’s a sweet, lovely romance, and even Aura’s back and forth between the two didn’t make me want to throw the book away.

Carolyn Crane has a triangle storyline in her Disillusionists series, too. Again, it’s believable, the way it’s handled. Justine, as the story’s heroine, is such a great, strong character, and I’m right there with her in her confusion of whom to choose. Both Packard and Otto are endlessly fascinating and interesting. Moreover, as soon as Justine gets an inkling of who’s the better man, she doesn’t sit on her ass and lament, she makes a friggin choice. Give the woman an award!

Sadly, even great authors, whom I otherwise love, fall victims to the triangle drama. Ann Aguirre. I love her, she’s a terrific writer, one of my favorites, and her books are awesome. Unfortunately, she’s also a huge fan of love triangles, apparently. Hers was the first book I’ve ever put on hold because of such a romance. Hell Fire, from the Corine Solomon series, is an otherwise fantastic book, just as good as the first one. ( Aguirre’s descriptive writing is simply beautiful. She’s also got a real knack for storytelling and creating an atmosphere) But all the drama, dear God, it just wouldn’t stop!

I haven’t returned to it so far and who knows when I will. Crying shame.

Furthermore, maybe I just haven’t read the right books, but how come it’s only women portrayed in situations like these?  True, I don’t read that many YA or Adult novels, narrated by a guy (It’s almost an unwritten rule that YA novels must be written from a teen female POV), so maybe that’s why. Why is it, though, that only chicks can be in love with two, three, 100 guys at once? All the books I’ve read, in which the MC is a man, don’t have a love triangle. Maybe I’m wrong, though. If you know of such a book, drop a comment and let me know.

Plus, you know what? If you really, really think about it, love triangles aren’t that believable to begin with. I’m not saying they don’t exist in real life, I’m sure they do, but, outside of Gossip Girl and romance novels, I don’t personally know of a single case, be it from friends, friends of friends, etc.

In conclusion, the only thing I can hope for is that Hamilton’s love hexagons (is she there yet?) won’t start trending, become “the new black” in romance books. 

What’s your take on ♥ Δ? Can’t get enough or have you had enough of them?

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4 thoughts on “Love triangles or “that crap I dislike”

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