Happy Tuesday! And happy Valentine’s Day too if you celebrate it.
Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly feature hosted over at The Broke and The Bookish, and since it’s VD this weeks theme is romance:
February 14: All About Romance Tropes/Types — top ten favorite hate-to-love romances (from books or movies or tv), top ten favorite (or least favorite) instalove romances, favorite slow-burn romances, favorite starcrossed lovers, etc. etc. Can go so many ways with this one).
I decided to go for YA love triangles for this week’s theme because recently, when reading a book that’s starting to show signs of a love triangle, I begin praying to the plot Gods that it doesn’t come to fruition. Don’t get me wrong, sometimes I enjoy a little tension between three characters (or four or five, you know, whatever) but when it’s narrated in the same formulaic manner every time (and when the female character is always at the centre) it just gets boring.
So here are 10 love triangles that we didn’t really need, but got anyway.
1. Clary/Jace/Simon in City of Bones
I didn’t actually mind this love triangle too much because the dynamic plot and humorous dialogue made up for it, but I still didn’t think it was necessary. Simon’s unrequired love did spice things up a little, but I just found it annoying that Clary knew she was in love with Jace and yet immediately became jealous when Simon showed interest in other girls. Sorry girl, you can’t have them both. (I mean unless they’re game of a polyamorous relationship, in which case go for it!)
2. Katniss/Peeta/Gale in The Hunger Games
This triangle became to tiresome by the third book. In the first, it was interesting because Katniss and Peeta were thrown together by circumstances and she didn’t really warm to him all that much, but there was so much too-ing and fro-ing throughout the series – ‘do I love Gale? Or do I want Peeta? Who should I choose? Can I have them both?’ – that it just became dull. Suzanne Collins drew it out for so long that I just lost interest in who Katniss was going to choose. I was more in it for the politics to be honest.
3. Bella/Edward/Jacob in Twilight
This is one of the original love triangles. Basically the prototype that spawned many a YA love triangle in the years following its release. And it’s literally the worst. I dislike Twilight a lot and this is one of the main reasons why. The ownership that Jacob and Edward try to claim over Bella and the infuriatingly dim-witted alpha mentality had me wanting to throw this book out of a window and never look back. Unsurprisingly, I didn’t finish the series.
4. Juliette/Warner/Adam in Shatter Me
OK, confession time, I haven’t actually read the Shatter Me trilogy. But I’ve read enough about it to know that there is a serious love triangle going on. And it sounds just like ever other love triangle. There’s the strong, brooding guy (Warner), and the ‘nice guy’ (Adam) and
(As a sidenote, I’m still considering reading this series, but the love triangle is putting me off. If you’ve read it and can recommend it or if you’d suggest avoiding it because love triangle plays out in exactly the way I’m expecting, let me know!)
5. Blue/Gansey/Adam in The Raven Boys
This triangle, I actually didn’t mind. It wasn’t too overdone and wasn’t foregrounded as the most significant part of the novel. I also thought it had a really nice resolution later on in the series (which I’m not going to mention because spoilers), so yeah, I didn’t actually mind this one.
6. Feyre/Rhys/Tamlin in A Court of Thorns and Roses
As much as I found the love triangle annoying, Tamlin and Feyre’s relationship was toxic and, in places, abusive, so I was pretty relieved when she began to have feelings for Rhys, and happy when she eventually left with him.
7. Meira/Mather/Theron in Snow Like Ashes
I really like these characters and this series, but I just felt like the love triangle was unnecessary? Like it was just there for the sake of being there because the author had thought ‘hmm well there’s a girl and two guys here, may as well THROW THEM ALL TOGETHER’. I’m only up to the second book, so I’ll see how it pans out, but I hope it gets extinguished before it has the chance to grow.
8. Alina/Mal/The Darkling in Shadow and Bone
This triangle was actually quite interesting since the Darkling is the villain of the story, and, many would argue, not good relationship material. (He tries to kill everyone she cares about, just saying.) And Alina, rather than fawning over both guys and being unable (or unwilling) to decide between them, tries to ward off the Darkling and suppress her feelings for him. Definitely an improvement on the usual dynamic, and the whole triangle was quite downplayed, so I didn’t end up disliking it.
9. Tessa/Jem/Will in Clockwork Angel
Oh boy, Cassie Clare sure knows how to write them. I really liked these characters, but I just found the love triangle narrative pretty unrealistic in this book. You have Jem and Will who have been friends since childhood, are each other’s parabatai and are both incredibly strong-willed, and then Tessa comes along and they just both instantly fall for her? And she also falls for both of them and then can’t decide between the two?! Nah. It was fun to read, but the love triangle definitely didn’t improve the story.
10. Celaena/Dorian/Chaol in Throne of Glass
I’d almost forgotten about this one because we’re up to book five now and the relationship dynamics between the characters are very different, but there was definite romantic tension between Celaena, Chaol and Dorian while the champion’s tournament was happening. Thankfully, it was a little different because while Dorian and Chaol were attracted to Celaena, she seemed more interested in stabbing opponents and proving she was the strongest. Plus, the series has moved on so much since then that there’s no longer a love triangle between these three. *cheers*
So that’s it for my top ten! As you can probably tell, I’m quite bored with love triangles by now – I’ve just read too many books with the same trope. Although it can occasionally be a fun read, for the most part I tend to avoid books that I suggest immediate or burgeoning love triangles. It’s almost always one girl stuck between two guys and I’m just not engaged by that any more.
How do you feel about love triangles? Are there any that you really love or hate, or are you quite indifferent to them? Let me know!