Discussion: Love Triangles

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Love triangles - or circles, rectangles, squares, whatever you'd call them - would probably make it to the list of  things that are icky enough to scare off even the bravest of book lovers. Let's discuss!

My Top 3 Reasons Why Love Triangles Suck (more often than not).
1. It tends to take over the plot. 
Ooo! What's that? A book about fighting the dark forces of Satan! That also happens to be entirely  based on the main character trying to choose between two love interests.

 I wanted the plot to have romance, not the romance to have a plot. Hear my heart die of disappointment!

2. Bad guy/good guy.
The most common form of love triangles would be the bad guy/good guy situation. As obvious, one would be the good guy who is all smiles and charm, the other one would be the bad guy who is basically...a bad guy. So why is this even a love triangle in the first place?

 Alright, who doesn't find a knife wielding bad boy with smart comments, and a rude behavior attractive? (Wait, don't answer that!) But in all honesty, who wants to be with a guy who is more than likely to stab them in the eye with his sharpest knife? And we're talking about sixteen-year-old teenagers {who save the world} here.

Admire the bad guy from afar. Take the good guy. He's good. Isn't it obvious? So what's the heroine all confused about?!

3. The end.
The love triangle has to be concluded along with the story, and it's just SO SO SO surprising how it ends, right? Nope. I bet that wasn't surprising. One of the love interests have to plucked off and  thrown away because somehow it's not acceptable for a heroine to end up alone by herself. Examples such as Unearthly had me photosynthesizing my leaves off in agony. 

Therefore, it either involves one of the love interests turning into an asshole, dying, or backing off in the name of friendship - reasons that none of us really buy.

What makes a love triangle ickier.
One. When the book turns the triangle into a shape with more sides, which is also where I forget the name of the shape since I'm a very smart being. The Grisha series started off well with a love triangle that I enjoyed, but then the third guy came along and behold! The tetrahedron of love! (I promise I didn't google that). 

Two. You know that main character who calls herself ugly and worthy off all the rotten tomatoes in the world? The girl you pity, the girl you probably picture as a deformed gorilla? Yeah, that girl. Who also happens gets the attention of the hottest guy in town - whom she ignores. Who by the way, has a group of boys swooning over her beautiful self. 

I mean, HEY, you have a bunch of guys who are in love with you! And you still dare to question your attractiveness? Sure.

When I cannot bear love triangles..
There are books that promise a lot of action, particularly in the Fantasy genre. And let's be honest, how many of you want to see the main character drifting between his or her love interests when there is a war between supernatural beings and mankind brewing on full blast?

 I don't want to worry about who the main character will end up with. I want to worry about whom they are going to kill, what kind of powers they're going to use, etc. Instead of Team Guy #1 and Guy #2, I want to join Team Werewolves and Team Vampires. So yes, cut the drama. Gimme my action.

Sometimes, I don't mind them as much.
I think that Drama is probably the sister of Contemporary. Contemporaries have  no action, nothing about saving humanity from dark forces. Rather, there is much emotional pieces included. Which means that there's no harm in following the story of a character who is torn between two people.

And when I do care about the love triangle...
That is where I am forced to face the terrifying bucket known as the Overflowing Bucket of Emotions - well known for containing the tears of  fangirls across the universe. (Infernal Devices, do you hear me?). 

These are the cases where it does not disturb the plot or make me want to claw the character/s in the face.

What do you think?
Do love triangles make or destroy a book?
When and how are they enjoyable/annoying?
Why do you think we still give love triangles a chance?
And anything else you would like to mention.