So, this post has been almost a week in the making, ever since I posted up my review of Jodi Meadows’ Incarnate. I felt almost ridiculous that I had to say I adored this book half because the main character had a real relationship, and not a love triangle. Then, OTHER people started agreeing with me, saying that they had been caught on the book when I made a point of saying that there was no love triangle, but an actual couple who falls in love for real reasons.
Wait, I had to say WHAT?
Okay, cool your jets, I’m fully aware that there are some YA authors who rock this love triangle thing. I also read plenty of love triangles myself. I don’t want to start burning every one of them that includes a love triangle, I just want to ask … why?
It’s probably horrible for me to blame Twilight, but I’m going to blame Twilight just a little bit. Love triangles certainly existed before Twilight, but not in this quantity. After all, love triangles ARE a great way for interaction with fandom. “Team That Guy” and “Team This Guy” competitions can get pretty heated. I’ve been known to engage in one or two myself, and HELLO. I think I ship a couple hard, and then some other person on the internet scares you with their ferocity. So, okay, I get why publishers want to publish it after Twilight‘s success, but the better question is why is it being written?
Okay, I’ve seen it done well when it’s essential to the plot. That I can get. When it’s done well, I don’t even mind it. But I always thought that one of the things that makes YA novels so successful is how well the reader can connect with the protagonist. Perhaps I’m an anomaly, but I have never once in my life had two guys ready to battle to the death over my heart, as seems to be the norm these days in teen lit. Having believed myself to be extremely lucky to find myself ONE guy, female protagonists who spend the entirety of a book (or, worse, multiple books) taking away precious time from the actual plotline to fret over which guy to choose can come off really vain. Also, This Guy and That Guy, if the girl is taking that freaking long to make up her mind which one of you to choose, chances are she’s not really in love with either of you and there are plenty of other fish in the sea who actually might like you. When the love triangle is written to the point where the girl seems ridiculously vapid and the guys feel like doormats, I can’t take the book anymore no matter how good I think the book is.
Call me old-fashioned, but sometimes I think that the real reason I can’t stand love triangles is because I really want to read about a real romance. Sometimes it feels like love triangles are shoehorned in to cause tension in a relationship, and there are so many other ways to do that. People can fall in love for REAL REASONS, not just see each other and be instantly attracted to each other. I understand that a lot of people shortcut that bit because it takes TIME, but when authors do take that time I love them forever and consider the book to be a cut above. It gets even better when these relationships begin to have real issues. Trust me, if there is any level of age where freaking everything has issues, it is the teenage years. There is no way that the only way authors can think to throw in romantic tension is to add another guy to the mix. Love can be REAL, the issues can be REAL and the couples can be REAL.
Let me say, once again, that I do read and will continue to read love triangles. I adore several series where that occurred, and I’m not ashamed to say so. But I AM getting tired of them, just because I miss the real romance of a real couple with real issues. Publishers, teens WILL read that, I promise. Authors, I SWEAR it’s worth the time. Maybe I’m an anomaly, but hey! I can’t be the only girl who doesn’t have two hot guys fawning over her all the time. …right?