Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Love Triangles

Love Triangles in YA literature.

I am in love with love—and suspense—which is why love triangles are one of my favorite parts of YA literature. There are many types of love triangles in literature, all of which are fantastic in their own way.

The Bad Boy v. The Nice Guy

Who doesn’t love reading about a bad boy? They’re usually complex, dynamic, and fascinating. When it comes to a love triangle between a bad boy and a nice guy though, I usually want the heroine to end up with the nice guy and I want to read a spin-off series about the bad boy.

The boys in this type of love triangle are so different, however, that I think it makes it easier for readers to decide which boy they like best.

The Soul Mate v. The Charming Friend

Triangles between soul mates and charming friends are always very easy for me. Date the soulmate! Why waste your time on the charming friend? However, many people do favor the friend over the clearly destined soul mate. An example of this is the Edward-Bella-Jacob triangle from the Twilight saga.

Personally, I think that Edward and Bella are clearly destined to be together, so Bella should just leave Jacob alone. However, there are many people out there who would completely disagree with me on this. I think this type of triangle really allows the reader to pick which character they like best. Oftentimes, both men are good matches for the heroine, and she will usually be very happy either way.

The Safe Choice v. The Forbidden Love

Forbidden love is just delightful. Society has been in love with these stories for ages: Romeo and Juliet, Tristan and Isolde, and Helen and Paris are just a few of the couples whose romances have captured the imagination of readers for centuries. What makes these romances so much fun to read?

I think it’s that the love between the couples who are forbidden to be together is usually really pure, and you just can’t help rooting for them to overcome the odds and be together. Part of me always feels bad for the safe choice because he is usually such a nice guy! However, the safe choice never sparks the same kind of passion that the forbidden love does.

The Same-species v. The Other-species

This type of love triangle just seems to be popping up everywhere. Unfortunately, it usually ends up with someone changing species to make their chance love more realistic. I don’t think that I have a generalization for how I feel about these types of love triangles because the circumstances that these come about are usually very different. However, I will say that this type of triangle exists in Aprilynne Pike’s Wings series, and I will be heart-broken if the heroine choses the other-species guy!

No matter what type of love triangle you’re reading about though, it adds a great element to the story. There is the mystery of who will end up with who, the inner turmoil as the character sorts out their feelings, and the emotional investment that the reader feels towards a specific couple. I think love triangles really capture the hearts of romantics and non-romantics alike and add a layer to the story that wouldn’t be there otherwise.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the specific breakdowns. I appreciate love triangles in stories. In fact, I look forward to them.