The biggest roadblock to any good love story seems to be the addition of a third wheel. Worrying about who our heroine will end up with is an idea that keeps me turning the pages until the wee hours of morning more often than I can count. But not all love triangles are created equal.
Vee and I got all scientific about this (cough) and narrowed YA Love Triangles down to five basic categories. We’ve done this mostly because love triangles simultaneously annoy and enthrall us…but also because it’s a chance to make yet another list (yea!)!!!!!!
1. True- This is the best kind to read. Our heroine has to choose between two guys who are completely different, yet good in their own right. As the reader, we know that either choice leaves her heartbroken because of what she stands to lose. A perfect example of this is Katniss, Peeta and Gale from The Hunger Games. In the end, I felt that the right choice was obvious (though it wasn’t who I would have chosen) but I could have truly seen her with either guy. I mean…spoiler alert…when the chips are down and the world is ending, I’d prefer Gale—who has some serious survival skills—to someone who can frost the hell out of a cake (sorry Peeta). But that’s just me. I still felt bad for Katniss because poor, poor thing had two awesome, hot guys who loved her. Awww.
2. Impossible- This is when the choice is pretty darn obvious because there’s a road block. Perhaps one of the characters is moving away, or is married, or has a girlfriend. Think Ashley, Scarlett and Rhett in Gone With the Wind or, more recently, Logan, Aura and Zachary in Shade. Aura loves Logan and would probably choose him, except, you know, he’s dead. Problem.
3. Annoying-This is when I just don’t get what the heroine is all confused about. Clearly one guy is good— or at least acceptable— and the other is just plain annoying. Why would she even need to make a choice? Who could even want the other guy? He’s obnoxious! The example first and foremost in my mind is one of the mostly hotly debated love triangles in recent memory—Edward, Bella and Jacob from Twilight. I’m not saying Edward is perfect, but I’d really like to rip off Jacob’s face (harsh, I know). Another example is Calla, Ren and Shay from Nightshade. Shay wasn’t a bad guy, but he followed Calla around like a lost puppy and needy guys= irritating. In situations such as these, I find it very difficult to relate to the heroine because I can’t understand her dilemma. Take the good guy and facepunch the annoying one. End of story.
4. Bad Boys- Oh we love those naughty ones don’t we? But seriously, we should never, ever end up with them. Flirting and maybe even some secret smooching is all well and fine, but that is where it needs to end, Missy! I’m thinking Bridget Jones, Mark Darcy (swoon) and that Mr. Naughtypants, Daniel Cleaver, from Bridget Jones’ Diary. Truthfully, I understand the attraction (dont’ we all?) but just say no.
5. Neither-This is one I rarely see, but every so often comes a story with two boys with whom I’d never want my homegirl to be involved. She’s clearly too good for both of them. For example, Frankie, Matthew and Alpha in The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau Banks (!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!). Matthew is cute and sweet, but his need to correct Frankie’s grammar, and worse, his odd allegiance to Alpha, made him a definite no for me. There were great scenes of sexual tension between Frankie and Alpha, but his tendency to be, well, an alpha male, bossing everyone around and who was totally unnerved by a strong girl, was a serious turn off. Say yes to the single life, baby. It’s better than both of those guys put together!
So what am I trying to say here? That I’ve had enough of the love triangles? Yes. No. I’m not sure. I think what I want is to see more of the love stories where I can’t choose who I’d like the heroine to be with, or where it seems impossible for them to be together—but they keep trying. And I even enjoy those naughty boys. But please, no more annoying boys. No more boys that are so obnoxious that I’m actually angry at the protagonist for being mildly attracted to them (yes Bella, I hate you). Maybe the real difference is in the protagonists and how they handle it all.
And for the record, Dyaln + Kelly 4 Evah! Brenda was a a mega beeotch and she kissed Dean Cain in Paris and then came home and got all judgemental. Pisha! And also, I can’t believe I ever watched that show and took it seriously.