Discussion: Love Triangles

Thoughts Triangles

Love them or hate them – they are a prominent feature in YA literature. And chances are even if you’ve not read a young adult novel you’ve run into Team Edward or Team Jacob supporters. Love Triangles add a little extra spice and drama to a romantic relationship.

Love triangles are nothing new. Shakespeare often had them in his plays, Eponine, Marius and Cosette are entangled in Les Miserables and Dumas’ The Three Musketeers faced their share too. But it seems lately that I can’t go a week without reading a young adult novel with a triangle in it. True, these aren’t real triangles in the geometry scheme of things (they’re more angles than triangles) nor are they like the Triangular Theory of Love that I learned in my first year of psychology but I still think of them as triangles because whilst there isn’t a romance between all three sides, there’s a relationship between them all – with fierce rivalry between the two suitors.

The most common type I’ve encountered in YA novels is as follows:

LoveTri

The heroine has to choose between the nice guy (often the best friend) and the bad boy (usually mysterious and somewhat dangerous).

So how do I feel about love triangles?

Like with everything – it depends. There are times when I adore the give and take of the romantic leads. But it does rely on a few different factors.

The LOVE IS EVERYTHING! triangle – I’m not a fan of this type of triangle. This is the type when love is the be all and end all. Other plot points are secondary to the intense romance and feels that are going on. I need some more plot with my romance. They often focus on the female and this is a reason I tend to dislike them. They don’t seem to take into account the feelings of the different parties nor does it seem to be an issue if the woman is a little manipulative and using both sides (albeit at times the girl doesn’t realize she’s doing this). Twilight with the Bella/Edward and Bella/Jacob relationships is an example of this. I think I’m often confused by this type because they often feature girls who are apparently plain, dull and uninteresting and all of a sudden they’re fighting off drop dead gorgeous men with a stick. It feels unrealistic and more like fanfiction than anything else (and considering I went though a period where I read and wrote a LOT of Dawson’s Creek fanfiction, I know what I’m talking about).

The IT’S NOT REALLY A TRIANGLE BUT BOY IS IT CONFUSING triangle – Whilst I didn’t like Twilight, I enjoyed Stephenie Meyer’s other novel, The Host. This book involves a fairly confusing type of relationship with the main character Wanda sharing a body with Melanie. Melanie is in love with Jarrod and Jarrod with Melanie but Wanda (who is in Melanie’s body) is starting to fall for Ian and Ian for her. It’s not quite a triangle but I enjoyed how it all played out. I liked how this one played out because the romance did take a lot of page time but there was a lot of other plot going on and ultimately the romance didn’t overshadow everything else that was going on.

The BADASS HEROINE, LOVE COMES SECOND triangle – This is the type of book that I love best. The kind where the heroine is determined to do whatever it is her mission is and she doesn’t let her confusing romantic entanglements get in the way. This is the kind that appears in Throne of Glass, Vampire Academy, The Hunger Games and many other books that I’ve enjoyed. The females don’t try to play her suitors off against each other nor does she become a victim to her relationship. They’re strong on their own and if they do choose one of the guys, it’s because it’s true love and not just because they didn’t want to be alone.

The ONE GUY TO MANY GIRLS triangle – I admit I’m a lover of The Bachelor and I’m a little surprised I haven’t come across all that many books with this type of triangle. I think it’s possibly because when it’s attempted, the male character often comes across as a player and not the sensitive new aged guy he’s supposed to be. Books like The Selection feature this type but it’s a little more complicated with one of the females vying for the male is also in a separate triangle of her own. I don’t mind it in The Selection as it makes so many more possibilities of who is going to end up with who. This series doesn’t try to hide what it is and I don’t mind that it’s focused on romance because that’s what I was expecting going in.

 

I think what it comes down to for me is how well it’s written. If it’s believable and well written with characters I like and are trying to sort things out – I’ll enjoy it. I just don’t like relationships where characters are being unfair to each other or the triangle is the story’s focus and the biggest twist in the plot turns out to be who the apex of the triangle chooses.

 

What are you favourite love triangles? Any that you really didn’t like? Are there any series with amazing love triangles and relationships you would recommend that I read? 

Let me know what you think about love triangles. Comments are always welcome 🙂

Top Ten Tuesday: Sequels I Can’t Wait For!

Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.

Each week they will post a new Top Ten list that one of their bloggers over at The Broke and the Bookish will answer. Everyone is welcome to join.

The topic for this week is: Top Ten Sequels I Can’t Wait For!

I’m generally a fairly patient person. But there are some series that I love/hate/drive me so crazy that I can’t wait to read the next book! Here are ten of the books that I’m anxious to be released!

The Fiery Heart Dreams of Gods and Monsters The One Taste of Darkness

The Fiery Heart (Bloodlines #4) by Richelle Mead – I really enjoy this series. It’s fun and exciting and has just the right amount of romance. I’ve been wanting to read this book since I finished The Indigo Spell (despite the fact that I can’t stand the cover of TFH). I’ve got this one on pre-order which I do for all Richelle Mead books. She’s one of my auto-buy authors. Can’t wait to see why Sydney and Adrian get up to next! Only two weeks till this one is released!

Dreams of Gods and Monsters (Daughter of Smoke and Bone #3) by Laini Taylor – I adored the first two books in this series. I have no idea what’s going to happen next and that’s one of the reasons why I’m so eager to read this book.

The One (The Selection #3) by Kiera Cass – This is a series I love to hate. The Bachelor is one of my guilty pleasures and this book is just like that for me. I don’t love any of the characters – most of them get on my nerves – but I just have to make it to the end to find out which one gets the final rose!

Throne of Glass #3 which as of yet is untitled by Sarah J Maas – This series is incredible. Possibly one of my all time favourite YA series. So I’m excited to see what happens next. IT should be pretty exciting.

Taste of Darkness (Healer #3) by Maria V Snyder – Not long to wait for this one! This is the only Maria V Snyder series I’ve read so far but I’m loving her writing. This book is the final in the trilogy and I have such high expectations of what’s to come. I’m sure I won’t be disappointed!

Cress Isla and the Happily Ever After World After

Cress (The Lunar Chronicles #3) by Marissa Meyer – Cinder and Scarlet were great. Not sure about Cress (I have to admit I don’t quite understand the title yet) but it should be a good read – especially if there’s more Captain Thorne!

Isla and the Happily Ever After (Anna #3) by Stephanie Perkins – I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for this book. I’m curious to see just how this one goes since we already know Isla slightly from the first book.

Opposition (Lux #5) by Jennifer L Armentrout – I wasn’t a huge Katy/Daemon fan after the first few books but now I’m hooked. I don’t love where things went in Origin but I’m willing to stay somewhat open-minded because I’m sure the ending will be worthwhile in the end.

World After (Penryn & the End of Days, #2)  by Susan Ee – I’m so cheating with this one. I haven’t finished Angelfall yet. I’m half way though it and I have to admit I’m enjoying it more than I thought I would.

The Arcana Chronicles #3 as of yet untitled by Kresley Cole – I loved Poison Princess and after reading Endless Knight a few weeks ago I’m so looking forward to the third novel. I have a feeling this is a series that’s going to make me fall in love and then hate and then love characters over and over again by the time she’s finished writing their stories. But I think that’s a great thing. Can’t wait to see the next ‘cards’ Evie meets and just how her romantic relationships develop. Eek! I know there’s going to be a VERY long time before this book comes out but I’m looking forward to it already.

 

That’s my top ten.  There are so many other books that I can’t wait to be released in series I love but these were the first ten that came to mind. Let me know which sequels you’re eagerly awaiting to read – be it ones that haven’t been released yet or ones you haven’t gotten around to reading yet. Happy Tuesday!

Follow on Bloglovin

Book Review: The Elite by Kiera Cass

Title: The Elite (The Selection #2)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: dystopia, fantasy, romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 1st May 2013
Pages: 272
Rating: 3.5 stars

Synopsis (goodreads):
America Singer has the chance to leave normal life for a world of glamour and luxury… for ever.

She was chosen for The Selection, a reality TV competition to be gorgeous Prince Maxon′s bride. Surviving the rivalry and turmoil of the first round was tough, especially with secret feelings to conceal. But America′s gone further than she dared to dream and made it to The Elite – the final six.

Friendships are tested to breaking point as favourites emerge. America′s feelings for Maxon grow ever stronger, but she suspects darker mysteries in his family past. With Aspen close-by offering comfort, solace and something more, where do her loyalties truly lie?

My Review:

The Elite delivered exactly what I wanted in the second book of the Selection series. There’s more drama, more love triangles and more gorgeous gowns fit for a princess-to-be. America Singer is still in the middle working out her feelings regarding her two admirers – Crown Prince Maxon and her childhood sweetheart now Palace guard, Aspen. Every time she thinks she’s decided which way her heart is leading her something happens and makes her feel mixed up all over again. Maxon only has six girls left in The Selection and where America was once comfortable regarding his feelings towards the other girls she’s now anxious and more jealous than she ever though she’d feel. Emotions are running strong. Marlee is still acting oddly, Celeste has more nasty tricks up her sleeve and the King weighs in with who he think Maxon should pick…

The first half of this novel doesn’t have much regarding the dystopian aspect of this book but the second half ramps up and delivers some much-anticipated action. The rebels are back and the threat to the crown and country. The remaining girls from the Selection get more time to show who they are as people as well as learning the importance and responsibility of  being Maxon’s wife. America is still a little too amazing for my liking – being a hero to the people and the funniest girl in the Selection – but more of her flaws came out as this series is developing. The love triangles are a little overwhelming at times with America deciding on one of her men and then being adamant that it’s the other one she’s meant to be with. And then another flip-flop in her decision a few pages later.

For the Bachelor fans – there’s still quite a bit in this book for you! Extravagant balls, a bit of scandal and scheming competitors are still in the mix and feel like they’d be right at home on the show. Whilst the Bachelor aspect is what drew me to this series, I’ve grown attached to the characters and unique drama Kiera Cass has brought to her story. I can not wait to read The One and find out who America chooses and which of the remaining contestants will be Maxon’s bride – along with just how much more damage the rebels will inflict.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository 


Book Review: The Selection by Kiera Cass

Title: The Selection (The Selection #1)
Author: Kiera Cass
Genre: dystopia, fantasy, romance
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication Date: 1st June 2012
Pages: 336
Rating: 2 stars

Synopsis (goodreads):
Thirty-five beautiful girls. Thirty-five beautiful rivals…

It’s the chance of a lifetime and 17-year-old America Singer should feel lucky. She has been chosen for The Selection, a reality TV lottery in which the special few compete for gorgeous Prince Maxon’s love.

Swept up in a world of elaborate gowns, glittering jewels and decadent feasts, America is living a new and glamorous life. And the prince takes a special interest in her, much to the outrage of the others.

Rivalry within The Selection is fierce and not all of the girls are prepared to play by the rules. But what they don’t know is that America has a secret — one which could throw the whole competition… and change her life forever.

My Review:

From the blurb, The Selection sounds like a dystopian version of the show, The Bachelor. Thirty-five girls all attempting to snag the Prince and have their very own happily ever after – fairy tale style. Some token nice girls and a mean, conniving few just to scheme and mix it up a little. That’s the reason I have wanted to read this book for a very long time. It’s my guilty pleasure. I love the Bachelor. I’ve watched every episode from every season, every episode of the Bachelorette and all seasons of the somewhat ridiculous spin-off  Bachelor Pad. It’s a secret of mine that I tape every episode and then curl up in front of the TV and watch the drama unfold.

And whilst this book was just like a season of my beloved show with a few small dystopian elements thrown in for good measure, it wasn’t quite enough to satisfy me. I feel a little contrary for saying this but it was exactly what I expected and that’s why I was disappointed. I wanted more. More twists, more of the dystopian world Cass created and more of the other girls who made up the Selection.

In terms of characters, America is a textbook Mary-Sue. She’s so beautiful, such an amazing singer, so brave and (despite a slightly aggressive meet-cute with Maxim) is practically perfect in every way. Even her name. America, it felt to me like Cass was trying too hard to make us love America – to dislike her would almost be unpatriotic. But as a person, America didn’t always make sense to me. She’s so giving and generous to her family and yet she jumps at the first chance she has to take half of her income away from them despite telling us often that they are next to starvation. It felt a little hypocritical considering some of the things she says about her brother. I think I would have found her to be a more likeable character had she had more insight to her own behaviour and motives towards others. She’s just a little too perfect and lacks a certain depth.

The rest of the girls who make the Selection for Maxim to choose his future bride are an interesting lot – Marlee is as sweet as Celeste is ambitious. I liked the mix of girls included but would have liked to have seen more of them and their interactions with Maxim. Whilst this book is told in the first person narrative from America’s perspective, it would have been interesting to have seen Maxim’s dates with others though stories being told by the girls to America. There’s not enough gossip!

The idea of the numbers representing ones station in society and the rewards/disadvantages that went along with ones number was a captivating concept. I thought it was interesting to see the contrast between America’s life as a 5 and then living in the lap of luxury.

Plot wise, this is a fairly predictable novel but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. There’s a love triangle that’s only just getting started, beautiful gowns and a trio of maids that reminded me of a Disney Princess’ animal sidekicks in the most delightful way. Will I be reading The Elite (The Selection #2)? Absolutely. Whilst I may have had some issues with this first book in the series, I admit that I’m hooked to the drama, the cattiness and I can’t wait to see happen next in this not-quite-fairytale romance.

Purchase the novel from:

Amazon
Book Depository