What’s in a Triangle?

I'm Team Jacob, btw

I’m Team Jacob, btw

Since the great Team Edward vs Team Jacob debate of the new millennium, love triangles in YA fiction are pretty much a guarantee. I’m the type of person who needs critics/bloggers to tell me what movies/tv to watch and what books to read. As a result, I read a lot of reviews on blogs and Goodreads. One reoccurring issue bloggers have are love triangles-it can make or break a book.  Many bloggers will take away a star because of a love triangle but sometimes I don’t agree with them because I didn’t think the book had a love triangle.

So my question to the blogger community is, what your definition of a love triangle?  

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18 thoughts on “What’s in a Triangle?

  1. Love triangles always add an extra bit of drama. It makes it more interesting when there is that struggle. I originally liked the one in Twilight, but then you quickly saw there really wasn’t a chance for Jacob and he was fighting for something he was never going to get. As for “what is a love triangle”, I’d give it the simple definition of a conflicting love interest that involves 3 people.

    • Interesting definition. I’ve never heard it described that way- I like it! Based on your definition, what makes a good triangle?

  2. I personally think a good triangle consists of a central character who isn’t quite sure of him/herself and grows through the book. The central character could be happy with either choice and both have great qualities. However, I like being drawn to chemistry between the main character and the underdog. The two choices are almost always a “good” guy/girl and a “bad” boy/girl. This way they can represent the main character’s struggle to figure out who he/she really is. Everyone logically likes the “good” one, but I know my heart always races faster for the “bad” one. That is just my take on it. 🙂

    • Good point about the good and the bad. I tend to go for the bad guy/girl. I rooted for The Darkling ( Shadow and Bone) and was angry when Bardugo made him too deplorable to be redeemed.

  3. Oh! I hate when that happens!

    I was also just reminded of the best friend triangle. You know, the one where there is all that tension between guy/girl best friends and then someone else comes into the picture, but eventually they realize that the best friend was the one they wanted all along. When those are done correctly…fireworks! Hunger Games is a bad example of the best friend triangle. I don’t consider Twilight to be part of the BF love triangle either because she hadn’t seen Jacob in years so they weren’t that close.

  4. I truly feel that if properly done a love triangle can not only drive the plot but enhance it as well. i in fact don’t really see the big deal about them. They don’t bother me yet i am also advocate of instalove ( but i prefer to call them one night stand 😉 ). i mean let’s look at Katniss in the Hunger Games. Yes she cared for Peeta but through most of the book she was simply trying to keep them both alive. There was Gail and they shared 1 kiss. To me this DOES NOT constitute a love triangle. Her feelings for Peeta were conflicted with her feelings for Gail. There are of course the cheesy exceptions to my rule. I think the main things that gets me is when a M.C. is wishy washy and bounces between the two. I am not a fan of waffling, sure you can change your mind but going back and forth makes m.c. look insecure. I love this post since I constantly wonder why is there so much rage against this plot device? Its a catalyst just like revenge or redemption.
    ❤ Britt @ please feed the bookworm

    • Love it! I agree with your love triangle definition. In my opinion, if the MC picks one it’s not a love triangle.
      I, however, hate instalove. I immediately take away a star for it. Lol.
      I do love how you view it as a catalyst. Perhaps if I think of it that way, I can get over it.

      • I know it still e is a bit ehhh but the relationship has to developed with a certain amount of pages so I think it’s just an easy way for authors to Segway into the juicy bits that everyone loves to ship! I really love this post Dawn!

  5. I guess my definition of a love triangle would be if there was a clear CHOICE that the main character would have to make. If the MC loved both people and had to make a decision between them. Other times, there have been “love triangles” that never felt like true ones to me. Because I knew that there was never really a choice to be made or it was more that the MC was just trying to figure out their complicated feelings. But yeah, I think love triangles are really hard to define because everyone takes them differently.

    I’m not a huge fan of love triangles, but if they’re really well-done, I can get behind them. I love it when they add to the story, if they feel needed, and they’re not just there to create unnecessary drama or tension.

    Great discussion! I’m always curious how people feel about love triangles or how they define them. 🙂

    • I agree. I’m definitely over the whole triangle thing but when it’s done well, it definitely makes an enjoyable read.

  6. A love triangle is when there are at least two love interests. Usually it really annoys me, I think because it is just so overdone. Occasionally it gets pulled off well though.

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