Top Ten Tuesday is hosted each week by The Broke and The Bookish and allows us to combine our love of books with our love of lists. This week’s topic is: Top Ten Books I Wish Had (More/Less) X In Them. I decided to talk about books that I wish had NO love triangle in them at all.
Almost nothing irritates me more in a book, especially an epic fantasy or futuristic sci-fi book, than a love triangle. So often they feel like they’re just representations of an MC’s two choices, play it safe or be different, save the world or save yourself, be with someone who is the same and understands you or someone who introduces new ways of thinking. All of these are just putting an MC’s choice about her future and her story into a physical representation of a boy. They’re usually opposites and she’s attracted to them for different reasons but whichever one she’s with, she absolutely loves and can’t even think about the other one at that moment. Except she’s always thinking about both of them and which one she wants to choose. Not only is it annoying that everyone is falling in love with our MC, but it’s completely obnoxious to turn a survival story or saving the world or epic battles or adventure or whatever the story starts out as to just a love story where the MC is the girl both boys are fighting for. She’s no longer a kick-ass heroine fighting for her life, she’s a prize to be won by one of the two boys who both usually suck. Also, I really hate wishy-washy heroines and there usually isn’t a love triangle without a heroine who refused to make a decision. But that’s just my opinion. And why I find it hard to actually enjoy books when a love triangle is introduced. I’ve read a few that I enjoyed (I’m looking at you, The Infernal Devices) but overall, if there’s a love triangle, I probably won’t like it.
So here are a few books that I liked except for the love triangle (which I wish hadn’t been there at all):
The Wrath and the Dawn by Renee Ahdieh: I just read this one last month and had high expectations so that probably plays into y feelings a bit but I was expecting an epic fantasy story not a love story where the romance is barely even given the chance to develop before it becomes EVERYTHING to EVERYONE. Then add in the love triangle I also wasn’t expecting and that I hated. So. I’m sorry to everyone who loves this and I can see why you love it, it just wasn’t for me.
The Crown’s Game by Evelyn Skye: Okay, this is an example of a book marketed as an EPIC ADVENTURE FANTASY FIGHT TO THE DEATH story. Which sounds amazing. But it turned out to have instalove and a love triangle and when I wanted to know more about the game and the magic and secrets everyone was hiding and more about the characters, all I got was a couple of boys fighting over a girl.
A Torch Against the Night by Sabaa Tahir: Okay, I get why the triangle is in this one but I just really wish it wasn’t. I wish there had been different feelings of love between the second set. I just hate when every time a relationship develops between male and female characters, there has to be romantic feelings involved. And that just gets old. And this is one of those times I really wish the developing feelings between the MC and the second boy had just been friendship love. But oh well.
The Naturals by Jennifer Lynn Barnes: I love this series. I just finished the third book last night and am trying to figure out how to get my hands on Bad Blood ASAP. But. The first two books have a lot of love triangle angst in them. And it’s the one aspect of the books that I just really do not like. But the third seems to have moved on so I have really high hopes for the last book!
The Girl from Everywhere by Heidi Heilig: This one had so much potential for me. Time Travel. Adventures. A girl who liked to take care of things herself. And a trouble father-daughter relationship. I’m in! But………then they introduce a second guy who is clearly there to represent another life she could choose to lead. And then the end. I hated it. I just wish it didn’t have to be so obvious.
P.S. I Still Love You by Jenny Han: The first book in this series was pretty cute. Not a favorite of mine but still cute enough that I picked up the sequel. But as I was reading I kept wondering, what is the actual purpose of this book?! I’m still not sure I know except that it introduces another possible love interest and we spend the whole book in a love triangle of sorts. I wasn’t happy with this one.
The Selection by Kiera Cass: Just no. I know most people love this series more than anything but for me it’s just a no.
Matched by Ally Condie: Ugh. Again, what a great concept! But the synopsis actually takes a quick turn on its own and tells us everything we need to know. “Now Cassia is faced with impossible choices: between Xander and Ky, between the only life she’s known and a path no one else has ever dared follow—between perfection and passion.” Why? She lives in a society that controls everything about her life yet we’re reduced to reading about which boy she likes best. (In all fairness, I actually enjoyed this one when I read it a million years ago.)
Boundless by Cynthia Hand: There’s a love triangle in all of these but I’m putting this one on the list because I feel like when it was coming out, the only thing people wanted to know about the story was whether she’d choose Tucker or Christian. That was it. And there was so much more that was happening but none of it mattered. And that’s a huge reason I hate love triangles.
A Shadow Bright and Burning by Jessica Cluess: Okay, I’m not even sure this counts as a triangle considering the one girl lives with like six or seven guys. Who can even remember? Almost every single character in this book was male except for the MC. And that leaves a lot of options open. And I didn’t not enjoy it. She was this “chosen” but not sorcerer with tons of magic and the book is full of interesting ideas and concepts but the focus somehow came down to who she was interested in. Plus, and it’s probably just me, but why are there so many fantasy books that only have men in charge? Girls typically then become the heroine they need but their lives are run by these men in charge. I just couldn’t deal with that either.
So I obviously left out Twilight and The Hunger Games. I don’t approve of those love triangles either but I feel like those are two that sort of set this whole YA books must have love triangles in them theme. I don’t know if that’s true, I haven’t done any actual studies on it, but they were super popular books that introduced a lot of non-YA readers to this world and they sold a TON of books and then new trilogies started hitting the YA shelves like mad and most of them had a love triangle in them. So I should include them, but I’m just going to blame them instead. (Also, should be noted that I enjoy these books as well.)
The big question: Do you love or hate love triangles? And what is your favorite love triangle?
I hate them (obviously) but my favorite by far is Will/Jem/Tessa. I can’t help but love them all!