For What It's Worth

Friday, June 18, 2010

Doing it right

I've had a lot of gripes about how all the books I have been reading are the same....same....same, how I hate love triangles, ongoing series with no resolutions etc...etc....
Bella (who has also been in a reading slump) asked on her blog Obsessed! "when's the last time you just enjoyed an excellent story?" Well it's been a long .....long time but it got me to thinking about what books I do love - who gets it right? So here are a few books and authors that I think deserve a shout out!

Does every couple have to cheat or be attracted to several other people? Hell no! Does a couple that finally get together have to be boring? Hell no!

Best Couples:

Halfway to the Grave (Night Huntress, Book 1)*Cat & Bones from Jeaniene Frost's Night Huntress series: These two have been together for several books now. It didn't happen over night - they still lock horns - but they will fight to the death for each other. Bones doesn't treat Cat like some fragile flower - he's still sexy and tough as nails. They have respect, love and trust on their side.  As for Cat - she's had to overcome her past and extreme prejudice to bring her to the place she's at today. I love how Jeanine doesn't keep her characters stagnant - repeating the same actions over and over again. Cat learns from her mistakes!! As this world keeps expanding it just keeps getting better!

*Clay & Elena from Kelley Armstrong's Otherworld series: Despite the rough start to their relationship they are in it for the long haul. Again - like Cat & Bones, Armstong gives you the alpha male but one that trust and respects the lady in his life and there's nothing sexier than that!

These girls aren't "playing" tough either - they do what has to be done to survive. Both Cat & Elena are passionate but neither are deterred from the task at hand because a hot guy walked by. Both struggle with their pasts and try to do the right thing - complex, kick ass and smart!

*Honorable mentions:
Angelic*Eve & Kristoff from Kelley Armstrong's Otherwold series: They haven't had their own book (except for the novella Angelic) but I just adore them together and all that they had to work their way back from to be together again.
*Shane & Ciara from Wicked Game by Jeri Smith-Ready: Another strong leading female character who actually learns and evolves. Shane isn't the easiest person to be with & Ciara has commitment issues but they do what it takes to make it work instead of taking the easy way out.

These couples are proof that you can still have conflict/chemistry AND an interesting story even if a after they get together!

A good love triangle doesn't happen in a few days. There has to be a well established relationship in place so that something is at risk. The second person must bring something new to the table that the first person can't. Lust is not is not love and does not make a "love" triangle. Most of the triangles I'm reading these days are happening too fast for me to get invested.  Most of the time I'm thinking that the guys (it's usually two guys) should just walk away and not bother. Why on earth are you all fighting over this one dopey girl?? (btw - a tiny rant....I can't really buy the fate/true love angle of guy #1 if you immediately get the hots for guy #2 as soon as he walks in the room because he has... a) blue/obsidian eyes, b) long lean powerful thighs/long hair, or c) he's treating you like crap ....& then proceed to switch back & forth every 5 minutes...just sayin...) They work best if I'm as undecided as the MC is between the two choices.

Best Triangles:

The Hunger Games*Hands down...Katniss/Peeta/Gale from The Hunger Games Trilogy by Suzanne Collins: This triangle is so good that I didn't even know there was one! I'm team Peeta and I just assumed that was how it would go - now I see the team Gale's popping up and although I completely disagree (had to get that in there!) - I can see it. They represent different sides of Katniss and they both bring something unique to the relationship. They even get along with each other!! There's some kissing and hand holding but she's busy trying to live & she can save herself ...thank you very much!! I have no idea how this will end and I can't even bring myself to think about it or I will stress out. This is a case of the love triangle enhancing the story - not overpowering it.

The Reawakened (Aspect of Crow, Book 3)
*The Crow Trilogy by Jeri Smith-Ready: I don't even know where to begin on this one because it spans generations but there are obstacles to love like you would not believe - proving that the love triangle isn't the only thing that can tear people apart. But love triangle / quadrangles there are! I cringed at first but boy was I sucked in and what was really great about this series is there were consequences to everyone's actions!!

These are my favorites - what are yours? Do you have a favorite series or story that doesn't leave you frustrated but wanting more? btw - it doesn't have to be a pranormal series...those just happen to be my favorites.


  1. So agree with you about triangles and Hands down is the best one is Hunger Games--Team Katniss--I just want her to be happy but I'm rooting for Peeta too. So true about the alpaha Male ands strong female.

  2. i love this post you know i really enjoy my love triangles but your words made me realise i don't even think i can remember the last time i read a book or series where just one girl and guy have been together consistently and your right nowadays you get two hot guys enter one girl and bang! enters a love triangle, basis and connection and plot is all thrown out the window and thats a shame really

  3. Great strong couple choices! I love Clay & Elena and Cat & Bones are very intense! For my fav love triangles I have to throw in Eugenie/Kiyo/Dorian from the Dark Swan series by Richelle Mead - I still don't know who is the best man for Eug!

  4. Loooooove Cat and Bones. Can't wait for Book 5! And of course I'm also dying for Mockingjay.

  5. Thanks for the great recommendations. I completely agree with you with love triangles. They drive me insane! The only two I can tolerably stand is Katniss/Gale/Peeta and Bertie/Ariel/Nate from Eyes Like Stars. I totally agree. I would always choose the one who has been there for me, not the one who has the most sex appeal. Sooo annoying. I root for the best friend/underdog can't help it.

  6. Jeaniene Frost totally got it right with Cat + Bones ... I'm sure that's one of the reasons her books are so popular ... it seems to be near impossible to find books about people who stay in their relationship and work things out!

    I don't mind love triangles too much, especially if there's good reasons why the triangle exists (and I don't consider OMG-WTF-HAWTTY a good reason :o) ... also, when random love interests pop up to keep things *interesting*, and the heroine just falls for every one of them at first sight, or whatever (o_o), that annoys me ... a lot. But I can appreciate a well-written triangle :)

  7. I've been feeling like that too about books. I feel like everything that I read as of late has the same formula, or that authors are copying each other way too much.

    I read A Season of Eden last night, and I felt like I finally had a breath of fresh air (it's a YA, no paranormal aspects).

    One thing I hate is this "true love soul mates" bull shit that the characters initially accept within a day or two of knowing each other, yet one of the two has to resist no matter what. I highly doubt it happens in real life, so why should it happen in books? If someone kidnaps you, and tries to seduce you, why would you ever want to sleep with them (even if they were hot as hell?)

    Ugh. I'm really self conscious about all of this with the current story I'm writing.

  8. Dead to rights on the Hunger Games triangle! I was so hardcore Team Peeta, I didn't know there WAS a Team Gale until well after I finished Catching Fire.

    I'm sorry the reviews aren't coming, dear!

    On Cat & Bones, I love them so much. I wouldn't have minded if they'd had an actual love triangle dilemma with Tate, but really the guy never had a chance. I didn't like book 4 where an out-of-nowhere triangle-ish backstory was thrown in the mix.

    Blogger hop!

  9. Thanks for all your comments!
    Tiger - ai have a feeling Tate isn;t gone forever even if it isn;t a triangle. I was a little dissapointed in bk 4 also - I thought that should have been more of a triangle - Gregori (was that his name?) didn't seem to pose much of a threat except in Cat's dreams. It would have been a good way to threaten the C&B relationship since it was before Bones.... Still a great series though.I think there will be 8 total so we'll see how it holds up.

  10. I have some Sesame Street books and I think Bert & Ernie make a great couple. Stood the test of time they have! :)
    Is the Crow trilogy anything to do with J O'Barr's 'The Crow' franchise?

  11. Marc - maybe that's my problem...I need to go back to the classics. Can't beat Bert & Ernie!

    Nothing at all to do with The Crow franchise. Don't think it's anything you would like but it's my favorite series ever. I was an emotional wreck for 3 days reading it.

  12. I really want to read these books now. I'd love to see a well done love triangle. I realized something sad while reading this post. Despite rarely watching anime and reading a massive amount of books, my favorite couple is actually from an anime (Yusuke and Keiko from YuYu Hakusho). Why do books tend to have formulaic relationships? Hmm, I wonder.

  13. I can't imagine anyone not liking HG, I would have taken the book back! LOL I like getting HCs too but paperback will do for a smaller book. :)