For What It's Worth

Thursday, December 30, 2010

My greatest literary wish for 2011...


NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES.

PLEASE.

I BEG OF YOU.

MAKE THEM STOP.

The love triangle was the most overused plot device for 2010 - particularly in YA.

I know some of you like love triangles. I used to love them once upon a time too. But seriously, is there no other way to keep a couple apart except to add a third party??
I do realize that love isn't easy. Your first love isn't always your forever love. Relationships wax and wane at all ages. You can be attracted to more than one person at a time. I swear - I get it. I know there will be drama. I don't want everyone to be perfect and boring.

My biggest problem with them is there is usually plenty going on with the plot without adding that element. Often the end of the world is near but everyone is worrying about who's getting busy with someone else. Seriously - the world may end because of you - worry about that later! Most of these couples already have enough issues to work through without having to add that element. It's just secondary and often detracts from the bigger story which could be fascinating if we could just get to it!
Another thing is this "I love both of you" crap. Girl meets hot boy A (cuz he's gotta be hot)  and loves him like she's never loved another....until hot boy B walks in the room. Now she loves both. No. Sorry. Not buying it. You lust after both...which is fine. Just call it what it is. It's entirely possible to be with a person and suddenly you meet someone new that makes you second guess your relationship and it's possible to be torn by that choice. Where you lose me is dragging both of those relationships out for YEARS. AND expecting both of those guys to remain celibate and patiently wait until you make the heart rendering decision.
And the real kicker?? They DO!! The guys are perfect. What guy does that?? Give me his name and number if you find him.
At some point I lose respect for all of them. Either have a three way or make a decision. Imagine if a guy did that to two girls in a story. Would we love him and understand his dilemma while he's making out with two girls in under an hour?
Authors are going to great lengths to write strong female characters who can save themselves, wield swords and talk back to the boys but then they make those same girls turn to a puddle of goo around the boys. Again - I expect and want a multi layered character. She does not have to be perfect, she can make mistakes but it should be consistent with her personality. She can't be Buffy the Vampire Slayer in battle and then an idiot risking everyone's safety because of a boy in the next moment.
What really kills me is after following some of these series for three or more years, the love triangle is resolved in the last 20-30 pages. "Oops sorry Boy B, I always loved Boy A.....couldn't you tell?" What took over three or more books to decide is over in about 2 seconds.

This is what I feel like after one of those lame endings:


My heart is ripped out and tossed on the floor - squished like a bug

So there are all my criticisms but there are a few that have done it right IMO.

 *Darkest Mercy the conclusion to Melissa Marr's Wicked Lovely series. She gave the proper weight to the conclusion of the love triangle between Ash, Seth and Keenan. It's not a rushed conclusion and it makes sense within the world she created. People may have complaints one way or another - they always do when it comes to the end of a series but no one is left hanging out to dry. (sorry no hints or spoilers from me!)

*Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins. Not only is there a love triangle but it's more like a quadrangle or septangle even...LOL It was written in a completely believable way though and very true to what goes on in a real teenagers life in high school.

That is my greatest wish for the new year - NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES. OK, So I know it ain't happening any time soon. They're what sells. Granted most people aren't juggling over 30 series with 90% of those being love traingle related plots. I would settle for 50% less triangles or maybe resolve them sooner. See ....I'm willing to compromise.

I'm going to be greedy and ask for one more thing. LESS SERIES. Why is everything no less than a trilogy these days?? How about a few stand alone novels?? Is there a publishing law against two books in a series? I bet if you eliminated those love triangles the plot would move along quite nicely. Just saying.

So what do you think? Am I waaaay off base? Do you love the triangle? Or are sick of them like I am?

What would you like to see for 2011?

26 comments:

  1. If I guy in a book had to choose between two girls, oh I would not like him. So yes why with the constant use of love triangles and especially in YA?

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  2. I agree!! NO MORE LOVE TRIANGLES...please please please. Action and romance can be done well without the love traingle. I also second the fewer series request. Sometimes it's nice to wrap everything up in one neat little package, or two if really necessary.

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  3. A male protag with 2 girlfriends -- so not cool! Somebody recently did a blog post on why that doesn't work -- I think it had to do with the "attractiveness" of two brooding boys, bristling with hormones over one girl vs a slap-down, hair-pulling, catfight between two girls over one fickle boy. LOL!

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  4. @Jen - The premises and worlds that these authors are creating are so amazing, yet they are thrown to the side in favor of the love triangle & then they say it's not about the love triangle...LOL

    @Dianne @Blodeudd Yeah - it doesn't work :-) We'd hate him. But isn't that the guys fantasy too?? We'd be disgusted by that yet we make excuses for the girl and I don't think there are ever two saintly boys waiting that long for the girl to decide in real life. I think we've emasculated the guys in books these days.
    I guess it makes for a safe yet unrealistic fantasy but it's just been overdone for me.

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  5. LOL! I totally agree! My heart can't stand it anymore. One moment I'm happy then next broken. I do wish there were more stand alone novels. I like series, I really do, but I do feel like some book could have ended without stretching it.

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  6. I have to agree - I have had enough too! It's nice to know I am not the only one cringing when I see a new YA.

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  7. I agree with you! The love triangle is overused, and there are so many other ways of creating conflict/tension.

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  8. Great post! I definitely agree with you. But you're right: they aren't going away anytime soon from what I can tell.
    But I disagree about the series. I'm still obsessed with books in series... I don't know if I'll ever get over that obsession. I just love being able to follow characters through multiple books. I could do without all the constant cliffhangers though. Very annoying.

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  9. If publishers could cut back on bare male chests on book covers that would be good too as it's totally overdone. However, that is purely a male perspective perhaps as I doubt I would be complaining if there was an over abundance of bare female chests on the book covers! Oh, and the book covers that have the heroine in a pose holding a knife or similar weapon are also overdone. Originality please publishers.
    As for the love triangles I haven't come across many of them in the kinds of books I read so no complaints from me on that score.
    Great idea for a blog post by the way. Really enjoyed reading it.

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  10. @Aylee I don't mind series too much but it seems like everything is a three book minimum these days. A few more stand alone's would be nice. I do like following the characters over time though. I've started waiting until the series are done and read them all at once now because of those pesky cliffhangers.

    @Marc Covers!! YES, that's a whole other post...lol I totally agree. When I look at my Kindle library it looks like I have a soft core porn collection in the making. In fact I'm getting the different series confused now because the covers are so simliar.

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  11. I completly agree. Down with love triangles! (bad ones, of course)

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  12. I agree. Love triangles, while some of them are well done, have been completely saturating the book world lately. It's one thing if they add a necessary element to the story, but when they're just there as a random romantic plot device...they drive me crazy. One of my biggest pet peeves in books are relationships that aren't realistic, or characters who think they are "in love" after a short period of time. Hopefully we'll see less love triangles in 2011, or at least ones that are better done!

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  13. You know you're right if a guy was trying to pick between two girls I don't think I would like him that much and really I too am sick of all the love triangles. I am always so happy when a story is more focused on plot then the romance unless its a romance novel. Those stories always feel so refreshing which is one of the reasons why I love MG, less romance and more character growth and plot. If there is love its platonic and shown through loyalty and friendship.

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  14. Errmmmmm.....maybe you should hold off the Shifters series for a while??? I dare'nt read it with you now! :-D

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  15. *bangs head against desk* Yes, no more triangles, please. Only like 4 authors have EVER done them well. As you say, it's hard enough for two characters to work out a relationship, and the word "Love" gets tossed around mighty easily.

    But I also think we probably notice the glaring problem more because we read so much. Casual readers probably woudn't be bothered by it because they're reading the same plot a few times a year rather than a few times a month (or week, as the case may be).

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  16. @Sandy I started reading YA because I was sick of adult fiction for overusing sex to solve every relationship issue. YA is sometimes so much worse. At this rate I'll be in the pre-school section by the end of the year!

    @Tiger yup, most people only juggle two or three a year and are hungry for more. I also think as bloggers we get caught in the hype of just a few books over the course of the year and are probably missing out on a number of books that are exactly what we're looking for. I bet the authors are waving....over here! Read me!!

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  17. okay karen totally agree with you about triangles , the stories need to work for the triangles....

    ***lack of parental units in books.I understand that for the reader to suspend disbelief that the hero/herione is on their own to solve the problem.

    *** Less boarding school stories and teens ie torment/ hexbound etc.

    I'm also getting tired of a trilogys right off the bat for a book, granted its good for the writer, but as reader..I would like some stand alones too. Hear that publishers.

    Sorry for the rant

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  18. I don't mind a good love triangle from time to time, when there is an actual choice to be made and it makes sense, but with the crop of gratuitous triangles I've seen lately, I can take a leave of that plot device for a while.

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  19. I gotta agree with the triangles getting a little old. A couple of books I loved this year that didn't have that element were She Smells The Dead, Hold Me Closer, Necromancer
    The Ghost and The Goth, The Accidental Demon Slayer, The Gardener and I know I read a few others.

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  20. @Shari I loved The Ghost & the Goth but the sequel is supposed to have a triangle :-( and I've read The Accidental Demon Slayer. I like that series. I'll have to check out the other series.

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  21. I second this Karen! I did a post on Cliches that are used way too much a while back and Love Triangles are soooooo on the list. It breaks my heart to see some poor guy/girl heart brokened :(

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  22. I agree, I'm kind of over love triangles, especially when two guys are throwing themselves on a girl, and she's like "Oh, whoever will I choose?" Blech.

    I'm also hoping for more stand-alone books in the future. I'm burning out on trilogies. I hope this trend will be passing soon.

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  23. Oh, yes, YES - I totally agree with Julie: NEED MOAR STAND-ALONES, kthxbai. I think that even love-triangles wouldn't be that bad if you weren't expected to put up with them for book after book after book. Maybe that's why *Anna* wasn't so bad - yes, there were other guys, but at the end of the book there was RESOLUTION! YAY! I love resolution. I want more stand-alones.

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  24. I LOVE THIS POST. Seriously, this is SO true. It's like all of these novels have two main idea 1) world falls apart, needs saving 2)OHGODWHICHONEOFYOUSHALLICHOOSE.
    No. Stop. We want a plot. Not this messy... nothingness. I mean, in the end it always ends badly. Why can't two people have a healthy relationship? Or maybe why can't two people have an unhealthy relationship WITHOUT A THIRD MEMBER.
    Anyway, yeah. I SO agree.

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    Replies
    1. This was from 2011 but I'm still wishing for it lol

      I think there is enough drama with regular relationships without always having to add a third person.

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