Top 5 Love Triangles

–by Bronto Incognito

Okay, okay, I know you’re cringing already.  If you’re a YA reader you can see these things coming a mile and a half away.  If there’s one boy already invested in a girl and someone new shows up, he’s going to have intense, penetrating eyes, a crooked smile, lean muscle, etc., etc., etc…..

And we automatically cringe because we know there’s about to be a love triangle and so often they’re so badly done and you have to take NO effort to figure out who the girl is going to pick in the end because duh…she’s totally going with Edward guys.  Jacob was so never a contender….

That said, I actually DO love me a good, well-written love triangle.  And since that is hard to find I thought we’d each make lists of our favorites for this month.  And so…..

5. Etiquette and Espionage series by Gail Carriger

ettiquetteSo this is not one where you felt a lot of drama over who the MC was going to choose.  Sophronia is the girl from a nice family in training to be a lady/spy/assassin/whatever and then you have Soap, the black kid who’s funny and charming and works in the boiler room.
Then enter Felix, the boardering-on-smarmy viscount who has a nice inheritance and a keen interest in our dear Sophronia.

While there wasn’t a lot of drama in who I figured she’d end up with in the end, sometimes that’s the making of a really good love triangle.  The other person is there as a distraction on the coming-of-age MC’s journey of self-discovery and MAKES SENSE for them to choose, even if only temporarily.  Come on, we all had interest in some questionable people in high school, right?

4. Matched trilogy by Ally Condie

matchedTo say you can see this one coming feels silly because it’s the whole premise of the book.  Everything in society is controlled, including who you marry.  But the selection process is very precise and accurate and also something in which Cassia believes very strongly.
So imagine first her elation when she gets the rarest of rare matches with someone in her own city, let alone her best friend Xander.But then Xander’s info chip contains another profile: Ky. Ky is also from her hometown, but unbeknownst to most people he’s an Aberration and not allowed to marry.

The reason I think this one works so well is that Ally Condie took all the qualities she liked about her husband, put half into Ky and half into Xander so that even she wouldn’t be tempted to pull for one over the other.  Both people were good options, the MC’s confusion between the two makes sense, and in the end I was happy with the futures left for all the characters.

3. Generation Dead trilogy by Daniel Waters

gendeadfullcoverSo I have to show the full cover on this one because it’s gorgeous and the reason I picked it up in the first place.
Phoebe is one of the resident Goth girls at her school, and she’s got a crush on Tommy Williams, the newest addition to the school’s football team.
Which wouldn’t be that scandalous if Tommy wasn’t also…um, differently biotic.

In layman’s terms he’s a zombie.  He’s fighting for the rights of the undead teens that have been appearing across the country the last few years, and his latest cause is is spot on the team.  But guess who else is on the team?  Phoebe’s best friend and neighbor, Adam, who’s been crushing on her secretly for years.

Again, both have good and bad points and their own trials and story arcs going on, but I won’t lie…as much as I liked Tommy I was pulling for the adorable Adam the whole time!

2. The Host by Stephenie Meyer

the-hostOkay, so you almost need a map for this one, and strictly speaking it’s not a triangle so much as a…

You know what?  Let’s just introduce the players:

Melanie: 17 yrs old, human, in love with Jared, body-snatched by Wanda though she refuses to mentally fade into the background like a good little parasitic host
Jared: 19, human, in love with Melanie NOT Wanda
Ian: human, in love with Wanda and NOT Melanie
Wanda: the alien entity that’s taken over Melanie’s body.  She’s got some feelings for Jared, partly from the residual memories and bodily reactions left from Melanie.  She’s also got some feelings cooking for Ian and Melanie is none too pleased.

Got it?  Sort of at least?  It’s confusing, but interesting because you get into elements of relationships not usually explored like how much your love of a person is attached to how they look or just what’s in their head.  Or who has right to Melanie’s body?  All 4 characters have a stake in that question and there are no easy answers.  Yes, I’m a Twilight fan, but I really liked this story and I think it lacks a lot of the flaws found in the vamp/wolf saga.  If you haven’t checked it out yet you totally should!

1. The Selection trilogy by Kiera Cass

the selection.jpgWhat don’t I love about these books?  There’s kissing and court intrigue and drama and GORGEOUS covers and humor and FEELS!

America (yes, that’s her name–get used to weird names in this book) has a boyfriend she loves, Aspen.  But Aspen is a lower caste than her and when she gets chosen for the Selection and has a chance (along with 34 other girls) to marry the crown prince, he breaks up with her to give her the chance to win.
America then arrives in the competition with a shattered heart and no real intention of playing the game, but Prince Maxon turns out to be a nice guy who really is trying to figure out the best way to become a good ruler one day.  And, he seems smitten with America.  Which is great…until Aspen shows back up in the picture.  Now what?
Again, I like this version of a love triangle because it MAKES SENSE.  She already loved one, thought she lost him forever, starts to fall for guy 2, but then the potential love of her life is back to make a play for her affections.  And because she’s waffling between the two you’re really not sure what’s going to happen.  Because yeah, I’m cheering for her and the prince, but when he finds out about Aspen he’s going to lose it.  And this is the only love triangle I’ve found where my thoughts were, “I want her with this guy.  She should choose him.  But he might not choose her back and he’d be totally justified if he didn’t.”
If you’re tired of all the YA love triangles this one is great because for once they give the guys some backbone and the chance to turn down the girl for trying to hang onto both.  It’s not just one Plain Jane girl with an unexplainable wealth of boys to choose from who all can’t help but love her madly.  All points of the triangle have some say and all feel like real people.

 

So there’s my list!  I do have a few honorable mentions like Lola and the Boy Next Door, The Infernal Devices, and Uglies.  What love triangles are your guilty pleasures?  Let us know in the comments down below!!!

–Bronto Incognito

bronto 10a

And check out our Top 5 from last month!

unwind

Top 5 Scary Reads!

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