Sunday, February 22, 2015

Love Triangles That Actually....Work

The love triangle.
One of the most used tropes in YA today, and among one of the most hated.

You know, recently I came to the conclusion that I actually don't mind love triangles. That is, I don't mind them when they're done well. Of course, if it's some stupid triangle where we have instalove on both sides, or where it's completely clear that the protagonist prefers one person over the other, no one is going to like that. But there are some books which do the love triangle so damn well that we honestly have no idea who we should choose to ship the protagonist with, or where both love interests are so awesome that we're left flip flopping from one to the other.

These are those love triangles.

I don't think that anyone can deny that The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare has one of the most fabulous love triangles in existence. Why is this? Because both love interests were such great characters. You seriously want to root for both of them. On one hand we have Jem, ridiculously nice and a musician, and on the other hand we have Will, snarky and hilarious and with a heartbreaking backstory. Actually, even Jem has a tragic backstory. MY GOD THOSE TWO.

The Shatter Me love triangle was fantastic for another reason. Because the love triangle was actually necessary. I feel like it was necessary for Juliette's growth into a stronger, more independent character. Also, because the series was so focused on Juliette as a character, without looking too much at the world in general, the love triangle was, to be frank, needed to keep the reader's interest.
My former co-blogger and I actually discuss this triangle at length in this post, if you're interested. (has spoilers though)

Throne of Glass also has a pretty good love triangle. Again, this one is more so because the characters are awesome. I'm sure you've all heard of Chaol and Dorian, and although most people seem to be Team Chaolaena, you have to admit, making the choice was pretty tough (at least in book one). To be honest, though, I'm actually on another Team from Heir of Fire onwards haha (yeah, yeah, it's platonic, blah blah blah. I SHIP WHO I WANT :P)

The Grisha trilogy by Leigh Bardugo has another of those interesting love triangles where it isn't quite clear where things are going. Considering (spoiler: highlight to read) the Darkling being possibly unredeemably evil and despite there being the complication of a certain hot pirate, I feel like I mostly shipped Alina with Mal. Definitely a difficult decision to be made though.

What do you think makes a love triangle a good one?
What are the love triangles that you think are successful?