Saturday, September 22, 2012

Kill the Love Triangle (or, at least knock it unconscious for a while)

 Twilight.  The Hunger Games.  It seems like in the last few years YA literature has developed a love triangle fixation.

Now, I don't think that there is anything inherently wrong with love triangles, and I do acknowledge that some people have complicated love lives, and literature should represent a wide variety of relationships.

However, the obsession with love triangles has to stop.

The most obvious reason why writers shouldn't be so trigger-happy when creating love triangles is that there are just way too many poorly written love triangles out there.  In the vast majority of cases it's really obvious which character the writer prefers and which characters will end up together.  The relationships themselves are often really unrealistic, with some fairly cringe-worthy dialogue.

Secondly, I find that love triangles are becoming so ubiquitous that there seems to be a perception that they are almost a prerequisite for a young adult novel.  For instance *spoiler alert* towards the end of the Chaos Walking series, Ness makes a vague attempt to set up a love triangle. However, he clearly doesn't show much interest in the plot device, and after a brief mention it disappears and is never referred to again.

The final problem with the over-usage of the love triangle in young adult literature is that it is becoming a cliché. While there are some well-written love triangles out there, because of the sheer amount of them, all love triangles are collectively seen as banal.

YA writers should give the love triangle a well deserved break.

What are your opinions on love triangles?  Are there any ones that you particularly love/hate?