I was discussing Love Triangles with (who else but) Lauren of Love is Not a Triangle. I asked her how she spots impending love triangles when she's reading, and we got into an interesting conversation about Love Triangle Red Flags. I tend to look for suspicious characters while I'm reading, while Lauren looks more for worrisome plot situations. Therefore, we have you covered if you're Triangle-Averse. After you read my list of characters to watch out for, then head over to Lauren's blog to read her Love Triangle Red Flags....
Characters who tend to create love triangles (not all of these examples created a triangle, but they all had me worried...)
They say nice guys finish last, and often that’s the case in the YA romance department, as a brooding bad boy skulks in to triangulate the situation. This doesn’t mean that Nice Guy won’t get the girl in the end, but he may have to wait it out (or fight it out) to do so.
Examples of Nice Guys: Tucker in the Unearthly Trilogy, Adam in the Shatter Me Trilogy
#2 The Charismatic Villain
A villain’s job is usually to serve as an antagonist to the protagonist. But villains can also throw a wrench in the romantic works…
Examples of Charismatic Villains: The Darkling in the Grisha trilogy, Cole in the Everneath trilogy, Rhysand in A Court of Thorns and Roses, Warner in the Shatter Me Trilogy
#3 The Charming Rogue
Have you ever been reading a YA book with a sweet romance, when in walks a good-looking guy? A irreverent guy who’s so funny and charming that he overshadows the love interest? This doesn’t necessarily mean that a LT is brewing, but you never know…
Examples of Charming Rogues: Kenji in the Shatter Me trilogy, Roar in the Under the Never Sky trilogy, Sturmhond in the Grisha Trilogy, Kishan in the Tiger's Curse trilogy
If the book's love interest has an attractive brother (especially if he's the black sheep of the family) watch out! You could be headed toward the dreaded Brother Love Triangle.
Examples of Brother Love Triangles: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, 99 Days by Katie Cotogno, Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith
#5 The Dearly Departed Love Interest
There are plenty of stories in which a main character's boyfriend really is dead. But as Lauren likes to say, "if there's not a body, there might be a triangle." So beware of missing boyfriends, but also beware of boyfriends who could come back as a ghost, vampire or zombie and triangulate the situation.
Examples of Dearly Departed Love Interests: Logan in the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready, Alex in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
Are you a pro at spotting triangles? Tell me about your Love Triangle Red Flags in comments!
I love that we approached this topic a little bit differently from each other! And these images are great. For me, the brother and villain love triangles bother me the most. I hate when siblings are torn apart by their love for a girl. STOP! And I like when the villain stays a villain and don't turn into the really-misunderstood-good-guy. AHEM. Anyway thanks for thinking up this topic and encouraging us to do this post!ReplyDelete
I get very nervous about the villains (Darkling!) and I agree that brother triangles are sad...Delete
haha I love this!! I think Kishan in the Tiger's Curse trilogy could fall under the attractive brother, too!ReplyDelete
Thanks for letting me know -- I haven't read the series. Lauren suggested Kishan for rogue, and I didn't realize he was a brother too :)Delete
This post cracks me up. While I am not totally against a well placed triangle I do always wonder what are some of the triggers for other peeps. This answers my question. I like Lauren's theory about " if there isn't a body". Also brother triangles... Yikes. I just got the Jenny Han series so I'll be sure to watch out for that one. Love this! Great job ladies!ReplyDelete
❤️Britt @ Please Feed The Bookworm
I do like the Summer I Turned Pretty series, but that love triangle was rough and broke some of my own triangle rules (no brothers and I think it's cheating to change one of the guy's personalities *cough Adam in Shatter Me* to resolve the triangle.Delete
Great post! Totally cracks me up. You guys are pros! I'm one of the few that doesn't really mind love triangles, though some have annoyed me. Love this! :)ReplyDelete
I don't mind all of them. But some seem there to stir up unnecessary drama.Delete
Great post Jen, and it couldn't be anymore accurate! Such a fun post and love triangle are SO big in YA books, this post is great for spotting themReplyDelete
Patrick @ The Bookshelves
Glad you enjoyed :)Delete
Love this post! I don't always hate the love triangle if done well. The brother thing always makes me cringe a little though!ReplyDelete
I do not like triangles that break up a family. That's just wrong.Delete
I think the funniest (and surprisingly often seen?) triangle here for me was the last one! It's so right, that if you don't have a body you shouldn't assume they're really gone! Leads to some sticky situations!ReplyDelete
Heh -- "back from the dead"Delete
Haha, how funny, I just queued a post about the same topic. I'm absolutely not a fan of them, especially because you always always always have the good guy and the villain as love interests. I'm glad I didn't decide to continue reading Delirium if some guy comes back from the dead to become a love interest oh my. My red flag is actually the presence of a love triangle, I can't stand them at all haha.ReplyDelete
Not saying that's the case, but in one of those examples the guy is dead and in one he isn't.Delete
Yesss to #3 and #5! #3 always gets me worried cause how can any girl not fall for the type? #5 is hilarious and I hate it so much lol!ReplyDelete
I worry for the nice guys. Why do they always get overshadowed?Delete
I actually ADORE love triangles, especially when they're done well. I'm not into " Brother Triangles " though, like why in the hell would you even put yourself into that predicament?! I think this is such a great post, and I agree with all of the examples, (From the books that I've read) especially Rhysand from ACOTAR. Sooo many people hated him, yet I was grinning like an idiot whenever he was in a scene. * fingers crossed a love-triangle happens between him, Tam, and Feyre * lol. Now that is one triangle I know I'd enjoy.ReplyDelete
I love Rhysand as a character -- I really do. He's kind of a rogue/charming villain hybrid. But I feel like a triangle with him in it just stirs up drama. Why not give him his own love interest, male or female?Delete
I loathe the brother love triangle most of all. URGH. Do love triangles really happen that often in real life? I prefer books where A) the main couple have to go through obstacles and shiz once they're together or B) showing an MC moving on from one relationship to another (but not triangle-y).ReplyDelete
I hope there are not real brother love triangles. That stuff ends up on daytime talk shows...Delete
A very complete post, Jen - I love it. I think you covered everything :) What I dislike most is the brothers angle. I mean, really? It's just distasteful and, let's face it, unrealistic. When, in the real world, will a guy move in on his brother's girl?! I have a soft spot for the Darkling & co. though :D Strictly as a plot device, when done well (and in the first book of the Grisha trilogy, he IS done well) this type of character can provide a special brand of tension. However, I don't like triangles in general. I think it's a lazy way of providing an obstacle for why the characters can't be together.ReplyDelete
I do accept some triangles, but I definitely agree that sometimes a triangle is just a lazy way of adding conflict.Delete
I love this topic and I try to avoid books like these. Sometimes I can spot them and other times I can't . Good way to describe them all :) I adored Tucker & darkling and others too.ReplyDelete
I did like Tucker, and I'm usually Team Nice Guy, but I was Team Christian for some reason. Maybe because I felt Clara could be more herself with him? It's hard to remember.Delete
The Darkling made me nervous because I felt like he might be there to stir up a triangle. Not saying if that happened or not in case someone hasn't read that book.
If there's no body there might be a love triangle? BWAHAHA. I love this post!ReplyDelete
The love triangles that I despise the most are friend's brother or love interest's brother. It feels too close to betrayal to me.
Agreed. I do not like that kind of triangle. It just feels so wrong.Delete
Such an interesting post! The brother one always drives me crazy because whyyyy! Definitely the villain one poses for an interesting plot point. But I actually kind of like the nice guys, and it frustrates me that they always finish last.ReplyDelete
I wonder if it's safe to assume The Summer I Turned Pretty trilogy and 99 Days will kill me. ;) I'm not a fan of love triangles (I think....) and especially not between brothers. Gag me. And I mean, I think it's okay to date someone's sibling, it just depends on how the relationship ended. I mean, if they fell for them while in a relationship with someone else (TVD), then I would probably have a huge problem with that. But if the couple broke up and the other fell in love with their sibling, I don't know, I think it'd be okay. As long as the feelings were sure or would be sure and there was no leading on.ReplyDelete
I LOVE this post, it's so perfect, you and Danielle did fantastic. I loved the categories you put the books into.
Love this!! I also hate love triangles, but they sadly can't be avoided. The type I hate the most is when the heroine can't choose, but then one guy ends up dying or sacrificing himself at the end, so she doesn't have to choose anymore *cough Hex Hall and Nightshade* There's also the type where the best friend is secretly in love with her, but she always chooses the mysterious new guy. *cough Twilight, Iron Fey, too much to mention*ReplyDelete
But there's a lot of series that I love that have love triangles, like The Iron Fey, Hex Hall, Soul Screamers (#4, between brothers), and Vampire Academy (#3, The Charming Rogue, which is my favourite love triangle, mostly because they're so snarky and funny ;)
This is such a great post! A love triangle it's always disturbing because we tend to like the one character over the other. The Charming Rogue is one of the characters I like in a book.ReplyDelete
Aeriko @ http://thereadingarmchair.blogspot.com
I don't have a problem with love triangles, but I found this to be pretty hysterical because a lot of books fit these categories.ReplyDelete
Haha, what a cool article! I'm pretty sure I'm a pro at spotting some of them. I don't always mind love triangles, though, as long as they are well-written, and as long as the MC is already decided on the guy she wants to be with. What I hate is the wishy-washiness that happens sometimes. It's like, come on, make up your damn mind and don't make the other guy suffer and hope for nothing!ReplyDelete
Faye at The Social Potato
lol I love this post!! So much fun to read…and I feel like so many of these are just spot on. You mention the "bad boy" and I immediately thought of the arcana chronicles by kresley cole ahah. one is a bad boy the other is immortal ..so cliched. Although, sometimes love triangles can be actually entertainging, usually they are much much dreaded and ugh lol.ReplyDelete
Diamond @ Dee's Reads
Before I read this post I did not realise how many different types there are! I always feel sorry for the nice guys and the brothers who do not get picked but when it comes to the charismatic villain and the charming rogue it is either a hit or miss for me. For example, I either think it's fun and adds to the story or it is annoying or I think the main character should be with them and it doesn't work that way *cough* THE DARKLING *cough*.ReplyDelete
I find love triangles with the brothers are the saddest, I hate those. I don't like love triangles in general, but I don't mind them if they're executed that well. I like villains as romantic interests though, as long as they aren't abusive and don't try to be good - I liked Warner in Shatter Me, but I hated Rhy in ACOTAR. Great post overall :)ReplyDelete
Omg hah!! This is just so so true. All the typical stereotypes of love interests right there.ReplyDelete
This is the best post. :) Also, I am a FAN of the charismatic villain, and omg STURMHOND, forever love (those books are perfect).ReplyDelete
Everything in here is so, so true, especially the bit about the Darkling, Sturmhond and Kenji! <3ReplyDelete
Everything in here is so, so true, especially the bit about the Darkling, Sturmhond and Kenji! <3ReplyDelete