Saturday, July 2, 2011
Saturday Discussions (14): The YA Love Triangle
We've all read a lot of posts related to them. Heck, I've even written a few posts about them. Yet, it is always a subject the comes up. I've seen so many people begging for this trend to end and while I get why people are tired of them, I have to disagree. I'll tell you why and then chat a bit about something that make them work.
On a superficial level, YA love triangles usually work because they are exciting. Who doesn't enjoy feeling desired? It's fun to read about the situation and put yourself in the middle of two great guys. It adds an element of excitement and urgency to the novel. We know that in the end someone has to get hurt and the heroine must make a choice.
This choice is the second thing that makes YA love triangles so much fun and sometimes quite essential. In a balance situation, the heroine is often times choosing between which life she wants. The triangle represents and amplifies that idea of one choosing their own lives in adolescence. Do they go with the moody paranormal guy and get sucked into a life of danger or do they choose the guy that's constantly there for them and can provide them a life of stability? A lot of times the triangle is about a lot more than the guys that are involved. It's usually really about what the heroine wants for herself. She sees two good options and she must decide between both. The guys are merely really good looking metaphors for this.
Another great thing about YA triangles is that they work to build strong characters. Oftentimes, the males involved are defined by each other. We get to see the contrast between both which works to sharpen all of the great things about each guy and magnify all the faults. Many times, YA guys are defined by their triangle counterparts. In balanced situations, many times the guys will be opposites as they are both offering something very different for the girl they love.
I think you'll notice the key here is balance. I think as a reader, I really don't like when it's obvious who the girl is going to choose. It's because then I have to wonder what the other guy is even doing there.It also feels like an insult to me, the reader, when it's so obvious because it feels like the writer is treating me like I'm dumb.
Here are some examples of a balanced love triangle in YA lit:
So the thing about love triangle is when they are done right, they are incredible and can truly make a story and their characters unique. It gives the reader a reason to keep going and is a great metaphor for the heroine choosing her own path.
What do you think about YA triangles? Yay or nay?