Home / Books / Books with Love Triangles – Yay or Nay?

Books with Love Triangles – Yay or Nay?

Reading young adult books with love triangles is pretty common place. They’re not in every book, but in maybe one every five books, a love triangle will appear.

Although I know how some of you feel about them from the comments you leave 🙂 , but when it comes to these romantic dramas, what do you really think?

Books with Love Triangles – Yay or Nay

A few books that I’ve read recently have crazy love triangles – like Halflings and Born Wicked. In Halflings, I couldn’t stand the love triangle, but in Born Wicked, I was really digging it!

This got me thinking about the nature of love triangles, and I’m really curious to hear your opinion. Here are my questions:

books with love triangles

  • How do you feel about love triangles in general? Do they annoy you or do you feel indifferent?
  • What love triangles you have you hated and loved?
  • Have you ever refused to read a book with this romantic twist in it? Why?
  • What do you think the future of love triangles are: here to stay or are they a passing fad?

For me, I think it depends on the book. Some books like Born Wicked have a certain feel to them that doesn’t drive me insane.

I think it comes down to the person in the middle of the triangle. Are they weak-willed and wishy-washy (cough cough Jacinda from Firelight) or do they know who “the one” is but are forced in a tight spot?

Another book that has a crazy love triangle is Matched. I’m sort of in between on this one. Half the time, I’m like CHOOSE ALREADY but the other half I’m loving the tension.

I’d love to hear your thoughts! Please tell me what you think about love triangles in the comments!

About Lisa Parkin

I'm a hardcore lover of young adult fiction and have been reviewing books since 2011. Other interests include Downton Abbey, heat lightning storms, Harry Potter land and (begrudingly) one orange tabby.
  • The love triangle in MATCHED pretty much ruined the book for me.

    I never read TWILIGHT so my first encounter with love triangles was in THE HUNGER GAMES. I was shocked that she ended up with Peeta. I really believed it (and still do) that her spending the rest of her life with Peeta was a sort of ultimate dystopic ending; it seemed glaringly apparent throughout that Gale and Katniss were in love, but their dystopic environment made it impossible for them to be together (particularly with the bizarre turn Gale’s character took, and how Katniss even more bizarrely couldn’t accept him).

    But that was enough. It was a novel concept then, but no more. As soon as I discover a book has a love triangle, I put it down. This is because inevitably the book comes to be ABOUT the love triangle (in effect, a romance) and that rarely makes for a good narrative.

  • Anonymous

    Love triangles are tricky business, because they’re so hard to do well. When it’s done well, I have a love-hate relationship with them. Love because of how engaged they make me, hate because I always, ALWAYS choose the wrong guy and end up with my heart broken.

    I loved the love triangle in the Mortal Instrument series, even though its cliche (best friend who has secretly loved protagonist who doesn’t profess his feelings until she’s infatuated with a mysterious bad boy). I hated the love triangle in the Twilight Saga, because I never truly felt that Jacob stood a chance against Edward – he just seemed like an annoying fly that wouldn’t buzz off. It pissed me off that Bella made him feel like he might stand a chance, because she never fooled me – she would have never been happy with Jacob as anything but a friend.

    I’ve never refused to read a book because it features a love triangle, though lately I do find myself actively looking for books that don’t make it explicit in the summary that there will be one. Like I said, I love a well-written love triangle, but it seems like a lot of YA authors think a love triangle will add more depth to their story, when really all it does it impede the plot. There’s been an abundance of love triangles in YA recently, and I think I just need a break.

    Love triangles have always existed, and always will. But, like any other topic (vampires, faeries, werewolves…now mermaids?), it’s popularity will come in waves.

  • Ems

    If they’re well-written, they don’t bug me at all. The one in Firelight drove me crazy too. Good heavens, just make up your mind! Same with Twilight (but then again, we all know that I hate Twilight period…) On the flip side, I thought that the whole Katniss/Peeta/Gale thing was brilliant because it was totally unexpected. I really didn’t expect her to end up where she did. One of the best love triangles I’ve read.

  • Amanda S

    It depends on the book. If it goes with the book and it reads well then love triangles can be good.

  • Bookishlilly

    Right now, I’m hating love triangles, mostly because I just stopped reading a book with a stupid one in it. I think love triangles will be around for a while because they are an easy way for writers to introduce tension to the plot. The triangles I have liked are The Hunger Games and The Iron Fey series. Among the ones I have loathed are Twilight, Matched, Nightshade and Firelight. Great topic!
    Truly Bookish

  • Jan

    no problem with love triangles. whats important is the story

  • I think I’m with you. It all depends on the book and how the triangle is handled. I’ve read some that was like, just pick one already, but I’ve read others that it works wonderfully. But it is a topic to discuss.

  • Pingback: Love Triangles in Young Adult Novels()

  • Kylie

    I like love triangles that aren’t obvious. Like some of the books I’ve read are pretty obvious about who the girl is going to choose. I absolutely hate cheesy love triangles though, but I also hate it when the girl feels bad for herself cause she loves both boys. I really favored the love triangles in The Hunger Games trilogy, Wings series, and Twilight saga. They were unexpected and left me wanting more.

  • LIVELOVEbooks

    I would have to say yay. My favorite love triangle is in Water for Elephants. It is between Marlena, August and Jacob. I also would like to see a love triangle where there are two females and one male, its normally two males and one female. If there are two females the guy would have to pick…a twist.

  • I also think it depends on the story. In particular, I have to say my favorite love triangle is in The Vampire Diaries. I think it’s done well with that story line. In general though, I think the problem is that they’re easy to mess up. I agree with Kylie that it’s annoying when a girl feels bad for herself because she loves two boys. Love triangles are more interesting when someone is trying to win affection, not pick a partner.

  • frostednorth

    I’m pretty annoyed with love triangles because they’re so overused right now, but I can see their functionality as a device for the heroine to figure out what kind of person she is going to be. In The Hunger Games it seems to be used as a device for Katniss to figure out her role in the rebellion and what she thinks and feels about it. In Twilight, as someone pointed out to me, it symbolizes Bella’s pursuit of the spiritual or the earthly–Edward is often described as “godlike” and his vampire body is arguably the perfected version of the human body, except for the need to drink blood. Jacob, on the other hand, is still human, and his high body temperature (compared to Edward’s physical coldness) and the animal component are reminders of that.

    Didn’t mean to lecture, but that’s what I think about love triangles. I’d be happier to see a well-developed romance between two people who actually get to really know each other instead of just hook up than a love triangle. You can usually tell who she’s gonna pick anyway. It would be interesting to see a man have to pick, as someone else said, but I’m not sure it would work as well. Or maybe the book would be too full of testosterone for me to read it!

  • arieana

    I would say nay. It get’s too complicated. The person that the main character doesn’t pick gets their heart broken and the fans of that person end up sad.

  • J

    Love triangles usually annoy the hell out of me. Most of the time it just feels like it’s thrown in the story to make it more “interesting”. Things are going all right between the couple, if not perfect, it’s probably going somewhere, but then someone gets thrown in the middle and oohhh suspense, oohhh who is going to end up with whom??, ooohhh team A and team B. Man, I can’t. Seriously. I can’t remember enjoying a love triangle in a book. At best, it makes no difference to me. But then again, romance is not the aspect of the book I look forward to, or care about the most.