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Cher-y-lynne {sher-uhl-lin} –noun 1. One who formerly sold and recommended children’s books at a bookstore; a specialist in young adult, middle grade, and picture books. 2. A para-educator at a middle school. 3. A struggling young adult writer. 4. A lover of chocolate and popcorn. Archaic: An Audiology and Speech Language Pathology major at Brigham Young University. Questions? Suggestions? Books you'd like me to review? E-mail me at cherylynne1 (at) gmail (dot) com.
This is a blog for my ranting, raving, and occasionally brilliant opinions. You have been warned. Enter at your own risk.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Love to Hate Them: Love Triangles in Young Adult Literature

I'm Team Peeta, Team Damon, and Team Zane...and I will stand by those choices until death do us part, and in some cases, even past that (seeing as technically, Damon's already dead.)
The power of love triangles is astonishing. It turns sister against sister, mother against daughter, friend against friend. I myself have created an eternal family feud that will persist through the generations with a Team Gale-er. And there doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to my choices...sometimes it's the bad boy, sometimes it's the nice guy, and sometimes it's just the underdog. But I always manage to make a choice--then change my mind about five times--then make another choice by the time the book ends and I find out what really happened.

I love to hate love triangles. I really do. Because it's so heartbreaking when she finally has to choose, and it tells you so much about her character. And I've grown to love or hate the boys along with her. Do you know why I loved "The Notebook?" (The movie, not the book.) Because they made both of those boys so compatible with her. It was her choice, it was her growth, and it was choosing the road less traveled by.

That, to me, is the best way to do a love triangle. Make both of the choices appealing in different ways. And don't, for the love of all that is sacred in romance, just kill off one of the boys. That doesn't help us (or your character) at all. It's just a cop-out. Making her choose is the most important thing you can do for her, because it lets us see what honestly matters to her. Each boy should represent a different ideal. Will she choose passion over comfort? Love over status? Desire over duty?

Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go build up some of my defenses around the fortress...the Team Stefan-ers seem to have breached security. I might need some back-up here.


  1. Fellow Utah Blogger stopping by to say hi. Although I'm from So. Utah. Great post on love triangles! I'm now following your blog.
    I Am A Reader, Not a Writer

  2. Great insights! I love how you pointed out that love triangles make it so the audience is more active in the book -- because the reader can root for one boy or the other! I'm just glad you agree with me on all of the choices so far, or we might have to get out our boxing gloves. j/k!

  3. Thanks, Kathy! So glad to have you! Are you part of the Utah Bloggers? Love your blog!

    And Chersti, I'm sure there's something we disagree on...we'll need those boxing gloves sooner or later, don't you worry. :)

  4. I wasn't Team Zane and I agree, one of the boys cannot simply be killed off!