The literary device infamously known as the love triangle has been around since the days of the Greeks and cropping up like a scourge ever since. It’s become a trademark of the Young Adult Paranormal Romance genre and I cannot stand it. Personally, I think that the vast majority of the time the love triangle serves no real purpose other than to make me want to take a sledgehammer to a watermelon.
Love triangles, like vultures or cockroaches, have their uses. Sometimes one fits a story (whether I like it or not). If the love triangle is the extension of another conflict as in the question of which of two factions one should choose, it can even be beneficial to the story. I must concede that I have in the past read love triangles I liked, but of all the books I have read, I can count them on one hand. The thing that kept me from hating the love triangles in each case was not being sure who should end up with who or even who was in love with who. Once it becomes clear who the heroine/hero should end up with, the triangle feels like unnecessary drama and I despise drama.
I spend most of my time reading about a love triangle wishing that the heroine (because that’s who’s usually at the center of these things) would just make up her bloody mind and pick a guy. It’s usually pretty clear from the get go who she should/will/I want her to pick and the heroine’s indecision drives me a bad kind of crazy. Perhaps that’s a good thing because it means I’m emotionally invested, but it’s hard to see it as such when I’d like to hit someone in the face (usually the character I don’t want to get picked).
Maybe it goes back to my own personal loathing of shopping, I don’t know. I could just be fangirl-zilla, standing by my matchmaking of fictional characters like a rabid wolf. I could just be unreasonable. The fact remains, love triangles get under my skin like little else. I can endure reading about whatever obstacles a couple has to go through—monsters, wizards, political intrigue, meddling power players, even death—so long as a love triangle isn’t involved.
If the success of Twilight, The Vampire Diaries, Tiger’s Curse, or most any other YA Paranormal Romance is an indicator, love triangles are not so passionately loathed by everyone. I understand that a love triangle adds a special something for some readers, but that doesn’t mean I have to like it. In my not-so-humble opinion there are exceptions, but love triangles in general suck.