24 June 2011

Why I dislike love triangles


Some weeks ago I got the third book in a cozy mystery series I so far enjoyed and I was excited to read the book. At the end of book #2 the heroine was standing between two men, who both were interested in starting / continuing a relationship with her. Of course one of the two men was my favourite and I was absolutly positive that the heroine would choose him. But wow, I was totally wrong.

Sometimes an author manages to make me believe in and even like the heroine's choice although I expected and wanted the exact opposite. Then I applaud the author because it's not so easy to convince me of something I think is the wrong choice. But in this case the author didn't manage it at all. In contrast the more I read the more I wondered why the heroine chose the man she did. At the end of the book I wanted to shout at the heroine: "Why the hell did you chose that guy! He's so wrong for you!". Even though I enjoyed the first two books in the series, it's time to stop with it. The third book destroyed my believe in the heroine, her choices and the author's ideas. 

What I just described is one of the reasons why I dislike reading a series in which a love triangle happens. I furthermore don't like a heroine who can't decide which man to pick and needs several books to make her choice. And when she makes the "wrong" choice I have a lot of trouble with reading on. When there's a "wrong" choice, one I can't understand and don't like, then the book or the series is finished for me.

When I discover a new book or a series and realize that there will be a love triangle, I normally remove the books from my wishlist immediately. I don't like the drama of love triangles but unfortunately they seem to be a big trend right now. 
I know that a lot of people enjoy reading about love triangles (my mom for example) but I think that because I'm an anxious reader (read my definition of it here), I don't want the extra drama that's added through love triangles. 


What do you think about love triangles in books? Do you like them? Or are you tired by them? How do you feel when the heroine or hero makes the "wrong" choice?

19 comments:

  1. I'm finding as my tastes in reading evolve that I am NOT a fan of love triangles. Especially when the heroine is totally indecisive, which is how quite a few of the heroines in love-triangle stories I've read lately, are. For the most part, I want the soul mate connection between the heroine and her man, not eeny-meeny-miney-mo-i-choose-you.

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  2. I am clearly an anxious reader too! And, yes, I cheat and read the ending - even on romance novels, and especially on love triangle ones. I just can't commit myself to a book if it's not going to end how I want it to! Glad to know that I'm not the only one, though. :)

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  3. I'm not fond of triangles either. I've been a little cautious about starting an established series if I know there is a love triangle involved. If it's resolved in the first few books, I'm more apt to start it.

    Cozy mysteries and urban fantasy series can get away with drawing those things out because they aren't romances, therefore they don't have to abide by the expected Happy For Now/Ever After endings of romance.

    Who knows, maybe your sleuth will come to her sense in the next book, realize her mistake, and humbly ask for a second chance with the other guy. ;-)

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  4. I don't mind love triangle's all that much, especially in a cozy mystery (Joanne Fluke's Hannah Swensen for instance), or (Urban) Fantasy serie. I would even want to read the next book to see how it went between them. Who knows what kind of twist the author can give the storyline with that.
    How about a heroine or secondary character who keeps picking the wrong man?

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  5. I'm really getting bored of love triangles. They're getting to be all alike, and so predictable. And, I'm like you. I hate, hate HATE it when the heroine chooses the wrong guy!

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  6. I really hate love triangles! I can't bear it. I have to know who she'll choose.
    Just like you I don't want the heroine to make the 'wrong' choice. I don't want to root for a guy and she choose the other.
    I'd rather know from the start which of them she'll choose so I can get ready for it lol. I usually cheat and try to read spoilers to see which she'll choose. <===baaaaaaaaaaaad habit.

    I tend to stay away from those series/books. And yes it's even worse when she can't freaking choose and tried to have the 'butter and the money from the butter'

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  7. Sabrina I always think you bring up the best topics :)
    I personally read a lot of YA books so love triangles happen in pretty much every YA book that is part of a series. I'm very tired of them and of course I have my favorite guy that I want the heroine to pick! If only these girls could find one guy and stick with him!

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  8. Yup, I dislike it too when the heroine takes too long to make up her mind ... to me it simply means that she doesn't love either of them ...

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  9. I like some love triangles but am getting a bit sick of them - sometimes you just want a straightfoward romance! Or at least ones that have obstacles that don't involve another guy. It seems like every book has a love triangle and it just gets annoying after awhile.

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  10. Love triangles are definitely overused. Very overused. But, I think it's because they often work very well. Almost as prevalent (lately, anyway) is the individual who falls for the unattainable ...

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  11. I really like love triangles and I don't even know why. Because I always pick the wrong guy lol

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  12. I did like love triangles (once in a blue moon), but it seems like they're everywhere now. What's wrong with liking just one guy? I read a book and loved how their wasn't a love triangle, just friends having difficulty figuring their new feelings for each other out, but hints in book 2 tell me that it's not staying that way *groan*.

    Like you, if I'm reading a series and she chooses the wrong guy "in my opinion" then I probably wouldn't continue. Which is the reason why I think a lot of authors usually wait to reveal who it will be until the last book.

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  13. Do you think that if this is a series and she picked the wrong guy in book 3, maybe she's going to figure that out and then pick the right guy later on? Or am I just way optimistic?

    I tend to choose right in love triangles (I feel like there are signs in the book as to which the author is leaning towards), but yeah, if I see it heading in a way I don't like I will bail. Like for example - Stephanie Plum, book 1. Yeah.. I didn't like EITHER of them, NOR the main character. So I bailed!

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  14. Great discussion! Hoping that love triangles have run their course, because I'm so sick of them! Either the heroine picks the "wrong guy" or takes so long making up her mind that it becomes a distraction.

    For instance, I've stopped reading the Stephanie Plums series because she can't make up her mind between Joe and Ranger. I think the author is afraid to lose fans, so keeps stringing out the storyline.

    Here's my Saturday Situation.

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  15. I gave up with the Stephanie Plum series around book 11, the love triangles and characters got too weird for my taste.


    @ all: Good to know that I'm not the only one who is wary about love triangles.

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  16. Well for me it depends. Sometimes a love triangle adds much-needed depth to a story; sometimes it seems like it's just there to add it. If it helps the development of the story, then sure. But if it's just there just to be there, then I say take it out if it's not necessary!

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  17. I feel the same way about love triangles. Which is interesting because I totally dig romance and having a romantic interest, but the whole process of choosing between the two is tiresome. I've seen it pop up in review after review where the question is asked, "When is this realistic? When is it realistic that two hots guys are fighting over an extremely boring female MC?" And like you, sometimes I think "WHY DID YOU CHOOSE *THAT* ONE." You know, where you want to reach into the book and shake somebody! I'm extremely wary of love triangles!

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  18. I think some books are WAY too dependent on love triangles at the moment. I will admit that a well-written love triangle can be great but so often it's tedious and repetitive. It's like authors think they need one to be able to screw with the emotions of the reader. Not to mention that tearing readers in two different directions might seem like a clever idea but in reality, it just leaves half your readership unsatisfied or extremely peeved.

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  19. @ thatcovergirl and Keri: Exactly!

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