Wednesday, September 8, 2010

the delicious threesome...


or is three a crowd?

as a tween, one of my favorite series
of books was the single title historicals
(like "jacqueline" or "caroline") and it
always showed the teen heroine on the front
cover flanked by two boys. two boys that she
must choose between. i loved those books,
formulaic as the love triangle may have been.
the new period in history always made it fresh
enough for me to read almost every title in the
series. of late, there's been some discussion
on the love triangle within the young adult genre.

is it overused? tired and worn out? or is
the threesome configuration one of the best
ones to read for increased sexual and romantic
tension? like so many things in the young adult genre
that i attribute to "the twilight effect", the series really
put the love triangle at the forefront of YA reader minds.
but i'd like to talk about two other young adult series
that i love, both featuring love triangles.

*when two men love a woman.


isn't this cover wonderful? ariel the elemental is
holding bertie, the heroine of lisa mantchev's
theatre inspired young adult series, which begins
with Eyes Like Stars. Nate, the pirate is seen
in the background. i think lisa is very deft in writing
her love triangle, as the two men vying for bertie's
attention are different enough with faults and virtues
all their own, that the reader can understand why
bertie could choose either.

personally, i love me some ariel elemental. =)


sarah rees brennan's demon's lexicon and covenant
really blew me away as well. and this time, it is two
brothers, nick and alan, who seem to have fallen
for the same heroine. (or is it, the heroine has
fallen for both brothers?) what i love about sarah's love
triangle is that neither brother may be what he
seems or claims. how is a girl to choose?

me, i'm utterly for nick.

so what about you? how do you feel about
love triangles? do they work for you?
what threesome novels are some of your favorites?

27 comments:

nymfaux said...

Good post!!!!

I'm conflicted, because I DO like triangles--but only to a certain extent--For the most part, I like there to be a clear choice.

I remember going to a midnight release of one of the Twilight books--I think it was Breaking Dawn--That was the first time that I heard the "Team Edward/Team Jacob" stuff. And I remember being really surprised and confused--Because while I totally liked Jacob as a character, other than Jacob liking Bella, and Bella's father liking Jacob, I don't see how anyone could ever think Bella would choose Jacob--I thought she made it pretty clear that Edward was it for her. Especially considered that most of the time Bella spent with Jacob involved suicidal risks just to invoke the hallucination of Edward.---Ok, sorry, I don't mean to rant, I just keep hearing Twilight triangle, and the math just doesn't add up for me.

Mostly I'm happy as long as everyone is paired up in the end, I don't like odd numbers.

Danielle said...

I don't like love triangles when I read a romance I want the hero and heroine to be so wrapped up in each other that love triangles bother me.

Sullivan McPig said...

I can't stand love triangles, especially when they're dragged out over a gazillion books to keep you on your toes. give me a clear romance where you know who the heroine is going to end up with any day. (This may also be because I almost always like the guy who's going to lose in the end.)

Pamela Palmer said...

I love Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, though I'm a bit behind. (I've only read eight of the sixteen.) One woman, two men -- Joe Morelli and Ranger. I love that they both have her back and are both into her. And that she has chemistry with both. These definitely aren't romances, but I enjoy watching the relationships ebb and flow.

Claire Dawn said...

Three's ROCK! In literature anyhow. People love somebody to back. I mean, everywhere you turn there's Team Edward/Jacob and Team Peeta/Gale arguments.

Reasons why it works:
If you don't like something about Love Interest1, you probably like something about LI2. So there's a better chance that you connect.

Having to "fight" for the girl can bring out the best (and worse) in all 3 characters.

There's something so thrilling about having choices. Getting to pick between two men? Fab!!!

lynnrush said...

I'm conflicted, too. It makes for some interesting situations, but I'm teetering toward the "overdone" possibility as well. . . . But that's how I feel today...tomorrow, it could change, depending on what book I read. :-) LOL

Sharon S. said...

Three's are almost a must. There must be conflict and that is the best way to bring it on. Three's have been around a long time (like since men and women started courting) and it isn't going anywhere. And it is a reality of teen life. Teens are learning about what they do and don't want in a mate, and that can change from week to week. So it is normal for a person to be attracted to multiple people. Teenagers can be a fickle bunch .

cindy said...

nym, so true. did jacob ever have a chance? no.

i love all your thoughts! for those who like the one on one combo, surely you realize like in moonlighting (okay, i'm showing my age) or x-files, they can't get together quickly...if ever. tension must be there to last throughout an entire novel or series.

they may get together then be pulled apart again, which is the technique often employed in a longer series.

Nick said...

Nick was destined to win, since his name is so much hotter.

cindy said...

nick, i do like nick as a name. *grins widely*

Suzanne Young said...

Oh, Nick from the DL series... Sigh. I like triangles when they feel real--like in the one I mentioned. Right now they may be a bit overused, but I still enjoy them. In the end, I want a clear choice though. I also like the boy set up in Clockwork Angel.

Timothy Power said...

Torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool, loving both of you is breaking all the rules!
Seriously, I have often vied for the attention of another, but I can't say that two people have ever vied over me. I am in a rage about that!

Patricia Lynne said...

gah, love triangles, no way! They totally turn me off of books. They irritate and anger me because one person is going to be left out eventually or if not the person the third wheel finds just seems pegged on to make the readers happy that third wheel isn't left out and some one is flitting back and forth making it a triangle. I find out about love triangles in books I want to read so I go looking for spoilers in hopes of finding out what happened w/o having to deal w/ the love triangle.

van_pham said...

I don't mind reading them, but like the first poster said 'as long as there's a clear choice' than its good. I think the love triangle in Rachel Vincent's Shifter series bothers me the most....the last novel in the series comes out October..so hopefully by than it will get resolved.

nymfaux said...

@Cindy Thanks!

I think you're totally right about Moonlighting!!!! And you can just see how many other romances it has spawned, people who are meant for each other and never get together--Harm&Mac on Jag, Booth&Bones, Liv&Elliot on L&O:SVU, everyone on Grey's Anatomy, Carter&Ali on Eureka...

cindy said...

tim, sing it! and me neither. =)

suz, i JUST finished Clockwork Angel and LOVED it. also felt the triangle dynamics very well done in that novel. i almost added it to this post, which i had drafted before i had finished clare's novel.

van, i'm the opposite. i rather there wasn't a very clear choice. in that, either choice could make sense for the chooser. which is why it makes it that much more difficult to choose.

patricia, wow. strong feelings. esp since so many great reads do have love triangle elements.

Patricia Lynne said...

lol, I know Cindy! Drives me nuts. Sometimes, I just suck it up and read the book cuz I have to know the story. I tend not to buy the actual book either, just d/l an ebooks. Somehow that makes a difference to me, like I'm saying "ha you're not good enough to have a real copy of." I also am more prone to let go of the book once it's read and sell it cuz I have no desire to reread it.
Guess I just like my love simple and straightforward. What's that make me? lol

cindy said...

patricia, too funny. well, funnier is that while i do enjoy reading a good love triangle, i can't seem to write one to save my life. ha!

nymfaux said...

@Patricia Lynn--That's funny that you say you've been buying the ebooks, because they aren't good enough to have a real copy---I've been doing the opposite, making sure that I buy my favorite books in digital versions so that their always with me and I never have to leave anybody behind.

--although I definitely agree, it's been easier for me to get rid of the ones I don't really want.

And yes, I still have a book shelf dedicated to the hard copies, especially the autographed ones, that I can't bear to get rid of.

nymfaux said...

@Cindy--you write just fine the way you are ;)

Patricia Lynne said...

nymfaux, when I buy the real copies of book it's cuz I love the book so much I want to be able to read it anywhere. I like sitting back anywhere and turning actual pages. we have an ebook reader, I just haven't had a chance to try it yet. I should, it would make totting many stories around much easier!

PS: where I live sucks, they never get new release books until WEEKS after it's released. =\

donnas said...

I do like them. But at times Im really not in the mood for them and want books where there isnt one. It almost seems like too many people think there has to be one currently. Which while in some great cases makes a great story. In others it just doesnt need to be there.

nymfaux said...

@Patricia Lynn--I completely understand--I love the feel of actual books, too--but now I don't have to worry about not having a book handy, whatever mood I might be in, whatever I might feel like reading--I love it!!!--Plus, I actually just moved, and until we got here, I didn't realize that the closest bookstore was an hour away in any direction. I am SOOOOO thankful to have my Nook so I can get new releases instantly!!!!! It's been a life-saver!!!!

cindy said...

nym, thank you!

and i never did get into the ebook thing. i'm not sure if i ever will. i look at my laptop so much, holding a real book is just different for me. also, i give almost all of the books i buy away. =O so it's not for sentimental reasons. i just love holding a real book i my hands.

donnas, yes, that is a complaint i hear. that a triangle is made when it seems totally unnecessary.

Crystal said...

I've been meaning to read Eye's Like Stars for forever now, I must pick that and Perchance to Dream up at the book store tomorrow. The covers are beautiful.

I'm very conflicted on this topic. I LOVE love triangles and I HATE them. It depends on the story really, if it's going for the guy I like then I like them, if not then I don't. And I like when everyone gets a HEA,like nymfaux stated. If not, then it's upsetting.
...Sebastian *sob* (He needs his own book, *onkneesbeggingColleen*).
But you can usually figure out who ends up with the girl well in advance and have time to prepare yourself if you need.
I'm with you though Cindy and like when there isn't a clear choice even if it is heartbreaking at the end.
You've almost come to expect love triangles in YA though which doesn't turn me off them but may not be a good thing.

And I love my ereader because it's so convenient to carry around and get books instantly but it just died on me over the weekend *sniff,sniff* so I will be heading to the book store tomorrow. I miss with the ebooks seeing the whole covers that you get with PB/HC though. And I'll have to find more shelf space in my house now, LoL
Kinda rambled on a bit, sorry! =)Good post though!

cindy said...

thanks crystal! the prevalence of love triangles in YA is what spurred this topic, but for me, i'm definitely not at the saturation point yet. probably because not ALL YA books i read has them.

also, DO READ lisa's books. they are so good and different.

Leah Cypess said...

NICK? How can you like Nick more than Alan? (Though admittedly, Alan is not for Mae; she loves Nick.)

Our friendship is on thin ice. Again.