I Just Can't Choose! by Maree Anderson (for Writers Gone Wild)
If this post seems familiar, it's because I'm kinda cheating this week, and nabbing the beginning of a post I wrote for my own website yesterday to kick it off. Yes, I'm busy as with a rewrite of my third Crystal Warrior story so I can get it published in the next few weeks, and my brain is too full of Malach, and what makes him tick, to think of something entirely new and shiny and original to talk about. Sorry! I humbly beg your forgiveness.
So here goes:
I gotta admit I’m a fan of urban fantasies where the heroine has a thing for one guy, and sticks with him over the course of the series. Lilith Saintcrow’s Dante Valentine & Jill Kismet series, and Devon Monk’s Allie Beckstrom series immediately spring to mind. But that said, I don’t mind love triangles… so long as the heroine doesn’t keep vacillating between one guy and the other, keeping them both on tenterhooks and never making a decision. That drives me batsh*t crazy up the wall! I kinda want to insert myself into the story and be that BFF who gives the heroine a sound shaking and goes, “Make a decision already–even if it turns out to be the wrong one! Sheesh!”
When I’m reading YA, however, I tend to be a little more lenient. I mean, we’re talking teens for the most part. And anyone who’s got a teenage daughter knows how painful crushes are, and how often that boy they were pining over who was The One is forgotten once they spot the next hot prospect. I’m not saying that teenage girls are fickle — that would be their hormones! And the fact that sometimes they’re so in love with the “idea” of a boyfriend, and what their “ideal” boyfriend should be like, that they can’t see the really nice guy who’d do anything for them, who’s right under their noses.
So if I’m reading a love triangle in a YA, and the female protagonist is flip-flopping between two boys, I’m far more forgiving than I am with adult stories.
(And hereon in is the new stuff, just for Writers Gone Wild....)
But even in a YA, I still have to wholeheartedly believe the reasons for the heroine's decision to go with one guy over another for it to work for me. (Case in point, Shift by Jeri Smith-Ready, who did an awesome job of making me believe her heroine's choice.)
I guess by that I mean I don't much like plot devices that are used to separate one of the love interests, thereby throwing the heroine and the other guy she's angsting over together -- unless it's a really really cool, never before done plot device of course *g*. To me, that seems like cheating. It's giving one guy a chance to cozy up to the heroine when 1) he hasn't really worked for it, and 2) she hasn't really chosen it, while the other poor guy's off saving the planet, or dealing with the bad dudes or whatever.
Unfair! For me, it's far more interesting to have both guys in the picture, and for the heroine to have to choose... and live with the consequences of her choice.
So what about you?
What do you think about love triangles that are not resolved over the course of an ongoing series? *cough* Stephanie, Ranger & Morelli *cough*
And if you have strong feelings either way, how do you feel about similar situations in a book that's targeted toward YA? Does the author get a bit of a free pass because of the age of the protagonists?