Ah, the Love Triangle: Instant guarantee of drama in any YA romance novel, it provides a vast array of emotions, from cringing embarrassment to outright competitions for Who Will Win the Heart of the MC (fortunately, Em and I have never yet been totally divided on our opinions of who should win, otherwise there might be strife in BibliobibuliYA).
Not that they’re all bad–on the contrary, there are some entertaining ones out there. But there are also some really, really bad ones (3 guesses what’s at the bottom of this list). So, for your reading pleasure, we’ve summed up what we consider the best and worst love triangles currently existing in YA Lit.
Girl Genius Series
by Phil and Kaija Foglio
I will say this once, that this is the best love triangle ever witnessed by me or Emily. Seriously, it fills us with giggles rather than gags. Mostly, we think, because all any of them can think about is MAD SCIENCE, and they all get along famously because they are the three most crazed, politically important mad scientists of their generation. They are also nowhere near as adverse as they should be to performing said mad science on themselves/each other. Really, the scene would be perfectly set for a threesome if it weren’t obvious that Gil is going to get the girl…if Agatha will consent to have him as her Prince and assistant mad scientist.
Remnant Chronicles Series
by Mary E. Pearson
This one is also in the top slot because it’s a love triangle where you don’t actually know the identity of two of the main characters. Confusing? A bit. Basically, there’s this escaped princess, and there are two men assigned to track her down…one to marry her, the other to kill her (although, of course, he falls in love with her too). And you don’t know which one she’s falling for, or what role he’s supposed to play…it’s the first time I’ve ever seen a love story, let alone a love triangle, that’s suspenseful.
Shatter Me Series
by Tahereh Mafi
OK, this love story isn’t exactly innovative, but it is in the ‘best’ category because Emily and I are both HUGE fans of how Tahereh Mafi writes. Particularly the love story…swoon-worthy. As Emily said once, everything else is and ought to be secondary. And hey, we don’t care if Juliet is messing around with two guys, so long as she ends up with the right one. And by right one, I mean the one that makes us swoon more and who is also (in our admittedly limited view) cuter. WARNER. Shallow? Who, us?
Greta and the Goblin King
by Chloe Jacobs
Emily and I are divided on this one, but it is still at least not a terrible love triangle. I appreciate the fact that she’s not automatically falling for the soul-linked, dream-walking Prince (even if he is of a different species), although I personally feel the other way, the ‘we’re two of the only Humans in the world, let’s fall in love’ is a bit of a force. But it’s entertaining, and I appreciate how both of them take a second place to Greta’s badassery.
Shadow and Bone Series
by Leigh Bardugo
Yes, we love the series. Ask Emily, especially, and she’ll tell you it’s one of her favorites, with the exception of the entire last book. Why do we hate the last book? Because from the moment Mal appeared, making snarky remarks and sneaking off to sleep with arrogant sorceresses, we were baying for his blood. And, of course, Alina ignores both the amazingly sexy bad guy and the amazingly flirty pirate prince to keep pining over the ‘best friend’ who keeps treating her awfully. And Leigh won’t even kill him properly, no matter how much we asked the heavens.
The Luxe Series
by Anna Godbersen
Do I cringe a bit when I admit to having read this series? Yes. In my defense, everyone should know by now I’m a sucker for historical books, especially ones with pretty dresses. Nevertheless, I found it to be a vapid, bitchy attempt to imitate Gossip Girl, and what made it all the worse was the love triangle…’oh, my best friend AND my sister are in love with my fiancee, but I’m sleeping with the servant boy’ is just too much drama. Sadly, love triangles and drama are all the series provides.
The Girl in the Steel Corset Series (Steampunk Chronicles)
by Kady Cross
This book might have been halfway decent, except for the love triangle, which actually feels totally unnecessary. I mean, you have automatons, evolutionary miracles, frankenstein things, and Queen Victoria in one book. Do you HAVE to make the main character choose between the bad-boy Lord of the Underworld and the noble Duke fighting to save the world? Do you really HAVE to?
by Stephenie Meyer
This one goes without saying. Emily and I went through a dark time in high school, where girls formed cliques based on whether they were ‘Edward Fans’ or ‘Jacob Fans’ and everyone’s mothers read the series to pretend they were hip. I can honestly say that this dark time is the reason why I probably to this day shudder at the thought of love triangles. Not even the idea of a new Twilight series can revive this for me–and it feels like a media ploy in order to draw attention back towards Stephenie and Twilight. Fortunately, we have all survived and moved on to better literature (with the possible exception of those who like 50 Shades of Gray)
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Disclaimer: The cover pictures were pulled from the book’s Goodreads page. None of them belong to us.