Let’s Talk About Love Triangles

Is it just me, or is it not YA if it doesn’t have a love triangle (or rectangle, or trapezoid if you’re Cassandra Clare)?

I think the first successful love triangle that sparked this whole theme was The Hunger Games trilogy. Since then, almost every YA novel I’ve read has had some version of this. And quite frankly, I’m getting tired of it.

Very few times does it work in favor of the story. Usually it’s just to add tension. But writers, let’s not get lazy. There are other ways to add tension than make the main character have feelings for multiple boys or girls or both with opposing characteristics.

Oh, he’s so sensitive and really understands me. But he’s a rebel and pulls me out of my comfort zone.

Why do we have to define our characters by their relationships when we fight against this so hard in real life? Can’t the main guy or gal go through their story fueled by something else?

Believe me, I’m not downplaying love at all. Love is wonderful. I’m married and I absolutely adore my husband.

But I also didn’t have a boyfriend the first 20-something years of my life and I survived. Quite well, actually. Because you know what I was driven by?

Myself.

My dreams. My goals. My passions.

Can’t our characters have those, too? And can’t they be inspired by something other than a significant other?

I don’t know. Maybe I’m just crazy. Anyone else out there feel this way?

~Taylor