HarlequinTEEN's spring Reading into Romance
Everyone, it seems, hates a love triangle.
And yet, they seem to pop up everywhere in YA. Edward, Bella, Jacob. Clary, Jace, Simon. Damon, Stefan, Elena. Meghan, Ash, Puck (yes, I'm including myself). Why are they even necessary? Why put them in at all?
I can't answer for every author. But I can guess some of the main reasons love triangles are so prominent in YA now. These are only my thoughts and opinions, as a YA author of several years, on why the dreaded Love Triangle is so popular.
It creates conflict. I recently read a book review where the blogger stated that it would be a better book if the author didn't add all this drama. I have to disagree. Drama is why we read. Conflict drives a story forward. Having two people in love creates drama, but add a third to the mix, and suddenly you have all this tension and confusion and anguish for all three of the characters. There's tension between the two boys as they vie for the girl's affections. And if they are brothers or best friends, it's even more interesting. There's tension between the girl and her two suitors as she struggles with who she wants. (And, incidentally, it is possible not to know. The author has to make it believable, but it's absolutely possible to love two people at once.) So, yes. Tension. Drama. Conflict. It's what drives a story forward. Are love triangles necessary to the plot? Sometimes, but not always. Do they add all this lovely anguish and tension? Absolutely. And, as authors, we strive to make our characters suffer. For the sake of the story, of course.
It allows for character development. When everything is going smoothly for the character, well, that's kind of boring. It's when they're forced into an uncomfortable or intolerable situation that they shine. Or fall apart. You might never see the protective side of a character if he wasn't in love, or the insanely jealous side. He might not realize he had a jealous side until he sees the girl with the "other" guy. Being in love brings out the best and the worst in the characters, which in turn develops them further.
People want to read about love triangles. I know I'm contradicting myself when I say this, but love triangles and popular because, well...they're popular. Readers want to read about them, probably because of the reasons listed above. That's not to say authors should put in Love Triangles just because they're popular, but they are a tried and true story trope, and I don't think they should be shunned or avoided. I do believe it is the author's responsibility to use them wisely and, if they do decide to use The Love Triangle, to give it as much thought as the rest of the book, and not throw one in just to have it. Make each character their own person, give them real reasons to fall in love with each other, reasons for us to care about them, and the Love Triangle will feel natural and inevitable, not forced. That, I think, is the secret to creating a triangle that readers can love.
Unless he can earn a soul.
To cold, emotionless faery prince Ash, love was a weakness for mortals and fools. His own love had died a horrible death, killing any gentler feelings the Winter prince might have had. Or so he thought.
Then Meghan Chase—a half human, half fey slip of a girl— smashed through his barricades, binding him to her irrevocably with his oath to be her knight. And when all of Faery nearly fell to the Iron fey, she severed their bond to save his life. Meghan is now the Iron Queen, ruler of a realm where no Winter or Summer fey can survive.
With the (unwelcome) company of his archrival, Summer Court prankster Puck, and the infuriating cait sith Grimalkin, Ash begins a journey he is bound to see through to its end— a quest to find a way to honor his solemn vow to stand by Meghan’s side.
To survive in the Iron realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. At least, no one has ever passed to tell the tale.
And then Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that turns reality upside down, challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice.
For more information on the whole Iron Fey Series, including all Novella’s, the new Iron Prince Series and other special content - please visit the Iron Fey Website!
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