Day of Debate: Love Triangles

Day of Debate

This is a feature my brother came up with— wherein we tackle certain topics on books, young adult or not, and give you guys the low down on our opinions of them (which, mind you, generally differ). I’ll be encoding our conversation, and if you guys have any opinions of your own on the topic, or on the heated discussion, feel free to once again make my day and comment!

I apologize for not being around as much anymore—it’s my senior year after all, and I’m doing my best to make it count, and it’s getting to be a more formidable task than I’d like to think it is. And since these discussions are one of the few things that can keep me relaxed under pressure, I’d like to share them with you!

My brother is seventeen, a college sophomore, approximately one year and two days older. His name is Juan (that’s pronounced like the number, one), and he’s my best friend. No matter what anyone else says.

Here we go!

Design A

Jasmine: So… love triangles! Yay or nay?

Juan: Nay. How about nay?

Jasmine: … I think yay. They make books so much more interesting, cause the girl slash guy can never really have both, unless she’s a player. I hate players!

Juan: So do I. That’s why I hate love triangles so much. It’s a scenario where girl slash guy basically gets to put two love lives on hold, and it waters down stories that aren’t about love triangles in the first place.

Jasmine: But I find them romantic. I mean, if you get to meet two amazing people at the same time, and you’re lucky enough to have them both like you back, you aren’t just going to choose… It provides an extra challenge. I don’t think they’re that petty. They don’t water down the story, they spice them up.

Juan: Yes, they are that petty! Let’s go with examples. Think about the Hunger Games. When you’re basically one mistake away from your demise, the first thing on your mind probably isn’t whose better for me, Gale or Peeta. That’s the only thing that annoyed me about the Hunger Games. Their country’s freedom is on the line, and they still find time to think about their teenage hormones.

Jasmine: But aren’t YOU a teenager? Maybe it’s just that you’ve never been in love before (lame), I don’t know, but if I were Katniss, it’d be a pretty big deal to me, just because I don’t want anyone getting hurt, much less someone I deeply care about. I wasn’t annoyed, I was excited! And Peeta’s a great guy. I’m being biased, sorry. If let’s say, Gale wasn’t in the picture, I guess Katniss would just run straight into Peeta’s arms. That’s one less a hard decision she has to make. And those decisions made her strong didn’t they? Though Gale was barely in the picture, anyways… Next example, please.

Juan: Percy Jackson?

Jasmine: Percabeth forever!! Jaspereyna doesn’t really exist, and Frazeleo… no resolve there, but it doesn’t matter. Leo is mine. Neeext.

Juan: Hey, hey, hey! I still have to say my piece! Basically, it’s the same thing. If I were on an adventure, to save the world from the earth goddess, finding Ms. Right would be the last thing on my mind. I get that it’s used to appeal to the teenagers out there, but Rick Riordan spends too much time on it, thus taking away from the adventure parts of the series. He did waste a lot of time with the Frazeleo thing, you gotta admit.

Jasmine: No, I don’t gotta admit! Although, to be fair, I think you have an eensy teensy bit of a point-ish. I mean yeah, it did distract some of them unnecessarily, but it still made the books more interesting. That’s the main argument isn’t it? I don’t believe that every book needs a love triangle per se, because there are lots of titles out there that do great, even better without them. But I don’t think they’re that distasteful either. I’ve always wanted you to read the Infernal Devices… I loved that triangle. Now I have an excuse to get you to try it out. MUAHAHA.

Juan: You got me. You sneaky little… swine.

Jasmine: I’m underweight.

Juan: Oh yeah, I forgot. Pffft. Your turn!

Jasmine: I stopped at ‘you got me’. Do I win?

Juan: No. We’re getting off topic here. I need one last statement. *** extremely long pause*** Basically, I think there are more interesting topics than love triangles that you can use to appeal to readers. They’re too cliché and most of the time, stories rely too much on the sexual tension, and when the sexual tension is resolved, the characters lose all semblance of being a character. They become defined by who their boyfriend or girlfriend is rather than how they respond to important situations in their life. To summarize, they lose their individuality.

Jasmine: Okay, that point-ish grew a bit. Just a bit. Fine, I get it! But that doesn’t hold true for many titles. Love triangles sometimes allow characters to devolve, but there are others that allow them to develop. I think it depends on author’s style of writing somehow. I’m glad there are a lot of them out there that manage to make love triangles work. But I can’t make you like them. You’re you! But don’t be surprised when you find Clockwork Angel on your bed later, just waiting to be read. You’ll love it. I swear. I don’t swear. But still. I rest my case.

Juan: I shall pass judgment when I get there.

Jasmine: I should call this feature something…

Juan: Brotherly love?

Jasmine: Eww.

Design A

So what do you think? This is our first try. Forgive us our mediocre analysis, and comment what you think we should discuss next week! 🙂



28 thoughts on “Day of Debate: Love Triangles

  1. This was really interesting and fun to read. You guys are hilarious! I’m currently reading a book that doesn’t have a love triangle and it’s refreshing, but I’m still not for getting rid of love triangles. I just wish there were just a little less common. And don’t get me started on the love triangle in TID. It almost killed me.

    • You think so? Thanks! That’s my brother for you. HAHA! Yes, a lot of people scorn it because it’s way too commonplace now. But they’re still ineteresting! ESPECIALLY the TID triangle. Thanks for stopping by! 🙂

  2. Ha! Love this feature. I’m always trying to think of a way to incorporate my boyfriend or mother into my blog, one to get a boy/non-reader perspective and one to go a non-ya-reader perspective, but have never really gotten anything together. This was fun though! I think it’s great your brother reads and you both can argue your sides with support. I wonder if you’ll always have differing opinions? Hard to debate if you both agree! I look forward to your next one! 🙂

    I’m actually going to be writing about this topic twice next week, because of the Love Triangle 101 Event I’m part of, so I was excited to read this. I will say, to me The Hunger Games love triangle was different. Yeah, it ended up as a love triangle, but to me it was only started because Peeta was being used by Katniss for survival – not because she loved him. It only grew that way, as a friendship grows into love…. Or at least that’s how my brain remembers interpreting it. It wasn’t like the automatic “Oh no, I love two boys. What do I do?” thing that is so common.

    • That’s great to hear, Asti! I wasn’t sure if anyone would be interested in seeing anything like this, really 😀 And yes, knowing my brother, I’m almost sure that we’re going to take opposing sides regardless of the topic. That’s just the way we’ve worked for about sixteen years now. Haha! My brother reads a lot too, but he’s not a romantic, and notices a lot of the technical stuff– basically, he’s hard to please with the books that girls normally read. He’s a very deep guy. And I’m looking forward to your feature on love triangles! I LOVE these kinds of topics. And yes, the Hunger Games triangle was a bit different, and was happy that it was actually given a chance to develop. It was unique and I liked that. Thanks for stopping by! 😀

  3. Okay, your brother had me at “nay” about love-triangles : D It’s really sweet you guys do something like this together. And screw everyone who says there’s something meh about your brother being your best friend – my sister is my best friend, too, and she’s six years older than me. And you should do more of this feature ❤ I really like reading conversations about stuff like that!

    • Haha! I find my bro quite the interesting kid 😀 And yeah, I really like spending time with him like this, since we’re usually away from each other. I have fun conversing with someone so intellectual. Sometimes it’s hard to keep up, but I learn a LOT of stuff from him. And yeah, it’s great that you have a sister you can call a best friend too! My bro’s the only one I can confide in completely 🙂 And yes, based on the feedback, we probably will do another feature like this next week 😀 Thanks for stopping by Eve!

  4. Have to say the idea that love triangles water down a story is horribly true in my opinion and I’ve never read a ‘good’ love triangle although I’m sure it’s possible to write one. So right now I’m a ‘nay’ but I’m open to having my mind changed!

    • So, this gives my brother a point. Haha! Well of course, your opinion is respected, and I totally get why you think they’re not that good. But maybe it’s just that I’ve come across many more well written love triangles than you have! But in that case, tell me if your mind ever changes 😀 I’d really like to know which book was powerful enough to have swayed you 🙂

  5. I think the whole love triangle idea depends on both the writer, and the story. I mean, Twilight took it way too far, and it pretty much just ended up being a series about some teenage girl who couldn’t grow up and pick a boy. But then in other books, it’s kind of understandable, and even interesting.
    A lot of the time authors make the triangle the centre of the story, when it really should be a side-story (unless, of course, it’s a romance novel that was written about a love triangle, but anyway).
    I almost always prefer it when there is one boy, and one girl, and they fall in love without any interruption from some other boy or girl. This is the case, because, usually, the boy that I ship with the main girl NEVER gets the girl. And this annoys me.
    So, overall, I think that sometimes love triangles are okay, but if they take over the book, or leave me disappointed as a reader, then nope. No love for the love triangle from me.

    • YES! You hit the nail right on the head there! 🙂 I guess love triangles are good when they’re taken in moderation. I like the extra obstacles they bring and the way they affect the lives of the characters, unless of course they do take things too far (Twilight was horrendous, so sorry Stephenie), and I guess it’s pretty easy to tell which love triangles become way too trivial. And yeah, there are lots of great books that feature characters with only one love interest, and if your juju tends to work against you when you pick your ‘team’, I’d understand why you’re thinking would go that way! I reaaally am starting to get my brother’s rationale now. Hmmm…. 😀 Although I still think they’re not ALL that bad 🙂

      • Yes, moderation! I do like the challenges they pose to characters, and they can give a story some spice, I suppose.
        My luck is so horrendous. I swear they either kill of my ‘team’ boy, or they just fade him to black. It’s kinda depressing. But I know that if there is a love triangle in a book, they will never pick my choice. I have resigned myself to that fact, haha.
        You’re right, though. They’re not all bad 🙂

      • Haha! I think if your luck continues being your luck, then you should stay away from love triangles… and from possible heartbreak. Haha! Though if I come across a good one, I’ll be sure to give you some sort of recommendation! Though I am going to have to bank on your team agreeing with mine (being the same essentially) 😀

      • I am a little heartbroken every time the main character doesn’t choose my choice (if that makes sense). I always want to jump in the book, and comfort them! And steal them away, haha 😛
        Yay! I look forward to the recommendation, even if our teams aren’t the same 🙂

  6. I love your discussion! Hi, Juan and Jasmine *waves* I think the love triangle depends on the book. If it’s well-written, I’m all for it. But I don’t like it when it’s about looks. I think about which person is better for him/her depending on the characteristics and the qualities the love interest has. I don’t think it waters down the plot but spices it up. But ONLY if it’s done right. If it’s all about the love story, then eww no thanks. I love the TID love triangle! And the Heroes of Olympus one too. Hazel can have Frank. Leo’s mine! 😀

    • YAY! Glad you love it 🙂 I’ll tell my brother you say hi 😀 I’m really happy that you agree too, and I agree with you that I’m not too sold on love interests that have little more than good looks to offer. It’d be much better if they were deep and attractive, but not in the superficial way. There’s a certain criteria to that I guess 😀 And yep, the TID triangle was written really well in my opinion, though Cassie Clare tends to isolate an audience, for reasons I can’t even begin to explain. But if you say Leo’s yours and I say he’s mine… Hmm, everybody’s Leo then! I really adore him.

      • Who does not simply love Leo? 😉 Hmm.. there are certainly Hazel/Frank shippers. Too bad Leo is destined to be the seventh wheel 😦 And what do you mean CC tends to isolate an audience?

      • I don’t know, I have yet to come across someone who doesn’t love him 😀 But who knows! Maybe in the next book, he’ll find his own Hazel. Haha! People are speculating on a Reyleo kinda thing too :O Well like I said, I don’t know why it happens, but CC’s books are the love it, hate it kind of books. I’ve never come across a review on middleground. Or maybe it’s just that I tend to read reviews from the same bloggers. Oops! 😀 I really like her writing style though. I’m on the ‘love it’ end of the spectrum, definitely 🙂

  7. This was an amusing exchange! In regards to what your brother said about The Hunger Games though, I don’t think it was as focused on the love triangle as he or other people say it was. Katniss was definitely concerned about both guys,and wondered at times if she could choose to love either one of them, but they too were kind of putting the pressure on her while she was in the middle of trying to save her skin, their skin, and basically everyone else’s. She also dealt with all the other crap going on first before making any sort of decision.

    • Thanks! And it’s great how finally someone sorta disagrees with my bro. HAHA! I wasn’t too into his example either, cause I didn’t think she put more thought into Gale and Peeta than was necessary. I understood what she had to go through, and I guess she just needed someone to hold on to. But my bro’s a bro after all, and he has a point-ish, like I said 😀 But I loved that series! Still looking forward to the movie versions 🙂

  8. I agree with Juan completely about love triangles being an excuse for one person to put two other people’s lives on hold. I’m entirely ok with love triangles if the character the other two are interested is clear on which of the other two characters they like. If the person who has a decision to make is indecisive, it’s frustrating to me as a reader because I just want to shake them and point out how selfish they’re being.

    So while I disagree with you about this being a difficult decision that gives the character a chance to grow (if it’s a tough decision, you don’t really like either of them and should just let them move on!) I definitely agree that a love triangle doesn’t have to detract from the plot. If the characters are decisive and the romance is a secondary plot, I think they can add a lot of interest to the story 🙂

    • Well it’s great to know that you took a side! I’m not really bothered that much when a character’s being indecisive, because I myself have gone through that stage. I know for a fact that when something like that happens, you might get scared and stop looking ahead, and I know that it wasn’t the right thing to do, but sometimes it gets out of control. But yes, I do think I was being selfish, though I only realized such after I gave it a long and hard thought. Haha! I really get why that affects you though! :O Sometimes I feel bad for the love interests, because the losing side always has to come from one of them *sigh* I still believe it adds to the character’s development (but of course, it entirely depends on the situation the author used), but yes, I’m not against love triangles 😀 And thank you so very much for stopping by! People rarely comment on my older posts so that’s greatly appreciated 🙂 And my bro will be glad to hear you agree! 😀

  9. I think love triangles can be good when done well… but often, they’re not. I’m still annoyed about The Hunger Games. I think I would have felt better about Katniss’s choice if it had been more of a choice. But the author kind of made Gale disappear into the background (rather inexplicably) in the last book… which really left Katniss with only one option.

    • Yeaaaahh Gale was never really there anyways– Suzanne made it pretty clear that she was for Peeta :/ Oh well, at least I was a sort of Team Peeta too. I still adored that series though!

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