I’m sure people are expecting this to be about the Switch. Quick opinion: I’d probably be more excited for it if people stopped jumping to conclusions. This has been happening for pretty much the entire time we’ve known about this thing and it’s REALLY driving me crazy. Actually, that might be an understatement.
Anyway, onto the real subject of this rant: UNNECESSARY LOVE TRIANGLES SHOEHORNED INTO BOOKS!
(Warning: May contain vague spoilers for books you probably won’t care about. Read at your own risk.)
So I’ve been rereading this book recently. It’s been a while (probably at least a year or two) since I’ve last read it, so I don’t remember everything in the plot. Basically so far, a girl wakes up in a classroom with no memory of the last six months that’ve gone by. She then has to
play a game involving killing her fellow students to escape her school try to piece together what happened during those six months. She has way higher grades than she used to, she’s dating her crush, and she’s not friends with her BFF anymore. Oh, and there are also possibly drugs and missing people involved.
But just when this plot looks like it might be interesting, this girl makes it come to a screeching halt so she can obsess over her love life.
See, her crush doesn’t actually seem as nice as she thought he was, and then there’s this other boy who she ended up picturing when she thought of love or something like that. So…kind of like Matched. Because you know your book is high-quality when you rip off the plot of that little gem! And then the girl tries to talk to the other boy about actual important things, but they end up talking about romance. Somehow.
These two boys also constantly fight over her. Like…whenever they’re around each other. Also, the crush is kind of a stalker, and even after this girl breaks up with him, he still follows her around everywhere. YAY FOR ROMANCE! 😀
Seriously, though, I hate it when people shoehorn love triangles into things for no real reason. I don’t know if it’s the author’s doing or the editor’s doing or the publisher’s doing or whatever, but it’s very annoying and needs to stop. I mean, Divergent was a mega-popular book and I don’t remember it having a love triangle… So… Why do other books have to have one now?
Like, take this series I read a little while ago. The first book was amazing. It was about a teenage girl who managed to survive an apocalypse and became sort of toughened from the world around her. She ends up taking in another girl quite a bit younger than she is, and the two of them are just trying to survive, hiding from these deadly alien things, using their wits to keep themselves alive, you get the picture. They eventually get rescued and brought to a survivors’ colony, and the book isn’t as great after that, but it’s still really good. There are some cliché dystopian things in there, but when romance gets thrown in, it’s barely even romance…and it works for that book. I mean, when humanity is at risk of extinction because these aliens are killing everyone they see, I really don’t think people are going to be that interested in their romantic lives.
For various reasons, I didn’t end up reading the sequel to that book until almost exactly a year later. I’d gotten myself pretty hyped up for it…only to be very, very disappointed. This was due to a few things, but the biggest of those would be THE COMPLETELY FORCED ROMANTIC SUBPLOT THAT PRETTY MUCH CAME RIGHT OUT OF NOWHERE.
And yes, it was so forced that it needs to be said in ALL CAPS. -_-
To put it bluntly, I was pissed. Why did there have to be a romantic subplot? Why did it have to be shoehorned in? Why was this basically the focus for half the book? (Well, that and some creepy rapist dude…) Did these people somehow manage to forget the little fact that THE WORLD IS STILL SHIT OUT THERE? Just…WHY?
This is what makes me hate romance in YA. Practically nobody can do it well. There are almost ALWAYS two (or more) boys obsessing over the main girl, even when she’s a total tool, stupid, or both. This dilemma ends up being so important that it ends up taking over the plot of the book, because people’s love lives are SO much more important than apocalypses or secret plots or what have you. And when it’s not written well, it basically ends up ruining what could’ve been an interesting plot. Ugh.
Have you guys ever read any books with this problem? (Which you probably have if you’ve ever read YA.) Be sure to comment below if you’ve got something to say. And even if you don’t, at least it’ll prove you’ve read this post…