And no, I do not see a problem with that—up to a point. Love triangles are a bit annoying, often unrealistic, and usually a lazy way to create romantic tension, but if a book does feature one, I make the best of it. I pick a "team" and talk to other people about theirs. I have fun.
Like I said, there is nothing wrong with this behavior—up to a point. But a problem arises when people obsess over love triangles so much that they entirely overlook a story's plot, messages, or any other non-romantic elements.
I see this behavior frequently, especially with extremely popular YA books that have been turned into movies or even entire franchises. Take The Hunger Games, for example. The book is about a society meant to seem dangerously similar to ours. It is about characters who do what they have to do to survive. Yet some people seem to think it is primarily about whether Katniss will end up with Gale or Peeta.
It is ridiculous. Anyone who does not believe me should watch this sadly, satirically relevant movie review of Catching Fire, which proves my point in a more entertaining way than I ever could.
I can list a few reasons why society's obsession with love triangles has become so savage. Perhaps it is because many popular YA books feature a teenage girl protagonist and possess a fandom comprised largely of teenage girls, so how could the books be about anything but romance? Perhaps it is because love triangles are easier to think about than the deeper elements of a story, and many people do not feel like looking past the attractiveness of various male love interests. Or perhaps it is because companies know that love triangles sell, so they push the ploys into people's faces.
Whatever the reason, this love triangle infatuation is an issue because when people focus on a protagonist's romantic struggles, they deprive themselves of all the other wonderful things a story has to hold. Yes, it is entertaining to bond with fellow fans over shared support of two characters' romantic relationship, but any good story has other elements equally worthy of attention. I hate seeing brilliant stories reduced to a small, barely-important aspect while everything else is tossed to the side.
The next time you find yourself in a conversation about a popular book, remember that the story's love triangle is a topic worth discussing, but far from the only topic worth discussing. Do not be afraid to introduce another element to the dialogue. The discussion will be better for it.
Let's discuss: Do you think society and the media focus too much on love triangles? What are some other books that push love triangles a little too much?