I Have Terrible Taste in Men
Let me clarify my headline quickly, before you worry that the Swoon Reads Blog has turned into a therapy session: I am saying I have terrible taste in men when it comes to literary love triangles. I find myself picking the “wrong” guy – even well after the issue has supposedly been settled and everyone (protagonist, love-interests, author, other readers, etc) has moved on.
My first example has to be Twilight. I finished the first book and turned to my coworker (who had recently finished Eclipse) and said “I don’t get it? There’s a love triangle? Who is the other love interest?” She informed me that while there is like zero character development for Jacob in Twilight, he featured prominently in New Moon…
(I can’t believe this is necessary, but just in case, “spoiler alert”)
…turns into a werewolf, and totally has some major chemistry with Bella. So I dove into New Moon and about half-way through, I was like “fantastic, she ditched the borderline abusive, stalker, cold dude for the, literally, hotter guy.” But by the end of New Moon, much like Jacob, my dreams of a human/werewolf romance had been squandered and Bella had re-pledged her love to Edward. In Eclipse there isn’t even a hint that Jacob has a real chance. Believe me, I love the tent scene as much as the next girl (and the Bella/Jacob kiss that follows shortly thereafter), but that was really just an opportunity to show how noble Edward’s intentions are, and yet still, I was hoping. Even after finishing Breaking Dawn, I thought “well, I guess that worked out well for everyone, but really? The relationship she has with Jacob is just so much better.” He is fun, and funny, and warm (literally and figuratively), and caring and not a stalker. But I digress.
The second example of this is Hunger Games. I had the completely opposite problem that I had with the triangle in Twilight. Where Stephanie Meyer was continually hammering home that it was going to be Bella and Edward for all eternity, Suzanne Collins had me believing hook, line and sinker that Katniss and Gale were soul-mates. The scene in the second book, when she rescues him from the beating and helps take care of him, was fantastic. I thought “poor people who think it’s going to be Peeta – they will be crushed.” Well, color me shocked at the end of Mockingjay. Katniss and Gale have history and a friendship that have helped them both survive, how can Gale just disappear from her life? And for the first 2.5 books, Katniss is pretending she is in love with Peeta. Pretending! Not real! Anyways, clearly, I can’t win this one.
This brings us to the Shadow and Bone trilogy. I have learned from my mistakes in the past, I’m not betting on anyone in this series yet. The third book doesn’t come out until May 2014, and I am eagerly awaiting it to find out the answers to so many questions that Leigh Bardugo left hanging at the end of Siege and Storm. Not the least of which is who is Alina going to end up with? All signs seem to be pointing to Mal, but half way through Siege and Storm, Mal and Alina seem to be headed in different directions (which felt a little too close to Gale and Katniss midway through Mockingjay for my comfort). And after the first book, can anyone shake how undeniably attractive the Darkling is? Death and destruction and quest for world domination be damned. And what about this Sturmhond character, who is far too attractive to just be an accessory. But then we’re looking at a romantic rhombus and my head starts to spin.
So there we have it readers, I suspect I am not alone in rooting for the wrong team. What romantic entanglements have you put the wrong bets on? Who did you want to get together and find yourself slightly miffed at the end of the story when you were left wanting? Who are you anxiously awaiting a romantic resolution for? Sound off below.
– Claire T