Dear YA Authors,
Your books are great and your characters are fierce. Your worlds are immersive and your scenes are flawless. Your storyline is incredible and your descriptions are beyond belief, but there’s one thing you can’t escape.
The dreaded, inevitable love triangle.
It’s the death and foundation of every young adult story ever. Horror and historical fiction, realistic and sci-fi and fantasy, they all have on thing in common.
Our heroine is torn between two guys, equally intelligent and gorgeous and both willing to sacrifice their lives for her. There’s usually the perfect-looking guy who meets all of the bullet points, but he just isn’t right. Then, naturally, you have the bad boy with the heart of gold, and then that’s the guy our main character, however “strong” and “independent” she may be billed as, is going to go for.
Really, it’s unfair to the reader. It’s predictable, annoying, and way too Twilight. It’s cookie-cutter, expected, and frankly, it’s a pain in the derriere.
Also, you’re undoing your character. Give her a little credit! Whether she’s a Hermione or a Katniss, a Celaena or even (heaven forbid) a Bella, you’re undermining her ability to really blossom. She can’t find love if she’s trapped in the endless circle (triangle?) of heinous decision.
Give your Annabeth or your Lucy a little room to grow. She can’t be what you want her to be if she’s deciding between her Harry and her Ron, her Edward and her Jacob, her Peeta and her Gale. Give her story more purpose than just deciding between a guy and another guy (or girl, or whatever).
Your books are amazing, your characters are beautiful and well-written. But you need to let them be.