Love triangles: the ‘right’ guy vs the ‘wrong’ guy

Posted March 27, 2014 by Brin in Discussion Posts / 12 Comments

love trianglesNow I get really annoyed with the predominance of love triangles in books (it is especially prevalent in YA). I find this trope to be one that has too much focus and often overshadows the plot. How many conversations about your favourite books are actually about who prefers which potential love interest? Why this one or that one would be right for the heroine? Which one would you date in real life? Etc. Etc.

It is a bit wearying but…that is not to say I do not sometimes get caught up in the resulting ‘shipper’ wars. As much as I sometimes feel I am too old to be so concerned over a book character’s love life, I cannot help but choose a side (or team) and stick to it (or him!). Here are some examples where I feel the right guy won (may be spoilers but I have greyed these out for those who haven’t read the books). This is only my humble opinion of course!


5 Books with love triangles where the right guy won:

The Artists Trilogy by Karina Halle


Soul Screamers series by Rachel Vincent


Unearthly by Cynthia Hand


The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins


Vampire Academy by Richelle Mead


This may come as a surprise since I certainly prefer Adrian over Dimitri – just not with Rose!


Funnily enough, I usually tend to favour the guy who becomes the eventual winner (excuse the expression – don’t mean to make the female protagonist sound like some ‘prize’ to be won) but there are the odd occasions where I vastly prefer the other guy. Here are some example – again, this is only my opinion!

5 Books with love triangles where I wish the other guy had won:

Shifters series by Rachel Vincent


Hated Marc with a passion (to be fair I wasn’t a fan of Faythe either).

Daughters of the Forest by Juliet Marillier


I prefer Simon over Red – don’t hurt me!!

The Grisha series by Leigh Badugo


I know this series isn’t over yet so things could change but I prefer the Darkling – sorry Mal!!

Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris


I wasn’t the only one who thought Agent Barclay was a better match for Janelle was I?

Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore


I didn’t really buy Bitterblue and Saf – come on Giddon was way better. Could still happen right? The ending was left open…


Have there been any books where you felt the right guy ended up with the girl or alternatively you prefered the other guy?

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12 responses to “Love triangles: the ‘right’ guy vs the ‘wrong’ guy

  1. I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who thought it ended up right in The Hunger Games. I am a HUGE Peeta fan, and it drives me crazy when my friends say that they thought she should have ended up with Gale. Um, how about no? Great list and post idea! 🙂


    • Yeah I don’t get that either. Katniss needed someone steady and dependable like Peeta. I don’t dislike Gale as a character but I never really could understand why people thought that he and Katniss should be together – I was rooting for Peeta right from the start and I never doubted that he would be the one she ultimately ended up with. I think Peeta is far more complex than people give him credit for which makes him the more interesting character for me! 🙂

  2. thebookheap

    ” I find this trope to be one that has too much focus and often overshadows the plot” < YES exactly this!! Ugh I'm so fed up.
    Also I hate the whole "bad boy" trope generally. I really don't see the attraction in a guy who treats you like crap, anyway.
    Is the souls creamers series any good? those new covers really put me off reading them haha

    • Yeah I don’t get the bad boy thing myself – I tend to prefer nerdy, funny and sweet guys in books. Don’t get me wrong there has been the odd exception to the rule (Adrian Ivashkov – I’m looking at you!!) but my taste in book boyfriends tends to be pretty similar to what I go for IRL. Every time a heroine falls for a guy who winds up treating her like something scraped off his shoe I honestly want to tear my hair out. With YA books I think it sets an uncomfortable precedent that it is ok to accept this type of treatment, that it is somehow ‘romantic’ – just…no!!

      The Soul Screamers series is really, really good. The first book is good but not great, from the second book onwards it really picks up. It is one of my favourite YA series. 😀

      • thebookheap

        Exactly. I always fall for the good guys. I agree, I think the whole bad boy “treat ’em mean” idea in YA is risky. It is teaching influential teens that actions which are actually defined as abusive are “romantic”. Disturbing.

        Righto, ill have to search for the old covers then because I really dislike those new ones haja

        • It is disturbing. I hope the trend ends soon – bring back the nice guys I say! lol 😉

          The American covers of the Soul Screamers series are much prettier than the UK versions. I know the omnibus editions (the whole series is now available in four parts) have different covers. These include all the books plus the novellas and short stories that have been released – a pretty good bargain (just a shame I already have the whole series!). They are available on Amazon and the Book Depository. 🙂

  3. Sam

    This irritates me SO much! Especially when the two love interests are the “bad boy” and the “good boy”. WWHHYY? Great post, though. 🙂

    • I know what you mean – they always seem to need to have the contrast and usually the ‘bad boy’ wins becuase he was hiding a heart of gold beneath a troubled exterior…I’ve seen that play out so many times!!

      Thanks – I had fun writing it. 🙂

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