March 24, 2011

Love Triangles

I just finished Amanda Hocking's "My Blood Approves" series. It was a good read (3 out of 5 stars) but not for the squeamish -- especially if vivid descriptions of compound fractures freak you out. The love scenes were a bit too explicit and cliche'd for my tastes, but not anatomically detailed. There were a few eff-bombs and scatological curse words, so reader (and parents) beware. My biggest problem with this story was the love triangle. It took me too long to decide who I wanted Alice to end up with.

Some love triangles can up the stakes in a story to the point of creating rabid fans (Jacob vs. Edward) but the author runs the risk of diluting the reader's emotional response if there is not a clear and distinct "one true love" well before the end of the book or series. It's something I'm struggling with in my own WIP, "Shattered." I want my readers to root for the "right" guy to get the girl so I had to go back and give his competition a few more fatal flaws.

I loved "The Hunger Games" (if you haven't read the series yet, stop right now and go download it!)

************* SPOILER ALERT *********

I was reeeealy hoping Katniss would end up with Gale until the last book. I was happy with the ending but it would have been even more satisfying if I'd been solidly on Peeta's side from the beginning. Since the romance was a subplot and the mainnplot was so incredibly awesome, it wasn't a deal breaker.

****** END ALERT ****

If there is any sexual tension between characters when they are introduced (even if it's negative) I start looking for romance. Especially if it's early in the story. I want to care deeply about the characters and their love lives. The more emotionally invested I become the less I care about typos, grammar and style. Some of the best stories are by Indie authors that can't afford to hire professional editors. But if I can't decide who to cheer for, the writin' better be dang good. I want to scream when the protags can't make up their minds who they really love. It's okay if they're conflicted about who they "should" love as long as they know who they "really" love.

Maybe that says more about me than the story ... Hmmm, something to think about.