Let’s Talk About Math, Triangles Specifically.

Ah, middle school math. True confession time Swoon Readers: I was (and arguably still am) a math nerd. That’s right. I was a book fiend AND a numbers nerd. I know, it’s hard to believe, but I credit my love of both as one of the reasons I like my job in publishing sales so much. It’s like peanut butter and jelly – two things you love coming together in one awesome, unbeatable combo. How does my love of math, specifically geometry, relate to Swoon Reads, teen romance and all things bookish? I think we can all appreciate a well-crafted triangle – in math, as well as in our favorite teen romance.

My love of triangles continued well beyond the classroom. For years (and years!) I’ve been appreciating the art of a well-crafted love triangle in books. Sure there are the obvious examples: Katniss, Peeta & Gale; Bella, Edward & Jacob; and Joey, Dawson & Pacey. But today I’m coming at you with another example, probably famous enough in its own right now: The Vampire Diaries triangle, aka Elena, Damon and Stefan. Full disclosure, I’ve never read the books, so my post is based on the TV show, so apologies to any purists in advance. (I’ll put out a general SPOILER ALERT now)

When TVD first hit the CW airwaves back in 2009, I was interested but not wowed. We (the world) were in the very midst of Twilight Mania and vampires were hot. Not to mention Paul Wesley and baddie Ian Somerhalder are also extremely hot. If you go back and watch the first ten episodes the show is good, but not amazing. You can see the Kevin Williamson touch, with some scary-movie type moments, and some really fun dialogue, so I stuck around and kept watching. When Elena and Stefan finally get together it was satisfying as a viewer, if also 100% predictable. But we’re now 6 seasons into this show and I can (and will) tell anyone who will listen that this show in anything but predictable. From the sudden, and often brutal, killing off of some of the most beloved characters (Alaric!), to the fantastic (and somehow seemingly completely rational in the context of the show) reasoning behind all the awesome plot-twists that come at you EVERY SINGLE WEEK (I’m telling you, this show is unlike any other I’ve watched in terms of plot twists – and I love it!).

But really, possibly the best part about this show is the love triangle between Elena and the two brothers, Saint Stefan and Devil Damon (although we both know, they change their Saint/Devil hats often, with much glee from me!). We all knew Stefan and Elena were going to get together, and the show didn’t really waste (much) time getting there. What I did not see coming (at least not for some time) was the Elena and Damon relationship – and how I caught myself off-guard cheering for it. But I do love her with Stefan as well. And I still don’t know who I think she should end up with. That was one well-constructed triangle, my friends. Even my seventh grade math teacher would have been impressed.

While some triangles seem too drawn out and ludicrous (cough Twilight cough, cough), others seem less about who the right pair truly is and catch you more off-guard (I’m looking at you Suzanne Collins). And my Swoon Reads colleague and master of the Twitter-verse, Jen G. (follow Swoon Reads at @SwoonReads and her at @SometimesReads) periodically complains that there are not enough triangles that feature two females and one male. So let’s hear from you Swoon Readers – how do you feel about triangles? Do you have a favorite? And who are you rooting for – Damon or Stefan?

Author spotlight

Claire T.

When I was little I used to carry one of the Baby Sitter Club books with me wherever I went. …

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