Antonia’s “Fake” News…A Column


Antonia Le, Editor-in-Chief

   You know what I hate? Love triangles. They’re annoying in everything, but I hate them most in bad young adult (YA) novels. Half of my hatred for them may be because I can’t get one boy to fall in love with me, let alone two. The other half comes from my annoyance at the fact that the choice is always so obvious, that there’s not really a choice to begin with.

   Yet somehow, that one stupid choice drives the conflict for at least three books and at least four movies (assuming that the last book gets split up into two movies, like they all do). For the longest time, I wondered how anyone could think seeing a boring girl choose between two equally boring boys could be anything but boring.

   But, you either die a hero or live long enough to see yourself become the villain. As my senior year progresses, I’ve started to find myself understanding why bad YA love triangles exist more and more. I still hate them with every fiber of my being, but I get them.

   Think about every love triangle you’ve ever come into contact with. One of the romantic candidates is always a safe, yet boring choice; he’s probably the best friend of the protagonist. The other candidate is probably someone new to the protagonist’s life. He is probably more mysterious than the best friend, but not so mysterious that you wonder if he is trying to date you or eat you.

   And you, the sixteen-year-old white girl, who is probably the leader of a magical fairy revolution or something, have to choose between the two. But in your choice, you’re not really choosing between two equally bland guys, you’re choosing between your past and your future.

   There’s a reason that so many bad YA novels include love triangles, and I’m sure the reason is that no matter how bad they are, they still want us to learn something. At the end of the story, the teenage girl rarely chooses the best friend, the safe one, the one that she has a past with. She chooses the new guy, the scary-but-not-too scary one, the one that she sees a future in.

   As we go through high school, we are increasingly asked to choose between our past and our future. Just in the past few weeks, I’ve had to choose between the past and the future at least twice. For two Thursdays in February, I had to choose between a school club event with people I love or a college event full of strangers that could determine the shape of my future? The choice that I know I’d enjoy, or the one that scares the hell out of me? On paper, the future seems like the obvious choice, but when you’re the one making the decision, it isn’t so clear. I’ve already made my decision. By the time this article is published, I’ll be beginning to face the consequences.

   I like to think that I chose right. There’s a little voice in the back of my head yelling at me right now. It hates everything I do, good or bad, so I’m trying not to listen to it as much.

   Maybe I’m reading into these bad YA books way too much. After all, I did apply to most of my colleges as an English major. And, in the end, I still hate all of these bad YA books. Maybe I should have been spending my column talking about the YA novels that are actually really remarkable, the ones with logical and actual plots.

   Maybe next time. Right now, though, I’m okay. I’m happy. I like my choices.