I am a sucker for a good love triangle. However, love triangles can get a little predictable. So and so is in love with his best friend, but she is in love with the new guy. There are unlimited character possibilities, but only a few probable endings. If you love love stories, but are becoming bored with love triangles, I have the perfect solution…find a story with a good love rectangle.
What is a love rectangle? Well, a rectangle has four sides. A love rectangle is a story that involves four love interests. Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream is a perfect example of a love rectangle. You know the classic tale: Guy B asks for Girl A’s hand in marriage, but she is in love with Guy A. Meanwhile, Girl A’s best friend, Girl B, is in love with Guy B, but he won’t give her the time of day.
Without Girl B, A Midsummer Night’s Dream would just be the story of two love-sick boys running after a girl through a forest filled with fairies…Trust me, the love rectangle is much more interesting.
An updated version of this story can be found in Stephanie Meyer’s The Host. Let’s just get this over with: Yes, she is the Twilight woman. The Host is actually one of my favorite books. I mean, come on! It’s a story about a post-apocalyptic world that has been invaded by body-snatching aliens told through the eyes of an alien and a human girl who are sharing the same body and who, even though they are constantly fighting for their lives, still manage to have love lives.
I could go on and on about Meyer’s book, and I will gladly do so if anyone would like to talk more about it, but I want to focus on the relationships between the main characters right now. So if you think of Meyer’s characters as a love rectangle, you might think that their relationship diagram will look like the previous diagram:
Wrong! Remember, the girls are in the same body. What you really have is something like this:
Did you understand that? Let me break it down for those who haven’t read the book. Boy A loves the human girl and she still loves him, although she has no longer has control of her own body. The alien who does have control, loves Guy A as well, but he can’t bear the thought of being with her. That’s where Guy B comes in. He falls in love with the alien inside Girl A’s body. The only problem is, it isn’t her body!
Meyer was able to create two complex female characters that could reside in the same body and yet still manage to attract and hold the attention of two widely different men. If you thought fighting for the survival of the planet, and their own sanity, was hard enough, try sticking two teenage girls in the same body and have them fight over guys. It’s a complicated mess! And yet even though these two girls are thrown into a tangled spider’s web of emotions, they walk two completely different paths and grow in their own ways…and they both manage to get the guy! Meyer’s protagonists are nothing short of amazing. I say love triangles are out. Bring on the love rectangles!