Literary Love Triangles (Non-YA)

Romance is often complicated in fiction. What are the best books with love triangles? (Please no young adult books. Check out these other lists filled with great YA recommendations.)
1

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4.28 avg rating — 933,696 ratings
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2

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4.25 avg rating — 2,322,754 ratings
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3

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3.83 avg rating — 1,059,133 ratings
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4

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3.90 avg rating — 2,968,926 ratings
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5

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4.06 avg rating — 800,221 ratings
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6

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4.03 avg rating — 501,121 ratings
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7

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4.10 avg rating — 1,322,231 ratings
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8

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4.04 avg rating — 1,369,152 ratings
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9

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3.99 avg rating — 519,176 ratings
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10

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4.07 avg rating — 1,149,143 ratings
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11

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3.94 avg rating — 379,070 ratings
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12

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4.15 avg rating — 581,152 ratings
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13

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3.82 avg rating — 700,249 ratings
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14

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4.21 avg rating — 346,524 ratings
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15

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3.97 avg rating — 165,361 ratings
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16

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4.07 avg rating — 1,105,041 ratings
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17

by
4.13 avg rating — 425,123 ratings
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18

by
3.89 avg rating — 335,177 ratings
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19

by
4.03 avg rating — 68,343 ratings
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20

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3.81 avg rating — 349,596 ratings
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21

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3.38 avg rating — 584,532 ratings
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22

by
3.93 avg rating — 119,325 ratings
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23

by
3.88 avg rating — 378,081 ratings
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24

by
3.65 avg rating — 198,243 ratings
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25

by
4.12 avg rating — 168,254 ratings
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26

by
3.85 avg rating — 237,286 ratings
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27

by
3.77 avg rating — 201,081 ratings
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28

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4.34 avg rating — 909,348 ratings
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29

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3.96 avg rating — 455,574 ratings
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30

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4.46 avg rating — 1,695,307 ratings
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31

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3.49 avg rating — 80,333 ratings
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32

by
3.91 avg rating — 125,565 ratings
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33

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3.97 avg rating — 134,028 ratings
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34

by
4.11 avg rating — 138,624 ratings
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35

by
4.05 avg rating — 409,145 ratings
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36

by
4.03 avg rating — 421,813 ratings
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37

by
3.86 avg rating — 524,754 ratings
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38

by
4.15 avg rating — 566,840 ratings
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39

by
4.21 avg rating — 622,453 ratings
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40

by
3.83 avg rating — 314,025 ratings
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41

by
4.09 avg rating — 1,471,574 ratings
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42

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4.13 avg rating — 114,221 ratings
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43

by
3.54 avg rating — 64,629 ratings
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44

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3.86 avg rating — 40,380 ratings
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45

by
4.48 avg rating — 457,596 ratings
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46

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4.09 avg rating — 262,643 ratings
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47

by
4.13 avg rating — 104,790 ratings
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48

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4.01 avg rating — 601,716 ratings
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49

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4.07 avg rating — 36,398 ratings
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50

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4.22 avg rating — 627,184 ratings
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51

by
3.97 avg rating — 170,716 ratings
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52

by
4.25 avg rating — 339,470 ratings
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53

by
4.11 avg rating — 207,130 ratings
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54

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4.17 avg rating — 417,852 ratings
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55

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4.12 avg rating — 2,058,830 ratings
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56

by
4.06 avg rating — 723,675 ratings
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57

by
3.36 avg rating — 89,091 ratings
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58

by
4.63 avg rating — 197 ratings
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59

by
4.31 avg rating — 186,605 ratings
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60

by
3.92 avg rating — 102,849 ratings
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61

by
3.83 avg rating — 448,396 ratings
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62

by
4.14 avg rating — 266 ratings
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63

by
3.92 avg rating — 111,078 ratings
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64

by
3.89 avg rating — 99,634 ratings
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65

by
3.88 avg rating — 265,279 ratings
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66

by
4.30 avg rating — 523,843 ratings
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67

by
3.95 avg rating — 116,100 ratings
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68

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 79,745 ratings
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69

by
3.94 avg rating — 112,884 ratings
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70

by
3.83 avg rating — 63,570 ratings
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71

by
4.08 avg rating — 36,161 ratings
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72

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3.74 avg rating — 1,746,656 ratings
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73

by
4.02 avg rating — 193,483 ratings
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74

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3.81 avg rating — 52,093 ratings
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75

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3.71 avg rating — 120,374 ratings
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76

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really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 80,031 ratings
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77

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3.75 avg rating — 784,368 ratings
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78

by
3.89 avg rating — 537,848 ratings
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79

by
3.73 avg rating — 134,788 ratings
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80

by
3.90 avg rating — 61,326 ratings
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81

by
3.90 avg rating — 15,499 ratings
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82

by
3.87 avg rating — 44,651 ratings
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83

by
4.11 avg rating — 91 ratings
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84

by
3.92 avg rating — 146,765 ratings
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85

by
3.81 avg rating — 14,168 ratings
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86

by
4.13 avg rating — 218,366 ratings
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87

by
really liked it 4.00 avg rating — 176,980 ratings
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88

by
3.96 avg rating — 36,819 ratings
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89

by
3.74 avg rating — 14,390 ratings
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90

by
3.87 avg rating — 2,191,197 ratings
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91

by
4.24 avg rating — 154,986 ratings
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92

by
4.07 avg rating — 21,689 ratings
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93

by
4.04 avg rating — 107,254 ratings
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94

by
3.92 avg rating — 70,519 ratings
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95

by
4.13 avg rating — 81,069 ratings
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96

by
3.83 avg rating — 35,411 ratings
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97

by
4.39 avg rating — 31 ratings
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98

by
3.97 avg rating — 38,387 ratings
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99

by
3.71 avg rating — 15,519 ratings
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100

by
4.32 avg rating — 2,878 ratings
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508 books · 1,978 voters · list created October 8th, 2012 by Jessica (votes) .
171 likes · 
Lists are re-scored approximately every 5 minutes.


Jessica 1231 books
356 friends
M. 1045 books
40 friends
Patrick 703 books
660 friends
Readers 212 books
734 friends
Ben 1051 books
71 friends
Andrea 4260 books
138 friends
Mariam 104 books
166 friends
Phillip 4167 books
121 friends

More voters…


Comments (showing 1-25 of 25) (25 new)

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message 1: by Jane (new)

Jane Jordan Ravens Deep Ravens Deep is the first book in a dark romantic trilogy. The love triangle unfolds in the second book - Blood & Ashes.


message 2: by Sarrah (new)

Sarrah Just goes to show--love triangles were around for a long time before Twilight. @Jessica: there are a YA title and a biography on here; do you want me to remove them?


message 3: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Yes, feel free to remove YA titles. Thanks, Sarrah!


message 4: by Kathy (new)

Kathy Lautenschlager There's also a book featuring a tattoo artist's work. Should it be on this list?


message 5: by Muhamed (new)

Muhamed T. salh good reading needs clear and good mind


message 6: by Della (new)

Della Scott To me a love triangle is more than an affair outside of a mariage or committed relationship, though it often includes that. It is a case of someone who is truly torn between two loves over a long period of time and for good reasons. That's why I added Love Medicine by Louise Erdrich. I don't remember the names of the characters any more since it was so long ago that I read it, but it was a true traingle.


message 7: by James (new)

James Godwin good reading enlightens the mind and keeps the brain functioning at its best.


message 8: by Wanda (new)

Wanda Please check #161. I do not believe it belongs on this list.


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Wanda wrote: "Please check #161. I do not believe it belongs on this list."

Plenty of books have recently been added to this list that don't belong here, alas. Nonfiction (essays, philosophy, religion), fiction that doesn't even contain a love story, LET ALONE a love triangle ... Jessica, would you like a librarian to do a bit of clean-up work?

Also, what about biographies of real persons involved in love triangles? (E.g., I see Massie's bio of Catherine the Great has been added and is steadily gaining votes. Stay or go?)


message 10: by Jessica (new)

Jessica Yes, thank you. Librarians, feel free to remove books that legitimately don't have a love triangle.

But nonfiction involving love triangles feels relevant. It's interesting to see the real-life antecedents.


message 12: by Rebecca (new)

Rebecca Ann Ella enchanted is YA, also the outsiders is YA and doesn't really have a love triangle of note


message 13: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Nov 11, 2012 07:36AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Well, there are 10 people who have voted for Ella, Enchanted and 9 who have voted for The Outsiders. Before a librarian decides whether or not to step in, maybe some of these folks want to speak up and explain why they think these two books fit the criteria for this list?

As for the two Brontë books, I at any rate won't remove those unless Jessica specifically says she doesn't want them here. They may not be the epitome of what we consider a love triangle today, but they very much expressed that situation in Victorian terms. For a woman to leave her husband (abusive or not) was unheard of in Victorian society in the first place, and to even contemplate turning to another man (as happens in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall) was as unthinkable as for a woman to reject a "respectable" offer of marriage (like that from St. John Rivers in Jane Eyre: note that "respectability" required only financial security and social standing, NOT love), "just" because the woman in question is in love with another man ... especially if, ostensibly, the "competitor" was unattainable to her anyway. Also, there is another triangle in Jane Eyre -- the one between herself, Rochester and his first wife -- which likewise touches on a taboo, namely, bigamy. And, finally, the marriage being abandoned in The Tenant of Wildfell Hall to Helen herself actually WAS a love match initially (or at least, infatuation) ... it only turned sour later on, albeit fairly quickly.

In other words: in Victorian society, the mere notion of a "love" triangle as such was a nonentity, because love simply wasn't a consideration at all when it came to choosing a partner in marriage; and once married, a woman just had to stand by her husband ("for ill or for good, until death do us part") -- for her to do anything else was not just to break social convention but even to break the law. It was precisely this disregard of love as a material factor in marriage -- as well as the notion that it was only "she" who needed to prove that she was worthy of "him", rather than also vice versa -- that the Brontë sisters sought to highlight and criticize in their books (Charlotte incidentally did so again, in as forceful terms, in Emma).


message 14: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Dec 01, 2012 07:30AM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Alright, upon review, the following strike me as Young Adult:

The Outsiders
Ella Enchanted
After Forever Ends
Thoughtless
Effortless
I Capture the Castle
Son of the Shadows
A Witch in Love
Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children
A Spy in the House
The Hunger Games
The Last Letter
Girl in Translation
Genesis
Nick of Time
Taking Chances
Bitter Blood
Island Beneath the Sea
Impossible

Before I delete them, is there somebody (maybe some of the folks who voted for these books) who can give a reason why they are within the parameters of a list entitled "Literary Love Triangles (Non-YA)" -- and which contains the added expres caveat "Please no young adult books" -- and why they should NOT be deleted?


message 15: by Jennifer (new)

Jennifer I can understand wanting to vote for a book you have fallen in love with, but... If this is really just about love triangles, in my opinion, there are many books that should be removed.. Books, that I too love, but don't fit the criteria of the vote.. Just my opinion.. :-)


message 16: by Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) (last edited Dec 14, 2012 12:31PM) (new)

Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Themis-Athena wrote: "Alright, upon review, the following strike me as Young Adult:

The Outsiders
Ella Enchanted
After Forever Ends
Thoughtless
Effortless
I Capture the Castle
Son of the Shadows
A Witch in Love
Miss Pe..."


Since in almost 2 weeks nobody has come forward to explain why the books in my above post should not be characterized as "Young Adult," I have now deleted them, as well as the following more recent additions:
The Magicians
Daughter of Smoke & Bone
Wonderstruck
The Maude Reed Tale
Forget Me Not,
which are also Young Adult.

Moreover, on investigation, I fail to see love triangles figuring in the following books (not all of which are even fiction or (auto)biographies), and which I have therefore also deleted:
Automaton
How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Love in a time of outsourcing
Maligned
The Merchant of Venice
Clotho's Loom: A Novel of Literary Romance and Realism
Much Ado About Nothing
Catch-22
Merminia
In Defense of Food: An Eater's Manifesto
Oz: The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz
Chicken on the Hudson
A Life Worth Living
Fool
الثورة 2.0
The Chronicles of a Crazy Chick
The Winemaker's Dinner: Appetizers
Blue Straggler
Tempted
V for Vendetta
The Mutter Museum: Of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia
The Nightlife: New York
Wicked Ties
Imbroglio
Gideon's Sword
Elephant House: Photographs of Edward Gorey's House
A Deconstructed Heart
Hinduism
The Grand Design
The Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable
Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power
The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed America
Hark! a Vagrant
Me Talk Pretty One Day
Into the Wilderness
The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks
Mayflower: A Story of Courage, Community, and War
Below Stairs: The Classic Kitchen Maid's Memoir That Inspired "Upstairs, Downstairs" and "Downton Abbey"


message 17: by Kereesa (new)

Kereesa Can someone please take Lord of the Flies off the list? (And maybe even Fellowship?) I really doubt there's any kind of love triangle going on in those books....or at least not canon ones....


message 18: by Gigi (new)

Gigi S. Harry Potter is young adult and I don't recall a prominent love triangle in the first


Themis-Athena (Lioness at Large) Triv wrote: "Harry Potter is young adult and I don't recall a prominent love triangle in the first"

Removed Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (clearly YA).

As for Lord of the Flies and The Fellowship of the Ring; again, maybe those who voted for these books can explain where they see them containing a love triangle?


message 20: by James (new)

James Dante Yesterday I added my novel, THE TIGER'S WEDDING, to the giveaway list.


message 21: by Angelica (new)

Angelica I think Dracula is definitely missing from this list!


message 22: by Dave (new)

Dave Mcdonald I enjoyed this process, some great books involved.
Dave McDonald


message 23: by Camelia Rose (last edited Nov 18, 2014 10:06AM) (new)

Camelia Rose Quite a few YA, as far as I can see, also some books do not contain a prominent love triangle


message 24: by Dave (new)

Dave Mcdonald "The Bridges Of Madison County" is a great love triangle story and some of the best writing ever. Robert Waller can pack an immense amount of feeling in but a few words. I thought the rating was too low on this story. I gave it 5-stars: great story and great writing. A short book, but 45 minutes of pleasure.


message 25: by Booklovinglady (new)

Booklovinglady Where's the love triangle in One for the Money (#35)? I can't remember there being one.


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