Tuesday, December 26, 2017

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles by Various

Three Sides of a Heart: Stories about Love Triangles by Various
Release Date - December 19, 2017
Publisher Website - Harper Collins Canada
Publisher Social Media - Twitter/Facebook/SavvyReader/Frenzy
Pages -  448 pages
My Rating - 4/5
**received for an honest review from publisher**

Here is the Goodreads synopsis
You may think you know the love triangle, but you've never seen love triangles like these.

These top YA authors tackle the much-debated trope of the love triangle, and the result is sixteen fresh, diverse, and romantic stories you don’t want to miss.

This collection, edited by Natalie C. Parker, contains stories written by Renee Ahdieh, Rae Carson, Brandy Colbert, Katie Cotugno, Lamar Giles, Tessa Gratton, Bethany Hagan, Justina Ireland, Alaya Dawn Johnson, EK Johnston, Julie Murphy, Garth Nix, Natalie C. Parker, Veronica Roth, Sabaa Tahir, and Brenna Yovanoff.

A teen girl who offers kissing lessons. Zombies in the Civil War South. The girl next door, the boy who loves her, and the girl who loves them both. Vampires at a boarding school. Three teens fighting monsters in an abandoned video rental store. Literally the last three people on the planet.

What do all these stories have in common?

The love triangle.
Triangles are one of those tropes that ignite strong reactions no matter what side you fall on. Those who love the idea of a good love triangle are just as passionate as those who think a love triangle is the quickest way to destroy a series (or standalone).

This short story collection offers different types of love triangles than readers have experienced before. It offers different ways of looking what love triangles are, and how varied and unique they can be. It's an anthology designed to make love triangle supporters rejoice and turn even the most jaded skeptic into someone who can see the potential in a well crafted love triangle.

I liked all of the stories to varying degrees. I appreciated that each of them had a different tone and feel. They all examined love triangles in their own way, and none of them felt repetitious. They all felt distinctly their own, and even the spin the author put on the triangle felt fresh.

I am going to highlight a few of my personal favourites from the collection, but I think everyone will find something they love within this collection.

Riddles in Mathematics by Katie Cotugno

I was apprehensive at first when I discovered that this triangle features a brother and a sister in love with the same girl. Trust me and stick with it because it is not at all what you first think it is. There are different kinds of love triangles portrayed and this one is anything but typical. Fans of Katie Cotugno will, perhaps, find this one a little lighter in tone than her other works, but it really works.

Dread South by Justina Ireland 

This one defies a lot of the expected tropes of love triangles in so many ways. It also made me very curious about Justina's Dread Nation. The setting is imaginative and the zombies are this looming background presence that are a catalyst for a lot of the decisions characters are making. The action scenes were well done, and I appreciated the slower burn of one of the romances (as slow as a short story allows).

Lessons for Beginners by Julie Murphy

A cute read about a girl who gives kissing lessons for people who are bad kissers and the couple she attempts to help. It is typical Julie Murphy in that you're going to have a ton of fun reading it, and it'll pack more emotions into it than you might expect from the light subject matter. It's also a love triangle that features a girl and boy who are interested in the same girl.

Vega by Brenna Yovanoff 

This is one of the most unique triangles I've ever had the pleasure to read. It's between a girl, the boy she's loved for as long as she can remember, and the city that she loves just as fiercely. It left me in awe that an author could create a triangle that pushed your emotions even where the third point wasn't a person. It's a gritty look at some of the darker sides of Las Vegas, and one I definitely recommend reading.

Unus, Duo, Tres by Bethany Hagen 

This is perhaps my favourite story out of all those included in this collection. It's a vampire story set in a boarding school with a polyamorous relationship at its core. It's beautifully written, the characters are impressively fleshed out in the short time we spend with them. If I could have a full length series featuring these characters I would happily read it and still beg for more. It's an achingly beautiful story that had me sobbing by the time I finished. I immediately went back and read it again which is a huge testament to how much I loved it.

A collection that proves the love triangle still has a lot left to explore as a trope. This anthology only scratched the surface of what authors could do to rejuvenate and redefine what the term 'love triangle' means.

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