Characters who tend to create love triangles (not all of these examples created a triangle, but they all had me worried...)
They say nice guys finish last, and often that’s the case in the YA romance department, as a brooding bad boy skulks in to triangulate the situation. This doesn’t mean that Nice Guy won’t get the girl in the end, but he may have to wait it out (or fight it out) to do so.
Examples of Nice Guys: Tucker in the Unearthly Trilogy, Adam in the Shatter Me Trilogy
#2 The Charismatic Villain
A villain’s job is usually to serve as an antagonist to the protagonist. But villains can also throw a wrench in the romantic works…
Examples of Charismatic Villains: The Darkling in the Grisha trilogy, Cole in the Everneath trilogy, Rhysand in A Court of Thorns and Roses, Warner in the Shatter Me Trilogy
#3 The Charming Rogue
Have you ever been reading a YA book with a sweet romance, when in walks a good-looking guy? A irreverent guy who’s so funny and charming that he overshadows the love interest? This doesn’t necessarily mean that a LT is brewing, but you never know…
Examples of Charming Rogues: Kenji in the Shatter Me trilogy, Roar in the Under the Never Sky trilogy, Sturmhond in the Grisha Trilogy, Kishan in the Tiger's Curse trilogy
If the book's love interest has an attractive brother (especially if he's the black sheep of the family) watch out! You could be headed toward the dreaded Brother Love Triangle.
Examples of Brother Love Triangles: The Summer I Turned Pretty by Jenny Han, 99 Days by Katie Cotogno, Such a Rush by Jennifer Echols, Vampire Diaries by L. J. Smith
#5 The Dearly Departed Love Interest
There are plenty of stories in which a main character's boyfriend really is dead. But as Lauren likes to say, "if there's not a body, there might be a triangle." So beware of missing boyfriends, but also beware of boyfriends who could come back as a ghost, vampire or zombie and triangulate the situation.
Examples of Dearly Departed Love Interests: Logan in the Shade series by Jeri Smith-Ready, Alex in the Delirium series by Lauren Oliver
Are you a pro at spotting triangles? Tell me about your Love Triangle Red Flags in comments!