A kiss between a student and her writing professor kicks off the narrative in Dermansky’s novel that follows five interconnected people over the course of a summer in New York City and Connecticut. Filled with humor and drama—including a very unexpected love triangle—Very Nice is the perfect read to make summer last all year long.
Machines Like Me
If you like your love triangles with a hint of sci-fi, pick up McEwan’s Machines Like Me. Charlie lives in an alternate 1980s England and has a crush on his neighbor Miranda. As a way to spend more time with her, Charlie asks her to help him program Adam, the uncannily human-seeming (and incredibly handsome) robot he just purchased. What Charlie doesn’t expect, though, is for Miranda and Adam to grow—ahem—too close for his comfort.
The Frolic of the Beasts
Fans of Mishima’s work will appreciate this newly translated novel, which was first published in Japanese in 1961 and centers on a young man, his mentor, and his mentor’s wife. The Frolic of the Beasts is a short, engrossing portrayal of desire and the dark side of love.
The Learning Curve
Two friends, Fiona and Liv, are navigating difficult periods in their lives when they find themselves drawn to Oliver Ash, a visiting professor at their small liberal arts college. You’ll root for the young women as well as Oliver’s wife, Simone, despite their mistakes and flaws. While it’s not exactly a sequel, The Learning Curve lives in the same world as and takes place a few years after Perennials.
Conversations with Friends
When she’s not in class, Frances writes poetry and performs it with Bobbi, her best friend (and ex), in Dublin. Through their literary circle, the young women meet an older couple, photographer Melissa and actor Nick, who draw them in and redirect their lives in ways they couldn’t have predicted. The love triangles in Conversations with Friends shift and evolve in this millennial-focused novel.
More Than Words
Much of Nina’s life has fallen into place on its own. She’s destined to take over her family’s large luxury hotel business, the Gregory Corporation, from her father, and she’s on a fast track to marriage with her childhood friend, Tim. But when she meets Rafael O’Connor, a dreamy guy running for NYC mayor, she begins to wonder if she’s living the life she really wants—and if it’s time to start making decisions for herself.
If there ever was a novel built on ill-fated romance and love triangles, it’s this classic by Emily Brontë. Heathcliff was adopted by Mr. Earnshaw as a child and grew up alongside Mr. Earnshaw’s daughter, Catherine. Heathcliff has always loved Cathy and just can’t let it go when Edgar Linton, a wealthy gentleman who’s the opposite of Heathcliff in just about every way, wins her over. Their bleak story echoes through the generations.
An Ember in the Ashes
An Ember in the Ashes is a YA novel, but with its robust world-building and action, it has major crossover appeal for adult readers. It’s considered treason to speak out against the oppressive Martial Empire in this fantasy novel inspired by ancient Rome. When Laia’s brother is taken prisoner, she joins the Resistance to save him and goes undercover as a slave in the Empire’s prestigious military academy. There, she crosses paths with soldier Elias, as well as his friend Helene, the only female student at the academy.
Love triangles can be exhilarating, captivating, frustrating, disappointing, and everything in between. But the one thing they never are? Simple. And that’s precisely what makes literary love triangles so fascinating to read. Get your love-triangle fix with these novels featuring unstoppable affairs, one too many (or more!) love interests, and all the drama that a complicated romance can bring.
Featured Image: @JulieK/Twenty20