Three’s a crowd

In defence of love triangles, and other geometry.

In recent months I’ve chatted with a couple of people who hate love triangles.

Hate them like burning. Hate them like paper cuts.

Really hate them.

Personally, I’ve got nothing against triangles. They’re just another geometric shape that life can sometimes emulate. I might prefer a parallelogram or rhombus but that’s just because I like to say “parallelogram and rhombus”. Not because I like those arrangements any better than triangles.

But they made me think about Night School and Allie’s complex love life. And I have to say, I don’t really see Night School as a love triangle. I see it more as a crooked line – she likes one boy and then, when that doesn’t work, she decides she likes another.

Either way, to me it doesn’t really matter because I don’t think romance is ever neat. And the idea that your first love would be the right one for you… well.

Let’s just say it doesn’t usually work out that way. And that’s Ok. In fact, it’s good.

The geometry of love

To understand where I’m coming from, you should probably know that I change my mind. A lot. I mean, how does anybody NOT do that?  Changing my mind is like breathing. I can change it in mid-step. Mid-thought. Mid-explanation.

And when I was a teenager, I was even more changeable. I considered making up my mind about anything to be a kind of failure.

Perhaps because of that I liked the wrong people way too often. Even when I liked the right person I would worry that they were the wrong person right up until we broke up, at which point I was always certain they’d been the right person all along.

It was a NIGHTMARE, people. A tangled web of worrying and guessing and panicking.

Life is messy

I’ve read that when you meet the right person, “you’ll just know.”

As if.

Life doesn’t come with neon arrows pointing at people and “This one’s Ok!” spelled out in magenta LED letters only you can see.

It’s entirely possible that when you meet the right person you’ll be in a bad mood. Your hair will be frizzy, your mascara will be smeared. You’ll drop your bag and a tampon will fall out and roll across the floor to rest gently against his foot.

And you’ll think “He’s not all that” as an act of self-defence.

It might be the third date before you realise you really like him.

A triangle seems simple by comparison.

Embrace the messiness

According to my journal, the year I was sixteen I had epic crushes on five boys.


I could list the top three for you: Mike Delaney (always number 1 with a bullet all the way through high school), Pete Tsarek (who was all wrong for me but I did not care then and I don’t care now), Peter Baker (who played DRUMS, and later went to a private university, and is probably a millionaire now).

So the idea that a teenage girl is having trouble making her mind up about which boy is right for her feels perfectly normal to me. And I fear she won’t make up her mind any time soon, because I love Allie’s indecision. I can relate to it.

Long may she waver.



  1. I think some readers say they hate love triangles, somehow because in some novels that triangle is a lamely clear-cut geometry figure only made to appeal to a certain category of readers, while it should only be the expression of how complicated love can be. “Love triangle” is a plain name for something everyone (I guess ^^) experiences at least once : Am I really in love with that person? Or isn’t this friend the one I need, the one I want? So somehow, saying that you hate love triangles equals saying hating what makes us who we are… and a love story resembling a linear route doesn’t need a novel to be told 🙂

  2. So is this your way of saying we can expect a love pentagram in book 2?

    Personally I think love triangles are a way of exploring the choices we all make, especially when we’re young. Part of being that a teenager is figuring out who you are (hell, I’m still figuring out who I am, most of the time, and I stopped being a teen a [cough] few years ago.) And part of finding out who you are is finding out who you like. And that can take a while.

  3. Hi! I just took a look at Barnes and noble to get your book and there is no english language version. However, I did see a Spanish language version and I was wondering if it is a legit copy? If so why is there no english language version up as well? I don’t read in Spanish so I did not purchase it but it made me wonder!

    1. Hi Helen. Night School doesn’t come out in the US until 2013. And I’m not sure why the Spanish version is showing up, as it’s published in Spain! I’m so sorry it’s not available for you yet, but please hang in there. It will be published in the States in just a few months.

  4. hi:)i have never really bothered with boys i used think they are a waste of time but as i turned 14 things changed:)! and i agree i dont belive in love at first site you have to build a relationship with someone:)

    1. I agree completely, Imogen. If it were easy to find the right boy for you, nobody would ever have to date. If love were easy, though, it might not be as wonderful. CJx

  5. I think you should post us another prequel,
    maybe from Carter’s point of view. Or maybe the first chapter of the second book 😉

  6. Oh no, don’t say that. I get that teenagers find it very hard to make up their minds but I really like Carter, and I know, from my own opinion and from reading reviews, that a new love interest can completely ruin a good series. A triangle is bad enough but she made her decision, I hope it doesn’t change. Dreamless by Josephine Angelini turned some people off the series because she introduced a love triangle into it. Personally, I still loved it, but Helen better still end up with Lucas lol, just as I hope that Allie will stay with Carter 🙂

  7. This love triangles is very special, because the side A in this case Allie is a teenanger, like the other sides; but the funny part of the love triangles are the teams. In Night School those teams are Team Sylvain and Team Carter, my favorite team is Carter’s 😀 . Bye XOXO.

  8. I love love triangles though. They’re like a mess, so i kinda like it, think its cute even.

  9. Also why are majority of of the people saying carter should still date Allie
    Am I the only night school fan who is on Sylvain’s side? I just find Allie and Sylvain’s love thing so cute! I mean he saved her from a fire, and cried. Then can’t get over her when girls are being all flirty now that he is single. He could have any girl in that school but he chose Allie. A laughing stock in Katie’s eyes, and a forbidden love to Allie’s friends.
    So I am basically team Sylvain (please tell me I’m not the only one) *cue nervous giggling*

  10. Chelsea tu n’est pas la seule à être du côté de Sylvain, je le suis aussi et je suis d’accord avec toi l’amour de Sylvain est trop mignon et il l’a sauvée en sachant que lui aussi pourrait se blesser voire mourir mais il aime tellement Allie qu’il s’en fiche. Carter est aussi spécial car il lui avoue qu’il pourrait tuer pour elle sans hésitation.
    Donc je suis plus du côté de Sylvain car lui sacrifie sa vie au lieu de faire du mal et il fait attention à Allie et lui fait confiance. 😉

  11. CJ je suis tout à fait d’accord avec vous que la vie amoureuse d’une adolescente est très compliquée et indécise. Pour moi le mot triangle amoureux définie une personne ayant des sentiments pour deux personnes mais qu’elle ne sait pas quel sentiment gardé, qu’elle hésite sur la personne la plus droite. Donc pour moi Night School n’est pas un triangle amoureux mais la découverte de sentiments chez une adolescente ayant une histoire de famille peut commune et que l’on convoite.

  12. An outstanding share! I’ve just forwarded this onto a friend who had been conducting a little homework on this. And he in fact ordered me dinner simply because I stumbled upon it for him… lol. So allow me to reword this…. Thanks for the meal!! But yeah, thanx for spending some time to talk about this subject here on your site.

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