Don’t think we’re going back to Hogwarts next semester

Read Catching Fire in a couple quick gulps yesterday. Maybe not quite as perfect as the first book, but I wasn’t exactly offering to put it down, either. Had lots of thoughts about it (including being pleased with myself for having kind of sort of almost seen the very ending coming), but this morning, I find myself thinking about love triangles.

Specifically, about how to do a certain sort of love triangle well and badly. (In this case, one woman with two guy, everyone-happens to-be-straight love triangles, but maybe others, too.) Ideally:

– Neither guy should be a jerk
– Both guys should have a legitimate claim on the heroine’s soul — no self-delusion or general stupidity required to be drawn to them both
– The heroine should have a legitimate claim on both their souls — we should be able to see why they’d be interested in the first place, when it’d be easier to go off and find someone available
– And most importantly, all three characters should have other things going on that are more important than who anyone chooses or fails to choose

It’s the fact that I never despise either Gale or Peeta — or Katniss — that makes this thing work, and that makes, really, talking about “Team Gale” or “Team Peeta” make little sense — they’re all equally real characters, and the story (unlike another story that readers think about in such terms) is bigger than that, and I’ll mourn a little no matter what happens there.

Okay, maybe I’ll mourn a lot depending what the author does in book three. Because mostly, right now, I’m “Team Let’s Get All Three of Them Out of This Alive.”

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