Ann Aguirre on the Razorland "Love Triangle" + Giveaway!

October 21, 2013 2013, ann aguirre, giveaway, sci fi or futuristic, Wendy 103


When I first read Enclave, I was fascinated by the grim, often violent post-apocalyptic setting as well as the Freaks that were an ever-present danger. Deuce is a fierce Huntress whose sole purpose is to provide for her people–but some of the attitudes of her society bothered me greatly, and it wasn’t until I read its sequel that I better understood the world she lived in. 

With the final book Horde, I came to fully appreciate the boldness of the choices the author made in starting her story where she did, as well as the themes of honor and sacrifice within a brutal and unforgiving war. I also loved the extraordinary tenderness that blossoms between Deuce and Fade, which is tested by terrible circumstances, as well as by Stalker–a hated figure in the first book who evolved into a complicated character who fully comprehends the mistakes he has made.

As part of the official Horde Blog Tour, we’re pleased to welcome USA Today bestselling author Ann Aguirre to the blog today to talk about the tangled relationships between her complex and unforgettable trio. Please join us in welcoming her to The Midnight Garden!

~ Wendy

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Ann Aguirre on the Razorland “Love Triangle”

Readers say this occasionally about the Razorland series. “Why did she have to include a stupid love triangle? That ruins everything!”

First, here’s a definition I found on Wikipedia: “Two main forms of love triangle have been distinguished: ‘there is the rivalrous triangle, where the lover is competing with a rival for the love of the beloved, and the split-object triangle, where a lover has split their attention between two love objects’.”

Today, I’m taking that opportunity to rebut. In my view, a love triangle only exists if the conditions are fulfilled as above. If Stalker and Fade had been in true competition for Deuce’s affections, then yes, there’s a rivalrous love triangle in the series. Likewise, if Deuce had ever been really conflicted about who she loved, then the latter would be true. But in the beginning, Deuce had the emotional awareness of a rock. It took her forever to realize she was feeling… something for Fade, even longer to figure out how to have a relationship with him. Down below, emotions were not encouraged; there was no nurturing. There was nobody to talk about her feelings with or whisper about her crushes. Instead, there was work to do, pretty much all the time. Then she comes to Salvation, where things are different.

By this point, Stalker has gotten the wrong idea about her (and how she feels about him), but she’s fairly oblivious to the nuances. When she finally understands the conflict, she’s created, she feels horrible, but there is never any doubt in her mind about who she wants to be with. And while Stalker tries to change her mind, she doesn’t waver. She sees his as a friend and she accepts comfort from him, but there’s no deviation in her devotion to Fade. Ever.

That being true, I’d say there’s more of a love T in the Razorland series. If you refer to the above flow chart, you can see that the sides of awareness are not closed, leading to a T instead of a triangle. While the word triangle starts with the letter T, the symbol itself is not a triangle. Deuce and Fade are on a line, looking back and forth at each other. Stalker is off to the side, looking at Deuce (but not Fade) yet she’s not looking back at him, except in friendship. I hope I’ve clarified my opinions on what constitutes a love triangle. I’ve written them before, though not often. I just don’t think the Razorland series is one of those times.

Feel free to agree or disagree in comments!

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Win all three books in the Razorland series!

Thanks to our friends at Macmillan Teen, our readers have the chance to win paperback copies of the Enclave and Outpost, as well as a hardback copy of Horde, which will be out on October 29th, 2013.

All you need to do is leave a comment below telling us whether you agree or disagree with the author’s position that there is no real love triangle between Deuce, Fade, and Stalker–or you can just tell us why you’re excited to win this series! Don’t forget to fill out the Rafflecopter form, too. 

Open to US and Canadian residents aged 18 and older, or 13 and older with parental permission. Good luck!


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a Rafflecopter giveaway

Our thanks to Ann Aguirre for stopping by the blog today! Keep up to date on her latest releases on her website and Twitter.


Wendy signature teal




103 Responses to “Ann Aguirre on the Razorland "Love Triangle" + Giveaway!”

  1. Dizneeee (Lisa A.)

    I haven’t read any of this series yet, but it’s been on my radar!

    I love the explanation of the T. How Ann describes the lack of a triangle is completely understandable! I like that she explained that “there’s no deviation in her devotion to Fade. Ever.”
    Dizneeee (Lisa A.) recently posted…Rook: Review (w/ Giveaway)

  2. DeeDee Griffin

    Definitely no love triangle because Deuce because Stalker isn’t even in the running. I honestly don’t get the T explanation though!

  3. DeeDee Griffin

    Definitely no love triangle because Deuce because Stalker isn’t even in the running. I honestly don’t get the T explanation though!

  4. Kristen Lubawski

    This is definitely one of my favorite sites and so different from other dystopian novels! I don’t really think there is a love triangle here, just two boys who like deuce. Fade and deuce need to end up together, and I think they will once fade learns to trust himself again. Stalker is a well developed character, but I would just rather deuce with fade. I can’t wait to get my own copy of horde so I can find it what will happen!

  5. Salma

    I haven’t read these books yet. They were recommended to me by a couple of friends a while back, and I definitely want to read them. It would be wonderful to win them and I can get started!

  6. Chenise Jones

    I absolutely agree with Ann! If there’s no returned feelings or reactions, then it shouldn’t be described as a love triangle. And I think if readers are more aware that it’s more of a T than a triangle, they’ll be more willing to read it, as some people are completely put off by books if they suspect there’s a love triangle.

  7. Ashley D.

    I’ve only read the first book, and yeah it did seem like there was a love triangle in the works. But she is the author so I’ll trust her opinion on the matter.

  8. Cyn

    I haven’t read the series yet, and usually I’m not a fan of love triangles, though I do agree with the notion that it isn’t really a love triangle if the one person has no contention in actually getting the girl (or guy). So basically no competition = no love triangle haha

  9. Pong

    I like love triangles only if they are done correctly. A lot of the time it is too glaringly obvious who the main character will end up with. I have heard a lot about this book and it’s def on my “to read” list.

  10. Kristin Jacques

    I have not read this series yet, but really enjoyed Augirre’s Grimspace with <3 Jax ^^. This series looks fabulous and is definitely on the 'to read' list.

  11. Jessica Chiles

    I am really happy I found this post and saw that explanation. I completely agree with the “love T” and especially love the fabulous visual aid. My favorite line in the post has to be “emotional awareness of a rock”. I’m SO excited to get this book in my hands and find out what the not-zombies are.

    Thanks so much for the insight!

  12. Jessica Chiles

    I LOVED reading this guest post by Ann. The T makes perfect sense and I completely agree. And the best line = emotional awareness of a rock! I am really really happy to finally find out what the not-zombies are by the way.

    Great post, GREAT book series, great giveaway! Thank you!

  13. sharksmart

    Ha! This is the first time I’ve heard about a “love T.” Much better than a love triangle. :]

    I haven’t read the series yet so I can’t comment on if I agree with Ann or not (though, if I was just going on Ann’s description of the characters, I would agree).

    I’m looking forward to reading the series because I love dystopian stories and zombie stories, and this seems to combine the two. I also hear that people that liked Hunger Games love it!

  14. Unknown

    Oooh I’ve heard really good stuff this book, and now I really want to read it!!!
    I’ll add that to my “urgently want to read” list…
    Hope I’ll win it

  15. kaybee

    the emotional awareness of a rock haha! She was even worse than Katniss. I agree though that it was never a triangle in Deuce’s mind. It was always Fade. Can’t wait for the last book!

  16. kaybee

    The emotional awareness of a rock haha- even worse than Katniss. I agree though that it was never really a love triangle in Deuce’s mind. It was always Fade. Can’t wait for the third book!

  17. kaybee

    The emotional awareness of a rock haha- even worse than Katniss. I agree though that it was never really a love triangle in Deuce’s mind. It was always Fade. Can’t wait for the third book!

  18. Kerri

    Yeah, I don’t really think that it’s a love ‘triangle’, really. Deuce makes it clear that Fade is the one she cares about… Sometimes I get frustrated with them both (especially after the last book!) but you know what they feel for each other is real. I just hope Stalker finds someone now that it seems that he’s starting to realise the bad things he’s done in the past.

  19. Small Review

    Ann makes a good point, and I agree with her that this is not a love triangle in the dreaded “heroine is in love with two guys” way. I think that’s why I don’t mind it as much. My biggest problem with love triangles is that they usually cast the main character in a bad light. She’s indecisive and strings two guys along and I have a hard time respecting a character like that.

    But Deuce isn’t like that at all. In a lot of ways she’s a stereotype breaker because her upbringing is SO different from typical YA heroines and Ann Aguirre writes her consistently within this context (which I am infinitely thankful for!)

    Still though, I am not a big fan of the Stalker-Deuce romance, even with it being one sided. It adds complication and awkwardness and a plot point that, while not a love triangle, still isn’t a plot point I enjoy much.

    That said though, I still love the series. Deuce is such a dynamic, unique character. She’s a breath of fresh air and I think I love seeing her grow and develop as much as I love seeing her kick some freak butt!

  20. Tiffany Mahaffy

    I think a T is the best way to describe it. Deuce never really returned Stalkers feels because it was always Fade. Some may go overboard and still call it a triangle but I think as long as you aren’t bouncing back and forth or fawning over 2 ppl at the same time, there is no triangle :)

  21. Pabkins

    Ok I agree. When you really think about it – I think almost every book in YA has some sort of trio but not necessarily love triangle. Its only normal for people to have emotions for more than one person at a young age like that. Heck I did sometimes into my adult years. lol

  22. Bailee

    I think that the love has to be returned on all sides for it to be a love triangle, which is why perhaps Cassandra Clare’s Infernal Devices have the most apt version of a love triangle. Anyway, I am so excited about these books, the covers are gorgeous and certainly are eye candy in the best way! Plus the story sounds amazing.

  23. Carina Olsen

    Love this post. <3 thank you both for sharing :D I must admit to taking FOREVER to read Outpost and Horde because I thought there was a love triangle. But then I re-read Enclave and read the rest of the books and I loved them so much. No love triangle at all. <3 So happy that I read them :)

  24. Steph

    I actually haven’t read any of the trilogy yet, but I’m definitely dying to! Thanks for the giveaway!!

  25. readingdate

    I’ve only read Enclave so far, but I’m interested in hearing more about this love T :) That explanation works for me!

  26. Kelly

    I love how Deuce has “the emotional awareness of a rock” at the beginning. Deuce’s growth is neat because she’s so emotionally undeveloped as a character at the start- she hadn’t allowed herself to learn anything, because she thought that having emotions made her weak. I like how she goes from being a stereotypical “strong girl” to still being strong and fierce, but also being a little less cold. (And maybe be a little aware of the of the love-T she’s somehow gotten herself involved in.)

  27. starryeyedjen

    Oh, I totally agree with the author’s stance on love triangles, especially as they pertain to her series. I NEVER thought Stalker stood a chance. And I love this: “But in the beginning, Deuce had the emotional awareness of a rock.” So true. And that’s why I think she didn’t know how to handle the situation with Stalker and it appeared like there might be something there. Great post! :D

    • Wendy Darling

      Yeah, even that kiss at the end of Outpost didn’t really shake my belief in how this was going to turn out. Although it did give me pause!

      I think you’re right in saying Deuce just didn’t know how to handle Stalker. She’s only been emotionally sentient for a short period, after all.

  28. Meg M

    I agree that it’s not a love triangle although there have been hints that it could turn into one and please please please let that not be the case because Deuce/Fade <3 forever. (Sidebar, what would their OTP namesmush be? Feud? Dade? Those are terrible.)

    I am so excited that book three is finally about to be out! I stumbled upon this series completely on accident and loved it. Enclave was so creepy, it captured my zombie-lovin’ heart from page one.

    • Wendy Darling

      FEUCE. Their name should be FEUCE. Which is also terrible, but memorable. :P

      I’m so glad you love this series! I was hesitant about picking up the second book because I was so bothered by the way rape was treated by some of the characters in Enclave, but as I said, I had a much better understanding of the violent and turbulent world that they came from after reading Outpost.

      And yeah, zzzzzzoombies FTW!

  29. Evie Seo

    Hi Wendy~! *waves*
    It’s been a while since I stopped by The Midnight Garden and boy, did I miss ya!!! I followed you through Blogloving so I’ll be keeping up with all you post since now on :D

    As for the love triangle, well, I have only read one book in the series so far, so I am probably not aware of many developments, but I must say it definitely felt like there was going to be a love triangle there. Maybe not a triangle of epic proportions (like in Nightshade series), but there was some sparkling chemistry between Stalker and Duce for sure. Or wait, was it just me picking up on that?! Am I the weird one?! :D

    Thanks for a great post, Wendy and Ann!

    • Wendy Darling

      Hi darling! It’s been forever since I’ve been to Bookish too, I will have to stop by soon. :)

      It probably is too early to tell in the first book how you feel about a love triangle developing, but I think you’ll get a better sense of it in book two, and that Love T that the author references will start to look right. I think there IS chemistry between Stalker and Deuce (I know exactly the scene you’re talking about!), and who knows what might happened in another time and place. Without Fade around. ;)

  30. Lisa Farhana

    Love triangles are exhausting to read but not when it’s done right (like Cassandra Clare’s The Infernal Devices). I dunno about other people but it’s always been pretty clear to me as a reader that Deuce only has feelings for Fade.

    Love the “love T” explanation!

    • Wendy Darling

      I had ID on my mind often as I was answering comments here, Lisa–that is hands-down the best example of a love triangle written with love and honor and dignity, and it just about KILLED me. I also liked the way the love triangle was handled in Soul Screamers, but those are about the only two examples I can think of where I have really admired how the author resolved the relationships.

      I am with you–I knew she was going to end up with Fade from the very beginning, too. Glad you enjoyed Ann’s post!

  31. Kim

    What an interesting article. I’m fine with love triangles — or anything that remotely seems like a love triangle — as long as it’s done well and furthers the story or character development in some way. I know some people are really sick of them, but I think that’s just because there has been an overflow of poorly done and pointless love triangles out there.

    I haven’t read this series *yet* but I hope to have the first two done by the time she comes to my area in November with the FierceReads tour. Can’t wait for that :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Yeah, if love triangles and love Ts are written well and aren’t just there to throw monkey wrenches into the primary relationship that you KNOW is going to play out, I don’t really mind them as much as some readers do. But I can relate to feeling bored and frustrated when they aren’t handled well, as often seem to be the case. Agreed on poorly done or pointless ones.

      I hope you get a chance to read these soon, Kim. BITEY BITEY Freaks are right up your alley!

  32. Barbara E.

    I can’t really say whether I agree with the love triangle thing because I just started reading Enclave. But I’m excited to read the whole series, and it would be awesome to win it.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh yay, I’m glad to hear you’ve started ENCLAVE! Lucky you, that you don’t have to wait for the sequels. I pretty much read OUTPOST and HORDE back to back, and I zoomed right through them both.

  33. Jen

    I love this and Ann’s explanation. I’d rather read about a love T than a triangle, because there is SO much of those these days that it gets either A) boring or B) Frustrating, or C) all of the above.

  34. Ashley @ Book Labyrinth

    Definitely agreed that this isn’t a love triangle, or at least not what I think of when I think of ‘love triangle’. The “love T” here was definitely interesting, as you know that Deuce isn’t changing her loyalties… which was nice to see, actually, that she had her mind made up and stuck to it. In a lot of ways I think the “love T” shows us the same thing as a love triangle would have, though… the choices that Deuce makes, what they say about her, etc — this is just a different type of statement about the character.

    Love these books!!

    • Wendy Darling

      I totally agree–we see so many love triangles were the main character goes back and forth between her choices, and it’s usually really drawn out and annoying. But you’re right in that a love T and a love triangle pretty much serve the same purpose symbolically–does Deuce choose her old way of life, or a new one? Etc, etc. Love your comment, thanks Ashley!

  35. Steph F.

    I completely agree. To me it’s been obvious that Deuce and Fade were in love and that she has seen Stalker as just a friend. I love the T reference cause that explains it perfectly to me. Can’t wait to see what happens, so anxious.

    • Wendy Darling

      Right? All signs were pointing that way from the very beginning. I hope you are satisfied with how the story (and love T!) is resolved in HORDE.

    • Wendy Darling

      True story: I had to google OTP, dude. But yeah, I don’t think there’s any argument that Fade and Deuce were meant to be!

    • Wendy Darling

      Fade is pretty freaking dreamy. Battle-scarred, hurt, and waging war, he still manages to be crazy romantic just for being him.

  36. becca fowler

    im so excited to read this series, because i have heard such amazing things about it!!!! i really hope to win!! thanks for the awesome interview and giveaway!

  37. Tammy

    I read the first book and still need to read the second before the third. I’m all for love T’s!

  38. Amanda

    I have to agree. I don’t think it can be a true Love Triangle if someone’s oblivious to it. And I love the Love T!

    • Wendy Darling

      I thought it was hilarious that Ann says Deuce has the emotional awareness of a rock in the beginning, hah. I love that she looks on her characters with such an unerring but affectionate eye.

  39. Galena

    I agree! It is absolutely not a triangle. Deuce has never been interested in Stalker, and that’s the driving force of a triangle.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yep–main character’s indecision between two characters should be what defines a love triangle. I like that we now have a term for this type of situation. ;)

  40. Rachel Hoyt

    I love this justification! It makes so much sense, and I love the love T. I can’t see a love triangle existing if the protagonist knows who she wants and never wavers–were she to waver, sure, triangle. What a great post!

    • Wendy Darling

      I’m glad you enjoyed Ann’s post, Rachel! Agreed, it’s hard to define this as a love triangle if the person in the center is completely oblivious as to what’s going on, hah.

  41. rachel

    I think there could be something between Deuce and Stalker but she’s not interested so there’s not. A person has to be at least torn between two for it to count!

    • Wendy Darling

      Exactly–there’s a spark between them, but in this case it’s just friendship/comraderie that Deuce feels. Who knows what might’ve happened between them under different circumstances, though…

  42. Keertana

    I agree with Ann’s definition in that a love triangle occurs ONLY when the protagonist herself is torn. I think the variations are better, but still quite annoying in my book. Still, an interesting post on a common trope in YA today – thanks for sharing, ladies!

    • Wendy Darling

      I think love “Ts” are more understandable than love triangles, and yes, sometimes even those can feel like they go on for too long. I understood why it took Deuce so long to catch on, though, because she wasn’t raised to be really emotionally aware. I respected that as soon as she knew what Stalker felt for her, she made it very clear what her own feelings were.

  43. Ann Aguirre

    Thanks so much for having me on the blog. I’m vindicated by how many people agree that it’s not a true love triangle. I mean, I’m sure you’ve all had someone who was into you but you just weren’t feeling it. That doesn’t mean you were part of a triangle!

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh Ann, thank you for visiting us today! I think everyone seems to be in agreement with your post, and I very much enjoy your “love T” position. Looking forward to Mortal Beauty next year!

  44. Lisa Mandina

    I haven’t read the book yet, so I don’t know if it is a love triangle or not, and I tried not to read too close on that part because I want to read and be surprised! I have a friend who just goes on and on about this series, and so I really want to read them!!

    • Wendy Darling

      Ah, a Razorland newbie! I’m glad you didn’t read too closely because it is best to discover it all for yourself. :) I hope you get your hands a copy of the first book soon, Lisa–good luck with your entry!

  45. Bookluvrs Haven

    There are some very good points from the author as to this not being a “love triangle”. Getting a glimpse of the situation between characters in this argument makes me even more curious about these novels. Honestly, they hadn’t even hit my radar until today, so thank you for the blog post. I am certainly excited to read the series, whether or not I am the lucky winner! Good luck to all!


    • Wendy Darling

      Oh good, I’m glad Razorland is on your radar now! They’re extremely well-written, and the world-building is fantastic. We’re talking about the relationships part of the books here today (which involve amaaaazing kisses!), but as a whole the books are awesome. Hope you enjoy!

  46. Taylor Knight

    I gonna have to agree. While I still don’t really care to any love triangle or love T (I really like that term, by the way), if I had to pick I’d pick a love T. It’s a little less complicated and, I think, easy for everyone involved.

    • Wendy Darling

      I liked her “love T,” too. I think this situation is easier to understand than love triangles, which often feel forced in order to throw obstacles in the way of the end game, if you know what I mean.

  47. Carl Scott

    I would agree with Ann that, as Wikipedia defines it, there is no traditional love triangle between these three. There is a conflict of emotions but that is good for the story. Plot lines need conflict in order to move forward. Thanks for the huge giveaway.

    • Wendy Darling

      Conflict IS good for the story–it also adds a certain complexity to Stalker’s character in particular, which I found really interesting. I hope you like the books when you get a chance to read them, Carl.

  48. Rashika

    Rationally I can see that the situation in the Razorland series is not a love triangle but because I am so paranoid when it comes to love triangles it’s still scary to read the book because I’ve had my heart broken too many times when it comes to love triangles. This post actually helped a lot with my paranoia about the situation in the series so I don’t have to be scared out of my mind when I start Horde! :)

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, I’m glad this post helped clear up some of your misgivings about the relationship aspect of the series, Rashika! It seemed pretty clear to me from the start who Deuce was going to end up with, so hopefully you won’t find it too traumatic.

  49. Nikki Vanderhoof

    OMG I literally almost had a aneurism over this post. I can’t believe how AWESOME it would be to win this whole series. It’ll be one I re-read many times I think.

    • Wendy Darling

      Hah hah, I shouldn’t laugh at your almost-aneurysm over this giveaway, but I’m excited that you’re excited about it! It’s a terrific series, and I hope you will be able to read it soon one way or another.

    • Wendy Darling

      I know, I laughed when it came through, too! I’m sad to see it end as well, but I’m looking forward to her next YA series coming out next year. I need to give her adult series a try, too. :)

  50. tattooedbooks

    I agree, definitely more of a T. I never even thought of it as a triangle to begin with, but I could see how some people might see it that way.

    • Wendy Darling

      I think people automatically assign “love triangle” to any scenario where there are two options for the main character to choose from, so I understand the shorthand in a way. But I appreciate that Ann’s clarified the relationships in her own books, so that the conversation and definitions of these YA situations continue to evolve.

    • Wendy Darling

      Deuce and Stalker really did have an interesting relationship as well…unfortunately for him, it was really just a friendship. But I understand completely why he likes her so much, not only for her own strength of character, but also because she’s probably the most familiar/comforting person to him in his life.

    • Wendy Darling

      It is. Unrequited love is something that really pulls at my heat, and I felt pretty bad for Stalker as it seemed clear that Deuce was going to end up with Fade.

  51. Liviania

    This isn’t truly a love triangle, but I think the T formation sometimes annoys me more. When there’s clearly one requited love interested, then another dude in love tends to muck up the works.

    • Wendy Darling

      Oh, really? I think the T is harder to stomach sometimes if it’s not handled well, but when it is it’s easier for me to stomach than your usual love triangle–because c’mon, how many of us are lucky enough to deal with TWO amazing choices in real life?!

      I think Deuce and Fade handled their relationship well despite very difficult circumstances, though, particularly with Stalker constantly trying to muck things up. ;)

  52. Mary @ BookSwarm

    HA! Deuce really did have the emotional awareness of a rock at first, poor girl. There were hints of a triangle but it’s hard to go full-fledged when the girl has no feelings for the “other” guy, other than reluctant friendship. Can’t wait to see how this awesome series ends!

    • Wendy Darling

      She’s such an atypical YA heroine, isn’t she?! I liked that about her, even though it did make things hard for Stalker later on. Certainly understandable that she wasn’t great at reading conversational and physical cues, given how she grew up, though.

  53. Ellie

    I agree about it not being a love triangle. Deuce and Fade have made their love clear. And Stalker has also made his love clear for Deuce. But that’s all it is. A one sided love. I do love Stalker though.

    • Wendy Darling

      Yes, I never really thought of this as being a true love triangle either, Ellie. I like that Ann clarified it for us, though, especially with the handy chart, hah.

      I grew to like Stalker, too. He did some terrible things, but he was a product of the circumstances in which he was raised. It was interesting to see his character develop over the last couple of books.