2013

Love Triangle Smack Down #3: The Infernal Devices – Will vs. Jem

InfernalDevicesIn light of the new book trailer for Clockwork Princess that just recently launched a couple of weeks ago and the fact that the official book release is later this month, I thought a love triangle smack down between Will Herondale and James Carstairs seemed appropriate.

  • Main attraction: Tessa Gray is our brave young heroine who finds herself in love with two Shadowhunters parabatai who love her back in their own breathtaking and unspeakable ways.
  • Love Interest #1: Will Herondale is our witty and reckless Shadowhunter who keeps his emotions hidden by playing nonchalance at every turn and keeping everyone else around him at arm’s length.
  • Love Interest #2: James (or Jem) Carstairs is our steady and loyal Shadowhunter, dying from an illness. He’s best friend to Will Herondale and engaged to Tessa Gray.

My Thoughts

Ah…the love triangle that started it all. I never had the chance to write a review for Clockwork Angel and Clockwork Prince, but if I had during the days that followed finishing them, you probably wouldn’t have comprehended a single thing I wrote. The Infernal Devices love triangle literally turned my brain into mush. I was heartbroken for days and couldn’t stop talking about it to every single member of my family over and over and over again. Seriously, my love for this series and for Tessa, Will and Jem’s relationship is mind-boggling.

The love triangle in The Infernal Devices series is the best example I can give you of a “perfect” love triangle. We have two best friends — two brothers — who care about one another dearly but fall in love with the same girl (without the each other knowing). The worst part? One of them is dying from a chronic illness and the other has never allowed himself to love or be loved because of a curse.

And it gets worse: The one dying is literally a saint and the one that’s cursed was never cursed to begin with! I’m absolutely torn when it comes to who Tessa should end up with, partly because deep down, the boy I favor doesn’t deserve her as much the other in my opinion – that’s almost a first.

Yes, that’s right. I’m finally admitting it out loud (or on paper) but I think when it comes to The Infernal Devices, I’m on Team Will. And only because I think Will is the hero of this series. I think Cassandra Clare favors our reckless Shadowhunter because it’s evident in the way she writes from his perspective and the scenes that he shares with Tessa are much more pronounced. And while Tessa loves both of the boys dearly, I think deep down she does love Will just slightly more. Ugh, I feel guilty for picking a side. Honestly, I’m completely fine with nobody getting Tessa in the end since there’s really no good way out of this.

But you can’t even blame Tessa for all of this mess! Tessa’s feelings towards Will and Jem are legitimate. Her reasons from jumping from Will to Jem are legitimate. Her reasons from choosing Jem over Will are legitimate. And her reasons for not revealing her true feelings for Will are legitimate. Clare couldn’t have done a better job putting this love triangle in front of us with no excuses or loopholes to fall back on. I get burned out just thinking about it.

The thing about Will and Jem is that they are both broken little Shadowhunters and deserve happiness. Unfortunately, happiness comes in the form of a girl. One girl to be exact. Will Herondale, with his dark hair and blue eyes, is mysterious but entertaining and a breath of fresh air. His arrogance, dialogue and banters with Tessa are humorous and the highlight of the series (for me at least). I mean c’mon, Will is the reason we catch ourselves smiling, the reason our heart breaks at the end of everything. From the moment he met Tessa to the very last scene of the Clockwork Prince, Will has taken us on an emotional roller coaster. I can still remember reading that one scene at the beginning of Clockwork Angel — when the wall of the Dark Sisters’ basement explodes and Tessa and Will share a moment staring at each other from across the room in the seconds that chaos erupts around them. I had literally sat up straight and thought to myself: Woah, I think this just got good. And I was right. Will’s relationship with Tessa is thrilling.

But unfortunately, it’s not that simple.

Why? Because there’s Jem Carstairs who is too good for all of this shenanigans. He’s more than good: He’s a guardian angel and the oasis to a Sahara desert. Will may have had his reasons for treating Tessa the way he did in the first two books, but no matter what, Jem has always always been a gentleman. Jem’s proposal and declaration of love to Tessa was absolutely beautiful. If this is going in the direction I think its going (and that’s a big ‘if’) then I hope that Jem does die if Tessa realizes that Will is her one true love. No way would I ever forgive Cassandra Clare if Jem doesn’t get the true happiness he deserves. I don’t want him to end up with another secondary character, because to me, that’s losing. And as much as I love Will for being Will, it would be a prime example of the bad boy winning. I want Jem’s happiness fulfilled to the umpth degree.

But then of course…there’s that last heartbreaking scene at the dinner table when Will raises his glass and makes the congratulatory toasts to Tessa and Jem’s engagement. Gosh, I was blown away at how well Clare handles this scene. From Will’s heart-shattering words to Tessa’s awareness of him, and finally to Jem, who had never been happier than he was at that moment…I think that’s what did it for me — the sacrifice that Will makes in order to keep his best friend happy. To give up the girl he loves. Now that’s what every loyal friend or brother should do in our perfect world. Clare sums it up perfectly in a passage written from Tessa’s perspective.

So technically, this really wasn’t a smack down. You must understand though…it’s such a difficult choice which is why it’s my favorite YA love triangle of all time! With the Clockwork Princess launch a little bit more than a week away, I’m afraid to give my support to either one of the boys. I favor Will, but think Jem deserves Tessa more. So basically, we’re back to square one: torn.

So tell me: Who do you think Tessa will end up with in Cassandra Clare’s final book, Clockwork Princess, of The Infernal Devices series?

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