Wednesday, May 10, 2017

LET'S TALK YA: Insta-Love & People Who Hate It

Okay, internet, I'm gonna lay it out straight for you, and you're probably going to hate me.

No wait.

If you're an avid YA book reading teenager reading this you're probably going to hate me.

It's okay, I understand. I still love you.

Welcome to PART ONE (of how many parts, who knows! I don't plan things. I'm not a planner okay!?) of YA Topics I want to talk about.

Today we're going to be tackling one of the biggest complaints that seems to be getting A LOT OF CRAP lately from readers. Grab some sun guys, there's gonna be a lot shade thrown here today. And now your topic for today:


(Me, as I see a wall of angry people running at me)

"Puh-leeeez." I hear you saying. "Of course we should complain about it! There's so many stupid freaking love triangles! And those MC's (main character) always meet the protagonist and then fall in love RIGHT AWAY. All. The. time. We're so sick of those things! WE DON'T WANT IT ANYMORE."

But here's the thing guys. Are you ready for me to ruin your dreams? Because here it comes.



That's right. Be angry. Then let it go so you can read my next words without a haze of murder obscuring your view.

I'm sure you think I'm insane for saying that. I'm not. I mean, I'm crazy-ish, but not about this.  The fact is, "insta-love" is a real life phenomenon.

The people who complain about the MC's falling in love right away get pissed because they themselves feel they would NEVER do something so stupid. They would never do anything as dumb as see someone and just...fall. But you know what?

You know someone who has.

Everyone knows someone (or is that someone) whose fallen in love--or at least lust--at first sight. It might exasperate you, it might make you say 'awwww' and try to get them together, but in the end a MC falling in love at first sight in a book is actually an everyday, real life fucking occurrence. 

"But it's not believable when they do it! No one just falls in love without knowing them! NO ONE."

To which I say:

You wanna know whose fallen in love--or crushed--on someone at first sight in books? Like, doesn't know anything about them and they just liked their face?

-Harry Potter
-Anyone in a John Green novel, basically.
-So many more I don't have time. Or space.

People who fall in love (or lust) at first sight in real life:


AND YOU LOVED IT. because it was done well.

Now here's what's actually causing your anger and disbelief about insta-love in books: It isn't someone falling head over heels at first sight. It's when both parties look at each other and say--maybe even out loud--"oh yes, I've waited for you my whole life and we've been fated and destined to be together FOREVER" to the person they haven't even spoken to yet.

Is it annoying? Oh my god yes. But have I had friends in Jr. High and High School write those words in a text to their significant other that they've only just met and dated for a few hours?
Why yes, yes I have. 

(I've literally had a stranger do this & pour their romance woes to me on a train. I guess I seem like a talk show host who cares?)

There's also something readers (especially older readers between the ages of 19-23) seem to forget. You're reading about teenagers. TEENAGERS. And usually 'younger' main characters who are 14-16.

You're not reading about a 24 year old whose figured things out about love and themselves (and even that's debatable).

And if the romantic life choices of teens annoys you, maybe you shouldn't be reading about teens.


The thing is guys, believability and relatability to a character's love life is actually really important to teens. Because love is important to them. Because in real life, everyday, a teenager sees another teenager and falls in love without knowing the person. That really happens in real life. Every. Single. DAY.

And for those who don't want love of any sot in their YA books? I'm sorry to say, but love DOES often drive a book no matter the genre, whether you realize it or not. It's one of the strongest emotions we have that gets shit done, next to anger (and that anger can almost always be traced back to love. The lack of it, want of it, or the taking away of it).

So to say that 'falling in love at first sight' isn't believable or realistic or something that doesn't happen in real life, just isn't a correct statement--or true.

Even if that love in real life doesn't last, people can and do take one look at a person and feel their stomach flutter and their brain scream "this is the one". Even if  'the one' only lasts a few weeks. For that instant--without perhaps even speaking--that person has, in fact, fallen in love as they understand love to be.

Now, don't get me wrong. I chose plot over love in my YA, because I love plot. But I absolutely need a love interest. There needs to be some sort of love in the story for me. I need characters to fall in love with someone. Because I write fanfic, and I need characters I can ship and draw together!

Some people don't want any love at all in their YA. And that's fine. I understand that. But it's also pretty much impossible. Because more often than not, people fall in love at some point (NOT ALL people, but like...the vast majority). And a story without love, or even a hint of it left open ended that fans can latch onto and ship in fanfic, is hard to do. Almost impossible.

So now that I've got you all mad and annoyed at me, let me know what you think!

Do you like love in your YA? Do you think YA is putting love first and plot second? Do you think insta-love isn't realistic or something that happens irl?


And while you're thinking about it, allow me shamelessly plug my own YA book, Brenna Morgan and the Iron Key which DOES NOT HAVE: 

-Love Triangles


-Love as the main plot (but there's a love plot in it)

You can buy the kindle version here:

The physical copy here



  1. I personally, NEED to have romance in anything i read, even if it's simply a micro flirtation by the secondary characters, lol.
    So if YA is putting love over plot, then that honestly dosent really bother me, BUT there still actually needs to be a decent plotline.
    I think a lot of grown ups forget what it was like when they were teenagers. I for one, have no problems with "insta-love" because, you know what? When I was in high school I had a mad crush on a boy and totally believed it was love (please be aware I was like, 13 at the time.
    I have friends who literally met on the first day of high school and dated right through and beyond high school. So definitely it can happen in real life.

    1. Agreeeed! I love plot, I do. But I really do need some form of love in it. It doesn't have to be the main point (I can read a romance book for that!), but it needs to be in there.

      And I agree. I think people, even younger adults forget what it was like to be 15 and starstruck by someone you see and have never met and feel that they're 'the one'. And I don't think it's bad to have some romance in it. :)

  2. I don't have a problem with the insta love phenomenon. What gets me is repetition of the same concept for 100+ pages. That made me throw Twilight across the room, and I refuse to read another word of it. In my novel which is YA there is a love triangle of sorts, but it is common with people. Like you are in a relationship then you meet someone new and exciting and they kind of take over that space in your heart. It's still hard to break up with the current girlfriend even though it isn't going to work when you're thinking about the other person. In my novel it doesn't take over the plot of the book, but it is there.

    1. Yeah, I get that, for SURE. I've never been in a love triangle personally, nor could I imagine falling in love with some one else while supposedly BEING in love with some one else (but then again, I don't like sharing partners. LOL). But I could see how frustrating that is to be in a relationship where you know it's going to end and you don't love them, and meeting someone where you do fall for them at the same time.

      But by that concept then, it's not a triangle. It's two people who aren't in love, and one loves another person. So....where's the triangle?

      And also, that's totally fine! I think the issue is that people get mad at insta-love because they think it's not something 'real' in real life. I think it's just that things light Twilight put it over the top. You might FEEL that way as a teen when you first meet someone you fall for right away, but it doesn't mean you got and verbally SAY IT TO THEIR FACE. Lolol!

  3. Through my writing I have heard that a lot hate insta love especially teens. I don't have an issue with it and actually like reading about a bit of romance, especially in paranormal books. I'm not a chick lit fan much. Love triangles are something that has been done a lot, but I do like it. Twilight was the one I instantly think of. I have changed my novel down to MG now rather than teen, so I am removing the romance and going for more adventure. x

  4. Sure insta-love happens in real life, but does that mean it's good? How many instalove relationships actually end up being healthy in real life? My problem with romance, love triangles and instalove is it's all portraying romance in unrealistic ways. Feeding teenagers this bullshit that says you have one soulmate in life is terrible. Soulmates are made, they don't just appear. It takes work to be "right" for someone, and for them to be "right" for you. And how many high school romances end up happily anyway? Aren't we just setting up teens for disappointment? I mean that's how I felt when I started dating in the real world. I wasn't able to read a lot of YA growing up (I was in a cult) but the ones I did made my 13-15 year old self have screwy ideas on what love was, how it happened and how it was reciprocated.
    Like it or not, what we know of the world comes from our experiences, and books are part of that experience. I'm not saying that all instalove plot lines are bad, I'm just saying a lot are overdone and badly written. I want to see better examples of love for teens. I want LGBTQ+ stories, I want love triangles that end in non-monogamous relationships, I want more books where a teen doesn't have to have a love life to fix everything. Because there are asexual teens! Or teens who weren't allowed to date through the high school years (me!). Instalove has had it's time, and now it's time for it to move over.

    All in all though, this was an interesting post. Thanks for sharing. :)