Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Insta-Love VS Realistic Love

This is an interesting topic...and one I'm sure everyone has something of an opinion on.  I hear all the time about how "irritating this insta-love was" or how "here's finally an insta-love that's believable".  Judging from others' comments, and my own findings:  Insta-love is hard to peg.

As a dear blogging friend, Annabelle from Sparkles and Lightning, said once, insta-love can take place over 2 days...or a few months.  Basically, it doesn't matter how long it is - it's how the author plays it out.

The fad that is Insta-Love
I feel like I'm a bit more lenient on Insta-Love and would say it's "realistic" more than most people.  I guess that's because...I'm from Insta-Love.  Yep, you read correctly.  What I mean by that is: my parents met, hated each other, fell in love 3 days later, and were engaged within a week of meeting each other.  They've been married happily for nearly 21 years.  Sooooo...yah.  Lenient would be the way I view Insta-Love.  It can happen, it is realistic, and it really can last.

So when I read Insta-Love, what am I thinking?  I guess after a while it can get old, but I don't often think, "What the heck!  That would never happen!"  For the most part I'm thinking, "Can somebody please find a different way to plant Insta-Love in their stories?"  Because, for reals people, there are SO MANY FREAKING STORIES that have Insta-Love in them.  And sometimes it feels like it's the same thing over and over again.

But I get it.  It's easy to deal with, easy to fit into a lot of different types of stories, many different genres.  Sometimes I think it might be easier to write than some long, drawn out, real-life-ish kind of love story.  So I'm on the fence.  I wish it wasn't quite so over-used, and sometimes totally unrealistic, but I love it.  I really do.

The awesome and rare Realistic Love
Now, this.  This.  This is hard to come by these days.  But when I find them, I LOVE them.  Like, I eat them up like candy at Christmas.  Take This Dark Endeavor, for example.  I love the romance in here, but it's pretty much already happened any way you look at it.  Whether it's Konrad/Elizabeth, or Victor's love for Elizabeth, etc.  It happened beforehand, so you don't see it unfolding, but it was realistic in the way it played out.

Sure, I like this.  Sometimes, I'll take that over Insta-Love any day.  But what I really really love is a Realistic Love story like that of A Curse Dark as Gold...  Holy schnap.  It's so darn beautiful I just can't stand it.  It took a while, too, for them to really fall in love, and I loved that about it.  It made the book what it was: soft, full of promise, and completely tantalizing!

Then there's love stories like Alex and Lena's from Delirium.  They fell in love over a summer, but it felt like much, much longer than that.  As though they'd lived a lifetime together already.  I can also say that the Divergent/Insurgent love story and The Hunger Games trilogy love story are two of the most Realistic portrayals of love I've read in YA.  They include:  average looking human beings who don't have magical superpowers; lots of heartbreak; and a reason to need each other (other than just an OMG-I'll-die-if-we-aren't-together kind of thing).  This...this I like.

Ok, I love it.

So what's the verdict?
Definitely...well...erm...not so sure.  Because where would I be without Kelsey and Ren's undeniably perfect Insta-Love-ish romance?  And how could I live without the undying flame that keeps Peeta and his girl on fire burning?  Both can be epic.  Both are epic.  You just have to do it right.

And what's your verdict?  It's a tie for me, but maybe you have other ideas!  Share your thoughts in the comments below - I love to know what you're thinking!! :D


  1. Gina @ My PreciousAugust 29, 2012 at 8:06 PM

    Insta-love works for me in the right circumstances. I sort of think of it as love at first sight. However, I'm a bigger fan of realistic love. My favorite real life feeling love affair was with Anna and Etienne St. Claire.

  2. Oh I totally agree! Thanks for the comment, Gina! I can't wait to read "Anna" - I hear the best of all possible things about that book! :D

  3. Jenny @ Supernatural SnarkAugust 30, 2012 at 8:18 AM

    What a fun topic Sierra! I agree, insta-love is definitely hard to peg. There are some stories that feature it where I'm able to get caught up in the romance and find it a tad more believable, and then there are times when the insta-love makes me grind my teeth in frustration. I think for me it depends so much on the individual characters. I can believe in an instant love when the girl maintains the qualities she possessed before falling in love, and I have trouble when she turns into a spineless, dependent young woman after declaring her undying affection for a boy.

    I think it's situation-specific as well. Characters in a dark and tragic world where the possibility of death at a young age is high (like dystopians), I'm able to believe in intense feelings happening quickly. That just seems to fit with their life so I can get on board:)

  4. Very very good point, Jenny!! I agree - situation is key. There are plenty of books where people complain about the romance or the emotions of the characters, but if you really look at the situation, it makes sense. I wish people took that into consideration more often.

    Thanks soooo much for the comment, Jenny! :D I love hearing your thoughts!