Why insta-love needs to stop appearing in YA

Hello everyone! So as you can see by the title I’m going to be talking about insta-love. Now even though loads of people talk about this common trope, I feel like this trope is still not talked seriously enough. My previous post was a review of An Ember In The Ashes by Sabaa Tahir (you can check it out here) and I said there was insta-love. I still stick to that point. The main boy just looks at the main girl and- wait here is the line:

A heated, visceral shock flares through me at the clarity of her dark gold eyes. For a second I forget my name.

What. The. Devil. Was. That.

So many things are just wrong with that line, I closed the book in a anger for a minute and then had to push myself to carry on. Just why is my question. Why the hell does he feel a ‘visceral shock’ after one look at this apparently random slave girl. And no it isn’t just because she’s pretty because there must of been pretty slave girls before here. And why would it sends a ‘visceral shock’ through him.

Don’t even get me started on the main-protagonist-having-an-unusual-eye-colour-trope.

And the last part is just so ugh. This guy forgets his name after looking at this girl. And apparently, because of her gold eyes and ‘nothing about her says slave‘ he becomes compelled by her. I swear he has at the most five encounters with the girl but already she is (in his eyes) a rival to his best friend.

I went along with this romance, hoping and praying that all he was feeling towards her was lust, but that didn’t seem like the case by the end of the novel. But with only five encounters with this girl, how can it be anything but lust! You only know the basics of this girl and you love her. No just no. I was so rooting for the best friend because it seemed like the best friend and the boy had a genuine relationship founded friendship. He was in love with her, not the slave girl. I know it might seem like I’m just hating on this relationship because the boy didn’t end up with the girl I wanted but it isn’t that. The and the slave girl’s relationship was founded on a few chance encounters and lust. And the boy doing cliche romance things like carrying her to her chamber and making sure she lives.

I could do a whole post about how Sabaa Tahir just messed up romance in An Ember In The Ashes but I won’t because I have to talk about insta-love in general.

Writers who write insta-love are being lazy.

I do not care if my book will be 150 pages longer if that means getting actually scenes when the protagonist and the love interest actually fall in love. I am not asking for the moon, sun and stars. I am asking for a realistic romance where the characters learn about each other, where the readers learn something deeper about the characters.

This happened in Everything Everything by Nicola Yoon as well. The protagonist looks out the window, sees the love interest and immediently starts doing some unhealthy things like keeping tabs on his schedule. If you just want your protagonist to be attracted to the person physically then state that clearly, but don’t try to cover up insta-love with inspiring quotes and two or three cute encounters.

It especially irks me when I see insta-love in contemporaries as in contemporaries they are at least suppose to be reflecting the real world. And if I see an attractive guy I’m pretty sure I don’t forget my name, feel a shock or start keeping tabs on his schedule.

Maybe I’m just angry that two books in a row that I have read have included some degree of insta-love. Or maybe insta-love needs to be cut out of YA for good.

What is your view on insta-love? However your view, big or small please post them down below and I will be sure to respond back. This is a big topic and I would love to hear your views on it.




33 thoughts on “Why insta-love needs to stop appearing in YA

  1. Word Wonders says:

    yes, yes, YES ! Thank you for this post ! I hate insta-love, it is truly a turn-off to me when it comes to books, I’m just like why? why you do this to me? This is just unrealistic, it never happens in real life. So why put it in a book instead of building the relationship gradually through the book, that even gives the reader time to get invested in the romance.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. merineliza says:

    I have to agree with you here. Insta love makes novels seem so artificial. I read, The Shiver, and in that the protagonist has seen the guy in his wolf form a few times and she’s crazy over him. That gets on my nerves. That is just plain crazy.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lunireads says:

    I agree that instalove is super annoying. It just feels so fake, because no one falls in love just by looking at someone. You might feel attracted to them and want to get to know them better but nobody falls in love that fast.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. vrushali21 says:

    First of all great post! You’re totally right!! And I couldn’t have described it any better!
    I hate insta loves. Like I can have a crush on someone who I find attractice but how can I fall in love with him when I don’t even know him! It’s so irritating to read insta love novels. And the authors are lazy to cut the plot.
    I’ll not say more. You probably said it all perfectly and you get the point, right? 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      Thank you! And yes, it’s just a complete turn off for me and it just doesn’t make sense! I thought authors would enjoy developing their characters more, but it’s like the reader’s can not handle 150 pages more of people communicating and getting to know each other. If you don’t want to write the extra 150 pages then don’t write the romance! It’s quite simple!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Heather Stewart says:

    Reblogged this on Feminism in Cold Storage and commented:
    Here’s a great post in why insta-love just needs to stop! I can’t agree more. Occasionally there are books where there’s a supernatural reason, like a curse, and I can get behind that, especially when they aren’t in love anymore when the curse breaks, but this is just done too much. I get so annoyed with it!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Peace of Mind says:

    Hey great post, totally agree with you, cause one book that got to me with this whole instal-love issues was the TMI series by Cassandra Claire.
    But though your right in this post, I have to disagree about An Ember in the Ashes.
    That book was so intriguing for me, it bought out the characters for me and I felt I was actually among them, it was beautiful. She spun the story so well.

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      Thanks! I didn’t know insta-love was in the TMI series…I was planning to read it as well. Hopefully it isn’t too bad. And I really like An Ember In The Ashes and agree with eveything you said about it. Her writing is amazing, except for when she wrote the romance. It came off as insta-love for me and because the characters only meet like five times and the love wasn’t convincing to me.


  7. Bookenstein says:

    Bless this post. Insta-love is a definite turn-off for me in any book I read that is not explicitly a part of the romance genre. It’s so unnecessary and just comes off as extremely lazy. It just feels like a cop out to get to the happy ending which is nothing we need. Like, can we please develop the characters/relationships before we start throwing in gag-worthy prose? #endrant

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      Hahaha thank you 🙂
      It’s so frustrating as a reader when you want two characters to fall in love properly and not in a look. I just hope that the trope gets kicked out the genre soon. I would enjoy a heart breaking ending with no insta-love than a happy ending with the insta-love.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Bookenstein says:

        Same! I will probably fangirl all over the interwebs the minute something like that actually happens… I am even open to a book in which the characters realize that their initial moments of “love” was nothing more than mere appreciation for another good-looking human.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. selinn92 says:

    This post actually comes at the perfect time for me. I’m writing a book now and sometimes I feel like I’m falling into the insta-love category. I want things to move along quickly so readers don’t get bored, but at the same time I don’t want it to be like love at first sight. If characters are talking, getting to know one another, doesn’t it just feel slow? I know in stand alones I like when the romance picks up because the author only has the one book to develop a relationship. Do you only consider love at first sight insta-love or also characters talk for one chapter and then fall for each other?

    Liked by 1 person

    • A Stranger's Guide to Novels says:

      Well I’m glad it has come right at the perfect time! Of course I can’t tell you how to write your book because it’s your book and only you can judge of you think the romance is going to fast or too slow at the moment. After one conversation two people can have a crush on each other but not full on falling in love (in my mind). Maybe not even having a crush but an interest in that person.


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