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.