Friday, August 8, 2014

Discussion Question: What Do You Consider Insta-Love?

I don't know anyone who likes insta-love in a book.  We like to see the main characters get to know each other and usually the best love stories seem to be those that evolve from friendship, or even better, the hate to love romances.  So many times when people don't like the romance, they don't like it because they describe it as "insta-love."  But what is insta-love?  To me, it's not necessarily the time that elapses.  Sometimes I'll finish a book where I absolutely loved the romance.  They hated each other at first, then it slowly changed to grudging admiration, and then it evolved into love.  And then I realize that the whole book took place over a 10 day period.  But it didn't feel like insta-love.  Why?  I've decided that it's more about the amount of time the guy and girl spend together.  If they're together 24/7, going through trials and tribulations, having many conversations, etc. then it doesn't seem like insta-love to me, no matter how much time actually passes.  I've even read books where the characters only spend one night together and I wouldn't characterize it as insta-love.  Then I've read other books where a lot of time passes but it feels like insta-love because they haven't spent any time together.  They don't talk.  There's just a lot of meaningful glances.

On Goodreads, here's a list of Popular Insta-Love Books.  A few of them are:
Shatter Me
Daughter of Smoke and Bone
The 5th Wave
Hush, Hush
Beautiful Creatures
City of Bones

Do you think these books contain examples of insta-love?  What do you consider insta-love?

Posted by:  Pam


  1. hmm...first of all I would have to disagree with some of those books. I didn't feel like there was instalove in Shatter Me or Legend. Maybe in Shatter Me with Adam, but definitely not with Warner. That took time.

    But I think that it's instalove if they've spent hardly any time together and haven't really talked and then start throwing around the L word. Just no. I don't care if they fall in love in a couple days as long as they are really interacting. I just hate when they have two conversations and then are like "I love you". I also hate when an author tries to "cheat" by stating that a lot of time has passed, but not actually taking the time to develop the relationship.

  2. I'm not sure how much instalove is in those books because of those books that I did read, I can't recall, it's been a while. However, for me instalove is when the characters have spent barely a day together and they find that they can't live without one another, and they're already tossing around the L word.

    I mean in reality most books don't take place over a large period of time and I'm fine with that; but I want to get through the banter, the development of the relationship. It's rare but sometimes instalove works. I guess it depends how it's written.

  3. Twilight... TOTAL INSTA-LOVE! I think it's when they seem to just see the person and talk to them one or two times and then are suddenly saying they love each other. Nope, not a fan. It needs to feel like they actually spend time getting to know one another. You don't just see someone and instantly fall in love with them, it's not realistic at all.

  4. I think the insta-love that bugs me is when right away there's some sort of "connection" described beyond attraction. I like to see the build up and all the moments in between attraction, like, and love. But insta-love doesn't bother me as much as other bloggers; I'd take it over love triangles any day. :P

  5. Insta-love. *Sigh*. What a complicated thing. I do agree that the time two characters spend together matters more than how much time actually elapses but even if they spend every waking moment together and face unimaginable trials and sparks fly (whatever), if only a week passes before they are claiming undying devotion to each other, I am still going to be skeptical and probably call it insta-love. (mostly if that week feels like a week - sometimes I have no idea how much time has actually passed

    I think it matters a lot on how the author develops and presents it and I think it matters a lot on the reader. If the reader believes it, that's all that matters. If they don't, well thats when it comes off as unsubstantiated, silly and well.. insta-love-y.