Welcome to BOLD discussions. Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments. Last week’s topic was First Sentences. It’s never too late to participate; whether it be an old discussion or a new one, tell me what you think!

This week’s topic is instalove, which has been debated much before, but I want to add my thoughts on the subject.

Instalove:  A word that inspires much eye-rolling and sighs of frustration from readers everywhere. It can make or break a book. When two characters meet and proclaim their everlasting love within days of meeting it can cause some serious irritation. And it is a popular trend in YA books.


But is the term thrown around too loosely?

I loathe insta-love as much as the next reader, but I think that the word is used so frequently that it is often used inaccurately.

I admit to using the term in my own reviews- examples here and here. However, I am really trying to be conscious of it so I don’t just use the word without thinking about what it implies. Whenever I read a review that talks about the annoying, instalove going on in a book, I immediately lower my expectations. If I know there will be instalove I am hesitant to even pick it up in the first place.

This got me thinking though: What if everyone has a different opinion as to what counts as instalove? Could I be missing out on some great books because I assume that everyone sees it as being the same thing I do?

Here is what I think instalove is not:

Two characters liking each other pretty quickly. This happens, even in real life. In contemporaries there is often a love interest. Just because the main character develops feelings for someone after a short time, does not mean that this is instalove. Unless these two characters start talking about how they will die for each other, and they only met yesterday, than I don’t see this as instalove.

A relationship that takes place over time. I have read some reviews where a relationship is accused of being instalove, but the relationship developed over a few months. Sometimes it is hard to realize that time is passing throughout a story. It can feel like everything took place in a matter of days, when in fact it was much longer. I think that it is hard to keep that in perspective when reading, so some “false”* mentions arise due to this. (*Note: I am only calling these mentions false as I see them. Every reader has a different definition of what bothers them, and I am not trying to say their opinion is wrong in anyway, just different than how I see things.) 

When the heroine falls under a magic spell. I am not defending the instalove in paranormal romances when the MC falls in love with a supernatural being only because they love the thought of loving a supernatural creature. In fact, I think paranormal romance is the number one genre where instalove occurs. The best way to explain what I mean is through an example. In Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea – review here–  the relationship between the main character and the love interest starts because of some devilish trickery. The relationship excels pretty quickly from there, but it is because of “paranormal” means, not just teenage emotions. (I don’t know how well I explained myself in this paragraph, so if you have no idea what I mean, please just nod and go along with it.)

That’s what I think. Can you think of any examples of books where instalove works? Where it doesn’t? What do you think defines instalove? Do you agree with anything I said? Disagree? Let me know!

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