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asher asks: My Instawuv is Better Than Yours

I've been tossing this idea around in my head mostly because I have not written, let alone thought, about a topic that has to do with Things Unrelated to When TVD is Coming Back and How Much I'm Hating My Life Right Now. But, SERIOUSLY, I've been thinking about this since I finished The Statistical Probability of Love at First Sight, which, if you don't know, I love that book like anotha sibling, bro. AND this is also the perfect moment to mention that I'm giving away a copy of this badboy right HERE.

Anyway, once I finished putting down that awesome book and stopped telling everyone on this good planet how much I LOVED it, Oliver and Hadley's romance got me to thinking. We've got this book,

and nobody gives a darn (including me) about the falling in love in a VERY short time frame (I'm talking the very long span of 24 hours, readers) romance dominating the book, and it made me wonder why? I'm a hard sell when I read something like they're both feeling something strange - could it possibly be attraction? She's really fun and sweet and super nice, and he's a regular mastodon. After dumping buckets of soda on her, their eyes meet and love blooms. She can't deny her feelings for him, but she can't describe them. And that's a good thing because he certainly can't explain it either. Yuck. Like. Really?

But then, books like TSPoLaFS flutter into view and suddenly meeting a guy on a plane ride and then falling in love with that guy is HOT BEYOND WORDS. If it happens in the time frame of a day, SO BE IT, in fact, EVEN BETTER. But when books like,

You've just been REJECTED.
show up, I want hack and stab and tear this 'instawuv' romance to unidentifiable shreds of shame.

So here we are, paranormal instaluv vs. contemporary instaluv. Why do we tolerate either over the other, neither, or both? What makes one type more attractive and likeable than the other?

When two characters meet and we JUST KNOW that they're going to end up together, and we can't wait for That Magic Disney Moment or The Hot Sexy Times to happen, we're practically begging for instaluv to shower over these two. But when two characters are ogling each other's hotness for 100-something pages we get turned off.

I'm curious. What are your theories here?


DJL said...

Personally, I feel it's better for a relationship to build rather than having "instawuv" (as you put it) in almost any setting. I mean, yes, people can feel that spark about a person, but that doesn't mean they will end up staying with them the rest of their lives. I'm as much a hopeless romantic as the rest of them, but there needs to be foundation built behind a romance (whether paranormal or contemporary) in order for it to be believable at least for me. That's how I try to write my own stories, and while I may squeal over some love stories that have "instawuv", there is the fact that it's "just a story." It's when the effort is put in that makes it more gratifying when you forget you are reading a work of fiction.

thecheapreader said...

I hate it either way (paranormal or contemporary). You'd have to be an idiot to think that the characters are actually in love after knowing each other for a short amount of time. I'm usually a bit offended that the author thinks I'll actually fall for that. We all know it's simply lust and neither one of them are thinking with their brains. Of course, I'm always cynical when it comes to love.

Interesting discussion idea!
Alison at The Cheap Reader

Jade said...

I think this topic in books is subjective and depends on what the reader can tolerate. There are some instances where it just works and it seems right for the characters. And some books...not so much. There is a bot of an art from in writing about insta love and making it work for the audience. Not all authors can pull it off seamlessly and unfortunately, that may turn some readers off.

But it's good to read all different types of love stories. Some insta, some friends forever, some meet and get to now you love. They can all be great. Nice post.

pointy star said...

I think that since most paranormal books already have action and/or suspense in them, there isn't much room for an insta-love romance since the protagonists are already busy trying to discover whatever the plot of the book is. On the other hand, contemporary books are more character driven and as such, have less action. Since the protagonists usually are suffering from some type of depression or other unpleasant emotions in the beginning of books, the tantalizing hint of a future romance acts as a hook to keep readers interested enough to continue reading the book, because no one wants to read a book about a depressed heroine who won't do anything to change it.

But that's just my opinion common contemporary and paranormal books. There are many exceptions out there; my brain is just too fried to think of any examples. XD

Missie, The Unread Reader said...

What? Really? I think I buy paranormal instaluv easier than contemporary because in PNR, it's fantasy and often magic is involved or they couple was 'fated' to be together, something like that.

Hella interesting discussion post, Asher.

serena423 said...

I'm one of those who pretty much hate insta-love wherever it dwells.  VERY few authors can pull it off in a way that the characters don't feel like shallow crutches to tell the story.  So maybe that's why it works in Statistical Probability--the characters are both so well written and vibrant on the page that readers are more willing to take the leap of faith into love at first sight because the characters have a solid platform to make that leap off of.


Brodie said...

Just in reply to your first sentence: What the heck is with the freaking hiatus' all the time?! TVD and Nikita, what am I supposed to do with my life at the end of each the week? GEEZ.  So glad they're finally back this week!

No matter whether it's contemp or paranormal, I need to FEEL that spark of chemistry if I'm to buy into the love or attraction at first sight. Jennifer did that brilliantly over 24 hours and yet some fail to do it within the 'few weeks' time frame.  I guess it just depends on their ability to flesh out their characters, to make it feel genuine and ease up on the creepy eyes and constant references to each others hotness. With the exception of TSPOLAFS (EEEE <3), I prefer when the sexual tension slowly builds and builds and builds and builds and you just want to scream... they frustrate the hell out of me and I love every minute of it :D

Also, I love this post!

Sarah (saz101) said...

OK, so I tried to reply yesterday and my stupid interwebs weren't loading your comments and it was MAKING ME CRANKY (my internets--NOT your thingies :D)

I pretty much agree with what Brodie says, below. But I think it comes down to good writing. If it's well written, and the chemistry is BELIEVABLE, then the reader should feel it. It WORKS in TSPOLAFS, because it feels real. And I mean, they're not declaring their undying love by the end of the book--it's real. I think the story needs to respect the reader, and respect the characters. I can like an intense on/off love/hate relationship just as much as sweet slow-build romance if it's well done.