I’ve grown a little obsessed with Goodreads lately. Some reviewers seem to love everything, while others hate everything. The logic behind many of the reviews can be fairly funny to read. One such topic for YA has been “insta-love.” The reviews define the term as two characters meet and 20 pages later they’re madly in love, willing to give up their lives for one another.
While I think 20 pages is likely quick for the word “love,” I do not think it is too quick for obsession. Why? Because that is teen love. I have a 14-year-old niece who has a different boyfriend all the time it seems. One such boyfriend “cheated” on her—meaning he went to a movie with another girl—and she said “it was really hard because we were together so long.” So I asked her how long and she responded: “three weeks.” Yep, it took three whole weeks for my young niece to fall for some boy.
I think it is very important to remember our true audience when writing for YA. We are not writing for the 30-year-old women who read YA—yes I am one of them! We are not writing for parents. No, we are writing for the teen girls and boys who do fall instantly in love, who do act foolish and rash and stupid at times. That is the life of a teen. And to me, these people who judge quick love—or obsession—in YA novels do not grasp that of all the elements of YA, quick obsession is likely the most realistic.
What do you think?