I have been asked this question a few times regarding The Bachmann Family Secret, so I decided to tackle it here! The book contains an insta-love romance between Jaret and a guy he meets in Fremont, which has prompted some reviewers to say it is unrealistic while others seem okay with the notion.
I think the root of the differences in opinion come from the fact not everyone sees the world the same way. I realize that sounds simplistic and dodgy, but it’s how I feel. I know people who fall in insta-love! And I know people who think it’s a crock. So it boils down to a matter of preference.
Let me offer the background on why I had Jaret fall in insta-love. He’s a high school senior, and he’s never been out before these moments in the novel. His hormones are raging, he’s lustful, and he’s longing for a different world from his closeted existence. He meets a hot guy – and BOOM! Lust. Longing. Passion. As an 18 year old, Jaret feels that as love. It’s a young adult novel, so I didn’t feel the need to include some long existential rumination of the meaning and truth of love. Jaret felt the emotion strongly and expressed love!
Seriously, I think a lot of young people feel that way. Remember, the novel takes place over about a week. Nowhere does it imply this first romance became one for all eternity – we have no way of knowing such a thing. Jaret expresses a loud and strong emotion and identifies it as love.
I suppose one aspect of my writing his insta-love is somewhat personal. I “fell in insta-love” several times right after I came out. LOL! My adult self looks back and knows – that wasn’t deep passionate love. I tell my younger self to get a grip. Of course those romances couldn’t last. But tell that to my early-twenty something self. I would not have listened.
Anyway, back to the question. Yeah, I stand by Jaret’s insta-love for the reasons described. I understand why it rubs some people the wrong way, but I hold to its genuine feeling for Jaret in his moment.