Reading primarily young adult literature, I’ve found that, if given a choice, I’ll choose a story that involves a romance over a book that doesn’t. What can I say? I love love. It makes my little world go ’round. But I find that I’m drawn more to stories where the characters have more than a passing attraction — I’m an old-fashioned romantic. Give me the grow-old-together, heart-stopping, sacrificial, I’m-all-in, forever kind of love, and I’m a happy girl. But there’s always this little niggling thought in the back of my mind when I read about people so young falling in love. Is it realistic? Can people really find true and lasting love at 17?
Well, here’s what Jessica Shirvington, author of Embrace, has to say about the matter…
Falling in Love at 17
Falling in love is easy. Staying in love … more complicated.
At 17, life is about new experiences. It is about self-discovery, friends, adventure, mistakes, career and university choices. And let’s be honest, there are not many 17 year olds out there that aren’t interested in falling in love.
But how many are truly interested in falling in love with THE ONE at 17?
I’m not sure I was. In fact, I probably wasn’t. I was planning to take the world by storm – solo. So when I met Matt, well, actually … it was pretty darn amazing. But it was a little frightening too.
When we first got together, it was sweet and young and … perfect. I was head over heels. But things became complicated quickly. He was an up and coming athletic star and I was working in hospitality. So basically he worked hard in the day, and I worked hard at night. His lifestyle demanded routine and healthy living, mine … not so much. But we were determined to make it work.
Falling in love so deeply at a young age made it difficult to be as reckless as our friends. We watched them coast in and out of short, fun, but meaningless relationships and it just seemed so different to what we had.
Writing the Embrace series has been an opportunity for me to pour some of the incredibly intense emotions of young love into Violet’s story. It has been important for me as a writer, and a person, to recognize that it’s completely realistic for someone at her young age to experience the full effect and heartbreak of love. Violet is one hundred percent invested with her heart. She makes bad choices, but we have to. She regrets many of her decisions, because we all do. And she fights for what she loves, because she is compelled to. Violet’s story is unique to her, I don’t pull on parallel scenarios from my own life, but I do pull on the emotion of intense love. Love that I think adults sometimes forget that 17 and 18 years-olds are very capable of feeling.
I often find one question helps a lot of adults, who maybe disagree with this view, to be more open minded: Do you remember you first true love? Do you ever wonder what your life would’ve been like if you had stayed together? For some, the answer is a resounding NOT INTERESTED, but for others … the pause says it all.
Matt and I celebrate our 11th wedding anniversary in March – I believe jewelry is in order 😉
A little bit about Jessica…
Embrace has been published by Sourcebooks Fire here in the States, and is available RIGHT NOW! So go check it out!
About the book…