Kyle T. Cowan | The Children’s Book Review | August 30, 2017
Love at First Sight
Kyle T. Cowan, author of Sunshine is Forever
I’ve read and watched tons of movies with two characters instantly falling in love and having an immediate connection. But does that kind of love actually exist? Most rational people say no, it doesn’t. Jack and Rose couldn’t possibly form the connection they form in just two days on the Titanic. Hazel couldn’t possibly fall in love with Gus’ weird looks in therapy like she does in The Fault in our Stars. But these characters do fall in love, fast, and audiences accept it.
Many people criticize stories with a love at first sight element because they say the idea of love at first sight is irrational. But is it irrational to them just because they haven’t experienced it for themselves? Or is it irrational because it doesn’t exist?
When I set out to write my book Sunshine is Forever, I decided I wanted my protagonist, Hunter, to fall in love with a girl in an instant, but before I made this decision I researched the different phases of love…
Many scientists break love down into three or five stages—falling in love, becoming a couple, disillusionment, creating lasting love, and using the power of two to change the world.
To me, infatuation leads to the falling in love stage. Infatuation is love at first sight. We’ve all experienced this in some shape or form. We see a person in a bar we really want to talk to; we swipe right on Tinder hoping this very attractive person will match with us; we become obsessed with a classmate at school even though we don’t really know the person at all…
Infatuation is not a rational emotion. Many times infatuation is just a crush that leads to nothing. Infatuation is our brain telling us that we like the physical features and smells of a person. So can a person experience love at first sight? To me, the answer is yes, but that doesn’t mean love at first sight will result in a meaningful relationship.
Since the media constantly bombards us with stories of two characters instantly forming a connection and the relationship magically working out, I wanted to write a story where two characters form an instant connection and slowly start to realize their relationship might not be exactly what they thought it would be. I wanted my characters to experience these first four stages of love throughout my story, with the epilogue addressing the fifth stage.
My main character is obsessed with the idea that sex will cure his depression. To him, sex is love, and if he can just find someone to have sex with, everything will get better. I came up with this idea based on the fact that society is so enamored with love at first sight stories. I wanted to explore how these types of romance novels and movies affect a depressed person. Hunter becomes instantly infatuated with a girl at a camp for depressed teens. He’s so desperate to feel loved that when this girl, Corin, gives him any sort of attention he immediately thinks she will cure his depression. Obviously sex and love can’t cure depression, which is a major message in the story.
Sunshine is Forever is a love at first sight story, but it is also a commentary on this trope and why it exists in the first place. My main characters slowly start to realize they might be in over their heads, and the love they thought they had might have been just an infatuation. I hope you’ll give this story a chance and I hope it touches you in some way.
Written by Kyle T. Cowan
Publisher’s Synopsis: After a life-changing event, Hunter decides that he can’t go on…
…which lands him in Camp Sunshine, a rehab center for depressed teens. Hunter is determined to keep everyone there out of his head, especially his therapist. But when he meets Corin, a beautiful, mysterious, and confident fellow camper, all Hunter wants to do is open up to her―despite the fact that he’s been warned Corin is bad news.
When Corin devises a plan for them to break out of the camp, Hunter is faced with the ultimate choice―will he run from the traumatic incident he’s tried so hard to escape, or will he learn that his mistakes have landed him right where he’s meant to be?
Ages 14+ | Publisher: Inkshares | 2017 | ISBN-13: 978-1942645627
About the Author
Kyle T. Cowan is an actor whose first big-screen appearance was in Odd Thomas. Most recently, he appeared in Better Call Saul, Preacher, War on Everyone, MANH(A)TTAN, and Camouflage. Sunshine is Forever is his first published novel. To stay in touch with the author, follow him on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook.
Kyle T. Cowan, author of Sunshine is Forever, wrote An Exploration of Love at First Sight and Its Existence in Stories. Discover more articles on The Children’s Book Review tagged with Depression, Love, and Romance.