What is true love? And how is it the same/different for a teen?
by A.B.Whelan, author of Fields of Elysium
When I received a request to write a guest post about what is true love I thought that’s easy; everybody knows what true love is. I sat down at the computer to verbalize my ideas on this topic, but my thoughts were jumping all over the place. Half an hour later I came to the sad realization that grasping the definition of true love is more difficult than I anticipated. I needed to give myself more time to mull it all over.
For a week I have been thinking and asking people around me about the meaning of true love, and the answers came with great difficulty. I felt relieved that I’m not the only one who can’t put it into words, but deeply saddened because I’m a writer. I should know things like this. So I dug deeper.
Musicians write songs about true love, writers write books about it, filmmakers make movies about it. Still it seems the meaning of true love is different for different people and it’s very hard to grasp.
Just let’s think about this for a moment. Who really knows what true love is? The elderly couple walking hand in hand after fifty years of marriage? Your girlfriend who never stops bragging about what a perfect marriage or relationship she has? Some A-lister Hollywood couple that smiles and kisses for the cameras and has all the money on earth to spend to be happy? It’s hard to tell because the final summation of our lives happens on our deathbed. So how can you tell now that you are in love with the right person or not? I believe there are plenty of examples that could be interpreted as the symbol of true love.
E.g., when Flynn Rider cuts Rapunzel’s hair to save her even if it costs his life (Tangled); when Oliver turns his back on the family fortune to be with Jenny (Love Story); when Noah and Allie’s love for one another survives years and breaks through social barriers (Notebook); when Landon wants to be a better man for Jamie (A Walk to Remember); when Jake gives up being a human to become the mate of Neytiri (Avatar); and the list could go on.
It might not be easy to define true love but certainly there are loads of examples out there to give us a good idea.
How true love is the same/different for a teen?
Finding true love can happen at any age but to recognize it I believe takes a long time. And as such, it can’t happen at first sight; however, it can start out when we’re young, as lust, as friendship, as pure attraction, and with time grow into true love.
What teens consider love I call infatuation. When we’re young we jump into relationships out of physical attraction, to fill a gap in our personality, or out of pure social pressure, or mere curiosity. And it’s all good and necessary to learn about ourselves, to find out what we like or dislike, to gain wisdom and experience because this is the kind of knowledge that will lead the adult to make the right decision about who his/her true love is.
You may rightfully ask why I don’t believe teens can recognize true love. And I’d tell you that I was a teenager once and I was ‘deadly’ in love a few times but I’m very happy today that I hadn’t rushed into anything stupid. My teen romances were never really put to the test. It’s easy to love someone when there is no commitment to the relationship. When loving someone only requires holding hands on the beach, kissing in the moonlight, keeping him/her in mind all day long, having him/her as the last person in your thoughts before you go the bed and the first one when you wake up. But when you are an adult there is more to loving someone. True love is balance, trust, clear vision and responsibility; it knows no distance or time. Some of us search for it our entire life and never find it; some of us let it slip through right under our nose and never notice it; some of us build walls around ourselves and don’t let anybody near. But the truth is, mankind is a social animal, we need to love and be loved. If you are with the right person and your heart is content, then everything else will come easy: money, success, and happiness. So go out, discover and try, fall down and get up and try again, take chances. And be brave and jump into the unknown. Because there is no way that out of seven billion people you don’t have a match. You do. It only has to find you.
Fields of Elysium by A.B. Whelan
How can love mend a heart full of hate?
Small town girl, Molly Bennett, moves to Los Angeles where she becomes an outsider while attending Beverly Hills High School. It seems life cannot be any more dreadful. Then one day after school, something magical happens. On a secluded hike in the Hollywood Hills, Molly chases her disobedient mutt and only friend into a hidden cavern. She stumbles upon a strange glimmering gateway that transports her to Arkana, a planet that is the cradle of an advanced human race. There, teenagers navigate amazing flying vehicles, compete in perilous games for glory, and possess supernatural powers. While Molly tries to wrap her mind around this unbelievable discovery, she meets the alluring and mysterious Victor Sorren. He is a Sentinel Apprentice, whose hatred toward people from Earth is beyond understanding. Yet every time Victor unpredictably saves Molly’s life, his heart draws closer to hers, no matter how much he tries to fight against it. It further complicates things that their growing friendship is strictly forbidden. Earth people are prohibited in Arkana, yet Molly continues to cross through the portal to Arkana to see Victor. Torn between their double lives, they go down a dangerous path, from where there is no return and multiple endings.
Fields of Elysium is a suspenseful, romantic tale full of forbidden secrets, unimaginable danger, deception, and the never-ending fight for true love.
“The novel’s take on otherworldly travel is a compelling one, and the romantic plot will likely appeal to Twilight fans.” – Kirkus Reviews
“I expected a good love story with a paranormal twist. I got so much more. I think you should take the chance and read it. Let this book take you on the adventure, fall in love.” – Young Adult and Teen Readers
“Fields of Elysium is a fabulous read. … Whelan paints her faith into the fabric of her story with deft, light brushstrokes, making her work accessible to all, no matter their spiritual beliefs or background.” – Readers Favorite
“I escaped into this fantasy world, author, A.B.Whelan, created and I didn’t want Molly to go. From detailed descriptions, to sweet romance, and to all the twist and turns in the story, it had me captivated from page one.” – Mary Ting, author of the Crossroads Saga
“Whelan’s writing is very vivid and descriptive. It’s more formal than the average YA novel, but I enjoyed the lyrical and mesmerizing quality to it. I thought the overall story read like a fairy tale–very sweet.” – Megan Thomason, author of Daynight
A.B.Whelan is a Hungarian born, American writer. She currently lives with her husband and two children in Southern California.
While growing up in a wealthy Eastern European family, she had a chance to travel Europe. Later as an adult, she visited Africa and the Middle East and lived in Ecuador and in Crete.
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