I don’t usually feel compelled to pick up a book like this but I found the concept really interesting. Each section of this book begins with an anonymous letter written by a teen struggling with heartbreak in someway. The letters are then thoughtfully answered by YA authors, some you may be familiar with– Becky Albertalli, Libba Bray, Gayle Forman, and Sandhya Menon, just to name a few.
Not terribly long ago, I went though a breakup myself and while it no longer hurts me to think about, I thought I might get some valuable insight to keep me going just in case a bad day sneaks up on me.
The thing about loving people and seeing their souls and letting them see your soul is that sometimes you fall in love with a motherfucker.
–Heather Demetrios, “Love is All, Love is You”
I can tell that this book was a labor of love from everyone involved. A lot of souls are laid bare within these pages, and I know that’s not an easy thing to do.
I’ve learned from my own experience over the years that sometimes love hurts. A lot. At times I’ve wondered why anyone ever puts themselves out there at all.
Then I think of the sound of my significant other’s laugh and it all makes sense again. Because for every moment of hurt, every tear shed in anger or sadness, there’s a time when I’ve laughed so hard I cried.
Late night baking sessions, hands held under the table, warm hugs, deep conversations, a real connection with another human being– these are the things that make it all worth it.
Love can hurt a lot, but it can feel really amazing too.
While I didn’t find any groundbreaking wisdom in this book, I think it’s an incredibly valuable read for just about anyone. I think if it had been around when I was 14 or 15 years old I may have picked up something that would’ve made me realize I was deserving of better treatment much sooner than I did.
I know these things now. I have a great deal of love and respect for myself. It’s an ongoing lesson of course, and there’s always something to get better at.
I have to be honest. If there was one thing I could change about my years in high school and college, it would be to take away this pressure to be WITH someone before we are ever encouraged to be WITH ourselves.
How, in a culture that forces us to think about coupling so young, do we ever form ourselves fully?
–A.S. King, “Who Said I Have to Give My Heart Up for Breaking?”
I do believe that loving yourself is the most important thing you can (and should) internalize. Because the more you love yourself, the less you’ll be willing to put up with disrespectful or downright abusive treatment from others.
We can’t rely on other people to make us “whole” because we are not incomplete to begin with. We are already whole, and while companionship is a beautiful thing, it shouldn’t be our only source of light in life.
I’m so glad that this book is full of wonderful, heartfelt adults that teens (and anyone else) can look up to for such important advice.
A broken heart can and will feel like the end of the world at times. I totally get it, I’ve been there. But it’s so important to know that you’re never alone, not really. And the pain does go away. It takes time of course, but there is always light at the end of the tunnel and you will have good days again.
Nothing lasts forever, especially not heartbreak. Each time we survive it, we come out stronger and more capable.
I would absolutely recommend this book. To who? Anyone. Because everyone experiences heartbreak even if it’s not from a significant other. A family member can hurt you, or a close friend, and sometimes we need to know that it’s okay to take time to feel hurt before we get back up and dust ourselves off.
Final verdict: ★★★★ (4/5 stars)
**Trigger warning for discussions of abuse, rape, mental illness, and suicide.
If you are struggling with abuse or thoughts of suicide, please reach out for help. You are not alone and you will get better.
These numbers are free, private, and available to help you 24/7!!
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255
National Sexual Assault Hotline: 1-800-656-4673
National Domestic Violence Hotline: 1-800-799-7233
National Child Abuse Hotline: 1-800-422-4453
The Trevor Project Hotline for LGBTQ+ young adults: 1-866-488-7386
Stay safe out there my friends, I love you all.