foreveryoungadult's review against another edition

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Graded By: Mandy W.
Cover Story: Heartfelt
The Wallflower: "We Have to Be Who We Are" by Libba Bray
The Guarded: "Knock Down These Walls" by Ibi Zoboi
The Mythbusters: "Own Your Heart" by Jasmine Warga; "Life in the Friend Zone" by Varian Johnson
The Survivors: "We're Not Alone" by Kim Liggett; "Down the Rabbit Hole and Out the Other Side" by Cristina Moracho; "Love Is All, Love Is You" by Heather Demetrios and Zach Fehst
Bonus Factors: Love Yourself, Introspection
Break Glass In Case Of: A Heart That Needs Mending

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readingwithdaniella's review against another edition

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Click here to see this review and others on my blog Reading With Daniella

2.75 stars

First off, this cover is so pretty - seriously drop-dead gorgeous kind of pretty. I'm jealous of how beautiful this over is.
This was decent, but not really what I was expecting. I thought that this would be different YA authors telling stories of their own heartbreak, but although we had small stories sprinkled in, this was more like advice, inspiration, and motivation for those dealing with heartbreak in a very wide variety of ways. Not bad, just not what I was looking for right now.

I don't pick up anthologies all that often, but I typically enjoy them! It's also very rare for me to read any sort of non-fiction. but I usually do enjoy personal essays and things like that.
This book actually reminded me a lot of another non-fiction anthology by a group of YA authors that I read and enjoyed earlier this year, [b:Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles|35297409|Life Inside My Mind 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles|Jessica Burkhart||56664238].

As with most anthologies, there were a few sections that I really enjoyed, a few that I was slightly bored by, and many that were decent, my nothing special in my eyes.
My two favorites were definitely the passages written by Gayle Forman and Libba Bray. I haven't read any of their books before, though they both have plenty sitting on my TBR, and now I am even more excited to get to them soon!

Here are a handful of my favourite quotes from this anthology:

I am not fully forged yet - my metal is still glowing red-hot, being shaped and molded, but I know what sort of sword I want to be now.
- Amy Ewing, I Am Tired of Trying to Prove My Worth

Whenever you do step back into your own space, for whatever reason you will not be the same person. You'll have grown an inch or two, not in size, but in love. Love expands you. Honest, fearless, love stretches you to the limits you didn't even know were there. There won't be any walls. You can run freely and love freely. Your heart will not only beat, it will music.
- Iba Zoboi, Knock Down Those Walls

We let our biggest secrets and our silence run like a river through the foundation of our friendship, eventually cracking it into pieces.
- Jasmine Warga, Own Your Heart

We, as women, are often taught by societal messaging that to be a good friend is to sacrifice our own happiness. We are taught to shrink our own desires, to make ourselves smaller so that other people can be more comfortable. Fuck that. As you state, even if you break up with this boy, it will not erase your friend's heartbreak. It does not solve the problem that the object of her affection does not return her feelings. It only serves to make two people more upset. This is not a reasonable solution. It, in fact, is not a solution at all. Because - think about it - even if you acquiesce and end your relationship for the sake of your friends, will that really solve the problem? There is a chance that your hurt over ending the relationship will fester into a deep wound of resentment that will cause major problems in your friendship.
- Jasmine Warga, Own Your Heart

If you never felt hunger, Confident, you would never know the precise pleasure of satisfying your appetite with delicious food. If you never experienced rainy days, you would not relish the feel of the spring sun on your face.
Joy and pain are not unrelated. They are not opposites or mortal enemies. They are conjoined twins. If you know joy, you will invariably know pain. You will break up with someone you loved. You will be dumped by a dear friend. You will sit at the bedside of loved ones. You will attend funerals, some of them for people who died before their time.
This is the price of admission, my friend. If you want experience, you must accept it.
- Gayle Forman, The Teacher of All Things

enne's review against another edition

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I thought the concept of this book was very intriguing and one that really stood out from all of the other anthologies that I’ve read in the past. However, I was less than satisfied by the execution of this book. I think some of it comes from the fact that I just didn’t really find myself able to connect with a lot of these as much as I thought I would. However, I also thought that this anthology provided an interesting opportunity into the exploration of platonic love and familial love and, really, just any kind of love beyond romantic because I feel like there are so many different types of love that teenagers experience. And while we did get one or two stories like that, I thought there was a lot of room for growth and just a general exploration of what the definition of “love” is. That said, there were some stories that I really related to and enjoyed, I just thought that this book could have done a better job at being well-rounded and exploring all of the different types of love.

howlinglibraries's review against another edition

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DNF @ pg 87

This is probably the most disappointing, upsetting DNF review I've written in all of 2018 (with the year almost over, at that), but I can't continue this.

When I requested this ARC, it was pitched to me as YA authors writing fictional stories in response to teens' letters about heartbreak—not nonfiction self-help columns, which is what I got. And there's nothing inherently wrong with that, if that's what you're looking for, but I can't stand self-help columns, so that was very jarring for me. That said, I enjoy a lot of the authors involves, so I went into it with an open mind and open heart.

If my only issue with these pieces was that it wasn't what it had been marketed to me as, I would not be giving this collection a rating, but it is a mess. As much as I love Heather Demetrios, I am literally pained over the fact that her name is attached to this, because some of the authors replying to these letters are downright irresponsible.

Of the pieces I read, I only enjoyed Becky Albertalli's (ironic, since I don't enjoy her fiction much), and the rest were "meh" at best and problematic as hell at worst.

Nina LaCour's was shockingly tone-deaf; after receiving a letter where the writer complained of feeling unwanted and suffering from FOMO, Nina went on a tangent about what a popular, beautiful, cool teenager she had been, which felt like page upon page of blatant humble-bragging with little to no advice.

Adi Alsaid's was okay but gave advice that felt super sketchy to be giving teens (such as recommending a teen find strangers online in their city to meet up with—I could understand suggesting this to grown adults, but the protective mother in me cringes at the thought of a 15-year-old reading this and running off to Craigslist to find some creepy pervert)

Libby Bray's had a lot of good advice and was humorous, but I genuinely hope the final edits clean up some of the immensely gendered language. I'm 100% sure it's just second nature and Libby meant no harm, but if the email writer is anonymous, it seems super unfair to me to assume that you're talking to a cishet girl just based on their mention of seeking a boyfriend? :(

Kim Liggett's advice was the final straw for me. This letter was from someone seeking advice on how to heal from sexual assault and mentioning how they haven't moved past the rawness of it, yet Kim goes on to describe their own rape as a teen in detail that... I don't know how to explain this, because it wasn't over the top explicit, but the way it was described was immensely triggering for me as a survivor. I'm not saying you can't give advice on healing from assault while mentioning your own, because solidarity and empathy can go a long way, but I think trigger warnings and tact would have gone even further.

So, that's it—this was one of my most anticipated releases of the year due to wrong marketing, and I'm a little broken up over how disappointed I am in this collection. I really wanted to keep going and see if it got better, but the lack of care going into some of these stories tells me that, even if I were to continue reading it, I don't foresee my rating improving from its current state.

Thank you so much to Henry Holt & Co for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review!

_maya_e_'s review against another edition

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emotional inspiring reflective


I enjoyed this book very much and I think it’s a fantastic book for younger readers because it can teach some very important life lessons. The reasoning behind it loosing a star is that I felt that a lot of the advice almost seemed to be repeated in every response and in some responses the author focused so much about their own experiences that it sort of stopped being a response to the letters.

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carmenrm's review against another edition

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Well this was an interesting ride...
This book was what i expected but not exactly. Some of the authors really seemed concerned about the letters they've decided to answer and the persons who were behind them but many others felt completely the opposite. In some of the letters i felt like the author was waiting for that opportunity to show the world how hard their lives had been (not to disparage they were all heartbreaking stories). The thing is that they were not answering to the questions and situations written in the letters, they just wrote about their story and there it goes.

annes's review against another edition

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This is a really strong and powerful novel where normal everyday teenagers have written letters to "heartbreak" pouring out their hearts and popular young adult authors pick a letter that resonates with them and writes a letter back.

" Our hearts are resilient. They can go a hundred rounds in the ring, get knocked out, and the next day be right back in there,fists up" - Heather Demetrios.

This is such an honest, raw and emotional piece all about the dark side of love and I truly loved reading this book and got a lot out of this book even though a lot of these stories weren't similar to my own love story.

tcelizabeth's review against another edition

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This book had a wonderful message and it's a book I think should be available to all teens struggling with the ideals of "teen love" and "highschool romances" as well as more serious topics mentioned throughout. For instance, (TRIGGERWARNING: be cautious) the conversations on sexual abuse and rape was very very emotional and hard-hitting.
I'd love to see this book in school libraries (middle and high school at least) for teens struggling.

alibg's review against another edition

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This collection of letters from the best and brightest YA writers out there will be a crowd pleaser for teens and offers some great mentor texts for teachers teaching personal narrative, though some of the letters are quite long.

irinam's review against another edition

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Well, I'm clearly not part of the target audience for this one, haven't been for more than 15 years. And I can't say that I enjoyed reading it. The best I can do is say that it was ok. Some problems were truly horrible and I hope they found some kind of help, but there were some, that I just didn't connect with.

My biggest issue was with the way some authors got so caught up with their life-lessons and stuff, that they seemed to forget about the letter they were trying to answer. At least I had to go back to some letters to remind myself what was there and why this teen was writing.