The rock bands are right—“Love Hurts.” (resources) (Nonfiction anthology. 13-19)

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DEAR HEARTBREAK

YA AUTHORS AND TEENS ON THE DARK SIDE OF LOVE

Surrender your laptop, Ann Landers: 17 YA authors (and one intrepid spouse) are now writers-in-residence at the Heartbreak Hotel.

Humans could barely conjugate a verb when the poets and musicians among them began earning their keep explaining the damnable mystery of love, that emotion that slashes and burns its way through tender hearts. Demetrios (Bad Romance, 2017, etc.) asked teenagers to write letters to Heartbreak itself and gathered YA authors to address their anguish. The mostly female authors, representing a diverse variety of backgrounds, answered with cleareyed empathy. Each writer embraces one broken teen heart while responding with a masterful combination of painful honesty, gentle encouragement, and irreverent humor. Libba Bray (Before the Devil Breaks You, 2017, etc.) shares her own stories of physical disfigurement with a young woman who laments that her chronic disease renders her unlovable. Jasmine Warga (Here We Are Now, 2017, etc.) reminds a girl who is loved by someone her best friend has feelings for that love is not a competition. Kim Liggett (The Unfortunates, 2018, etc.) bares her soul and relives her own trauma to comfort a survivor of date rape. Whether it is unrequited love, love that has become abusive, or the misery of being ghosted, this collection reaffirms that love is worth living for, that we must love ourselves first, and that, thankfully, broken hearts do mend.

The rock bands are right—“Love Hurts.” (resources) (Nonfiction anthology. 13-19)

Pub Date: Dec. 18, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-250-17090-3

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: Sept. 17, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15, 2018

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Necessary for every home, school, and public library.

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SHOUT

“This is the story of a girl who lost her voice and wrote herself a new one.”

The award-winning author, who is also a rape survivor, opens up in this powerful free-verse memoir, holding nothing back. Part 1 begins with her father’s lifelong struggle as a World War II veteran, her childhood and rape at 13 by a boy she liked, the resulting downward spiral, her recovery during a year as an exchange student in Denmark, and the dream that gave her Melinda, Speak’s (1999) protagonist. Part 2 takes readers through her journey as a published author and National Book Award finalist. She recalls some of the many stories she’s heard during school visits from boys and girls who survived rape and sexual abuse and calls out censorship that has prevented some speaking engagements. In Part 3, she wraps up with poems about her family roots. The verse flows like powerful music, and Anderson's narrative voice is steady and direct: “We should teach our girls / that snapping is OK, / instead of waiting / for someone else to break them.” The poems range in length from a pair of two-line stanzas to several pages. Readers new to Anderson will find this accessible. It’s a strong example of how lived experience shapes art and an important book for the #MeToo movement.

Necessary for every home, school, and public library. (resources) (Verse memoir. 13-adult)

Pub Date: March 12, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-670-01210-7

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Dec. 19, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Jan. 15, 2019

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There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text...

HOW NOT TO BE A DICK

AN EVERYDAY ETIQUETTE GUIDE

Jokes about cheese logs abound in this humorous but sometimes-belabored etiquette guide ostensibly aimed at teens.

Following an introduction that defines what makes a person seem like a dick, seven chapters address situations ranging from initiating romantic relationships to behaving responsibly at after-office get-togethers. An uneasy line is straddled in terms of its intended age range. Readers are dutifully exhorted to make sure they wear proper attire to school dances: “Most schools have dress codes for dances. Read them carefully!” Yet there’s also advice on how to politely use a coffee shop as your office if you’re working from home. Further, a section on safety and manners at parties seems at times to employ the euphemistic term “sugary beverages” for alcohol and suggests “If you are buzzing on sugar or if someone spiked the punch, DO NOT DRIVE.” This cagey approach to the topic of teen drinking is confusing at best and at worst, may strike readers as condescending.

There are some funny moments, particularly in the simple black-and-white cartoons of a girl and boy that accompany the text throughout. However, as etiquette goes, there’s not much that is new here and a real question of whom this is for. (Nonfiction. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Oct. 1, 2013

ISBN: 978-1-936976-02-7

Page Count: 176

Publisher: Zest Books

Review Posted Online: Aug. 14, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 2013

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