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)