Thank you, Ben at Electric Monkey, for sending me a copy of 19 Love Songs by David Levithan for free in exchange for an honest review
This is such a beautiful book and within this collection of short stories the tales are wonderfully charming, gentle and loving. The short stories, deal with love, self-acceptance, self-identity and coming-of-age while some of the stories were cute, some were sad and some were just plain funny. The idea for these short stories has been taken from letters David wrote to his friends on Valentine’s Day. I also couldn’t choose my favourite story if my life depended on it.
The stories explore power, sexuality and focus on marginalised groups. Not only does it include gay, lesbian couples and there is also a transgender representation. Some of the tales deal with major moments, while some deal with everyday occurrences. Yet everything is realistic and has been done wonderfully and respectfully. This gets slightly more brownie points for the representation and I have already recommended it to some people who I know enjoy LGBT+ literature.
Every single one of these stories was heart-wrenching in the most wonderful possible way and I couldn’t help but love this compilation. This book serves as a reminder to remember to love yourself for who you are and to not settle for less, let's be honest we can all do with this reminder. I love the perspective David creates with his characters, and the way even the smallest gesture can tell so much about these relationships.
I do have a slightly selfish note but occasionally the jump from story to story was a bit jarring as I wanted a little bit more but that might just be down to me. After reading the sweet love story of David’s parents, he was shown what kind of love is possible from an early age and you can't help but feel warm and fuzzy. There's something here for everyone. One thing you can take from this book is love even in all of its guises is all that matters regardless of who it is between.