[Review] 19 Love Songs - David Levithan

Title of Book:
19 Love Songs
Author: David Levithan
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Publication Year: 2020
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Pages: 320

A resentful member of a high school Quiz Bowl team with an unrequited crush.
A Valentine's Day in the life of Every Day's protagonist "A."
A return to the characters of Two Boys Kissing.
19 Love Songs, from New York Times bestselling author David Levithan, delivers all of these stories and more. Born from Levithan's tradition of writing a story for his friends each Valentine's Day, this collection brings all of them to his readers for the first time. With fiction, nonfiction, and a story in verse, there's something for every reader here.
Witty, romantic, and honest, teens (and adults) will come to this collection not only on Valentine's Day, but all year round.

19 Love Songs is a short story collections by David Levithan which revolves around the theme of love. Some already published in other collections such as ‘Your Temporary Santa’ in the anthology My True Love Gave to Me and ‘Quiz Bowl Antichrist’ in the anthology Geektastic. Some stories centered on the characters from Levithan’s previously published books, such as A from Every Day and Avery & Ryan from Two Boys Kissing. This book includes author’s note which gives a little background on the stories in this collection. Levithan wrote that some stories are actually stories he wrote for her friends for Valentine’s Day which I find so wholesome.

The story in this book might be nothing new to some. However, the way it presented in this book is different which is what I expected from Levithan. If you’re familiar with Levithan’s other books, the Lover’s Dictionary and the Realm of Possibility, he presented the stories in different format which I find inspiring. In fact, those two are some of my favorite books of all time. So even though this book has 19 stories about love, they have something unique in it which don’t make this book boring. His quirky characters also give different take on love such as track twelve in which the narrator trying to define what is considered as first kiss. The result is heartwarming.

Of all the stories in the book, my favorite would be Track Twelve: A Brief History of First Kisses which I mentioned and Track Seventeen: How My Parents Met, in which he chronicled the story of how his parents met. In the author’s note he dedicates Track Seventeen for his parents. I could feel how heartfelt the story is and I love it because of that.

Honestly I went in to the book without high expectation. I bought the book on a whim. Simply because I was in need of some cute romance. I’ve read some of Levithan’s books and in my opinion, his writing is simple yet beautiful and often presented in a unique format. So I thought, Levithan’s book would be perfect if I want something delightful and refreshing. 19 Love Songs gave me that. Although, like all short story collections, not all would hit it perfectly. Still, if touching and witty stories about love are what you’re looking for, 19 Love Songs might be the right book for you to read.
An unarticulated crush is harder to grapple with, because it’s a crush that you haven’t even admitted to yourself. The romantic forces are all there – you want to see him, you always notice him, you treat every word from him as if it weighs ,pre than anyone else’s. But you don’t know why. You don’t know that you’re doing it.

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