Friday, 23 January 2015

Review: Love Hurts by Malorie Blackman (and Others)

Title: Love Hurts
Authors: Malorie Blackman, Maureen Johnson, Catherine Johnson, James Dawson, Jenny Downham, Patrick Ness, E.Lockhart, Lauren Myracle, Laura Dockrill, Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak, Susie Day, David Levithan, Lauren Kate.
Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK

Love Hurts

Malorie Blackman brings together the best teen writers of today in a stunningly romantic collection about love against the odds. Featuring short stories and extracts about modern star-crossed lovers from stars such as Gayle Forman, Markus Zusak and Patrick Ness, and with a brand-new story from Malorie Blackman herself, Love Hurts looks at every kind of relationship, from first kiss to final heartbreak.

Short 'n Sweet Review:

Upon reading the premise of Love Hurts I was almost instantaneously intrigued. I mean, fifteen well-known YA authors (inclusive of some of my favourites) all contributing to an anthology? YES PLEASE. Sign me up!

I picked it up straight away thinking it would be an excellent way to pull myself out of a reading slump. I was eager and excited, this was an anthology that was to contain works from authors such as Gayle Forman, David Levithan, E. Lockhart, and Markus Zusak! Only my anticipation was met with some degree of disappointment.
The synopsis had lead me to believe that Love Hurts was to be a collection of new and original works by these authors, but in reality only five were new, and the rest were pulled from existing novels, a large percentage of which I had already read. Essentially, Blackman has curated a bundle of romantic scenes from YA novels and smooshed them into one. And I chose the word 'smooshed' quite fairly, because the way the book was comprised felt very choppy and confused to me.

The problem with pulling these extracts from completed works is that the readers may have no connection or prior knowledge of plot, characters, backstory, etc. An issue with being given random excerpts is that because we were not given the entire beginning of the story, it often felt rushed and alot like insta-love, so the pacing was off. Most of the excerpts made me feel like I had just walked into the middle of something, because I basically had walked into the middle of a story. I struggled to pick up what was happening, like why a couple was arguing, because I had no idea what had lead to it or even who they were. Consequently, I was unable to connect with most of the characters or even their stories in general.

I had to skip a few of the stories because they were from books that I still wish to read and didn't want to risk spoiling myself.

The redeeming aspect of the collection is most definitely its diversity. Diversity is bound to happen when you pull stories from across the board so it felt very natural and realistic. This book was inclusive of gay, bisexual and transgender characters, characters of colour, characters with chronic illnesses, and characters that are differently-abled. Also, I think I remember one of the stories mentioning the Sikh religion? That was different. Different is good. I do applaud the level of diversity within this book.

Though it has its own issues, Love Hurts shows that though love may be painful and arduous it can still be beautiful. It provides us with everything from awkward first meetings to first kisses, to all-consuming relationships, and reminds us that everyone experiences love, soldiers, siblings, robots, friends, strangers, and online acquaintances alike.


  1. Hi Maddie I've nominated you for the Liebster Award :-)

  2. I still have to read her debut but I love the synopsis of the book and the cover, so I've already added it to my WL! *-*
    Since it comes out in September I guess I'll have time to read This song will save your life! :)

    Ps. I have a blog as well, if you want to stop by I'd appreciate it so much! It's both in Italian and in English :3 ->


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