A review by themaddiest
Crush by Andrea N. Richesin


In this collection of short stories from editor Andrea Richesin, 26 authors revisit their own lives to tell a story about the first time that they fell in love. Readers looking for a nostalgic trip down memory lane back to their teenage bedrooms and high schools and summers will find a kindred spirit in this book about first love and first heartbreak. These stories examine what it means to fall in love, have a crush, and be crushed by love.

This anthology of short stories from some very notable authors is funny, sad, and compelling. What’s great about an anthology like this is that each author has a distinctive voice made even more unique by the fact that they are writing about their own life. Each story about first love or first crush offers a great deal of insight into the individual author, but each of these stories also has something universal to offer. Everyone falls in love or can remember the bittersweet feeling of a first crush, and therefore there is something present in each of these stories to connect with.

Although all of the stories in the anthology are good in their own right, there were several that stood out for me in particular. Daria Snadowsky’s story about falling in love with Sir Anthony Hopkins (yes, the actor) and writing to him was funny and a little heartbreaking. The concept of a celebrity crush gets explored fully in her story, and it’s something that I can absolutely relate to (although I never wrote him a letter, I was convinced that I was going to marry Taylor Hanson for the better part of junior high).

There is nothing more consuming than that first love, and these authors capture the feelings and emotions that come along with that momentous event in a person’s life. This anthology is full of unique stories about first love that still remain universal. It’s a book that can be read in one sitting or can be read slowly, one story at a time, over a period of time.

Other stories of particular note are by Jacquelyn Mitchard, Lauren Oliver, and David Levithan. Each one is great in its own right, offering insight into what it means to fall in love and why we subject ourselves to it. Fans of YA might be particularly interested in this anthology because of its focus on young love. Recommended.

Crush hits bookshelves on May 24, 2011.

Crush: 26 Real-Life Tales of First Love by Andrea Richesin et al. Harlequin: 2011. Electronic galley accepted for review.