Parents' Guide to

19 Love Songs

By Barbara Schultz, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 15+

Emotional collection explores love from all angles.

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As in his beautiful novels, David Levithan offers wonderfully relatable, sensitive characters in this emotional story and poetry collection. At the same time, 19 Love Songs is more generally like Levithan's valentine to the language of love. Through every plot twist and every nuance of feeling, the author shares his appreciation for all the tenderness between people, and the ways we use language to connect. Just one example of this is "Track Fourteen: The Vulnerable Hours," in which Levithan imagines a magical time when every time one person asked another, "What's up?" Instead of saying "Not much," person B would answer truthfully about important events and feelings in his or her life. In so many sweet ways, Levithan invites his readers to imagine what life would be like if people expressed their emotions, if we could be more real with those we love. These are ideas worth exploring, and in Levithan's world, all are welcome to do so.

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