Author: Andrea N. Richesin
Publication Date: May 24, 2011
Genre: Anthology/ Essays
Rating: 5/5 stars
Summary (Amazon): Twenty-six bestselling authors return to the teenage bedrooms, school hallways and college dorms of their youth to share passionate essays of love lost and found and lessons learned along the way. Whether heartbreaking or hilarious, their soul-baring honesty reminds us to keep reaching for true love wherever we can find it and for as long as it takes. Their intimate reflections will fascinate and move any reader who remembers her first love.
My Review: In this collection of essays 26 authors revisit their own lives and memories in order to the story of their first love. For anyone who is looking for a trip down memory lane and a chance to return to those blissful moments of first love, the giddiness of a crush and the heart wrenching feeling of that first breakup, this book will be your guide. These stories examine what it means to fall in love, develop a crush, and to eventually be crushed by love.
As everyone knows, there are precious few things that are more consuming someone’s first love, or even their first crush. These 26 authors beautifully and uniquely capture the feelings and emotions that you experience during that momentous event. While this anthology gives you 26 unique perspectives (in each author’s own unique voice) on a first love or a crush there is still something about that experience that remains universal and relatable to almost everyone.
The emotional responses that this book created in me were as varied as the stories and authors themselves. I found myself alternating between tears, nostalgia, love, utter embarrassment, understanding, laughter, anger and regret. In each story there was almost always a single line, phrase or situation that reminded me of a crush or a relationship I’ve experienced somewhere along the way. It was so relatable I found myself wondering if some of these author’s hadn’t witnessed parts of my own live and decided to add them in for detail.
When I finally closed the book around midnight I found myself still unable to sleep and I was drawn to my journals from my high school years and college years. In those old sewn together composition books the tale of my first love lies sandwiched in between the marbled covers. I found myself re-living my own unique first love experience late into the night, that story too drew tears from an old wound that felt fresher than ever last. Maybe someday I’ll feel confident enough to write that out for the world to see, but for now it’s still too fresh and too painful.
This book was draining, it was emotional, it was raw, it was insightful, it was thoughtful, it was fresh and most importantly it was so completely real and true. It invoked a strong reaction in me the way I always hope a book I pick up will. I definitely recommend this to anyone and everyone, it will touch you no matter what.