Book Review: Love Hurts (Malorie Blackman and more)
*I have been given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review*
Publisher: Corgi Childrens
Release Date: 29th January 2015
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.
Before I start gushing, I must say this book is probably not for everyone. I’m a fan of short stories, so I enjoyed that aspect, but if you don’t then I’d steer clear. The rest of the book is excerpts from previous works. As I’ve spent the last few years basically reading the same old books over and over, almost all of these were new to me (except for Naughts and Crosses and Northern Lights of course). But, if you’ve read the books before then this may feel like a redundant collection.
On to the gushing.
My gosh I loved this book. The depictions of love are really varied (including several LGBT characters, which was refreshing) and range from exciting, to sexy to heartbreaking. I raced through them. It was so easy to absorb myself into one story after another. It was occasionally irritating to have gotten so involved in a story and then have the extract finish too soon, but I’m looking at it as a positive thing: now I have so many more books that I want to read.
In a collection with so many stories I knew I would never get on with all of them, but even the ones I didn’t like so much were good stories, just not my cup of tea. There are so many stories I don’t think I’ll comment on them all, but just mention a few that stood out to me, for better or for worse.
I loved reading the two stories I already knew: the extracts from Naughts and Crosses and Northern Lights. These were easily two of my favourite books when I was a teen and reading these little snippets of them has reminded me why and made me want to read them all over again.
Of the short stories, I loved Gentlewoman by Laura Dockrill. I felt anguish with the main character, Danni (previously Dan) who fretted about going to school now dressed as a girl. I felt uncomfortable reading it as I really didn’t want anything bad to happen to her, but the ending was so uplifting it actually bought a little tear to my eye.
I also really enjoyed Endless Love: The Valentine of Daniel and Lucinda by Lauren Kate, but I wanted so much for it to be part of a longer story. I loved the idea of Lucinda travelling across time to find Daniel but I wanted to find out more about why and what had happened.
One that I didn’t really get into was Tumbling by Susie Day. I put this down to the fact that I’m not a Tumblr user and not quite down with the lingo and all that (god I sound old now!) and I also just don’t have the fan girl mentality that the main character has, so struggling to connect with her. But the story did have one of my favourite lines, describing a girl as Taylor Swift Malfoy (I won’t spoil the line, it’s genius and you have to read it).
For the extracts, I especially enjoyed Echo Boy by Matt Haig. I’ve not read anything by him yet (though I did by The Humans for my boyfriend at Christmas, so I’ll get to read that eventually) but this really made me want to read on. I can’t claim to know exactly what was going on but I was definitely intrigued by the plot. I also really want to read Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma. The love in that story was more forbidden than in anything I’ve read before, but even from that short extract I couldn’t completely condemn it. Even when it’s wrong, love is love and circumstances can be cruel.
I love that this book has given me so many new books to look into. If you’ve read them before then it might not be such a big deal, but if you haven’t then I urge you to do so. It’s an easy book to dip into and read a quick story or extract and there really is something for everyone in there, whether you love boys, girls or don’t want to be forced into a couple at all.