19 Love Songs, by David Levithan

David Levithan


Friendship, Highschool, Great Boy Role Models, Misfits and Underdogs

type: Fiction

Knopf Books for Young Readers

date: January 10, 2020

recommended age(s): 12 – 18

19 Love Songs of David Levithan incudes short stories and poems, most of which have appeared in previous anthologies or as a part of his earlier books. Many of the pieces portray LGBTQ characters navigating strong feelings of attraction, love, and desire. Like many of Levithan’s novels like a day, Two Boys Kissing, his collection sends teen readers a strong message that they’re not alone in their feelings and experiences. The characters’ sexual and/or gender identifies are important but not unique; love is love, in other words. In some stories, teens use profanity (“f–k,” “s–t,” “ass,” and their variations), and a few drink beer in one story. Sexual intercourse between teens and young adults is described sensuously and passionately – teens disrobe, kiss, and touch during a sexual way, but nothing is described graphically. There’s deep intimacy during this book, but it’s more emotional than physical.

In 19 Love Songs, young-adult author David Levithan collects short stories and poetry that portray the relatable feelings and experiences of teens crazy. For instance, the primary story relates the frustration and confusion of a Quiz Bowl team alternate handling unrequited love and feelings of not belonging. In another piece, a transgender footballer connects powerfully with a cheerleader. Levithan also looks at the first days of his parents’ romance, and therefore the exuberant love between a mother and son on Valentine Day. Throughout the book, he explores the universality and vulnerability of affection from all angles.

As in his beautiful novels, David Levithan offfers wonderfully relatable, sensitive characters during this emotional story and poety collection. At an equivalent time, 19 Love Songs is more generally like Levithan’s valentine to the language of affection. Through every plot twist and each nuance of feeling, the author shares his appreciation for all the tenderness between people, and therefore the ways we use language to attach.