Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Review: Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life Edited by Nick Healy

Here are forty short, brilliant, and unforgettable true stories from writers famous and on-the-rise. Here is the intensity of daily life. Here are transformative moments arising from the mundane. Here are strange and surprising tales that tap into universal truths. Here are teenagers in full splendor and horror. Here they are, bursting with love and profanity.
For ages 14+.
*Short nonfiction stories about the experience of being a teenager
*Includes more than 40 writers
*The authors include a National Book Award winner, several well-known YA authors, authors of books and stories for adults, and some rising stars in literature
*Literary nonfiction that will appeal to a wide range of readers

I like reading short stories about other people's experiences so I figured I would enjoy this one too.

In Love & Profanity: A Collection of True, Tortured, Wild, Hilarious, Concise, and Intense Tales of Teenage Life, the authors share moments from their teenage years. Some moments lead to profound realizations while other stories are just a snapshot of sorts.

While there were a few standout stories for me, like First Gear by Melodie Heide, for the most part, I didn't enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. As described in the blurb, the stories are about moments in these author's lives. However, some of the stories felt like they were just told for the sake of being told, without there being a point at all. Imagine going up to two people who are engaged in conversation. One of them starts telling a story. Then you leave right after he finishes. You have no idea why he started telling the story so it doesn't really mean much to you. That's how some of the stories felt for me. You could also see some of the stories as being random scenes pulled from another book.

The first part or so of the book, it was like reading a book from the Chicken Soup for the Soul series but without getting a warm, fuzzy feeling after each story. Thankfully, things started getting better around the story How to Succeed by Actually Trying by Dayna Evans and the rest of the stories started to work for me.

Perhaps the reason why my review is a little harsh is because I read a similar anthology around 12-14 years ago that has become the standard by which I compare other similar books too. The book is called Ophelia Speaks, if you're interested in reading it.

Thanks to NetGalley and Switch Press for the e-ARC.


  1. There are some gems here.
  2. It features a variety of teenage experiences.
  3. Some of the stories are relatable.


  1. Some stories didn't really connect with me.


  1. You like reading essays.
  2. You want to reminisce about being a teenager.
  3. You're feeling nostalgic.



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