Book Review: Crush

Edited by: Andrea N. Richesin
Published By: Harlequin
Release Date: May 24, 2011
Buy it at Amazon
Source: Provided by Publisher via NetGalley
Audience: Adult - Nonfiction

Crush is a collection of 26 essays from well known authors. If you are anything like me, you may often forget that writers are real people with real drama and real relationships just like the rest of us. For whatever reason, I have also put authors on pedestals as if they are more deity than human. I suppose that's natural since I love to read so much. This book shows that writers are often just normal, dorky humans like me. 

I was originally drawn to this book because I thought it would be interesting to read about how crushes have affected the lives of some of my favorite writers such as Lauren Oliver and David Levithan. However, I wasn't prepared to love this book as much as I did. Not every essay appealed to me, but I did read all 26 and found that they each had important things to say.  First love is something universal that we can all relate to - this book is one that will resonate with many readers as a result. Just be prepared for a heaping dose of nostalgia to arise as you take this one in. This book appealed to me because it is full of real stories. 

I kept pondering how I was going to write a review that would actually help readers understand why this book was so appealing to me. This is not my normal style of review, but I hope you will enjoy it nonetheless and give this book a read when it hits the shelves later this month. I chose to give you one quotation from each story that spoke to me and illustrated how my first crush felt at one point or another. So without further adieu, I offer up 26 kernels of crush wisdom....

**Disclaimer: These Kindle Locations come from the e-galley of this book. The locations may be different when the book is released.**
#1. "What I Kept" by Jacquelyn Mitchard
"For me, there was no other boy. There hadn't been any other boy since I first saw him." (Kindle Location 163)

#2. "When it was all Brand-New" by Rebecca Walker
"There's nothing like those first kisses, the ones where you feel you're going to fall inside the other person, when you get dizzy and forget who you are." (Kindle Location 317)

#3. "A Bruise for Every Broken Heart" by Kerry Cohen
"I was sure by now that I was the only one who felt as I did, sure that I was the only girl who took each breakup as proof of her inability to be loved, sure that I was the only one with whom no boy ever wanted to stay." (Kindle Location 395)

#4. "Sweet Nothings" by Robert Wilder
"Dread and excitement wound their way through my veins like entangled vipers." (Kindle Location 474)

#5. "The Boy in the White VW Bug" by Ann Hood
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"My entire being ached for a boy who read poetry, a boy who would love me." (Kindle Location 539)

#6. "Creative Writing" by David Leviathan
"A catalog of crushes is an oft-revised thing, and sometimes older crushes get lost in the revision." (Kindle Location 652)

#7.  "Three Little Words" by Lauren Oliver
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"Crushes are like Snickers bars for the heart. Sure, they won't sustain you forever - everyone needs more solid sustenance - but they make long afternoons way more tolerable." (Kindle Location 816)

#8. "Huw Duran Duran Saved My Life" by Katherine Center
"Kissing is important too. Not only because kissing is fun. And not only because I hold on to the memory of that kiss as a point of pride for many kisses years afterward. But also because when you've lost the ability to be kind to yourself, sometimes you need someone else to step up and do it for you." (Kindle Location 927)

#10. "What Good is Sitting Alone in Your Room?" by Jon Skovron
"Sally showed me that there was something outside my bedroom and bookshelves. A world filled with fascinating people and fantastic places." (Kindle Location 956)

#11. "When We Two Parted" by Sheila Kohler
"When our teacher asked us, a class of adolescent girls, how many of us would like to marry Heathcliff, all the hands in the class shot up. I imagine if she'd asked us about Mr. Rochester, we would have done the same thing. This, I'm pretty sure, did not augur too well for our futures, our lives as women and wives or even our careers." (Kindle Location 1043)

#12. "To Sir Anthony, With Love" by Daria Snadowsky
"Teen girls are notorious for obsessive celebrity crushes" (Kindle Location 1107)

#13. "It Never Was, Not Really" by Steve Almond
"If I could be good enough for her, I could be good enough for myself. Such is the absurd fantasy that animates all our crushes, young or old." (Kindle Location 1279)

#14. "Red All Over" by Tara Bray Smith
"First love is bound to crush you" (Kindle Location 1329)

#15. "Consequently Yours" by Laurie Faria Stolarz
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"I made the decision to walk away from the situation - from someone who wasn't willing to put everything on the line to be with me - I never felt the need to look back." (Kindle Location 1484)

#16. "Crush Me" by Suzanne Finnamore
"The word crush in a romantic sense is not recognized in traditional dictionaries - in their expert opinion it is an ethereal thing and cannot be pinned down to a fact or definition." (Kindle Location 1520)

#17. "Love, Illustrated" by Melissa Walker
Note: This is one of my favorites!
"I feel a lump in my throat as I close the red cover. It's not a recording of my romantic history, not a love poem, not a great art project. It's the scribbles of a girl in love with a boy who doesn't know and doesn't care." (Kindle Location 1692)

#18. "What We Know Now" by Katie Herzog
"If my first love was innate and my second consuming, my third was both." (Kindle Location 1743)

#19. "Just a Friend" by Brendan Halpin
"I like you as a friend. Almost all of my teen crushes ended with me hearing these words. No, sadly, that's actually not true. Most of them continued even after those cruel words. Because, I thought, is she likes me as a friend, can liking me as a boyfriend be far behind?" (Kindle Location 1802)

#20. "Adam" by Amy Greene
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"I had married my first love. We had the same last name. He would be my only love now." (Kindle Location 1903)

#21. "My Romantic Past (or What I Heard on My Relationship): A Mix Tape by Emily Franklin
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"The point: each relationship (and the definition of this word is open to debate) can be distilled into one song. Not the song you necessarily want it to be, but the one that reverberates within your heart when you think back to the first time you laughed hard enough together that you thought, This is what I want to do all the time" (Kindle Location 1923)

#22. "The Subtle Art of Crush-Suffocating" by Joshua Mohr
"Either the crush had been a figment of my narcissism or her affections had now moved on to someone else. Or these things have a natural course to run, and once through the maze, the impossibility of their reality becomes too much to ignore. There probably isn't one clean, tidy answer." (Kindle Location 2087)

#23. "Olfactory" by Catherine Newman
"But mostly what I knew was his laundry-detergent smell. I know it still: I catch that powdery exhalation from  basement vent or a friend's embrace, and I am flooded by the tsunami of nostalgia, sucked in by an undertow of longing. Is that why they call it Tide?" (Kindle Location 2117)

#23. "Uncle Greg, a Giant Chicken, and the Murderous Pottery Wheel" by Heather Swain
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"Where was Facebook when I was back in college? It would have been a handy shortcut. Back then dorky girls like me had to do reconnaissance for one another." (Kindle Location 2167)

#24. "Giving up the Ghost" by Melissa Febos
"Most relationships of a certain age begin with a body or two under the bed." (Kindle Location 2291-2297)

#25. "What Kitty Taught Me" by Christopher Coake
Note: This was one of my favorites!
"This is love we're talking about. Trust me when I say I don't think it's funny at all." (Kindle Location 2435)

#26. "Before it Gets Complicated" by Rebecca Woolf
"I have always believed in one true love but also in a thousand true likes." (Kindle Location 2521)

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.


  1. After listening to you talk about this one, I can't wait to read it! It's not something I would normally pick up, but now I have to!

  2. This isn't normall something I would pick up, but I loved listening to you talk about it. I will have to read it for sure now. It sounds like such a fun read, and a great way to identify with our favorite authors!

  3. @Tevya - You will love it. :)


Post a Comment

We love your comments!