Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers
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Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

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3.43 of 5 stars 3.43  ·  rating details  ·  108 ratings  ·  28 reviews
“The quality here is head and shoulders above most young writers’ collections, and in fact it’s well above many adult anthologies as well.”
— Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books (starred review)

The poets are straight, gay, lesbian, bi, or transgender. They live next door or across an ocean; they are innocent or experienced; their lyric explorations range from new lo...more
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published December 9th 2008)
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Community Reviews

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Christina
So I admit it! I thought this would be a laugh riot. C'mon -- teen poems? I'm a dork! Sure there were some funny ones, and I'm not sure it was intentional humor:

You are the flour
in my tortilla,
baby!

But so many more were so much deeper. Anger, passion, desperation -- every emotion.
Lou
This is a 2009 Quick-Pick for Reluctant Young Readers and I would have to agree that poetry makes a very suitable recommendation for reluctant readers. You need only devote a short amount of time to enjoying a book of poetry, especially when it is a collection by multiple authors. You are bound to find something you like.

I liked "Like Sex, an Orange is Best Enjoyed Slowly" with its title that would definitely appeal to teens. It's surprisingly mature for a 16-year-old author, maybe a little too...more
Andrae Mcconnell
"Falling Hard" is a collection of poetry by a diverse population of young adults ranging from age 12 to age 18. They are writing from a variety of cultural backgrounds and sexual orientations. Some of them are just experiencing their first kiss while others have gone all the way, come back, and gone again.
As poets, they are largely unconcerned with convention which is somewhat refreshing. They are simply spilling their souls on the page, and they are brutally honest about their experiences--the...more
Laurie Jackson
Good reads winner. I love poetry and am very interested in reading teenagers take on love. Can't wait for this one to get here.
Ok so this book came in the mail the day after Thanksgiving what perfect timing to curl up with some new reading... But my 79 year old mother once again snatched this one before I even had the chance to glance good at it,though I did get a good look at the cover and must say I love the art work. She finished it within a good 3 hours period and found many enjoyable poems....more
Crystal
Children’s Literature
Crystal Rodriguez

Title: Falling Hard Poetry: Upper
Edited by: Betsy Franco
Place of Publication: Cambridge, Massachusets
Date: 2008 Pages 144

When I read Falling Hard, I was very impressed with the writing talent of young teenagers, some as young as twelve. The book is a composite of poems sent to the editor mainly via email from teenagers of various sexual orientations and from lands around the world. Each poem has a different style and tone, while at the end, listing the chil...more
Krista
This book is a collection of love poems written by teenagers. The authors range in age from 12 to 18. They are also a mixture of female, male, transgender, straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, different ethnicities and from different countries. Franco has pulled these 100 poems from the mounds of submissions she received via e-mail. They all fall in to the category of “love poem,” but not all are romantic. Some are positive, some negative, some humorous, some serious, but all are about love in som...more
Anna
So this wasn't terrible but compared to Paint Me Like I Am, my favorite teen poetry anthology, this was kind of weak. It seemed like a lot of the poems could have gone through another round of editing and many of them sort of just blended in together. I'm torn because I know they were written by young teens (many were 14 or 15 years old) so they aren't supposed to be super polished but at the same time this is a published, professional collection of poetry so I have to wonder why so much of it s...more
Sarah
I knew I had to read this book when I saw a co-worker's raised eyebrows while she browsed through it. This book is about love. Love lost and love found and beaten and broken and renewed. This book is also about sex. Yes, America, teenagers are having sex. Not all of them, and some of the poems are about waiting, but expecting a book of love poems to leave out physical love, and the power of a first physical love, is sort of silly. It's a good anthology in that a majority of the poems are actuall...more
Michelle
Won on a Goodreads giveaway, I definitely recommend this book for ALL high school libraries and high school students. Love is a scary thing when you're a teenager: this book (written by teens) faces the beast from all the angles, crossing gender, class, age and social labels.

The enormity of emotion and physical manifestation of love are things adults (particularly teachers and parents) have a hard time dealing with, so I'm not sure I'd buy this for my middle-school library. These teens use grown...more
Lisa
***I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.***

This was an interesting book. I entered the giveaway thinking that the poems would be a good topic of discussion for my pre-teen (and constanly curious about boys) and me.

I was surprised at how candid and open some of the teens were. But at the same time, there was a certain amount of immaturity in almost every poem. I wasn't so much shocked at the language and the activities or even the feelings, but they obvious way that many...more
lilly bear ♡
This book turned out to be much different than I thought it would be. There were a few light, fluffy selections, of course, but many of them were deeper, more powerful than that. Silly of me, really. I'm barely out of my teens and already I've forgotten how strongly things feel at that age! The end of the world in one single, breathless word. Not that I've reached any blessed plane of emotional understanding now (quite the contrary, to be sure), but it's strange to be reminded of time passing, o...more
Lindsey
Some of these poems are better than others, but overall I'd say this is a great collection for the high school classroom. There is some sex, but nothing graphic and not present in every poem. The good poems really capture teenage emotion and disappointment. The bad ones are still better than most bad poetry :). Each poem has the first name of the poet (or what they gave in their email to the editor) as well as their age. Here are two of my favorites:

Or Not

It was good.
then it wasn't
He was nice
the...more
Amy
I will copy what Booklist said: "The teen poets in this lively anthology knock greeting-card clichés even as they celebrate their romance and their passion...From the pain of breakup and denial to affection and desire, the feelings in these poems will ring true to gay and straight teens alike."

Some of these poems were fantastic, funny, and painful, other were just plain weird. I don't read poetry really, but this was really good, and some of the poems were really inspiring. I think the term "Lov...more
Robin
I am not a big poetry person and truly hate reading and writing it, but I manage through this book on love poems. These poems were written about teenagers in love in first person. Believe me they did not leave anything out, all types of people wrote about all types of love situations and feelings. I am not so sure I would share this book with the teenagers I work with but it did open my eyes up to a world I am not ready to face with my daughter.
Brandi Bette
Love is like/ the sweetness of honey/
falling from a bee hive. /You have to be careful/
not to get stung. Hector Jasso ~ 16

Memories of You
I miss you less than I thought I would.
I miss you more than I think I do.
I want you less than I thought I did.
And I love you more than I ever knew.
Mary Katherine Meadows ~ 16


From Benicia High School Booktalks 2009 & Benicia Middle School Booktalks 2009-10
Benicia Public Library Call Number: YA811 FALLING
Caroline
As in all anthologies, some poems and authors are better than others. In a few cases, lines or stanzas stuck with me and resonated through my thoughts long after I had moved on from the page. Another round of editing definitely could have improved the vast majority of the selections. All in all, a nice crop covering a range of emotions and topics from kisses to sex, first glances to brake-ups.
Catherine Austen
OH, I loved the very first poem in this collection. Too young for jazz indeed. Many of these are wonderful. (They seem to be collected from a smallish group of writers, as in less than 100.) Worth reading.
Emma
Poetry written by teens on the subject of love. Incredibly familiar in perspective, this really brought my memory back to those early days of both first love and first poetry written in journals. Ahh, youth!
Emily
Eh... teen poetry. Some good, some not so. More like 2.75 stars. I get the idea and I'm glad that these teens have found a creative outlet. I guess I just don't like reading that outlet.
Amanda
A nice way to pass the time while waiting for some real deal read outloud. My highlight of this book is a shorty:

I'll be the flour
to your tortilla,
baby
Alexa
It may have taken me forever to actually read these poems, but that's because I'm a slow poetry reader. Best teen poetry I've ever read--still angsty, but good.
Grace Odom
Most of the poems were really deep. If your not good at interpreting poetry, this book isn't for you. I wouldn't recommend it unless you like deep poetry.
Katie
This was amazing. Some of them hit really close to home. Don't you love it when something spells out your feelings? Several of these did exactly that.
James
This book is so awesome, it is poetry from teenagers about love. Kate and I read it to each other with cocktails on the porch as the sun went down.
Varrath
May 28, 2012 Varrath rated it 2 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
Its alright, the type of things once can expect from teenagers. Some are cute.
Jennifer
Amazing work. A nice variety of styles and emotion.
Guinevere
Guinevere marked it as to-read
Jun 23, 2014
Evelyn Looi
Evelyn Looi marked it as to-read
Jun 14, 2014
Arianne
Arianne marked it as to-read
Jun 10, 2014
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Betsy Franco has published more than eighty books, including three previous anthologies. She lives in Palo Alto, California.
More about Betsy Franco...
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