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Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers

3.44  ·  Rating details ·  174 Ratings  ·  37 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
Paperback, 160 pages
Published December 14th 2010 by Candlewick Press (first published December 9th 2008)
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Ink is My Sword (Sara)
Feb 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
3,8 Teenagers Falling Stars

This collection of poems shows the power of words, and how people from all ages can learn to use it. Is a tool of expression of our thoughts, emotions and opinions. I was quite surprised to see the huge age gap this poems are written by, one of the deepest and rawest poems, written by a 13-year-old, I couldn't believe it! I am grateful for the opportunity this book gives to the youth, especially when sometimes we tend to overlook the feeling of this group age as "not
Mar 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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,

But so many more were so much deeper. Anger, passion, desperation -- every emotion.
Jessica Carrillo
Jul 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
I checked this book out at the library because I wasn't finding anything else that I liked, and it was pretty darn good. It's crazy how much talent such young people can have in them. I'd recommend it if you're getting into poetry (or you're feeling a lil sad over relationships and stuff)
A Sad Friendless Person
This is really cute
and sad

I liked it

It made me happy
and sad
Amanda Mic Perkins
Sep 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: poetry, lgbtq
Beautiful poems from a wide variety of poets (including a large number of LGBT poems, my personal favorites.)
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.
Feb 28, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 27, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Andrae Mcconnell
Sep 12, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: yal-2009
"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
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
Feb 24, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult
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
Feb 17, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Feb 25, 2011 rated it liked it
***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
lilly bear ♡
Mar 08, 2011 rated it liked it
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
Mar 23, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: poetry
Falling Hard: 100 Love Poems by Teenagers is a collection of 100 love poems written by teenagers. The book would be best for young adults (ages 14 +). Thus, a high school classroom would be the most appropriate audience. This book would be a great way to introduce poetry to young adults because it will be engaging, since it contains poems written by teens. The authors being teenagers provides a level of relatability for the readers. Additionally, teacher will appreciates the variety of poetry. F ...more
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
Apr 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
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
Brandi Bette
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing
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
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.
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
Oct 02, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: poetry
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.
Jul 30, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ya-fiction, poetry
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!
Dec 25, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
My favorite poem is "I Love You" and "Who I Am and What I Need" is good too.
May 12, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, ya
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.
Aug 26, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: read-in-2011
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.
Sep 19, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Megan Garrett
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
I'm amazed at the depth of feeling and emotion presented by some of these kids. I feel the greatest thing I could articulate at 15 was "I like cheese."
Whitney Rachel
Aug 17, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: young-adult, poetry
Teens clearly have a lot of feels.

These poems are beautiful and heart-wrenching. And inspiring. And funny! They really embody what love is.
Feb 01, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
poems by teens from everywhere
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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...