Book Review: “Unrequited: Things I Learned from Trying to Love the Wrong People” by Andrew Kendall

My Rating: ★★★★★

Genre(s): Self-help; adult; memoir

Note: I am going to try to write this from an unbiased standpoint. As editor of this book and close friends with Andrew, you can guess how hard that’s going to be.

38228851Plot: They say to write about what you know, but what if every encounter you’ve had with love has left you bruised in more ways than one? Do you listen to the voice inside your head that mimics what most of society says–that they’ll take your words and invalidate you, or do you write it anyway? In Unrequited, author Andrew Kendall chose the latter–ignoring the voice in his head that viciously whispered, “You were never abused” and that, “You’re not a victim”, and chose instead to tell his story of unrequited love and abuse with a voice of clarity he was afraid he’d never find. Because for years nights were long and heartache was inevitable while living in the rules of someone else’s game–where undeserving monsters in disguise were suffocating the very life out of the love he was trying to give. With words armored with honesty and vulnerability, this painfully beautiful journey is more than a memoir on love. Rather, it’s a product of everything Andrew learned from trying to love the wrong people. Though personal the details feel universal. A secret oasis made public in hopes that those who read it might find a newfound power of their own–reigniting a fire inside that unties them from covert types of abuse, low self-worth, and unrealistic expectations that coincide with painful relationships.

Pros:

  • Andrew writes self-help in a way that makes it seem like a conversation, rather than a how-to
  • This book covers the extremely sensitive and under-discussed topic of emotional abuse
  • The format was really beautifully and artfully put together
  • There were a couple of things I didn’t know about Andrew before reading this book, and I had to catch my breath
  • I shed real tears
  • This isn’t just a book for the LGBT+ community — but it’s definitely meant for LGBT+ readers

Cons:

  • Literally none

My Thoughts: Well crap. I went into this thinking, “Oh, I’ve read this book like five times since it came out, a few times before. Reviewing should be a piece of cake.” Wrong. I’m so wrong.

I’ve watched Andrew grow as a person and an author over the years, and coming from a place of such vulnerability to put this book out there took guts. He dives into his past relationships — emotional abuse, manipulation, and much more painful things — and writes it in a way which helps the reader easily apply it to some aspect of their own life.

This super-personal book covers a wide range of relationships – not just romantic. As Andrew Kendall grew, so did his realization that he was not to blame for many of the things that happened in his life. I think this is a book that young people who have had relationship troubles, have been abused, have been told that THEY are the problem, should read. There aren’t enough books by gay people written for gay people, and this definitely takes a step in the right direction.

Links:
Goodreads
Amazon
Andrew Kendall

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