Everyone has a bad breakup now and again. In You Always Change the Love of your Life (For Another Love or Another Life), author Amalia Andrade guides readers through the stages of love lost. Unlike typical self-help books, Andrade offers the perspective of a narrator’s experience and couples it with tips, tricks, and advice for acknowledging and accepting the end of a relationship. The contrast between these two elements is reinforced by the visual presentation. Andrade’s experiences are presented in typical “book” fashion, serif font and error free. The “help” sections, however, are handwritten (with a fountain pen, if page 36 is an accurate account of the Andrade’s writing process). These sections include semi-clinical explanations for someone’s emotional response to a broken heart, light hearted advice about how to handle the heartache, and opportunities to fill in your own ideas and responses.
Andrade includes many pop culture references, such as music that’s good to mope to or movie stars who feel relatable. Some of the references feel a bit dated (2007 Britney Spears meltdown), but for people of a certain age (me), they’re instantly recognizable. The design of the material itself is interesting with hand drawn doodles and bright swaths of banana yellow and light turquoise. For anyone truly looking for a method of coping with a bad breakup (and I really love that Andrade mentions almost from the first page that, sometimes, you break your own heart), the visually pleasing handwritten sections are easy to read and I think would provide a fun outlet for angst, frustration, disappointment, or any other emotions.
Andrade does handle some sensitive topics and directs readers to seek professional help. Specifically, the number for a suicide prevention hotline is given and readers are urged to find help if they are struggling with self-destructive behavior. The very back of the book also includes a bonus collection of recipes because eating your emotions seems to be universal…why not work out end-of-relationship blues with a big batch of homemade chocolate chip cookies?
As a whole package, I found You Always Change the Love of Your Life a pleasing read. The presentation itself makes the book a fun, easy read even when discussing less-than-fun topics. Let’s face it, anyone who’s had a broke heart probably appreciates a bit of light-hearted humor and advice. Personally, the pop culture references that were less dated felt less relatable to me as I spent a large chunk of my early adult life removed from Western culture. Also, I’m not quite sure how much weight a reader should give to the advice given—there are more than a few “obviously, doing XYZ is a good/bad idea” tips…such as taking up a new hobby like running or walking to cope. Nevertheless, I think Andrade’s book gives people at least a great place to start exploring the complex emotions that come when your heart, for whatever reason, gets broken.