St. Martin's Griffin
May 17, 2016
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Maybe it's the long, lazy days, or maybe it's the heat making everyone a little bit crazy. Whatever the reason, summer is the perfect time for love to bloom. Summer Days & Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories, written by twelve bestselling young adult writers and edited by the international bestselling author Stephanie Perkins, will have you dreaming of sunset strolls by the lake. So set out your beach chair and grab your sunglasses. You have twelve reasons this summer to soak up the sun and fall in love.
Featuring stories by Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, and Jennifer E. Smith.
The contents of Summer Days & Summer Nights:
- "Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail" by Leigh Bardugo (starts at 1%)
- "The End of Love" by Nina LaCour (at 8%)
- "Last Stand at the Cinegor" by Libba Bray (at 15%)
- "Sick Pleasures" by Francesca Lia Block (at 25%)
- "In Ninety Minutes, Turn North" by Stephanie Perkins (at 29%)
- "Souvenirs" by Tim Federle (at 38%)
- "Inertia" by Veronica Roth (at 46%)
- "Love is the Last Resort" by Jon Skovron (at 54%)
- "Good Luck and Farewell" by Brandy Colbert (at 65%)
- "Brand New Attractions" by Cassandra Clare (at 73%)
- "A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong" by Jennifer E Smith (at 81%)
- "A Map of Tiny Perfect Things" by Lev Grossman (at 90%)
This is the second season themed anthology edited by Stephanie Perkins, with the first being 2014's My True Love Gave to Me: Twelve Holiday Stories (review). While I had previously read about the same percentage of the authors (ie all but a few) in this collection as the last, I had a larger number of books by My True Love Gave to Me's authors so this one felt a bit ore unknown.
One of the things I really love about anthologies, though, is the chance to read something new by authors I love but also (maybe even more so) to discover new authors. Summer Days & Summer Nights was fun because I got to do a sort of amalgamation of the two and see how I liked some authors I had only read one other thing by.
What I enjoyed most about this collection of a whole was its diversity. The tales ranged from sweet and realistic to horror-slash-comedy to near future, even the possibly autobiographical. The characters themselves and their relationships were more diverse than I anticipated: from ethnicity, sexual orientation, looks, past, whether they had money or didn't, were troublemakers or the 'good' one, they were unique and different. There were stories that dealt with mental health, with autism, with divorce, with death, and, you know, with demons.
As a whole, I really enjoyed this collection of short stories. Here are my ratings for them individually:
The stories by Nina LaCour, Stephanie Perkins, Brandy Colbert, Jennifer E Smith and Lev Grossman were my favorite of the collection. It was a nice surprise that Stephanie Perkins contribution featured characters from her My True Love Gave to Me story. You do not have to have read that story to read this one, they are separate. But reading "It's a Yuletide Miracle, Charlie Brown" can only be a good thing. (And you'll appreciate more what the furniture rearranging/Tetris entailed.)
Brandy Colbert's story, "Good Luck and Farewell" was my favorite of them all and the only one I really, really wanted to continue and/or to be a full length story. I loved the characters we were introduced to, their backgrounds, the interaction we saw and what began. I really wanted more (though it is absolutely a satisfying, concluded short story).
Cassandra Clare's tale, "Brand New Attraction," does get the lowest rating from me. I thought the world she imagined was great fun and unique. However, there was not enough characterization and (perhaps as a result) I never felt the 'romance' past. The characters said things but I didn't see or feel it.
received, for review, from publisher via NetGalley