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Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring som Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring some of the most well known and best-selling names of the dystopian genre, as well as the hottest up-and-coming authors, this anthology includes works from Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), Kiera Cass (The Selection), William Sleator (Interstellar Pig), Jesse Karp (Those That Wake), Diana Peterfreund (Secret Society Girl), Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville Series), and Carrie Ryan (New York Times bestseller The Forest of Hands and Teeth). Contents: Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley The Salt Sea and the Sky by Elizabeth Bear In the Clearing by Kiera Cass Otherwise by Nisi Shawl Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn Berserker Eyes by Maria V. Snyder Arose from Poetry by Steve Berman Red by Amanda Downum Foundlings by Diana Peterfreund Seekers in the City by Jeanne DuPrau The Up by Nina Kiriki Hoffman The Dream Eater by Carrie Ryan 357 by Jesse Karp Eric and Pan by William Sleator The Empty Pocket by Seth Cadin Now with two all new stories.


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Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring som Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together? Featuring some of the most well known and best-selling names of the dystopian genre, as well as the hottest up-and-coming authors, this anthology includes works from Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), Kiera Cass (The Selection), William Sleator (Interstellar Pig), Jesse Karp (Those That Wake), Diana Peterfreund (Secret Society Girl), Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville Series), and Carrie Ryan (New York Times bestseller The Forest of Hands and Teeth). Contents: Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley The Salt Sea and the Sky by Elizabeth Bear In the Clearing by Kiera Cass Otherwise by Nisi Shawl Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn Berserker Eyes by Maria V. Snyder Arose from Poetry by Steve Berman Red by Amanda Downum Foundlings by Diana Peterfreund Seekers in the City by Jeanne DuPrau The Up by Nina Kiriki Hoffman The Dream Eater by Carrie Ryan 357 by Jesse Karp Eric and Pan by William Sleator The Empty Pocket by Seth Cadin Now with two all new stories.

30 review for Brave New Love: 15 Dystopian Tales of Desire

  1. 4 out of 5

    Michaela

    I read 4 stories, and that was enough to make it clear that this anthology focuses on the romance, and not the dystopia. I read the stories by the 3 authors who have written novels I've read (and liked). The other story I read for no other reason than just to read it. None of the other stories attracted me enough to actually read them. In the Clearing/Kiera Cass: 3 stars- Predictable, vaguely dystopian, and hard to distinguish between the 2 points of view in some parts. Now Purple with Love's Woun I read 4 stories, and that was enough to make it clear that this anthology focuses on the romance, and not the dystopia. I read the stories by the 3 authors who have written novels I've read (and liked). The other story I read for no other reason than just to read it. None of the other stories attracted me enough to actually read them. In the Clearing/Kiera Cass: 3 stars- Predictable, vaguely dystopian, and hard to distinguish between the 2 points of view in some parts. Now Purple with Love's Wounds/Carrie Vaughn: 2 stars- Dull, but the cliffhanger ending was delightfully shocking. It is so shocking and wonderful, in fact, that I gave this story another star to its 1 star ranking. Berserker Eyes/Maria V. Snyder: 5 stars- I want a full length novel continuing this story, pronto. This little story had excellent characterization and plot, as well as a true dystopian nature. Seekers in the City/Jeanne DuPrau: 3 stars- Whoever thought this was dystopian was on crack. The romance was totes adorb, though:) 2 stars for this anthology. Only 4 of the 15 stories interested me, and the reason behind reading 3 of those was the author behind it, and not the story itself. I would give it a 1 star ranking, but a star has to be added for the presence of Berserker Eyes.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Kari (BookandCoffeeLover)

    Good anthology of dystopian/post-apocalyptic stories and the relationships found within them. Some stories were better than others but all managed to successfully create unique worlds and diverse characters. I was hoping for more LGBT content though only 5/15 contained such relationships. But overall Brave New Love was an entertaining read.

  3. 5 out of 5

    laura (bookies & cookies)

    YouTube Videos Video Review | https://youtu.be/RLww0Xof7_k February 2016 Wrap-Up | https://youtu.be/Y0oEEoUFVgM I’d only read Kiera Cass’ and Jeanne DuPrau’s writing before this anthology, so I appreciated getting to sample some other authors. I had heard of Carrie Ryan, though. Hidden Ribbon-John Shirley 3/5 AKA “Dome Life Ain’t So Grand” Similar to The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer and the movie Elysium and includes POC characters. I’d really like for John Shirley to point me in the direction of mus YouTube Videos Video Review | https://youtu.be/RLww0Xof7_k February 2016 Wrap-Up | https://youtu.be/Y0oEEoUFVgM I’d only read Kiera Cass’ and Jeanne DuPrau’s writing before this anthology, so I appreciated getting to sample some other authors. I had heard of Carrie Ryan, though. Hidden Ribbon-John Shirley 3/5 AKA “Dome Life Ain’t So Grand” Similar to The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer and the movie Elysium and includes POC characters. I’d really like for John Shirley to point me in the direction of musicians he’d consider “thug-jugger” today. ALSO, the title is mentioned in the story which is my favorite trope. “‘I got something else too. A truck full of food. And my gun, in the backpack behind your seat.’ She veered the truck around the corner, and glanced at him. ‘And something else-someone.’ It took him a moment to realize she meant him. And he suspected that… if it wasn’t for him, Felice probably wouldn’t have taken the chance of stealing the truck… Really, it was more than a suspicion. He could feel it, through the hidden ribbon that twined the two of them together.” The Salt Sea and the Sky-Elizabeth Bear 4/5 AKA “Ireland is beautiful, but I need to leave” This seemed like a new concept with an age-old element of a desire to journey to new places. Includes an LGBT+ romance and POC characters. I LOVED the setting (IRELAND, I’m obsessed, in case you didn’t know) and the concept of shared community to make life more sustainable, but that the main character wants freedom outside of ease of life. Rightminding sounds quite a bit like behavioral brainwashing a lá The Giver by Lois Lowry. Billie, I just, does Shaun matter to you at all? I extremely support the idea of choice and decisions in a relationship, of fully choosing your partner, but also choosing your own path, but this just felt weak and unresolved. “It was a little after four in the morning, and the sky was already streaked with peach and silver, the stars washed away by light.” “Out in the Irish Sea, a tall ship cruised under box sails-the ship still in shadow, the sails lit by the sun-and I changed my mind: I could imagine this was the nineteenth century, the age of exploration and ail, and that I was on my way to Dublin to meet the ship that would take me to America, to Asia, the the world.” In The Clearing-Kiera Cass 4.5/5 AKA “Feelings in the Woods” Reminiscent of Uglies by Scott Westerfield and Matched by Ally Condie. Did Kiera watch Sonny with a Chance to find the character names? Dylan and Mackenzie, so... Also, obviously a Kiera Cass main character if they love strawberries. I enjoyed the alternating POVs and overall concept of emotion and feeling manipulation. “Well, what would happen if you told the person they were wonderful? Anything at all? Or maybe they don’t really want you to think they’re wonderful…” Otherwise-Nisi Shawl 3/5 AKA “My girl is leaving me for a dude” Reminiscent of The Host by Stephenie Meyer and Uglies by Scott Westerfield and includes LGBT+ and POC characters and romances. This is a very strange world where adults are absent in their drug-induced fantasies and kids become adults. The action-y scenes were very difficult to follow and poorly written. Oh, Lo, my heart was aching for you. CRAZY, INSANE LOVE TRIANGLE TWIST THAT I SAW COMING, BUT IT WAS STILL A SHOCKER. “She wanted to be with him. I loved her anyhow. To the edge of the continent. All the way. I would follow her. But tonight I would sleep alone.” Now Purple With Love’s Wound-Carrie Vaughn 5/5 AKA “Catch-22 with Love” Reminded me of a story which I can’t say because that will ruin too much, but kind of like a Viking/warrior take on the Matched series. This is the epitome of the perfect short story because it leaves you hanging in a way in which you want more, but don’t know what will happen afterwards. THAT ENDING, I WANT TO TALK ABOUT IT SO BADLY, BUT IF I DO I’LL SPOIL IT AND THAT’S NOT WHAT I WANT FOR ANYONE. “How else am I to prove that I love you?” Berserker Eyes-Maria V. Snyder 4/5 AKA “Bloodlust & Love” Divergent-y. The narrative was very simple and easy to follow in a new voice I hadn’t heard before. Would definitely read a full novel of this, though I feel like it’s been done. "Will I be next?" Arose From Poetry-Steve Berman 2.5/5 AKA “Dude Gets an Erection in YA Fiction” Reminded me of the Grishaverse, though I’ve only read Six of Crows, it had that vibe, though the stories are extremely dissimilar. LGBT+ Romance. Rebellion and a Russian-like government and Poetry. Still vaguely confused about what the whole story was? “No one will grant us deliverance, Not god, nor tsar, not hero. We will win our liberation. With our very own hands.” Red-Amanda Downum 3.5/5 AKA “Zombie Love” Warm Bodies meets LGBT romance. It took FOREVER to learn the narrator’s name, but she does have one. I could feel the Texas heat while reading this, and stories that fully immerse me in the setting are the best. Kind of gory at parts, just to warn you. “In the dream I’m in a garden. In the dream I’m not alone. A girl stands beside me, a girl with eyes red as poison apples. She takes my hand, and her skin is cold. ‘We have to go north.’” Foundlings-Diana Peterfreund3.5/5 AKA “Teen Mom in the Future” We never learn the narrator’s name? And it’s taunting me? Was this intentional? Was this a mistake? I’m so confused. Interesting take on how pregnancy could be viewed in the future when many women are infertile. “The secret to accomplishing anything is to break down the process into a series of manageable steps.” Seekers in the City-Jeanne DuPrau 4/5 AKA “Cuties on a Train” Very reminiscent of the short film Paperman and The Gift of the Magi. I really appreciated that the only thing dystopian about this was just the intricate government and how crowded the city was. I like how it isn’t explained how the world came to be, it just is, and can even be believable as a vaguely futuristic New York City, London, or even Washington D.C…. with more smog. Owen and Miranda are percious. I could identify Jeanne DuPrau’s writing style and this was a lovely dystopian rom-com. “It’s sad that they have to live in a cage. But at least now they’ll have each other.” “A quest is supposed to be hard.” The Up-Nina Kiriki Hoffman 4.5/5 AKA “City of Ember with Legit Diversity” Very similar to The City of Ember and The Host. POC Characters. Amazing setting, even more amazing ending. I liked the concept of retreating to below ground should the world above grow unsustainable for life. It’s a little freaky how the mates are chosen from such a small group of survivors, yuck. “There was so much open I got dizzy and felt like I would fall.” The Dream Eater-Carrie Ryan 5/5 AKA “FEELZ XPRESS” Your heart will break with the Doctor Who S9E11 Heaven Sent feelz. It took FOREVER to learn the narrator’s name, but you do learn it. I can’t get over how much I love this story and these characters and the heartbreak of it all. I’d read a full novel of this story. Heck, I’d read a full 20 part installment series of this series. “The Cruce knows everything. Your emotions are not your own. She has taken them from you. You have failed the Cruce.” “‘Why are you letting me forget?’ ‘Because I love you.’” 357-Jesse Karp 4/5 AKA “The Orpheus Retelling” Doctor Who S3E3 Gridlock feels (I hadn’t realized how dystopian the early seasons of Doctor Who were). Akil is stuck on the 357th floor, but risks everything for Persephone. Great mythological allusions in a futuristic style. Though the character’s name is Persephone, this is much more like the Orpheus and Eurydice tale. I'd definitely read a full novel of this story. “Somewhere below, in this world of machines, was Persephone. Her quiet greeting, her welcoming gaze, the relief of her cool hand on his fevered cheek. So Akil chose a direction and ran, looking for his love, in darkness.” Eric and Pan-William Sleator 4/5 AKA “Clyde and Clyde” LGBT+ and POC romance. Interesting concept to write in 2012, but with the advances with the U.S. Supreme Court and the legalization of gay marriage, this didn’t resonate with me as deeply since it doesn’t seem as plausible. It was still a story worth writing because not all writing needs to stand the test of time. It’s just as vital for writing to touch on the issues of the time. The Empty Pocket-Seth Cadin 1/5 AKA “What Did I Just Read?” Most similar to The Supernaturalist by Eoin Colfer, if I had to choose. Whatever story existed was hidden under so much metaphor, I could not follow. I see now why it was the last book in the anthology.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Natasha Reeves

    The average of all the individual stars was 3.6, but I rounded up. Just a small disclaimer, I have nothing against gay/lesbian/bi/etc. couples, I am critiquing the writing only. This book had the "brave" and some of the "new", but love was lacking in some of the stories. Please be aware that five of these stories do have gay/lesbian/bi themes so if you don't like it, skip those stories. They will be noted in the individual reviews below. HIDDEN RIBBON by John Shirley 4.5 stars- Good world building, The average of all the individual stars was 3.6, but I rounded up. Just a small disclaimer, I have nothing against gay/lesbian/bi/etc. couples, I am critiquing the writing only. This book had the "brave" and some of the "new", but love was lacking in some of the stories. Please be aware that five of these stories do have gay/lesbian/bi themes so if you don't like it, skip those stories. They will be noted in the individual reviews below. HIDDEN RIBBON by John Shirley 4.5 stars- Good world building, a fast paced story, and a sweet romance. Classic dystopian world with a sealed bubble that only the elite can live and thrive in and the rest of the contaminated world for the rest of them. Girl gets invited in, boy loves her and can't go, and conflict ensues. THE SALT SEA AND THE SKY by Elizabeth Bear 2.5 stars- Two girls, in a world where women are only allowed to procreate with a man or run away. The main character only has her heart set on running away and seemingly is indifferent to Shaun, the love of her life. Shaun proclaims her love to Billie several more times, but the characters were flat and the situation was further exacerbated by cliched lesbian stereotypes. The story just didn't have a very strong foundation. IN THE CLEARING by Kiera Cass 4.5 stars- A great dystopian society coupled with a group that has essentially "defected" made for a great short story. This rogue group have made themselves 'Borrowers' of a sort by taking essentials from the proper society. This story could definitely become a novel, even if the idea was already written in UNDER THE NEVER SKY. Great character building in such a small allotment of pages. OTHERWISE by Nisi Shawl 3.5 stars- Gritty and rough, two lesbians (one bi) plan an escape to a safe compound to find Aim's boyfriend. Oh, and they randomly pick up a kid. Being dropped in mid-story doesn't help matters and it kept me confused until the end. However, there are no lesbian stereotypes and the "in your face" characters were endearing. As far as dystopians go, there's no clear reason why the world fell apart and in this case a reason would really help the story. NOW PURPLE WITH LOVE'S WOUND- Carrie Vaughn 3.5 stars- A very dull and overused storyline, this story is not distinctly dystopian. A middle class girl is chosen to be the wife of the Warlord's son. The question is, was she made to love him by serum or has she always loved him? The son's a wimp, lamenting about how he loves her but can't trust her love is real. The girl, meanwhile, dangerously explores ways to prove her love, yadda yadda. Dull, cliched, and had me rooting for no one's happiness. BERSERKER EYES by Maria V. Snyder 5 stars- I have always loved Maria V. Snyder's stories, and this one is no exception. We're thrown right in the thick of things and the story unfolds with the perfect amount of information given at just the right times. There's great world building in such a short span of "time" and beautifully polished characters. The characters are deliciously dark and brooding and the story is constructed wonderfully. AROSE FROM POETRY by Steve Berman 2 stars- Another unfortunate gay couple built of stereotypes. The story started out promising with a strong lead named Tetch, but it was negated completely by weak and wimpy Allard who is young, privileged, and pretty and that's pretty much it. Very short and not very sweet, the kiss at the end is overshadowed by the very unbelieveable "whoah, even though I'm a teen, I have all of a sudden realized I'm gay RIGHT AT THIS MOMENT and this has never occurred to me before!" Come on, please. RED by Amanda Downum 4.5 stars- A lesbian couple comprised of one human and one zombie. I sense a new and promising story! There's fantastic world building and characterization with a few major stereotypical relationships thrown in. I actually enjoyed this spin. FOUNDLINGS by Diana Peterfreund 4 stars- Twin sisters, one pregnant and one not. Mix in a hot young male agent and a freaky government spy program for young unwed teens, and this could go several directions. Good characterization and decent, plausible actions made for a good read. SEEKERS IN THE CITY by Jeanne DuPrau 4 stars- Two pre-teens catch a glimpse of one another and make it their mission to find each other once more. Sweet, but a little juvenile and pointless lacking a moving plot like her previous novel (which I loved) THE CITY OF EMBER. THE UP by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 4 stars- A civilization living underground can't sustain their lifestyle and must leave their settlement to go above ground to survive is a bit of a worn plot, but this story has some unique sparks to it. The fact that there is communication between other settlements is new, as is the knowledge of the above world. There are careful inbreeding rules enforced that made the plot a bit more realistic (honestly, you'd think that most dystopian writers don't think through their worlds). This story is mostly a compilation of previously used ideas, but it was a good read nonetheless. THE DREAM EATER by Carrie Ryan 4.5 stars- Dark and confusing, the main male character is in love with the Cruce, a girl chosen to come every night and take any memories associated with pain or shame from the entire settlement. She's disgusting and horrible, yet every night the male lead remembers he loved this girl before she became the Cruce, just for a moment before it's taken from him. Good, but confusing. 357 by Jesse Karp 4 stars- Brilliant world building but super confusing, the protagonist falls in love with a girl who may or may not exist and goes in search of her in the building where each floor is inaccessible from the rest. There are 357 known floors and secrets abound. ERIC AND PAN by William Sleator 2.5 stars- One of the lamest stories in this entire anthology. This story is also about two gay boys who sneak around and see each other secretly. That's it. No clear worldly civilization distress, just two flat characters making gaga eyes at each other. Disappointing. THE EMPTY POCKET by Seth Cadin 2 stars- I honestly could not make heads or tails out of this story. I just know it involves minds, computers, and deserts. I couldn't even find the love or the bravery.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Rai

    I'm gonna give the book overall a rating but I'll mention each story on its own. This book actually surprised me and was a lot better than I expected. Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley I didn't really like this one at all. I found the writing to be kind of immature and the characters seemed to fall flat. Things happened without much building up to them. The romance wasn't didn't feel real - the author made sure to mention that the two main characters "talked all night", but nothing was shown of any co I'm gonna give the book overall a rating but I'll mention each story on its own. This book actually surprised me and was a lot better than I expected. Hidden Ribbon by John Shirley I didn't really like this one at all. I found the writing to be kind of immature and the characters seemed to fall flat. Things happened without much building up to them. The romance wasn't didn't feel real - the author made sure to mention that the two main characters "talked all night", but nothing was shown of any conversation that might make their relationship deeper. The reader is expected to assume. The Salt Sea and The Sky by Elizabeth Bear I really liked the atmosphere of this one. I think it seemed to capture the setting very nicely. Bear took "dystopian" in a new direction - instead of living in poverty and hardship, the dystopia comes in having to live a life of uneventful comfort without being able to follow one's passion. I liked that it was based on an established relationship, and not new love. It was also nice to see gay couples treated as a normal thing. In The Clearing by Kiera Kass The beginning of this story was a bit troublesome because the male lead kidnaps the female lead, referring to it as "taking something for himself". Not cool. World building is sort of interesting but lacks a big-picture kind of view. It seems to be kept to one little town only. The romance is decidedly teen, with the two falling in "forever love" after what seems like only one night. The captor/captive romance - although that dynamic doesn't last the whole story - is a little off-putting, but I did enjoy the story. Otherwise by Nisi Shawl Excellent voice. A very nice view of a dystopian world, and what kind of people emerge from such a world. Certain things were left unexplained, but I find that the allusion to them works well enough to carry on the story. A nice diversity in characters, and it involves a polyamorous relationship, which I have not seen written about in a positive way before. Very good story, one of my favourites. Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn I really liked what this one explored. It used a dystopian society to explore feelings, and how we know what is real. It had a very tense ending, though I liked that it ended where it did. (adding more later)

  6. 4 out of 5

    Lexie

    Prelim Review: The interesting thing about this collection is that quite a few of the authors aren't normally YA authors. Amanda Downum for instance writes fantasy and John Shirley writes a lot of media tie-in fiction for games and movies. Also there's about twice as much LGBT fiction in here then any other anthology I've read in genre fiction (not specifically geared in that direction). In that, I found this worth reading. It fails however in that yes its a dystopic future, but very few of the s Prelim Review: The interesting thing about this collection is that quite a few of the authors aren't normally YA authors. Amanda Downum for instance writes fantasy and John Shirley writes a lot of media tie-in fiction for games and movies. Also there's about twice as much LGBT fiction in here then any other anthology I've read in genre fiction (not specifically geared in that direction). In that, I found this worth reading. It fails however in that yes its a dystopic future, but very few of the stories give us plausible reasons why, implausible but at least entertaining reasons why or even any reason why. "Otherwise" implies its because everyone began taking the drug (which may have been legal at one point?). "In the Clearing" likewise implies that its because of the drug...but we're only given a very small idea of this drug's effects on the population. Is everyone using this drug to keep the people docile? Is this a government thing or is it a corporation thing? Why? Many of these stories fail to give a reason how the story got to be in a bleak (or at least strictly controlled totalitarian regime) future. And that's frustrating. I also wish there was a more unified approach to length of story. I read this on my Kindle, so I don't know the exact amount of pages, but some really seemed to drag on while others just abruptly ended (which may have more to do with the writing then the length). Full review to be posted at Poisoned Rationality

  7. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    I generally enjoy dystopias so this compilation sounded intriguing. I only read three of these before I was reminded that short stories often frustrate me, because they don’t have the time to expand on the characters or the world. I also started a couple and then realized they are GLBT, which doesn’t interest me. Here’s a brief look at the three I read. The Clearing by Kiera Cass. Mackenzie is kidnapped from her home by Dylan,a thief who usually only steals food to feed the small group of people I generally enjoy dystopias so this compilation sounded intriguing. I only read three of these before I was reminded that short stories often frustrate me, because they don’t have the time to expand on the characters or the world. I also started a couple and then realized they are GLBT, which doesn’t interest me. Here’s a brief look at the three I read. The Clearing by Kiera Cass. Mackenzie is kidnapped from her home by Dylan,a thief who usually only steals food to feed the small group of people living outside. Of course there is a good reason they choose to live apart from average society. Decent amount of world building for the short amount of time. Interesting premise. Berserker Eyes by Maria V Snyder. Kate has lived in the compound her whole life afraid that her genetics will catch up to her and she will go into a berserker rage. Jayden is newly arrived to the compound. Having lived outside for many years, he has a totally different perspective of what the compound is really doing. Nice action, only hints of the world outside. Now Purple With Love’s Wound by Carrie Vaughn. Elspa is bonded to Thom using a chemical compound and sets out to prove her love is real. I really didn’t care for this one. Very little worldbuilding, ready made love, little character interaction, and unresolved ending. Ugh.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    If I could, I would've given this book 2.5 stars instead of 3 stars. But rounded up since there were a number of stories I liked. Though after the first two stories, I really wanted to put down this book because of the cruddy quality of the short stories, but I'm glad I kept reading because I did encounter a few that I liked (Berserker Eyes, Arose From Poetry, Seekers in the City). But I also encountered quite a few that I disliked for whatever reason. Some had a completely unbelievable world tha If I could, I would've given this book 2.5 stars instead of 3 stars. But rounded up since there were a number of stories I liked. Though after the first two stories, I really wanted to put down this book because of the cruddy quality of the short stories, but I'm glad I kept reading because I did encounter a few that I liked (Berserker Eyes, Arose From Poetry, Seekers in the City). But I also encountered quite a few that I disliked for whatever reason. Some had a completely unbelievable world that was obviously not well thought out (Foundlings, Red, Now Purple With Love's Wound, The Dream Eater) some were just plain confusing (Otherwise, The Empty Pocket) and some just weren't enjoyable (Hidden Ribbon, The Salt and the Sky, The Up (I'm sure the idea of a fifteen year old girl having babies with a thirty plus year old makes others, not just me, uncomfortable too).) I had a feeling that most of these stories focused more on the development of the romance than the development of the dystopian world. It was kind of disappointing. But one thing I appreciated about this book wad that it just didn't have hetero relationships but gay and lesbian ones too. I'm glad some authors believe in the future there will be more acceptance for LGBT relationships. :)

  9. 5 out of 5

    Hermione

    Berserker Eyes was amazing. I loved it. The others .... eh. Disappointment. I guess the stories being a compilation, it would be hard to try to mention the beginning, middle, and climax in a 20-40 page novelette. So I understand that. And because I didn't finish this book except for the few stories above, I will not give this book a rating. See? I'm being fair. Berserker Eyes was amazing. I loved it. The others .... eh. Disappointment. I guess the stories being a compilation, it would be hard to try to mention the beginning, middle, and climax in a 20-40 page novelette. So I understand that. And because I didn't finish this book except for the few stories above, I will not give this book a rating. See? I'm being fair.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Dani

    It was different....dystopian. My favorite love story was the one by Kiera Cass. With evil Monica after Mackenzie for falling for Dylan-its awesome! Some of the love stories were confusing and hard to understand, but ok. I hope the authors take these mini stories and make them into a book!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Charmaine Ohl

    I DON"T LIKE ROMANCE STORIES!!!! BUT Due to all of these being short, and "not normal" I LOVED This! Maria Snyder stands out again as favorite authors, but Beserker Eyes, REALLY needs a sequel (and not JUST because she is my favorite author) . There are many great stories and for someone not a huge fan of all the sappy romance novels each story (except Marias :P lol ) was a perfect length to leave me happy. There are others I would like to read more of, but at the same time I would probably loose I DON"T LIKE ROMANCE STORIES!!!! BUT Due to all of these being short, and "not normal" I LOVED This! Maria Snyder stands out again as favorite authors, but Beserker Eyes, REALLY needs a sequel (and not JUST because she is my favorite author) . There are many great stories and for someone not a huge fan of all the sappy romance novels each story (except Marias :P lol ) was a perfect length to leave me happy. There are others I would like to read more of, but at the same time I would probably loose interest in a lot of them if they were longer. A great compilation of romance in the possible future world.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Maddie

    I give this book a 2.5 star rating. I enjoyed some of the short stories such as "In The Clearing" by Kiera Cass and "Berserker Eyes" by Maria V. Synder, but many of the short stories were poorly written. Also, most of the short stories focused manly on romance instead of the dystopian world. Overall, I believe some of these short stories deserve 4 stars while others deserve 1 star. I give this book a 2.5 star rating. I enjoyed some of the short stories such as "In The Clearing" by Kiera Cass and "Berserker Eyes" by Maria V. Synder, but many of the short stories were poorly written. Also, most of the short stories focused manly on romance instead of the dystopian world. Overall, I believe some of these short stories deserve 4 stars while others deserve 1 star.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Justine

    Just like any anthology some stories I liked and some I didn’t care for. I found a lot of these ones too short, it seemed like the story started in the middle and didn’t have an ending or wasn’t resolved. I felt like I was left hanging. I’d say more than half of the stories were LGBTQ which is nice to see. But overall lacklustre at best.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Kara

    Collections are hard to rate, and I feel I would be unfair to a few authors if I gave this volume one star without any disclaimers or caveats. I read it because of Kiera Cass's contribution, which I did enjoy. There were a couple of other stories which I would have rated 2-3 stars as well. However, by and large the stories offered little to nothing that I enjoyed. Collections are hard to rate, and I feel I would be unfair to a few authors if I gave this volume one star without any disclaimers or caveats. I read it because of Kiera Cass's contribution, which I did enjoy. There were a couple of other stories which I would have rated 2-3 stars as well. However, by and large the stories offered little to nothing that I enjoyed.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Amelia

    I don't often read short stories, for the simple reason that I don't often enjoy them. When an author is constrained to a short space, it is very hard for them to build realistic, rounded characters and worlds and to have much in the way of plot development. Even the best writers often fall far short of the mark. But this one arrived in my inbox and I thought - well, it's free, I'll give it a shot. It's difficult to accurately rate an anthology - some stories I thought held a lot of promise. Othe I don't often read short stories, for the simple reason that I don't often enjoy them. When an author is constrained to a short space, it is very hard for them to build realistic, rounded characters and worlds and to have much in the way of plot development. Even the best writers often fall far short of the mark. But this one arrived in my inbox and I thought - well, it's free, I'll give it a shot. It's difficult to accurately rate an anthology - some stories I thought held a lot of promise. Others I felt were a waste of time. One thing I did particularly like was the sheer amount of stories which dealt with so-called alternative relationships. This felt pretty brave for something aimed at a mainstream market. Otherwise was probably my favourite such relationship because of the idea of being in love with more than one person at the same time. Red was interesting too although the thought of kissing a zombie did make me gag a little, I must admit! I wasn't so keen on The Salt Sea and the Sky which had cliche ridden characters, a rather dull world and almost no plot development whatsoever. A couple of the stories had really good relationship building, which I really liked. Foundlings was one of these, although in this case it was the relationship between the twins (as opposed to the romantic one) that I loved. I also felt it was an interesting premise. Control of reproduction is quite a common feature in dystopian literature, but I liked how this one was done and I really wish it had been made into a full length story! I also liked Seekers in the City. Admittedly in this one the dystopian element was largely an afterthought, but the search for a person you've seen for a brief second and been dreaming of I thought was just lovely. Maybe I am a romantic at heart after all! And finally The Dream Eater - really promising premise and the Cruce was absolutely fascinating. Although the romantic element was much detailed - this is after all a collection of romances - to be honest I feel as though it would've been better to explore compassion/empathy. The revulsion/love dichotomy was interesting though and this is another one I'd love to see in long form. A couple of the stories were rather confusing, particularly The Empty Pocket. It's difficult to say much about this one because honestly I have no idea whatsoever what happened. Maybe I was just having a thick moment but... nothing was explained and it. Just. Didn't. Make. Sense. The other one with the potential to be confusing was 357, but in this case it was confusing in a good way. The main character, orphaned, outcast, bereft of any human affection falls in love with a girl who may or may not exist. This is one of those rare incidences where the short story form was actually helpful. We saw more than enough to sympathise with the protagonist. The world was meant to be confusing to him as well as us so there was no need for further explanation. And it was better to be left wondering whether the girl existed - if we had been told it would have spoiled the story. I think this was one of the best all round stories in the anthology. This leaves me with a handful which I was apathetic about. Hidden Ribbon was reasonably well written but had a massive case of insta-love which I just didn't believe. Insta-love was pretty much the entire topic of Now Purple with Love's Wound. Her rule breaking felt absolutely ridiculous and unbelievable and the whole story felt like one massive cliche. Not well done at all. Arose from Poetry - a mess of stereotypes and loose ends (and beginnings and middles). Eric and Pan - not awful, but very much dystopia lite. I couldn't ever believe they were in any danger. The Up - this was a boring rehash of ideas that have been written a million times before. That would be bad enough but the ending was pretty reprehensible. Yeah your life sucks, we get it. But cutting off the food source to your entire society just so three of you can escape? Not cool guys, not cool. Berserker Eyes - I suspect many people would like this one but it just wasn't for me. I don't really have much interest in the idea of infectious rage, killing machines blah blah blah. I also feel it's stretching it to call the fauxmance "love". In the Clearing - I had to look back in the book to even remember which this one was to be honest. All I remember of it was that the characters were irritating - the girl in particular was very much TSTL and I actually liked her better when she was drugged up - and that it was basically mediocre writing about Stockholm Syndrome. I'm not a fan of Kiera Cass. So there you have it - some good, some bad but altogether a reasonable YA anthology.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Lindsay Allison

    "Hidden Ribbon" by John Shirley - 2.5 stars This started out pretty cool. I liked the world building and when Shirley is describing Rooftown and the dangers of walking on the sides of buildings and on cable bridges, I was definitely feeling some anxiety. Shirley built a solid setting with his descriptions of how the world looks and operates in 2044. However, the romance part fell really flat for me. Where he was showing me this post-apocalyptic-esque world, he was telling me about the attraction b "Hidden Ribbon" by John Shirley - 2.5 stars This started out pretty cool. I liked the world building and when Shirley is describing Rooftown and the dangers of walking on the sides of buildings and on cable bridges, I was definitely feeling some anxiety. Shirley built a solid setting with his descriptions of how the world looks and operates in 2044. However, the romance part fell really flat for me. Where he was showing me this post-apocalyptic-esque world, he was telling me about the attraction between Giorgio and Felice. I didn't get any sorts of Feels from their interactions. "The Salt Sea and the Sky" by Elizabeth Barr - 2.5 stars Again, I found that the world Barr built was pretty interesting. Billie was only mildly interesting and I have no sense of Shaun. There was very little screen time with the two of them interacting, so I have no strong sense of deep feeling between the two of them. The only thing I know about them is what Billie told me. I would loved to have felt her indecision and her angst over leaving rather than her tell me how hard it is. "The Dream Eater" by Carrie Ryan - 5 stars The ONLY reason that this anthology is getting two stars instead of one is because of this story. Carrie does a brilliant job of creating this world, this magic of the Cruce. The back and forth, the vivid description of the tower and the stench, and the desperation of the Cruce and Went is amazing. Definitely a brilliantly sad and angsty story. I did not bother to read the rest of the stories. The first two were so mediocre that I found myself not wanting to read any more. The only reason I read Carrie Ryan's story is because I know how talented she is.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Izzy

    I love anthologies but I don't like this one at all. Some of them read as slash fanfiction, as they were cliché, unbelievable and 'experimental'/spur of the moment tropes. The writing in those stories also came off as amateurish. I'm sorry to say that my two stars are pity stars because this anthology features two well-known authors: one star for Maria V. Snyder and 1/2 a star for Carrie Vaughn. The trouble we've got here is that this anthology tackles romance and dystopia, two very different gen I love anthologies but I don't like this one at all. Some of them read as slash fanfiction, as they were cliché, unbelievable and 'experimental'/spur of the moment tropes. The writing in those stories also came off as amateurish. I'm sorry to say that my two stars are pity stars because this anthology features two well-known authors: one star for Maria V. Snyder and 1/2 a star for Carrie Vaughn. The trouble we've got here is that this anthology tackles romance and dystopia, two very different genres that traditionally have opposite outcomes. Romance = happy, while dystopia = sad/gritty. I bought this book because of the romance but I was mildly interested in the dystopia. For other people, it would probably the other way round. The consensus is that neither of the two camps are happy. For romance fans, it's too dark, sad and depressing to serve as a romance anthology. For dystopia readers, there's a serious lack of world building, little sense and the romance commandeers the plots. Personal favourites + 'In The Clearing' by Kiera Cass. + 'Berserker Eyes' by Maria V. Snyder. 1/2+ 'Now Purple With Love's Wound' by Carrie Vaughn (Half star for the unresolved ending) In contrast, I disliked 'Red' by Amanda Downum. It was a complete waste of trees. I liked the beginning but then it veered into the weird category. Little to no explanation was given which made it hard to follow the story. Perhaps if the anthology had a fewer number of authors, but the authors chosen were those who're well known to write good quality stories, then the anthology would've been more successful.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Brittany

    Well I thought I would be amazed and blown away by this book. Truthfully only a few of the stories in here amazed me and I'm going to rate a few stories individually so you get an idea of how I viewed them. Hidden Ribbon by: John Shirley: 4 stars: This was a good start to the book. Giorgio and Felice are trying to escape their controlled society together. Giorgio feels an attraction for Felice, but isn't sure if it's worth it. In the end he discovers it is and they escape together. The Salt Sea an Well I thought I would be amazed and blown away by this book. Truthfully only a few of the stories in here amazed me and I'm going to rate a few stories individually so you get an idea of how I viewed them. Hidden Ribbon by: John Shirley: 4 stars: This was a good start to the book. Giorgio and Felice are trying to escape their controlled society together. Giorgio feels an attraction for Felice, but isn't sure if it's worth it. In the end he discovers it is and they escape together. The Salt Sea and The Sky by: Elizabeth Bear: 5 Stars: This was a really cute story. Shaun and Billy's parents accepted these girls relationship to one another and were fine with it. Billy plans to leave Shaun though and come back one day to her if she'll still want her. Shaun finds out and doesn't want her to go, but she let's her go anyway. In The Clearing by: Kiera Cass: 5 stars: My favorite one in this book. Dylan kidnaps the mayor's daughter Mackenzie because he feels an attraction for her. Mackenzie can't feel anything yet because of the drugs her society makes her take so she doesn't feel anything at all. But eventually she falls in love with Dylan too and they become one. Otherwise by: Nisi Shawl: 1 star: Aim and Lo are on the run. Lo is trying to help Aim find the man she loves Robbie. But Lo is in love with Aim as well. Robbie finds out and suggests they all get married since they both love Aim, but not each other. That is just really weird that they would wanna share someone together.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca (StayingUpTillMorning)

    Now don't get your hopes up for loads of steamy romance because you'll be disappointed. Most of the stories have very subtle inclusions of love. In one story, for example, a boy falls in love with a girl he sees for only a split second. He then spends the rest of his life seemingly trying to find her and we never get to witness them actually interact. So although the cover is a little misleading when it states these will be "tales of desire" they weren't lying about the "dystopian" part. There is s Now don't get your hopes up for loads of steamy romance because you'll be disappointed. Most of the stories have very subtle inclusions of love. In one story, for example, a boy falls in love with a girl he sees for only a split second. He then spends the rest of his life seemingly trying to find her and we never get to witness them actually interact. So although the cover is a little misleading when it states these will be "tales of desire" they weren't lying about the "dystopian" part. There is some fantastic world building and ideas throughout the majority of the stories. And it sort of worked that it all had to be revealed quickly. And for me personally I liked that they were all fast paced. No slow burners here! And even though every story was very satisfying there is a select few I wish I could read more of. My favourites were, in no particular order; 1) Now Purple With Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn 2) Berserker Eyes by Maria V Snyder 3) The Dream Eater by Carrie Ryan The Dream Eater was particularly haunting. It's set in a world where no one feels misery. Only when you find out why no one feels misery you'll have a hard time trying not to feel a little sick (or a lot sick in my case)! Overall I can see why authors would agree to write these short stories for a collection because I will most certainly be looking into the above threes other works. So a great book if you're a huge fan of dystopian and are looking for some new authors to check out all at the same time! http://stayinguptillmorning.blogspot....

  20. 5 out of 5

    Allison

    I took way too long to read this... But that's the great thing about short stories. You can take a break in the middle for as long as you want. Anyway, like all compilations, there were some that were better than others... But nothing I strongly disliked. (Yes, Becky, I am capable of disliking things.) I appreciated the variety of dystopias represented, as well as variety of relationships. Favorites: Berserker Eyes (interesting premise - kids with recessive berserker genes are locked away until th I took way too long to read this... But that's the great thing about short stories. You can take a break in the middle for as long as you want. Anyway, like all compilations, there were some that were better than others... But nothing I strongly disliked. (Yes, Becky, I am capable of disliking things.) I appreciated the variety of dystopias represented, as well as variety of relationships. Favorites: Berserker Eyes (interesting premise - kids with recessive berserker genes are locked away until they either serk or get old enough to be presumed safe), Foundlings (twin stories are all close to my heart except THAT BOOK coughHer Fearful Symmetrycough), The Dream Eater (faint resemblance to The Giver? but different.) I really wanted to like Nina Kiriki Hoffman's story, since I loved everything I read of hers in high school, but it was just so... I don't know, it reminded me of The City of Ember. Which I liked but did not particularly love.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Nighteye

    I don't know what I like and not about this book, first of all I didn't know anything about the most of the authors which was good because then I don't have any expectations and I'm quite fond of love stories but my feelings are a bit mixed! but unlike many others there are some novels I like, more or less, as Maria V. Snyder's berserkers eyes, Kiera Cass in the clearing, Carrie Ryan the dream eater and most of all maybe Amanda Downum's Red who offered an really unexpected dystopi and the novels I don't know what I like and not about this book, first of all I didn't know anything about the most of the authors which was good because then I don't have any expectations and I'm quite fond of love stories but my feelings are a bit mixed! but unlike many others there are some novels I like, more or less, as Maria V. Snyder's berserkers eyes, Kiera Cass in the clearing, Carrie Ryan the dream eater and most of all maybe Amanda Downum's Red who offered an really unexpected dystopi and the novels Up and Hidden Ribbon. There are also some I really don't like... First are that all the novels are in future America, then the most of them are in urban environment, gives a bit minus, with a totally controlling government/male population and the poor girls who is controlled by the all evil males and then a lot of fireweapons in the stories. When I read about the dystopi theme I was not expecting this and certainly not that many urban environments but a more broad settings and ideas but this can't be blamed on the editor for the authors interpretations of the theme... but I've got some authors that I will look after a bit more closely when it comes to anthologys after this!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Meaghan R. (YA-aholic)

    i am on the 4th or 5th story, "otherwise" by Nisi Shawl, and it is AWFUL!!!! -not the actual story, but the writing! it is soooo bad that it is overpowering my curiosity of what these private universes are that i have lost interest. that said, i am taking a break from this book altogether...i really hate not finishing something, so skipping the story is out of the question, so i am now reading The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher... i stopped reading this book..i had accidentally moved it to r i am on the 4th or 5th story, "otherwise" by Nisi Shawl, and it is AWFUL!!!! -not the actual story, but the writing! it is soooo bad that it is overpowering my curiosity of what these private universes are that i have lost interest. that said, i am taking a break from this book altogether...i really hate not finishing something, so skipping the story is out of the question, so i am now reading The Obsidian Mirror by Catherine Fisher... i stopped reading this book..i had accidentally moved it to read, and then back to currently, and apparently, gr CHANGES book finished dates when you put them in read...annoying because i had marked when i stopped reading...

  23. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    Well, this book was a disappointment. I was really excited because it was dystopian short stories. What’s better than a dystopian world? LOTS of dystopian worlds! But most of the stories I read in this book I did NOT like. Some of them I didn’t like because I’m fairly conservative and I didn’t agree with the relationships portrayed, but there were a lot of stories I just flat-out did not like because of the way they were written. Many were dark, or weird. Some were disjointed and didn’t really m Well, this book was a disappointment. I was really excited because it was dystopian short stories. What’s better than a dystopian world? LOTS of dystopian worlds! But most of the stories I read in this book I did NOT like. Some of them I didn’t like because I’m fairly conservative and I didn’t agree with the relationships portrayed, but there were a lot of stories I just flat-out did not like because of the way they were written. Many were dark, or weird. Some were disjointed and didn’t really make much sense as short stories. I know it’s hard to capture a dystopian world when you only have so many pages, but then shoving a relationship/romance in too...well, that definitely makes things tricky. There were a couple of stories I enjoyed (using that term very loosely), but overall it wasn’t something I liked. I was disappointed because there were some authors I had been exciting to read – but I wasn’t impressed with their selections. *Taken from My Sentiments Exactly!: http://reviewsatmse.blogspot.com/2013...

  24. 5 out of 5

    Adrienne

    Rating is more in the neighborhood of a 4.25 because there were a few stories that were downright terrible otherwise it would have been a five. Rated 1: Sense does not live in this universe. Rated 2: Hummm Rated 3: This was kind of unremarkable and forgettable but the premise was promising. Rated 4: Almost got it right but there's something missing here. Rated 5: Potential for a full book. So going story by story : "Hidden Ribbon" by John Shirley 3 "The Salt Sea and the Sky" by Elizabeth Bear 3 "In the Rating is more in the neighborhood of a 4.25 because there were a few stories that were downright terrible otherwise it would have been a five. Rated 1: Sense does not live in this universe. Rated 2: Hummm Rated 3: This was kind of unremarkable and forgettable but the premise was promising. Rated 4: Almost got it right but there's something missing here. Rated 5: Potential for a full book. So going story by story : "Hidden Ribbon" by John Shirley 3 "The Salt Sea and the Sky" by Elizabeth Bear 3 "In the Clearing" by Kiera Cass 4 "Otherwise" by Nisi Shawl 3 "Now Purple With Love's Wound" by Carrie Vaughn 4 "Berserker Eyes" by Maria V. Snyder 3 "Arose From Poetry" by Steve Berman 2 "Red" by Amanda Downum 5 "Foundlings" by Diana Peterfreund 4 "Seekers in the City" by Jeanne DuPrau 2 "The Up" by Nina Kiriki Hoffman 4 "The Dream Eater" by Carrie Ryan 5 "357" by Jesse Karp 4 "Eric and Pan" by William Sleator 4 "The Empty Pocket" by Seth Cadin 1

  25. 4 out of 5

    Cassi

    I'm pretty much reading this anthology piece by piece,so I'll write a little for each story and then average the rating after I finish. Hidden Ribbon: 2/5 -I liked the plot, but I wasn't crazy about the writing style. The Salt Sea and the Sky: 2.5/5 -I LOVED the writing in this. I just feel like nothing happened in this story... In the Clearing: 4.5/5 -This one lived up to my high expectations. Now Purple With Love's Wound: 5/5 -GREAT :) I enjoyed the writing and the plot was unique. The Up: 3/5 -It wasn I'm pretty much reading this anthology piece by piece,so I'll write a little for each story and then average the rating after I finish. Hidden Ribbon: 2/5 -I liked the plot, but I wasn't crazy about the writing style. The Salt Sea and the Sky: 2.5/5 -I LOVED the writing in this. I just feel like nothing happened in this story... In the Clearing: 4.5/5 -This one lived up to my high expectations. Now Purple With Love's Wound: 5/5 -GREAT :) I enjoyed the writing and the plot was unique. The Up: 3/5 -It wasn't bad but I was a bit confused. The Dream Eater: 4/5 -I wouldn't say that I loved this one but it had a very interesting concept. 357: 1/5 -I really don`t even know what happened here. Those are the stories I read from this anthology and unfortunately I wasn't (for the most part) impresses.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Jen Minkman

    I have to say I was a bit anxious to start this one, because short stories don't always work that well and a collection with so many different authors can go either way. Fortunately, I liked this book a lot. Granted, there were some stories in there that clearly demonstrate not all authors have a knack for short story-telling (which is no mean feat), but I discovered some great new authors thanks to this collection. There were some true gems in here, and I also appreciated the fact that 6 storie I have to say I was a bit anxious to start this one, because short stories don't always work that well and a collection with so many different authors can go either way. Fortunately, I liked this book a lot. Granted, there were some stories in there that clearly demonstrate not all authors have a knack for short story-telling (which is no mean feat), but I discovered some great new authors thanks to this collection. There were some true gems in here, and I also appreciated the fact that 6 stories out of 16 (I think?) were about bisexual, lesbian or gay main characters. Now THAT's what I call brave new love! Yay diversity :)

  27. 5 out of 5

    K H

    I make a point to only ever rate the books I read completely, but I made an exception since this is a collection of short stories. Keeping that in mind, I only read the ones that really hooked me, and of those my average rating was a 4. I think it was a generally good collection, not being a particular hard core ya post-apoc reader, but if you're into that stuff I would definitely recommend. It could also be used for inspiration for writer's block. My favourites would be: Berserker Eyes - Maria V. I make a point to only ever rate the books I read completely, but I made an exception since this is a collection of short stories. Keeping that in mind, I only read the ones that really hooked me, and of those my average rating was a 4. I think it was a generally good collection, not being a particular hard core ya post-apoc reader, but if you're into that stuff I would definitely recommend. It could also be used for inspiration for writer's block. My favourites would be: Berserker Eyes - Maria V. Snyder (love her! Her poison study series is amazing) In the Clearing - Kiera Cass Seekers in the City - Jeanne DuPrau (highly recommend City of Ember)

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mary-Beth

    Thank goodness I really enjoyed this one. In fact, almost every story was good. The last two were a bit iffy for me. "Eric and Pan" was too obvious and heavy handed for me, while "The Empty Pocket" was completely nonsensical. The rest of the stories were just as advertised - good brief romances set in dystopian worlds. Although, I guess, several of them suffer from a bit of heavy-handedness. I think it's hard to deliver a fully formed dystopian world in a short little package like this, so it's Thank goodness I really enjoyed this one. In fact, almost every story was good. The last two were a bit iffy for me. "Eric and Pan" was too obvious and heavy handed for me, while "The Empty Pocket" was completely nonsensical. The rest of the stories were just as advertised - good brief romances set in dystopian worlds. Although, I guess, several of them suffer from a bit of heavy-handedness. I think it's hard to deliver a fully formed dystopian world in a short little package like this, so it's fair enough. My favourites were probably "The Salt Sea and The Sky" and "Red." "Now Purple with Love's Wound" reminded me of Mad Max.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Lesley

    Half of the stories were good, two were great, and the rest fell flat for me. I think in no fault to the book, that I need to stop reading short stories. They end so abrupt I always get mad and take it out on the story. Not the stories fault, it's my fault. But I can say that some of these didn't feel dystopian at all. And some of them didn't seem to have much romance either. Read this with an open mind, without going into it and automatically thinking dystopian, and you might enjoy it more. Half of the stories were good, two were great, and the rest fell flat for me. I think in no fault to the book, that I need to stop reading short stories. They end so abrupt I always get mad and take it out on the story. Not the stories fault, it's my fault. But I can say that some of these didn't feel dystopian at all. And some of them didn't seem to have much romance either. Read this with an open mind, without going into it and automatically thinking dystopian, and you might enjoy it more.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Marissa Hakala

    I really enjoyed some of the stories, but some of the others were not so much. This probably would have received four stars if The Empty Pocket was just cut out of the book. I honestly had no idea what was going on the whole time and I had to force myself to finish it. I really enjoyed In the Clearing, Berserker Eyes and Foundlings. The rest were okay. Some were better than others but none really stood out. It seemed to me like a lot of the stories ended pretty much the same. I liked the romance I really enjoyed some of the stories, but some of the others were not so much. This probably would have received four stars if The Empty Pocket was just cut out of the book. I honestly had no idea what was going on the whole time and I had to force myself to finish it. I really enjoyed In the Clearing, Berserker Eyes and Foundlings. The rest were okay. Some were better than others but none really stood out. It seemed to me like a lot of the stories ended pretty much the same. I liked the romance in most of these, but some didn't have enough of a dystopian element for me.

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