Saturday, December 27, 2008

Love is Hell Anthology

Sure, love is hell. But it’s totally worth it.

In these supernatural stories by five of today's hottest writers—Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue is for Nightmares)—love may be twisted and turned around, but it's more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever.

Sleeping with the Spirit
by Laurie Faria Stolarz
This was first story in the collection. Not knowing what to expect from this anthology, I felt Stolarz's ghost story was a weak beginning. It took too long to get going and rushed towards the end. Brenda is the new girl in town, but she's not the only one living in her new bedroom. The room's previous occupant has yet to move out--or rather move on. I think Stolarz had the makings of what could have been a good ghost romance, but just didn't have enough pages to flesh out her story.

Stupid Perfect World
by Scott Westerfeld
After the first disappointing story, I was afraid that I couldn't be coaxed to finish the book. But I loved Westerfeld's story! As the only male author included in the collection, he not only used his short story to create a utopian society but a solid romance. For their Scarcity class projects, Maria and Kieran learn that some things from their society's past are worth remembering. I would love to see this world turned into a book.

Thinner Than Water
by Justine Larbalestier
Larbalestier's contribution was a little hard to place. It takes place in a village steeped in traditions and supernatural beliefs. I think this one was the most gruesome and fitting of the anthology's title. She captures a world caught between modern reality and the fairy world. Her tale was the most disturbing and heartbreaking.

Fan Fictions
by Gabrielle Zevin
This story will throw you for a loop! As do Zevin's other works...However, she demonstrates what happens when fiction and love collide. This one is for all those who dream about finding "their" Edward.

Love Struck
by Melissa Marr
I expected a darker story after reading Marr's Wicked Lovely series. But she tells the story of a mythical creature that is often overlooked in fantasy--selkies. Hers is a well-spun romance that leaves the reader sighing with a happy ending.

Reading Rating:
I read this one in a couple of hours. I think having it broken down into stories made it much easier to read. You don't have to read all the stories or even read them in order. I would suggest saving "Love Struck" for last to leave you on a sweet note.

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