Disclaimer: I received an ARC from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Having read quite a bit YA fiction, I can undoubtedly say that Maggie Stiefvater and Brenna Yovanoff are two of the most talented and unique among a sea of other writers. I am less familiar with Tessa Gratton; however, she has now made it to the top of "to-read" list based on this anthology's science fiction fantasy short story.
What is truly unique about this volume is its purpose and structure. Not only do Stiefvater, Gratton and Yovanoff offer up three well-written and thought provoking stories, but each also includes insightful commentary and footnotes about the writing process. As a former writing teacher and a teen librarian who hold regular teen writing opportunities, this is a fantastic resource for myself and other writers. What's better than accomplished authors actually leading readers and other writers through their process?
Stiefvater begins with an introduction about writing based on characterization. The story which follows illustrates how powerful a character driven piece can be for readers. Set in Brooklyn, Petra embarks on a strange and curious journey--learning how to be 'lady-like', the importance of context, and to speak her mind--all from a curious tutor who is much more than she seems.
Within Part II, Gratton emphasizes the importance of details when world-building. In this science fiction story, a faraway land is immersed in a brutal war. A young soldier in the desert has to learn how to do his duty but also learn who is really is as he struggles with love and acceptance.
Yovanoff closes Part III with a discussion of reoccurring ideas and themes. Her focus is drowning and from there she crafts the beginnings of several haunting interrelated stories.
I definitely recommend this be added to school and public library collections. If you are a writer and know others who write and would like to improve their skills by learning from others, then this a stellar anthology. If you are just a fan of Stiefvater, Gratton, and or Yovanoff, then you will enjoy it as well!
Final rating: 4 out of 5 stars
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