Friday, November 18, 2011

Truth or Dare anthology, edited by Liz Miles

Tales of Love, Life and falling on your face for the Young Adult reader. The truth is that for those who dare to be different school and growing up can be hell. Truth &; Dare is a collection of edgy, quirky stories that revolve around a funny, nerdy cast of characters who struggle to fit in . . . or struggle not to. They will appeal to the inner geek of anyone caught up in attempts to navigate the labyrinthine teen caste system.

Written in authentic teen voices, they speak to fans of the movies Juno and Nick and Nora's Infinite Playlist and the TV series The Gilmore Girls. Witty and smart, these are short stories from the point of view of funny, though not always cool or popular guys and girls, who are dealing with all the pressures of growing up - school, friends, music, relationships, parents, and just plain fitting in (or not).

I received a copy of Truth & Dare to review a while ago and then stumbled across the kindle version of the book online shortly after and thought, this would be a cool thing to have on the kindle to dip and out of.

And I was right.

On my commute I read three of the short stories - the first three, in fact.

I read and loved and was amazed by the coolness of GIRL JESUS ON THE INBOUND SUBWAY by Matthue Roth. Any book or story that starts with the line: The saviour of the universe is a girl in a trench coat, a hoodie, and twenty pound earphones, and more than anything I want her to kiss me makes me want to run around and scream at its sheer coolnicity. The story is swift, it's beautifully written with a stinging twisty bit at the end. I loved it. In fact, I want Matthue to move into my house and tell me more stories like this. I have a very comfortable couch.

Sarah Rees Brennan's YOUNG STALKER'S HANDBOOK almost had me tossed off the bus for strange behaviour. I was laughing out loud, shaking and snorting. Hilariously funny to the max, it is Sarah's particular brand of humour that we have all come to know and love through her Demon books. The main character has such a great voice and is utterly believable in her quest to follow the handsome guy she spotted in the record store. As she drags her bff around with her, both her inner dialogue and her argument with her friend makes required reading for great punchy character creation. I loved it!

Because I dislike being predictable...I skipped a few stories and ended up reading one of the most disturbing short stories I may have ever read. Written by Sherry Shahan, IRIS AND JIM centres around a very destructive relationship of two anorexics in a clinic. Brutally real and frightening because she gets them and their ordeal and reasoning so right, this made me deeply uncomfortable and worried. It is a great story and even just thinking about it...makes cold shivers pit pat down my spine.

I'll review more from this superb collection next week!


Jennifer Finney Boylan is author of eleven books, five of which are YA books.

Sarah Rees Brennan is author of The Demon's Lexicon, which was one of Kirkus' Best Books, ALA's Top Ten Best Books and a Best British Fantasy book.

Cecil Castellucci author of Rose Sees Red and a picture book Grandma's Gloves.

Emma Donoghue author of Booker-shortlisted Room.

A.M. Homes is the author of, This Book Will Save Your Life, Music For Torching, The End of Alice, In a Country of Mothers, and Jack.

Jennifer R. Hubbard author of the contemporary YA novel The Secret Year, published in 2010.

Heidi R. Kling is the author of the Penguin Young Readers YA novel Sea,a story of hope after tragedy set in the aftermath of the 2004 tsunami.

Michael Lowenthal is the author of the novels Charity Girl, Avoidance, and The Same Embrace

Saundra Mitchell author of Shadowed Summer and The Vespertine.

Luisa Plaja author of the teen novels-Split by a Kiss, Swapped by a Kiss and Extreme Kissing.

Matthue Roth author of Never Mind the Goldbergs, his first novel, a coming-of-age tale

Sherry Shahan has written over 30 books, including Purple Daze.

Shelley Stoehr author of four award-winning novels for Young Adults, including the still popular, award-winning, Crosses.

Ellen Wittlinger had her first teen novel, Lombardo's Law,published in 1993.

Jill Wolfson author of award-winning novels for young people including What I Call Life; Home, and Other Big, Fat Lies; and Cold Hands, and Warm Heart.

Also includes: Courtney Gillette, Jennifer Knight, Gary Soto, and Sara Wilkinson


serendipity_viv said...

This is one of those anthologies that keep appearing in my radar. I don't normally like short stories but lately they are growing on me.

Raimy from Readaraptor Hatchling said...

I devoured this book of short stories in a couple of sittings and would recommend it to anyone, I've found some great authors because of this book!

Unknown said...

I think I am going to have to get this. Thanks for the review :D

matthue said...

Thank you so much! I found this entry Googling for the correct title of my story (I wasn't sure whether it was "subway" or "train") (I am a huge dork that way). I'm tremendously honoured. And it would be awesome to occupy your couch, I'm sure.