When I heard Stephanie Perkins had edited another anthology of short stories, I immediately put it on my TBR list. I adored My True Love Sent To Me, and I had high hopes for this one.
And I wasn’t disappointed. As with any anthology, not every story was a hit. Some were spot-on, most were good and only a couple were only-okay. I don’t really read short stories that often, but I think Stephanie Perkins has the knack for collating a great collection. Some of the stories are contemporary and some are fantasy, but each story was so summery, it was so evocative.
A breakdown of my ratings for each story.....
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail by Leigh Bardugo - 4 stars
The End of Love by Nina LaCour - 4 stars
Last Stand at the Cinegor by Libba Bray - 3 stars
Sick Pleasures by Francesca Lia Block - 2 stars
In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins - 4 stars
Souvenirs by Tim Federle - 4 stars
Inertia by Veronica Roth - 4.5 stars
Love is the Last Resort by Jon Skovron - 2 stars
Good Luck and Farewell by Brandy Colbert - 3 stars
Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare - 5 stars
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E Smith - 4 stars
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman - 5 stars
My favourite was Brand New Attraction by Cassandra Clare - I think she’s one of those authors who I just click with because I’ve never read anything of hers that I didn’t like. Brand New Attraction is the story of a girl who lives in a dark fairground with her dad. They have tons of creepy attractions and the whole fairground is powered by a demon (obviously).
Another really good story was The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman. It’s kind of a pastiche of Groundhog Day, but every day is 4th August and the boy it’s happening to is pretty content to spend every day for the rest of his existence just sitting reading books, until he goes to the swimming pool one day and meets a girl also stuck in the time loop. It’s funny but also really emotional.
The only story I couldn’t get into was Love Is The Last Resort. It was written in a style that made it feel like it was set in the 1940s; I could imagine Katherine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy were playing the lead roles. There was nothing specifically wrong with it, it just wasn’t for me.
I’d definitely recommend this for anyone’s summer reading list - it’s a great book to take to the beach.
4 stars overall