Friday, November 22, 2013

Defy the Dark by Saundra Mitchell Review

Title: Defy the Dark
 Editor: Saundra Mitchell
Age Group: Teen/Young Adult
Genre: Anthology; different genres
Series: N/A

This is an anthology, so I'm going to be reviewing this a little bit differently: Instead of reviewing the anthology as a whole, I'm going to review each story at a time. The theme is a collection of stories that are written about and in the dark.

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers: 3 out of 5 stars. A vague, creepy love story. I really liked it, but the narrative and ending were strange and hard to follow. Could've been better, but enjoyable nonetheless.

Nature by Aprilynne Pike: 5 out of 5 stars. A dystopian love story of a girl who is placed in a class of citizens--Natures--to procreate and provide children for the populace. Wishing she could escape her fate, Kylie meets a boy named Jeremy, who is the same as she is. Sweet and an interesting setting--I'd like a novel with this setting. Wonderful.

The Dark Side of the Moon by Dia Reeves: 4 out of 5 stars. A spooky story about a starcrossed couple, the male part of which journeys on the mysterious night trolley on the other side of the tracks and is nearly eaten by an alien spider and its children. Deliciously creepy!

Ghost Town by Malinda Lo: 5 out of 5 stars. A lesbian story with a lot of heart and a creepy, sexy ghost story--I really, really enjoyed it, so much so I'd like to dig deeper into Lo's repertoire. An amazing story!

 Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins: 2 out of 5 stars. A short story involving murderous red eyed creatures. Slightly scary, but aside from the ending it was dull. I expected more.

Stillwater by Valerie Kemp: 4 out of 5 stars. a creepy, twisty tale about a town stuck in a time warp. I liked the plotline, but it was the romance between Delilah and Pruitt that made this story great.

I Gave You My Love by the Light of the Moon by Sarah Rees Brennan: 5 out of 5 stars. A romantic, dark love story about a vampire/werewolf couple. I really, really enjoyed this story.

Night Swimming by Beth Revis: 4 out of 5 stars. A dark, dystopian, disturbing story of a love triangle set in the Across The Universe world. (You can find that review here on my blog.) I actually liked this short story better than the actual novel--it explains the characters of Harley and Kayleigh beautifully--and the ending was absolutely perfect.

The Sunflower Murders by Kate Espey: 5 out of 5 stars.  A sad, angry, and disturbing tale of a murder, and how two friends irrevocably grew apart. Lovely, sad, and glorious. I'd love a full novel of The Sunflower Murders!

Almost Normal by Carrie Ryan: 5 out of 5 stars. A creepy, dark, and genuinely horrific zombie story, it sucked me in and nearly had me biting my nails--I really enjoyed this story straight out of a Romero film! I'm looking forward to reading The Forest of Hands and Teeth series.

 There's Nowhere Else-John Skovron. 4 out of 5 stars. A funny, dark tale of escapism in its truest form. As an avid reader myself, I really enjoyed this story of a nightwalker. More please!

 Naughty or Nice by Myra Mcentire: 5 out of 5 stars. A fun holiday story about the Antisanta and two best friends fighting their feelings for each other, with dark twists. I really enjoyed it!

Shadowed by Christine Johnson: 5 out of 5 stars. One of my favorites. A medieval story about a girl trapped with her shadow, which has a life of its own. Beautiful, lyrical, and dark. I wish I had more of it!

Now Bid Time Return by Saundra Mitchell: 4 out of 5 stars. A romantic, sweet ghost story, I really enjoyed it, though the protaganist was a little bit whiny.

The Moth and the Spider by Sarah Ockler: 2 out of 5 stars. This story was more creepy than dark to me--a little bit over the edge and crazy, and though I read it through to the end, I didn't like it very much.

 Where the Light Is by Jackson Pearce: 4 out of 5 stars. A sweet, gentle love story of a boy above ground and a girl below, reading more like a fairy tale than a short story. Lovely.

This Is Ophelia by Tessa Gratton: 5 out of 5 stars and my favorite of the whole volume. a roaring twenties take on Ophelia from Hamlet, of a cross-dressing young woman who has fallen in love and gone mad. If only this were a whole book! Absolutely amazing!

I love, love, love this anthology--it was absolutely beautiful! Anyone looking for a good short story collection should snatch it up! Next on deck: Diva by Jillian Larkin!

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