Running Press Teens, 2010
YA; Short Stories; Paranormal Romance
Source: From 1 ARC Tours
Summary: A collection of short stories from some of today's most popular authors including Maggie Stiefvater, Carrie Ryan, Michelle Zink, and more!
Some spoilers but I tried not to ruin the stories if they have twists.
Thoughts: I always find it easiest to talk about short story collections by just going through them and listing what I did and didn't like so this will be LONG. My particular favorites are highlighted. I had a quibble with these "short" stories as many of them were quite long; I was expecting twenty pages to be the max but that was more like the min. I'm not complaining because of course I want more to read but it made it difficult to fit in to the little snatches of time I have to read throughout the day unlike say the short sections of Terry Pratchett's books.
I'm evaluating these stories on the paranormal elements and the romance given the subtitle of "paranormal love" although writing and sheer enjoyability play a part.
The Assassin's Apprentice by Michelle Zink: It felt rushed-I was unsure of the mythology surrounding the story. And most disappointing to me, I didn't really feel the romance as there wasn't much build-up: they saw each other and they knew. Very unsatisfactory for me. 3/5
Errant by Diana Peterfreund: I think this is connected to her series of unicorn books, which I have not read, but the story still made sense. The romance was also lacking in this but it ended with the empowerment of Elise who was able to draw unicorns to her land for protection against the vile men while Gitta will continue to travel with her unicorn Enyo. 4/5
The Spirit Jar by Karen Mahoney: This features vampires, or rather one named Moth who apparently was in The Eternal Kiss but I don't think you need to have read this in order to follow the story. I liked Moth who is conflicted over being a vampire, specifically whether or not she has a soul. But the romance wasn't very good and I didn't love it. 3/5
Lost by Justine Musk: I would classify this as an updated version of a Greek myth (I think it would be spoiled if I told you which one). Sasha (I have loved this name ever since I first heard it as the name of Sasha Cohen the ice-skater) is good at finding things and Haiden helps her develop and strengthen the those abilities in paranormal terms. The romance was a little half-baked although I can see it growing and flourishing. 4/5
The Spy Who Never Grew Up by Sarah Rees Brennan: This took me a while to get in to but I liked it, probably the second funniest story. It is a sort of sequel to Peter Pan, incorporating spy thriller elements. There are references to Wendy, Captain Hook, Tinker Bell, and Tiger Lily although sadly no Crocodile. It was interesting to see how Pan might be after approximately six generations have passed in human years. 4.5/5
Behind the Red Door by Caitlin Kittredge: An incredible ghost story: I would say both elements of paranormal and romance were probably strongest in this one. Jo and the ghost Nicholas had a unique relationship that culminated in some frightening moments. 5/5
Hare Moon by Carrie Ryan: I believe this is the story of the character Sister Tabitha from The Forest of Hands and Teeth who was once in love with a boy named Patrick. I felt their love but I'm still not a fan of the world and the Unconsecrated. If you loved the book, you'll probably love this story. 3/5
Familiar by Michelle Rowen: I would call this the funniest story although not many even included any funny bits. Brenda is a witch who needs to get a familiar who ends up being Owen. This had a strong romantic element with a light sprinkling of several paranormal elements. 5/5
Fearless by Rachel Vincent: Another rather scary story: Sabine is a mara, someone who feeds on humans's nightmares and Nash is another paranormal creature who understands and loves her. Sabine is sent to a halfway home to help her straighten up but she finds it even worse there 4.5/5
Vermillion by Daniel Marks: This was another outstanding story about Velvet and Nick who had one of the best romances of the stories. The paranormal elements also kicked my butt which I'm sure would please Velvet. 4.5/5
The Hounds of Ulster by Maggie Stiefvater: Bryant's best friend Sullivan is a brilliant musician who also happens to fall in love with one of Them, thereby destroying their friendship and their usual jam sessions. Another great story from Stiefvater 4/5
Many Happy Returns by Daniel Waters: I didn't really like this story but I'm not familiar with the Generation Dead universe where it takes place. It's one of the sadder stories, which I think accounts for why I didn't like it very much. 3/5
Dungeons of Langeais by Becca Fitzpatrick-when I started this I was worried I wouldn't be able to follow it since it's a Hush, Hush story and I haven't read that yet. It focuses on Chauncey who is apparently in Hush, Hush but I could follow it anyway. Because it is about Chauncey, one quite hates the evil angel who bamboozled him; said angel being Patch who is apparently the romantic hero. I already don't like him. But it was very readable. 3.5/5
Overall: Because I didn't like the first few stories that much, it lowered the rating of the book as a whole. However I would still recommend the collection especially if you've had the pleasure of reading books by these writers and are familiar with the universes. I definitely felt that romance was lacking in a few stories but they all had their unique mythologies which made the paranormal aspects pleasing to me.
Cover: Kind of creepy which is appropriate.
*I received this from the publisher with Becca Fitzpatrick's story typed on regular pages and inserted folded in to the book.