May 27, 2013

Review: Love is Hell (Anthology)

In these supernatural stories by five of today's hottest writers--Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Specials), Justine Larbalestier (Magic or Madness), Gabrielle Zevin (Elsewhere), and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Blue Is for Nightmares)--love may be twisted and turned around, but it's more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking ghost with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more than ever

Paperback263 pages
Published November 25th 2008 by HarperTeen

Love Is Hell

RATING: 1/3 Smarties

There certainly is one word that describes this anthology perfectly: weird.
And when I say it, I mean it. Each of the stories in this book had a very random element to them - sometimes that element made them unique and wonderful, other times it was too much for my rational brain and I had to really work my way through the story bit by bit.
Anthologies, just like short stories in general and novellas, are something you have to be in the mood for. They are the type of writing you turn to when you are sick of good ol' 300 pages YA, but don't have the time or the endurance to devour something a bit more...intense? In depth? You know what I mean...I hope.
What I liked about Love is Hell were the different Paranormal or - in Scott Westerfeld's case - dystopian worlds we got to see. And the authors all did a very good job at squeezing just enough worldbuilding in while still keeping the short stories at reasonable and appropriate length. 
I even think some Paranormal Romance authors should turn their novels in short stories. The most important details and plot twists were definitely present in all of these stories - but all the waiting and asking and despairing that usually comes with PNR is cut out.
Then again, with so many different authors and such a variety of stories it is almost inevitable that readers who like one story probably won't fall for the other one. I, for example, loved Scott Westerfield's. Yup, that's it. The others were okay, in my opinion, but some of them just
 freaked me out and seriously gave me nightmares. 
To cut it short - if you're up to just explore all the facettes YA has to offer and if you want to read something special without spending too much time, you should try Love is Hell. Although it's not something I'll reread or a book that will stay in my head for long, it sure was a nice distraction from the usual. And if you are craving a beach read that's a bit different from the usual you might want to check this book out of your library...

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