The Compulsive Reader: Things I'll Never Say, edited by Ann Angel

Friday, September 11, 2015

Things I'll Never Say, edited by Ann Angel

I'm a huge fan of short stories, so it's been great to see a slight increase in YA short story anthologies out lately. I enjoyed My True Love Gave to Me, and I just bought Slasher Girls and Monster Boys. One really great anthology I enjoyed lately (with a lot of my favorite VCFA writers!) was Things I'll Never Say: Stories About Our Secret Selves, edited by Ann Angel.

This anthology includes some really excellent writers, like Cynthia Leitich-Smith, Varian Johnson, Kekla Magoon, Louise Hawes, Chris Lynch, and Ellen Wittlinger. Secrets is a marvelously broad and very appropriate topic for an anthology for teens, and the stories range from speculative to contemporary, containing secrets big and small that all have a powerful hold on the characters who are privy to them. While it's difficult to universal comparisons between all of these incredibly diverse stories, this anthology is more about the effect that secrets have on the characters rather than how to solve the problems that the secrets cause. As a result, this anthology is thought-provoking and surprising.

I loved the realistic stories from Varian Johnson, Ann Angel, and Kekla Magoon, and Cynthia Leitich-Smith's short story set in her Tantalize universe stood on its own, but also will appeal to fans of the series. Most of the stories present situations that are familiar and easily recognizable--parental problems, dating and relationship issues, destructive behavior. Some secrets are larger, more extravagant--secret identities, betrayals, and dangerous relationships. Even the fantastical stories feature secrets that readers will be able to relate to, making for a well-rounded and exciting anthology.

Book purchased at an indie bookstore. I forget which one.

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