Friday, May 13, 2016

Short Fiction Friday: Summer Days & Summer Nights ed by Stephanie Perkins

Oh, I do love summer. It's my favorite season of the year: warm and sunny days, my birthday, and when I was a kid it meant summer break from school, no bedtime, and days spent reading by the pool. And even though there's no break now (or pool), there's a part of me that still gets excited when the weather starts to turn balmy. The season itself still holds that same anticipation even if the only break we adults get is on weekends!

It's that feeling of excitement and anticipation that the newly released Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories truly captures. Edited by Stephanie Perkins and featuring a slew of YA authors of varying genres, Summer Days and Summer Nights does for the upcoming season what Perkins's My True Love Gave to Me did for the holidays!

I do love that Perkins has again built an anthology featuring a variety of kinds of stories. I gravitate more often (but not always) to the eerie or supernatural - more often, that is, than straightforward contemporary. And I think the variety itself is part of the magic of an anthology like this. It gives readers like me a chance to step outside their comfort zone while still offering up our usual genres as well.

Leigh Bardugo, Libba Bray, and Lev Grossman were definite favorites this time around - as you'd expect of me! Bardugo's tale tells of a friendship shared during summer months only, but as the characters grow older their relationship is complicated by their limited time together. Bray's story is a fun and funny tale about the final night at a horror theater! And Grossman's story is a sweet (and heartbreaking) story a la Groundhog Day.

But I found myself drawn to at least a few of those contemporaries too! Perkins brings readers the next chapter, of sorts, in Marigold and North's story (a welcome, welcome return to these My True Love Gave to Me characters!) and Jennifer E. Smith drew me in with a story of a crush and a first date that truly could all go wrong.

There's definitely something for everyone here, though as the subtitle reads they are all love stories at heart.

Here's the full table of contents:

"Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail" by Leigh Bardugo
"The End of Love" by Nina Lacour
"Last Stand at the Cinegor" by Libba Bray
"Sick Pleasures" by Francesca Lia Block
"In Ninety Minutes, Turn North" by Stephanie Perkins
"Souvenirs" by Tim Federle
"Inertia" by Veronica Roth
"Love is the Last Resort" by Jon Skovron
"Good Luck and Farewell" by Brandy Colbert
"Brand New Attraction" by Cassandra Clare
"A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong" by Jennifer E. Smith
"The Map of Tiny Perfect Things" by Lev Grossman

Summer Days and Summer Nights is a charming anthology perfect for anytime reading - whether you're enjoying it in the midst of summer or simply wishing for you were!

Rating: 3.5/5

(Summer Days and Summer Nights officially hits shelves Tuesday, May 17.)

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