Sunday, July 18, 2021

Book Review: "Up All Night" edited by Laura Silverman

Up All Night, the YA short story collection edited by Laura Silverman, contains stories that take place between sunrise and sunset. (Literally, not metaphorically.)

I recently read a collection of YA short stories called Blackout, which took place during a blackout, so when I saw Bookstagram friends reading one called Up All Night, how could I resist?

The 13 stories in this collection all take place between late afternoon/early evening and sunrise. They’re a mixed bag—some are love stories, some are about friendship, and there are even a few creepy stories.

There are a lot of YA authors whose work I enjoy in this collection—Julian Winters, Nina LaCour, Tiffany D. Jackson, Karen M. McManus—and some I’ve either never read before or I’m not familiar with. I loved the diversity in these stories—racial, gender, sexual, even characters with disabilities—but I never felt like those stories threw that in for effect.

As with any short story collection, there are some stories that were stronger or resonated more with me. My favorites included “Under Our Masks” by Julian Winters, about a young superhero whose crush is the same person determined to reveal his identity; “Con Nights, Parallel Hearts” by Marieke Nijkamp, which reflected on a young woman’s desire to share her darkest secret with her best friend; “Old Rifts and Snowdrifts” by Kayla Whaley, about getting stranded during a snowstorm with your former best friend; and “Never Have I Ever” by Karen M. McManus, in which an innocent drinking game turns into something else.

I continue to be amazed by the depth of talent among YA writers. There’s a reason why it’s among my favorite genres to read. We can debate the effectiveness of short stories for each of us—I’m clearly a fan—but it’s great to see so many writers sharing stories which might eventually become full-length works. (And even if they don't, they're still fun to read.)

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