Girls and guys, straight or gay, striding or struggling – the characters in these tales will make you laugh and break your heart. Swinging between melting moments and dark disgrace, hilarity and tears, they bravely test life’s limits, search for big truths or simply seek that perfect kiss.
If you want to laugh and cry, then dip into these surprising, quirky and often hilarious tales of red-faced romancers, city stalkers, crazy parties, disappearing dads, mad aunts, embarrassing falls, shared secrets, mixed messages and, of course, yearning love.
It has been a long time since I’ve read any short stories so when I got the opportunity to read this anthology of edgy YA stories I couldn’t say no. There are a few authors involved that I was already familiar with but most of the names were new to me. There is certainly a range of stories, though with very few exceptions the protagonists are female and most of the stories deal with heterosexual relationships. There are funny stories, sweet and touching stories and stories with a cautionary tale.
The one thing that you always have to remember with any anthology is that you are unlikely to love every story and I have to say that was definitely the case with this book. There were some stories that I just felt I didn’t get and I ended up feeling a bit confused when I got to the end of them. There were also a few that were very good stories but I didn’t particularly enjoy them, for example Sherry Shahan’s “Iris and Jim”.
There were plenty of stories I liked and some that I downright loved, special mentions must go (in no order but the one they’re printed in) to “Never Have I Ever” by Courtney Gillette, “Abstinence Makes The Heart Grow Fonder” by Jennifer Knight, “Cool Cats and Melted Kisses” by Luisa Plaja and “Team Men” by Emma Donoghue. These four were my absolute favourites, but they’re all so different that I couldn’t possibly pick one overall favourite.
I enjoyed reading this anthology but for me there was probably a fairly even split between the stories that I enjoyed and the ones I didn’t care so much for. I think that the range of stories included in the book means that pretty much anybody will find stories to love, and I’m sure many readers will read and reread this book time and again.
Truth & Dare is published in paperback by Robinson in the UK priced £6.99. Whilst I was provided with a review copy of the book all of the opinions expressed are my own.