Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Love Is Hell

published: November 25th 2008
publisher: HarperTeen
format: Paperback
pages: 272
genre: fantasy

Love is Hell is an anthology written by five, well-known young adult authors. They include Melissa Marr (Wicked Lovely), Scott Westerfeld (Uglies), Justine Larbalestier (Liar), Gabrielle Zevin (I Was A Teenage Amnesiac) and Laurie Faria Stolarz (Deadly Little Secret).

The following (partial) synopsis comes from

Sure, love is hell. But it,s totally worth it.

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.

The following synopses come from me.

Sleeping with the Spirit by Laurie Faria Stolarz
This one is about a girl named Brenda who is having realistic nightmares about a boy who she soon finds out is actually the boy who lived in her house and was murdered in it 20 years before. He's been watching her and needs her help with something. Turns out, he's really there in ghost form, but he can only be seen by her in her dreams. They go on a little journey to allow him to move on, but their relationship develops in unexpected ways.

Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld
This story is a futuristic fantasy that explores the possibility of no health issues, transporters so no one needs to go outside, no raging, teenage hormones. They do however have a class called Scarcity were they learn about the old days when people got colds and had to deal with an annoying little activity known as sleep. The class has a project where they choose something from those days to live and Kieran and Maria choose projects that unexpectedly intertwine where they learn about themselves as well.

Thinner Than Water by Justine Larbalestier
This short story takes place in a town where the villagers live, for the most part, without technology and no one really leaves the town. They have 'trial' marriages beginning at the age of sixteen. Jeannie and Robbie have a 'trial' marriage and everyone is against it saying he's an outsider because he wasn't born there, they believe he's different. That he's a faerie.

Fan Fictions by Gabrielle Zevin
This is a different sort of vampire love story about a girl named Paige and a boy named Aaron. There isn't really much else to say. You'd have to read it.

Love Struck by Melissa Marr
This story is about Selkies. What are Selkies? They're seals that can shed their 'Other-Skin' and look like very beautiful humans. What happens to their 'Other-Skin'? Well, if a human happens upon the skin of the opposite sex they become mates.

My Thoughts:
The Cover:

I think this cover is appropriate for the book. It's fiery and pink! The fire part is very muchshowing the 'hell' part and the pink all for the love. And I really like the heart locket in the center of the cover. It gives us a focal point and it catches my eye. It very much 'goes' with its predecessor Prom Nights From Hell (2007) [right] which includes the authors Meg Cabot (Princess Diaries), Kim Harrison (Once Dead, Twice Shy), Michele Jaffe (Bad Kitty), Stephenie Meyer (Twilight), and Lauren Myracle (TTYL). It has the same concept, but the 'theme' is prom, obviously.

The Book:
I really like short stories and this book has five! So, because there are five different stories, I'll discuss each one briefly.

Sleeping with the Spirit I enjoyed this story because I have not read very many love stories where one of the lovers is actually a ghost. It was original and lovely.

Stupid Perfect World This story was completely original. It was not what I would have expected in this book, but it was what I would think of as a Scott Westerfeld story. It was futuristic and strange, but relatable as well.

Thinner than Water At first, I wasn't completely sold. I didn't know what to expect, but I quickly became attached to the character of Jeannie and wanted her to be happy and get it right. It was a bit of a heart-wrenching story.

Fan Fictions This story may look like a typical, predictable vampire story that you've seen a thousand of, but it's not. I thoroughly enjoyed this one and really empathize with Paige and her experiences with her friends and Aaron.

Love Struck I am a huge mermaid fan and while I know that Selkies are not mermaids, they are similar. This starts out as a creepy feeling story and quickly turns into what the anthology is all about, Love being Hell.

Vacations from Hell (2009) includes the authors Libba Bray (Going Bovine), Cassandra Clare (City of Bones), Claudia Gray (Evernight), Maureen Johnson (13 Little Blue Envelopes), and Sarah Mlynowski (Bras & Broomsticks)
I will be reading it and posting a review in the near future.
I just don't know exactly when. So stay tuned...

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