Thursday, 1 March 2012

Thursday Thoughts: Book Review of Brave New Love edited by Paula Guran

If you've read YA at all over the past couple of years, chances are you've picked up at least one dystopian novel. With the almost-certain success of the Hunger Games movie, Delirium sequel Pandemonium coming out, and many other series hitting their strides, it's a genre that shows no sign of cooling down.

I have to admit, though, I can take it or leave it in general. I loved the first two Hunger Games books and can't stand Mockingjay, while I liked Delirium - but not as much as most bloggers seem to - and the super-popular Under The Never Sky did little for me. In an attempt to see if there was stuff I was missing, I picked up Brave New Love from the library.

As a collection of stories, it's hit and miss. It hasn't really convinced me to change my mind about dystopian tales, but there's certainly some well worth checking out. Foundlings, by Diana Peterfreund - surely one of the best short story authors around - lived up to my sky high expectations of her, Kiera Cass's The Clearing was a well-written spin on a fairly standard story which leaves me even more excited to read her novel The Selection because of her writing style, and The Salt Sea and the Sky by Elizabeth Bear was a sweet story which has brought her to my attention as someone to watch. Also, I've somehow never read anything by Maria V Snyder, and her story Berserker Eyes has convinced me the loss is mine! It's action-packed and despite being just 35 pages long has as much action as some novels do. Nisi Shawl's Otherwise is another hit with me, exploring an interesting relationship dynamic and being exciting as well, while Jeanne DuPrau, who I'd never even heard of before, completes the sextet of stories I really enjoyed with a sweet tale which stands out from the gloom around it.

To be honest, the rest didn't appeal to me that much, but six very good stories - with Foundlings alone being worth the cover price - makes this worth checking out. Recommended to genre fans.

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