so, here’s the thing. i don’t have a lot of experience with reading anthologies. i think i read four in the past year. in the last two weeks i have finished two, which are:
i read “summer days & summer nights“, which was edited by stephanie perkins. i read this one, because last winter i got my hands on “my true love gave to me“, which was also edited by her. and since i am a sucker for love stories, these short love stories seemed perfect for me. but i am going to get to that.
the second book i’ve read is “because you love to hate me“, which was edited by ameriie. this was a collaboration between authors and booktubers. one booktuber got paired with an author, gave them a challenge and based on that, the story was written. now, you have to know, that i love booktube. i spent a lot of time watching videos about books. they relax me and i can watch people talk about my favorite thing in the world. awesome! so of course, i was very excited for this anthology.
now, after reading those two anthologies, i have to say, that i am not the biggest fan of both. i rated both 3.5/5 stars. i rated every story and then got the average rating. so as you can see, there weren’t that many 5 star stories for me. but let’s get more into detail.
“summer days & summer nights”:
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: two stories (“in ninety minutes turn north” by stephanie perkins, “the map of tiny perfect things” by lev grossman)
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐: five stories (“the end of love” by nina lacour, “souvenirs” by tim federle, “inertia” by veronica roth, “love in the last resort” by jon skovron, “a thousand ways this could all go wrong” by jennifer e. smith)
- ⭐⭐⭐: two stories (“good luck and farewell” by brandy colbert, “brand new attraction” by cassandra clare)
- ⭐⭐: three stories (“head scales, tongue, tail” by leigh bardugo, “last stand at the cinegore” by libba bray, “sick pleasure” by francesca lia block)
all in all you can see, that there were just two stories that totally blew me away. what surprised me are the five stories, that didn’t blow me away. why is that you ask? well, it has to take a lot for me to rate a love story lower than 4 stars. i don’t know if that ever happened 😀 i love love stories and they are my favorite but a story not to blow me away, there has to be something wrong. 😛 all in all, this anthology was okay, but from a book about love stories in the summer, i expected at least a four to five star read. and that didn’t happen, which was disappointing to me.
“because you love to hate me”:
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐: four stories (“the sea witch” by marissa meyer, “death knell” by victoria schwab, “julian breaks every rule” by andrew smith, “sera” by nicola yoon)
- ⭐⭐⭐⭐: three stories (“jack” by ameriie, “you, you, it’s all about you” by adam silvera, “indigo and shade” by april genevieve tucholke)
- ⭐⭐⭐: two stories (“shirley & jim” by susan dennard, “the blessing of little wants” by sarah enni)
- ⭐⭐: four stories (“the blood of imuriv” by renée ahdieh, “gwen and art and lance” by soman chainani, “beautiful venom” by cindy pon, “marigold” by samantha shannon)
what you can see clearly here; i either liked the stories very much or not at all. there is almost no average. which makes me curious. why is that? is it because of the authors writing? is it because of the story? i can’t even say. but i was disappointed in this anthology too. i wanted more from it. i mean, the concept is great. the idea is amazing and for me as a booktuber, this was the perfect book. at least that’s what i thought. but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.
now, what do i take with me after this experience? the thing is, i lost interest after reading a story i didn’t like. i was afraid the next one wouldn’t be amazing too. so it was hard for me to focus. another thing is, that i expect a short story to be perfect. why is that? because it’s short. it has to grip me from the start. i don’t have a whole book to get into it. either i like it from the start or the first two pages, or i am lost. that’s the case for me. i need to feel the connection to the characters or like the plot immediately in the beginning. also the writing is very important. because if i struggle from the beginning, the story won’t be easy for me and looses it’s touch.
as you can see, i have a lot of expectations for an anthology to blow me away. i guess i am not the person for it. it’s ok to get a feeling for the writing of a specific author, but i guess short stories are just to short for me. they need to get me from the start, or i will loose interest and then i am not very happy about reading on.
i don’t know, if this post makes a lot of sense, but i wanted to get my thoughts down and i am also very, very curious what you think about anthologies. what do they need to have for you? what are your expectations? is it important for you, that every story blows you away? please let me know! 🙂