Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA
Blurb: Thirteen Short Stories from Bold New YA Voices & Writing Advice from YA Icons
Created by New York Times bestselling authors Emily X. R. Pan and Nova Ren Suma, Foreshadow is so much more than a short story collection. A trove of unforgettable fiction makes up the beating heart of this book, and the accompanying essays offer an ode to young adult literature, as well as practical advice to writers.
Featured in print for the first time, the thirteen stories anthologized here were originally released via the buzzed-about online platform Foreshadow. Ranging from contemporary romance to mind-bending fantasy, the Foreshadow stories showcase underrepresented voices and highlight the beauty and power of YA fiction. Each piece is selected and introduced by a YA luminary, among them Gayle Forman, Laurie Halse Anderson, Jason Reynolds, and Sabaa Tahir.
What makes these memorable stories tick? What sparked them? How do authors build a world or refine a voice or weave in that deliciously creepy atmosphere to bring their writing to the next level? Addressing these questions and many more are essays and discussions on craft and process by Nova Ren Suma and Emily X. R. Pan.
This unique compilation reveals and celebrates the magic of reading and writing for young adults.
I had many thoughts as I read the stories in Foreshadow: Stories to Celebrate the Magic of Reading and Writing YA, one of the biggest was that I didn’t know I needed this book in my life at this time. Maybe that sounds hokey, but there’s something about reading stories from different cultural perspectives that place the current world in context. While almost all of these stories are set in the United States, it is not the one of my daily life, but still one of a shared humanity.
Some of the stories resonated more with me than others. For instance, the very first story “Risk” is about Marnie, a high school girl who becomes a lobster. It’s metaphor beautifully executed. “Sweetmeats” is a very different take on Hansel and Gretel set in current times as two girls are kidnapped by a witch, but no one believes them. “Solace” vies for being my favorite story. It’s about Laila who lost her younger brother and has punished herself since. The writing is stunning, so poetic and evocative, and it brought me to tears as I read it. Just a beautiful story that resonates with hope. And “Resilient” is probably my second favorite because it made me think and feel. It depicted the resilience of the human spirit and had me caring about the characters in such a short space of time. It was visceral, showing me a landscape that made me feel sad. So many thoughts went through my mind while reading this story, which is definitely the sign of a good story. In the midst of all of these thought-provoking ones, we have “Break,” which, on its surface seems light and romantic until you get to the guts–the stark realization of how people are sometimes dismissed for their color or ethnicity via a supposed compliment. “Monsters” is about Milagros who has come to New York from Venezuela; she sees monsters. Monsters take all forms and some people see them, some don’t. Are all of the monsters evil or just misunderstood? And what of the people who don’t see the monsters or don’t believe?
Besides the stories themselves, there is an introduction to each story by well-known authors; each story is followed by the writer’s thoughts about their story, its origins; and lastly the editors have included thoughts and prompts to give the writer/reader ideas.
Like I said above, I didn’t know I needed this until I found it. An exquisite exploration of own voices that will continue to resonate with me.
I would recommend Foreshadow for readers who like short stories, particularly literary ones. YA readers who are open to reading literary short stories would enjoy this book as well. And, I highly recommend it for anyone wanting to read diverse voices.
I received a copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
5 out of 5 butterflies