I fancied reading this anthology in my front yard. Something about being out amongst nature made the summer themes of this novel that much more enjoyable.
When I heard that there would be a companion to My True Love Gave to Me, I was absolutely thrilled. I adored the carefully selected short stories in the Winter Holiday themed anthology. With Summer Days and Summer Nights Stephanie Perkins is back at it again, presenting us with an astounding group of summery tales.
I’ve made it a point to review this novel in a slightly different way than most other novels. Each individual short story has its own review and rating and the entire novel also has an overall review and rating.
Head, Scales, Tongue, Tail – Leigh Bardugo – 3.5/5
Sea, Serpents, and Summers. This tale, from the author of The Grisha trilogoy, is simply a treat. At first I was incredibly confused by what was going on but although I was thrown off I knew from the first page I liked the direction that the author was taking with the story. It has a slow burn romance with a nice build. I liked the folklore mixed in and thought that it was well written and clever. This short story puts a unique spin on a fairly normal tale, even if the ending was somewhat predictable.
The End of Love – Nina Lacour – 4/5
I was pleased to find that this was an LGBTQ short story. Diversity is always lovely and refreshing to read about. The writing style was pleasant to read and the story itself was quite sweet. The hopeful yet sad tone made this story one that I no doubt enjoyed.
Last Stand at the Cinegore – Libba Bray – 4/5
While the horror aspects of this story remind me more of the fall it is no doubt an entertaining concept. The setting and plot were pleasantly creative even if there were no serious summer vibes. I like the horror aspects which makes this a nice story to add to the anthology. The one big problem I had with this short was that the action scenes towards the end got a bit confusing and slightly muddles at points.
Sick Pleasure for A and U – Francesca Lia Block – 1/5
I was weary when I started as I did not recognize the author, but I’m always willing to give a debut author a chance because we as readers never know when we might stumble upon gold. This was not a stumble-upon-gold occasion. The initials for names is irritating to keep up with, I’m sorry but are we spelling the freaking alphabet for a reason here people. A, the love interest, must stand for Asshat because boy oh boy was he a jerk. The friends are crappy and flat. Looking back it seems like the writer was going for a raw and truthful spin but honestly it was just awful.
In Ninety Minutes Turn North – Stephanie Perkins – 5/5
After the last short story I was much in need of saving. I knew when I saw Stephanie Perkins name at the top of the page that I was in for a heartwarming, romantic, summery read. This is a continuation of her short story in the first anthology and boy is it adorable. It left me all giggly and happy.
Souvenirs – Tim Federle – 5/5
My notes only say – IDK this dude either, love the voice, fab so far. So I guess that’s pretty much it. I did quite like it as I always like theme parks in stories. It has LGBTQ themes as well.
Inertia – Veronica Roth – 5/5
This story. Dear goodness gracious, my heart cannot take such a roller coaster ride of perfection. My literal initial thoughts were, “Alrighty, let’s see if she kills the main character in a completely unnecessary show of selflessness.” This thought was followed by the following, halfway through – “Okay so apparently summers are depressing as fuck. WTH?” But really though this had such a cool futuristic setting and Roth’s writing is so beautiful. That ending though, like yassssss. Gimme more!
Love is the Last Resort – Jon Skovron – 4/5
A bit cheesy but fun. This is a cute story from a (new?) author. Quite enjoyable.
Good Luck & Farewell –Brandy Colbert – 5/5
This short story is artfully written. The elements of loss, family, friendship, and healing with that light sprinkling of romance are what made this story a automatic five star for me. Not gonna lie I cried pretty hard.
Brand New Attraction – Cassandra Clare – 5/5
I instantly loved the setting and I adored the slight hint of magic woven into the story. The carnival themes were so creative and captivating. It captured my interest and held be through to the end. And despite the magical themes it still felt summery. Loved it – fun and imaginative.
A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong – Jennifer E. Smith – 4/5
+Okay that made me cry too. +Am I just an emotional wreck? Answer: Probably. +It deals with mental disabilities which is fab because it further displays how well rounded and diverse this anthology is.
The Map of Tiny Perfect Things – Lev Grossman – 3/5
It isn’t badly written I just was not feeling the plot. Not to mention the logic at the end was… not logical.
Overall Thoughts – 5/5
This anthology was just as good if not even better the My True Love Gave to Me. The short stories was diverse in genre and theme. There was a significant amount of LGBTQ characters which was refreshing. The only complaint I have is that not all of the stories actually feel like summer. While I thought this story would be more fluffy is still proved to be a fantastic read.