[BOOKS] ⚡ Fresh Ink: An Anthology Author Lamar Giles – Vivefutbol.co

i received a DRC of this book in exchange for an honest review Thanks to netgalley and the publisher Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds I have read all of Jason s books and I don t think he s ever written a strict love story before and now i NEED a full length love story from him 5 starsMeet Cute by Malinda Lo So cute and nerdy The middle kinda dragged for me, but all in all i loved it 4 starsDon t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth This is a story about an American Indian boy letting himself feel empowered with his heritage, which is awesome, but also low key boring 3 stars.Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi This had the makings of what could be a really cute novel, but a very confusing short story It was so rushed, I didn t really understand what was going on 2.5 starsTags by Walter Dean Meyers This is a one act play that I m betting would be incredible to see performed It s very sad though 3.5 stars.Why I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan Possibly my favorite But i ve loved both of Sara s books so I m not surprised An incredibly adorable f f story It was cute and sweet and i adored Yasi s grandma 5 stars.A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel Jose Older I was really bored and confused and couldn t finish this one dnfA Boy s Duty by Sharon G Flake Sweet and sad, but I liked it 4 starsOne Voice by Melissa de la Cruz I skipped this one because it s a Something In Between story and i hated that book.Paladin Samurai by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Thien Phan It seemed pretty pointless but the art was cute 2 stars.Catch, Pulle, Drive by Schyuler Bailar This is about a trans boy who publicly comes out and it s his first practice with the boys Ramon is an effing douche bag who I wanted to climb into the story and punch also the Coach Other than that it was sweet and uplifting and I d love a whole novel from him 5 stars.Super Human by Nicola Yoon Surprisingly moving story about race in America 5 stars. My full review can read at my blog, The Quiet Pond.A wonderful and diverse anthology of ownvoices stories I enjoyed this so so much, and particularly so as an audiobook, and I highly recommend this anthology to everyone Explores a diversity of topic through a variety of genres contemporary slice of life sort of stuff, romance, science fiction, and historical fiction Also explores a variety of themes that are guaranteed to pull you in To name a few, what humanity is, the power of solidarity, how perceptions shape who we are, colourism, racism, sexism, and gender Has characters of colour, queer characters, a trans character all of the perspectives were wonderful, candid, and genuine, and there s guaranteed to be a story for everyone.Notable stories Meet Cute by Malinda Lo Follows two girls Asian and Black who meet at a con and shenanigans ensue The writing was compelling, the romance and chemistry undeniable, and with sharp jabs at how women of colour are treating in geek culture Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar This was brilliant and a highlight of the book follows a trans boy who faces anti trans discrimination shortly after coming out to everyone so, the book is based on the author s experiences Super Human by Nicola Yoon This was probably my favourite book of the whole anthology, and a perfect way to end the collection It s about a black girl who gets chosen to convince a superhero who has decided to destroy the world. In Partnership With We Need Diverse Books, Thirteen Of The Most Recognizable, Diverse Authors Come Together In This Remarkable YA Anthology Featuring Ten Short Stories, A Graphic Short Story, And A One Act Play From Walter Dean Myers Never Before In PrintCareful You Are Holding Fresh Ink And Not Hot Off The Press, Still Drying In Your Hands Ink Instead, You Are Holding Twelve Stories With Endings That Are Still Being Written Whose Next Chapters Are Up To YouBecause These Stories Are Meant To Be Read And SharedThirteen Of The Most Accomplished YA Authors Deliver A Label Defying Anthology That Includes Ten Short Stories, A Graphic Novel, And A One Act Play This Collection Will Inspire You To Break Conventions, Bend The Rules, And Color Outside The Lines All You Need Is Fresh Ink I really wish there was of a variety of genres, but this was a great collection of short stories featuring diverse characters written by some of the biggest YA contemporary authors.I think I expected than just contemporary fiction stories because in the foreword, the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres are all specifically called out for their killing off of minority characters However, the majority of these stories are contemporary with romance being a key plot point Out of the twelve stories, there is one historical fiction, one sci fi, and one fantasy story Four of the contemporaries have a main focus of romance Maybe I just needed a bit of a mix and romance is my least favorite genre, so this was a disappointment Regardless, some of these stories are very thought provoking, some will make you feel emotional, and some are just great, relatable stories.I especially appreciate that a one act play and graphic short story were included in this collection It s refreshing to see different formats of writing.Now for the breakdown Eraser Tattoo by Jason ReynoldsThis was one of the captivating of the contemporaries with a focus on romance Shay is moving from her childhood home in Brooklyn to Wilmington leaving her first love Dante behind She s giving him an eraser tattoo of her initial There are small moments with big meanings behind them, like the white family moving into the home Shay s family is moving out of and the lack of respect they show.Meet Cute by Malinda LoFans of X Files or Star Trek will love this one It is set at the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention and features a girl named Tamia cosplaying as a black Agent Scully and Nic is a gender flipped Sulu The power goes out during a storm and the two go looking for Nic s brother while wondering if the other is gay It s cute Again, romance isn t my thing And I never watched X Files or Star Trek, so the references weren t that exciting for me This is probably of a personal preference thing I can see other readers really loving this one because, again, it was cute.Don t Pass Me By by Erik GansworthThis color, I said, tapping the box of Flesh on his desk Its name doesn t cover everyoneThis was one that was powerful A native American boy has to leave the reservation to attend a predominantly white junior high just beyond the border because the reservation school only goes up to 5th grade The message present here is strong.Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae SafiBack to the contemporary romances This one is set at a concert and features a Muslim American girl who sees the boy she likes and decides to tell him how she feels Meh This is one of my least favorites And that s even with theWhat fresh hell is thisstatement which is a direct line from the tv show Scream Queens Even with that reference on top of the Anne Boleyn ones, I still wasn t into this one.Tags by Walter Dean MyersThis was definitely one of my favorites In my top 3, for sure No romance involved This is the one act play Four boys are tagging walls We find out they are dead and are tagging to be remembered They discuss how they died.Why I Learned To Cook by Sara FarizanYou don t apologize for who you are I m an old lady now and perhaps that doesn t mean much in the world we live in, but I exist and I shouldn t have to be sorry for that As a woman, you have to know that Don t ever apologize for who you areI enjoyed this than the other contemporary romances so far A Persian bi girl is learning to cook Persian food from her grandma and is nervous to introduce her girlfriend to her This one was very sweet with a great message to it.A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel Jos OlderHere is the science fiction of the collection Unfortunately, this one was lacking and is probably my least favorite of them all This is merely for the confusion It feels like an excerpt from a much longer book leaving me feeling like I m missing tons of information about the world and characters Thus, I felt like there was no science fiction in this collection at all because I want to forget about this one entirely I was lost.A Boy s Duty by Sharon G FlakeSet during WWII, Zakary leaves his father s farm to paint becoming homeless He wants to join the Navy He spends his time at Lucky Linda s Cafe, a 24 7 cafe where the owner doesn t quite approve of him being there The owner s wife does what she can to help Zakary out This one is sad, but also on the slow moving side.One Voice by Melissa de la CruzThis is one of the topical of the stories in this collection A girl attending Stanford s whole world shifts when racial slurs are graffitied on walls, cars, etc She talks about discovering her family wasn t documented in the last year and the fears she faces This one is powerful and is very relevant to today I wasn t aware that this was a short story that takes place after the events of Something in Between, but it didn t harm my reading experience If you are planning to read that book, maybe wait to read the short story after because it takes place afterward.Paladin Samurai Written by Gene Luen Yang, illustrated by Thien PhamThis is the graphic short story of the collection Easy to read, and well illustrated This one has a group of friend playing Swords and Spells, which is the book s version of Dungeons and Dragons The dungeon master won t let his Japanese friend call himself a samurai because it s not one of the 5 classes of the game The DM insists he call himself a paladin This one is really short and has a storyline involving the girl across the street tied in I liked it for the message it carried.Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler BailarI really love this one Also in my top 3 Set in 1st person, it tells the story of Tommy s first day on his swim team as a boy after having just come out as trans on Facebook This was a very moving story It captured Tommy s emotions very well.Super Human by Nicola YoonThis was my favorite of the collection This is also where the fantasy comes into play X, the world s one and only superhero, has decided to give up on humanity and destroy it unless someone convinces him otherwise The US sends 17 year old Syrita to do just that I m going to withhold all other details because you really should read this one It s heartbreaking and not one I ll forget for a long time.So there you have it A diverse collection of short stories Some were okay, some were excellent It s a bit across the board, but I did like this overall. Thank you to Netgalley for sending me this book for review I m taking the time today to finally sit down and review Fresh Ink I had a lot of fun reading this book, which surprised me considering it was a compilation of short stories and frankly me and short stories do not get a long very well see example me and every single Neil Gaiman compilation I ve ever read Fresh Ink as I said is a collection of short stories, but it goes beyond so much than that Each story was written specifically in mind for representation and diversity It overflows with it, but not in a painful, forced kind of way We have Indian, African American, trans, LGBT, and so many I felt myself smiling at almost every single on of these stories My personal favorite was about a super hero When it comes to my usual reviewing system I feel like it would be a bit convoluted if I tried to review every single story in this novel I will say that I only faintly disliked a couple of the stories however Overall the writing styles for most of them was done so well I hadn t heard of almost any of these authors and I m excited to have a taste of what I think will become some of my new favorite authors.I think this book provides so much than it s marketed as I think it s a great collection full of diversity as I stated, but it s also a great way to get a taste for authors you may not have known about that are also a part of a very important group of authors that need attention I hear all the time about people who wish they knew where to start to find diverse reads and I think this collection will give people a great jumping off point I rated this book essentially on enjoyment alone and I ended up giving it a 4 star review I think that overall most of the stories were written well, they flowed well, and bonus points for the diversity that didn t feel forced or fake I couldn t give it 5 stars because two of the stories I didn t like at all, not because of plot, but because of writing. In the introduction of Fresh Ink, it s stated many reasons that we need short stories such as these Even though I did not relate directly to many of the stories, I completely agree that we need diversity in all writing, especially the young adult genre All the tales had a very genuine feel to the characters and discussed extremely relevant issues facing our society today I recommend this book to adults and young adults alike Thanks to NetGalley and publishers for providing an advanced copy of the book in exchange for this honest review. Growing up, finding stories I could relate to require Sherlock Holmes level detection While I enjoyed your typical stories aimed at middle schoolers and teenagers, they had something in common that bothered me a bit They excluded me.Very few books I read including black girls When they did, however, they were stereotypical and unbelievable Yes, the last sentence is still a problem today in 2019 Mind you, I read these books in the eighties.Thankfully, this generation desires a turnaround With anthologies like Black Enough Stories of Being Young Black in America, kids and teens begin to see themselves, not as marginalized stereotypes, but as young people with voices deserving of hearing.Fresh Ink is an anthology published August 2018, and unlike Black Enough, it s not just about black teens, it includes the LGBTQA, Native, Middle Eastern, Asian teen community In this review, you ll see particular representation in bold parenthesis, e.g Black, Trans.The stories discuss poverty, same sex crushes relationships, colorism, racism, and other issues kids of color or disenfranchised voices face.Be mindful that with anthologies, you will find stories you enjoy and those you dislike Nevertheless, you get a multitude of different voices with one goal of being heard Stories Involved Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds Two teens face uprooted as one moves with her family They create eraser tattoos and face microaggressions from a white couple moving into Shay s former house Sweet, funny at times, and tender, this story s a good start Black Meet Cute by Malinda Lo Nic and Tamia are two girls trapped by a power outrage as they discover than a love of cosplay and Sci Fi Fantasy While not a big fan of cosplaying, I enjoy reading about two girls, usually displaced in that world, find each other with many possibilities ahead in love and fandom Asian American, Black, F F Don t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth A young, seventh grader in the seventies discusses passing, along with racial microaggressions, and how they affect him and other Native students in a predominantly white school Light skinned Native children receive better treatment than their darker skinned classmates Native American Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi One concert enables a Muslim girl to check out her crush Cute, but not a favorite Muslim, Japanese, F F peripheral characters Why I Learned To Cook by Sara Farizan A young, bisexual girl wants to invite her girlfriend over to meet her grandmother They cook vegetarian versions of Persian food as her grandmother shows her support for her granddaughter s life and love Big lesson Never Apologize For Who You Are Adorable tale Iranian, F F Tags by Walter Dean Myers Devastatingly haunting and real, boys tag on walls and relive their stories of their deaths Myers presents this story as a play My heart hurt as I discovered each story within this play This one stayed with me for a while, so much so, my husband read it too to see why I was emotional Black Best Story A Stranger at the Bochinche Daniel Jos Older Okay, so Older tends to write magical realism Don t hate me, but I skipped this one No rating.A Boy s Duty by Sharon G Flake A young man chooses between art and doing his duty Whatever that means to several people in his life in WW2 America while dealing with racism on the homefront Cute and bittersweet at the same time Black One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz A young Stanford student finds out that her family s undocumented, and, with racial graffiti painted nearby, she s anxious and feels like she should not suffer in silence She s angry and I m glad to read female characters angry at their circumstances without worrying about how some love interest or their parents see them I like seeing them take action Filipinx, Black, Latinx Paladin Samurai by Gene Luen Yang illustrations by Thien Pham Written and drawing in comic format, we see a group of Dungeons Dragons friends visit a party next door Awkwardness ensues I failed to connect with this story Japanese Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar A trans boy handles his first swim practice after coming out as trans We feel his struggle with his decision, concern about using the boy s bathroom, and how he circumnavigates bigotry from team members Trans Super Human by Nicola Yoon A black superhero decides it s time to end the world as his disappointment in humanity crushes him, and the only one reaching him is his first save Police brutality, racism, and other societal ills find themselves discussed If a superhero decides to destroy us because we re not saving any, what have we become Another good Yoon piece I would have preferred a full novel because of the plot s weight Black Rating I gave a half star based on the strength of Tags alone I hope to see this play on stage It s heart wrenching and powerful.What I love best about these anthologies is that they make you want to seek out every novel these authors create So do it While varied in style, voice, too short, and not as airtight as Black Enough, each story s worthy of a read, especially in a time begging for difference. Average Rating 3.58 StarsStories I Was Most Excited For Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds Super Human By Nicola YoonFavorite stories Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan Super Human by Nicola YoonLeast Favorite Stories A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel Jos OlderPaladin Samuari by Gene Luen YangFresh Ink is a vibrant collection of diverse stories that share personal truths, hopes, fears, and dreams Told in short stories, a one act play, and a graphic short these stories give voice to characters whose stories are not often given the space to shine But these author craft complex characters in dynamic relationships that draw you in.Eraser Tattoo by Jason Reynolds 3.5 Stars Jason Reynolds can do no wrong in my eyes Long Way Down is one lf the best books I ve ever read I loved the sentiment of the story and the rich history you can feel between childhood best friends Shay and Dante Shay is giving Date an eraser tattoo of an S to remember her by because she s moving I loved the focus on the importance of their relationship, but the story didn t pull me in Meet Cute by Malinda Lo This was a fun and cute story about a girl named Nic who is cosplaying at a Denver Con, when the lights are knocked out by a storm, she a fellow cosplayer Tamia go looking for Nic s brother I loved seeing Nic and Tamia handle the can gatekeepers who suck the fun out of everything But I had some personal preference issues that lowered my overall enjoyment of the story Meta pop culture references always pull me out of stories and the heavy references in the beginning didn t help I also think I would have liked the story if it was written in first person But again those are personal issues and I still really liked the story overall.Don t Pass Me By by Eric Gansworth This story was much grounded than the first two We follow Doobie a Native student who is going to a white school We see Doobie discuss passing because many of the other native kids at school are white passing and not picked on , gentrification, and the dismantling of native culture and white washing history This was such a powerful and impactful story and I loved it.Be Cool For Once by Aminah Mae Safi My first five star read and it was so adorably cute I couldn t handle it Shirin is a Muslim American teen having the time of her life at a concert for one of her favorite bands and she sees her crush Jeffery show up and this is the point I got giddy Shirin is worried about the spotlight and recognition that comes with dating Mr Popular This was just so cute and fluffy and perfect.Tags by Walter Dean Morgan This is a truly unique story told in a one act play about a group of young black boys who ve died tagging a wall I loved framing tagging as a way to immortalize themselves and create a lasting legacy, where they re not forgotten But I was confused at parts of the story, which is why it got a lower rating.Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan This was one of the cutest things my eyes have ever witnessed This was such a happy story that put me in the best mood Yas wants to learn to cook Persian food to share with her girlfriend, Hannah, and gets lessons from her unapologetic grandmother.Yas grandmother was amazing She is such a fierce lady and I aspire to be her I loved seeing Yas gain an appreciation for her culture and seeing her grandmother love and accept her It was just great.A Stranger at the Bochinche by Daniel Jos Older This was probably my least favorite story in the anthology because I was so confused reading it Set in Brooklyn, this scifi story went over my head I felt like there wasn t context for what was happening we just see this cult like group that want their god to come down to Earth, and try to steal a design notebook that can help them And there s maybe aliens, or demons, I wasn t sure Like I said, I was confused.A Boy s Duty by Sharon G Flake This story follows a young black boy in WWII, who ran away from home and wants to join the Navy I liked seeing the life he s built in New Orleans and the vibrant culture present in the city I really liked seeing his artistic talent displayed and his genuinely good heart This story really was about following your dreams, but not putting yourself above other One Voice by Melissa De La Cruz Jas is a Sanford college student who s entire college experience shifts when she sees racists graffiti spray painted across campus.Jas lives in fear of her family getting deported and this graffitti starts taking over all of her mind space It really shows how harmful and deeply painful discrimination and racism is But I really loved seeing Jas talk with other minority students and finding a power in their shared experieces.Paladin Samuari by Gene Luen Yang and Illustrations by Thien Pham I m not really a fan of graphic novels, I just haven t found one that s clicked with me yet It also didn t help that this was about a faux Dungeon and Dragons campaign game where a guy wants to play as a samurai instead of the traditional Paladin There was also something about a part at a girl he likes house The story felt disjointed to me, and I didn t enjoy it as much as some of the others.Catch, Pull, Drive by Schuyler Bailar This was an amazing story that featured a trans boys who s finally come out to his school and is at his first swim practice since coming out We see the challenges he faces a new locker room, ignorant comments from teammates but also see his loving parents, and a friend on the team who supports him as well This was such an inspirational story that moved me.Super Human by Nicola Yoon I have never been disappointed by a Nicola Yoon short story and Super Human was definitely a standout for me We follow Syrita as she s chosen to convince disillusioned superhero X to restore his faith in humanity, because she was the first person he saved years ago But X, a black superhero, has lost his faith no longer thinks that humanity is saving The reason he s changed his mind is a punch to the gut, and is best uncovered while reading the story But this story was just so powerful and a perfect way to conclude this anthology Fresh Ink is a can t miss collection of stories from some of YAs hottest authors that allows these diverse characters to have their truths told, in their own way I received a copy og the book from Crown Books for Young Readers via Netgalley in exchange fro an honest review More often than not, if I ran across a character who shared my race and gender in a book he was a gross stereotype, comic relief, token sidekick, or, depending on the genre I m looking at you, science fiction, fantasy, and horror , there to die so the real hero could fight another day. I love anthologies, and I love getting the opportunity to promote authors of color and diverse books, so as soon as I learned that the co founder of the We Need Diverse Books movement was editing this anthology, I had to grab it and I am so happy that I did.Before I get into the full breakdown, I d like to give shout outs to a few of my favorites from the collection, which were Why I Learned to Cook by Sara Farizan, which gave me all of the happy cutesy feels One Voice by Melissa de la Cruz, which broke my heart in the best way and Super Human by Nicola Yoon, which reminded me that even bullet proof superheroes are capable of having their hearts broken by this world Eraser Tattoo Jason ReynoldsNo We were five That ain t count You told everybody you loved them back then You used to kiss your juice boxes after you drank them and tell the straw the same thingWhat an absolutely precious beginning to the anthology a teen couple swapping eraser tattoos and memories before one of them is uprooted to another state with her family Not only is this story hilarious, sweet, and a little bit of a tearjerker, but it also takes a moment to show the microaggressions black individuals face in even quiet moments, like the general disregard and rudeness the characters are treated with by the white couple moving into Shay s former home I already knew I d love anything Jason wrote for this collection, but this was honestly the most wonderful beginning to the book.Rep black Meet Cute Malinda Lo That was the problem with being queer You should never assume, but if you didn t assume, you had to ask And asking directly was so hard to do. Okay, no lie, this geeky little f f story about a fandom convention just about made me squeal because one of the girls is cosplaying as a black Agent Scully, and I grew up the biggest X Files fan, so I was automatically dying over the little inside jokes and references I m not a Trekkie at all, but Malinda Lo goes easy enough on those bits that I didn t feel like I was missing the joke or anything, and these girls are just so damn cute and geeky There s also some important internal monologuing about how hard it is to be a queer person in the dating world, especially when you don t know if the person you re into is queer, too While the title for this story is perfect, it s not insta lovey at all, and overall, my geeky little queer heart was just so here for this one Rep Asian american, black, f f Don t Pass Me By Eric GansworthThis color, I said, tapping the box of Flesh on his desk Its name doesn t cover everyoneAfter how cute and sweet the first two stories were, this one took me by surprise with how heavy and sad it was a narrative of a seventh grade Native boy in a school full of white kids in the 70s, where he has to deal not only with microaggressions and outright racism, but also the fact that of the few other Native kids in his school, many of them are light skinned and passing enough to shun him, too He stands up for himself and it is such an empowering story, but it also hit me really hard on a personal note My grandmother rest her soul was half Native, and not white passing I remember stories she told me about feeling excluded because of her skin color or her features, and how disconnected and erased she felt from her culture in a country that has tried so hard to forget Native people It absolutely breaks my heart that Native people have been cast aside so much, and for so long, but stories like this and like hers truly need to be told.Rep Native Be Cool for Once Aminah Mae Safi Biohazard may cause heart to burst. This wasn t my favorite story so far, but it was super cute, and it perfectly captured the joys of concert going for music loving teens, so that alone was fantastic It features a Muslim girl and her best friend, who run into the main character s crush at a concert and she s forced to face down her long held secret feelings for him Not only is there some cute lesbian rep on the side with her best friend, but the whole scene is really sweet and humorous There are several references to Islamic practices, too, which I found so interesting and precious Rep Muslim, Japanese, f f side characters Tags Walter Dean MyersWe got our tags on the wall and people can see we were real, and they re thinking about us But we ain t resting because we got to stay ahead of people cleaning the wallsThis is a unique piece of the collection, as it s actually a play, and man, did this one hit me hard It s a story of a few dead young black men, tagging walls in the afterlife as they discuss their memorials, how they died, and how they keep their own memories alive with their tags There s a devastating twist at the end, and a lot of subtle commentary on the way a corrupted and damaged justice system terrifies and warps the psyches of marginalized individuals, particularly black men When I finished reading the story and realized where I knew the name from, and remembered that this author actually passed away a few years ago, it added some sort of extra heartbreak to think that even in his seventies, Walter was still having to write about the same injustices and cruelty he d witnessed his entire life.Rep black Why I Learned to Cook Sara FarizanYou never apologize for taking up space, YasamanOkay, this might have been THE cutest, sweetest, and happiest story so far Yasaman is a young Iranian bi girl who wants to introduce her girlfriend to her immigrant grandmother, but has been too scared to do so In hopes of preparing herself for the big event, she has her grandmother teach her how to cook vegetarian versions of authentic Persian foods, and the entire story is just filled with grandmother granddaughter bonding and important lessons about never apologizing for who you are and what your culture is With how much I miss my own grandmother, I m such a sucker for grandmotherly figures in stories, so this actually brought a few happy tears to my eyes Rep Iranian, f f A Stranger at the Bochinche Daniel Jos Older He let another silent prayer rise inside him, the one said to call on one s warrior spirits before battle, and we gathered in the thick air around him. Sadly, this is the first story I haven t enjoyed in this collection, and I genuinely did not like it at all. It s a sci fi short, but it doesn t feel like a short story instead, it felt like I was just reading a passage taken out of context from a larger novel There s no explanation to any of the action going on, you re just dumped right into the center of it, and I had no chance of connecting with the plot or characters in any way There s war, rival groups, guardian spirits, and suddenly, aliens It didn t work for me.Rep Latinx A Boy s Duty Sharon G Flake What s a boy s duty to himselfUnfortunately, this historical fiction story made two in a row that I just couldn t quite connect to while the last one was too much , this one was just a mixture of boring and plotless A young man sits in a caf , observing the people around him and thinking about his father s farm, the thieving boys he s friends with, and his dreams of joining the Navy and becoming a sailor during WWII There s just not much of anything going on, the characters are mostly wholly unlikable, and I wasn t a fan, sadly.Rep black One Voice A Something in Between Story Melissa de la Cruz I wanted America to want me because I was already a part of the fabric of the country. My god, you guys this story is heavy and relevant and so, so good The narrator is a Stanford student whose family moved to California from the Philippines when she was a child, and she lives in constant fear of deportation She talks about how she didn t know her documentation wasn t proper until she applied for college, and she had to jump through hoops to be allowed to stay, including forfeiting her rights to a scholarship she had worked hard to earn The plot of the story follows her throughout a few days at her college in which racial slurs are spray painted on buildings and vehicles, and she laments the fact that her white passing boyfriend isn t able to understand why she feels so unsafe at their school It s just a tremendously sad and realistic depiction of something that so many people in the US are going through right now, and if there is one story in this collection so far that I find to be the most relevant to 2018 s sociopolitical climate, it s this one.Rep Filipinx, black, latinx Paladin Samurai Gene Luen Yang This little story is told through a comic strip, which is a neat addition to the anthology and a fun break from the standard text formatting It s about a Japanese American teen who faces erasure from his group of friends while playing Swords and Spells essentially DD While it s a cute short, I wish had taken place to address what legitimately jerks his friends were being, instead of it being swept under the rug at the end.Rep Japanese Catch, Pull, Drive Schuyler Bailar Beneath the surface, I am not the girl everyone says I m supposed to be in fact, I m not even sure I m a person I m just swimming I am a singular action, proof that I am alive and powerful. Oh my god, I love this story so much It s a first person narrative of a trans teen who is at his first swim meet after coming out to his team and all his friends There are a lot of transphobic terms and homophobic slurs in this one, so trigger warnings abound, but it s such a beautiful narrative It meant even to me once I found out that the author is a swimmer himself, and than that, is the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer ever and the first publicly outed trans men to compete in any NCAA men s sport He s kind of my new hero The last thing I want to point out about this story is that it also features some amazing parental love and acceptance regarding his coming out, which was so sweet Side note This is the first story in the collection to not make any reference to the protagonist s race, so I didn t mention that in the rep section below, but the author is Korean American Rep trans Super Human Nicola Yoon Always the wrong place Always the wrong time A country that did not value his life. Okay, this story I knew Nicola s story would be good I don t think her novels are perfect, but she has a way of writing that is always capable of hitting me hard, and I expected this to be no exception, but I didn t think it would break my heart so much It tells the story of a seventeen year old black girl who is sent to attempt to reason with X, nicknamed the Black Superman , who has decided to forsake his humanity saving tactics in favor of wiping out the population instead When she learns what changed his mind, it s absolutely shattering I m choking up just writing this review, thinking about the society that I live in and how utterly and completely broken this system is I don t want to spoil the surprise, only because this is a story that you need to soak in, to allow it to hit you in the chest the way it did for me, but I will say that it was the perfect ending to this anthology, and I will carry it with me.Rep blackFINAL AVERAGE RATING 4.0 5My star ratings for each individual story averaged out to a perfect 4 out of 5, but honestly, this is the best anthology I ve read in my life It is so poignant, and haunting, and gorgeous, and solidly written, that I have to bump it up to 5 stars It deserves nothing less All quotes come from an advance copy and may not match the final release Thank you so much to Crown Books for Young Readers for providing me with this ARC in exchange for an honest review You can find this review and on my blog, or you can follow me on twitter, bookstagram, or facebook NOW AVAILABLESometimes I wonder where I ve been,Who I am,Do I fit in.I may not win, But I can t be thrown,Out here on my own,Out here on my own Out Here on My Own, Irene Cara, Songwriters Lesley Gore Michael GoreLamar Giles, editor of this YA anthology, and in partnership with We Need Diverse Books wanted, wants stories about diversity, stories where people can see themselves, especially for our youth In his youth, he says in the Foreword, thatbook after book, adventure after adventure, the heroes weren t like me at all. For him as a child, that meant stories featuring black boys who were not portrayed as a stereotype of one kind or another Still, that didn t just apply to him, and when he or one of his friends found a story that they could find themselves in, it reinforced their love of reading With that in mind, this collection includes heroes of all kinds, for all kinds of young adult readers There are ten short stories, one is a graphic short story, and a one act playEraser TattooJason ReynoldsA story about young love, a boy, Dante, and girl, Shay, who have grown up, or less, together in Brooklyn,alive, full of sounds and smellsand they must say goodbye The girl, along with her family, is moving away Eraser tattoos are exchanged as a reminder of their loveMeet CuteMalinda LoAt the Denver Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, in line for a preview screening of Queen of the East, Nic sees a young girl, red wig, black pantsuit, FBI badge get in line behind her, looking angrily at her cell phone, texting, and asks her if Mulder pissed her off The girl scowls , asking who she is, then, as though she s just realized, saysGender flipped Sulu Cosplay, Star Trek, X Files and a power failure make for an entertaining storyDon t Pass Me ByEric GansworthThis color, I said, tapping the box of Flesh on his desk Its name doesn t cover everyone A young Native American boy living on a reservation has to attend a Jr High comprised of mostly white students 900 white kids, a handful of black kids, a few kids who were a blend of races, and one other Native American kid He tries to make others understand how their avoiding recognizing who he is makes him feelBe Cool for OnceAminah Mae SafiA Muslim American teen girl and the boy in the band she is crushing on, her parents immigrated to the U.S His grandparents were immigrants A crush School supplies and first kissesTagsWalter Dean Myers 5 starsA one act play with four boys, Big Eddie Jones, aka SMOKE 17 Willie Jiminez, 16 aka 2 SOON 121 D Mario Thompson, aka DATRUF Frank Watkins, 17, aka J BOY It s Willie s first night in this new state of being, their new objective to keep their tags looking good, it is their memorial, the way to keep their memories alive to others, to be remembered If you only read one story in this anthology, make it this oneWhy I Learned to CookSara Farizan 5 StarsYasi is Persian, bi sexual, and is still in the giddy stages of early love with Hannah when Hannah declares she would like to be invited to Friday night dinner with Yasi s grandmother Yasi s been learning to cook the delicious meals her grandmother prepares, all the while trying to get up the nerve to share about who she is, sexually, to her grandmother A lovely message, with a sweet endingA Stranger at the BochincheDaniel Jos OlderA beautifully written, if strange story A stranger in a bar, the mysterious appearance of overwhelming smoke, and a missing notebook that holds secrets, designs for flying machines, rising fears thatthings may become very dire indeed A Boy s DutySharon G Flake 5 StarsHis father blamed his teachers for giving him dreams that extended beyond the boundaries of their farmBut it was my father s binoculars and the almanac that pulled me away from the farm first It s how I got the notion I wanted to be a mapmaker, plotting out every planet and star in the sky Four years later, I m sitting at the Lucky Linda Caf , homeless.Loss, homelessness, bittersweet and lovelyOne VoiceMelissa de la Cruz It begins with a young Filipina girl s car being taggedA big middle finger and a particularly shocking phrase smack in the middle of my Monday morning, reminding me that even at a prestigious cosmopolitan university, the one you had worked so hard to attend someone will try to make you feel like you re an imposter In part, this is about the effect this has on this girl, how difficult it can be to reclaim that feeling of safety, where safety is your normal frame of mind, where walking across a parking lot or across a campus doesn t make your heart leap in fear at each sound In part, it is about the differences in relationships with the police or security authority figures that non white people have, vs whites In part, it tackles the way Asian women are viewed and objectified by menPaladin SamuraiGene Luen YangI m not much for graphic stories, but I know there is an audience for this This is about a young Japanese boy who wants to be a Samurai in his DD campaign, but it is not allowed Reading this on my kindle, since this is an ARC, the font is really tiny, about this big, so trying to read this was difficult for meCatch, Pull, DriveSchuyler Bailar 5 StarsIt s in those few sacred moments before he enters the school as a new person that he hesitates Born female, but having just announced to the world via Facebook that from here on, he will now be male, and his new name is Tommy The first thing he sees walking into the building are two doors marked with words that identify not just the doors, but the people who enter them MEN WOMEN.This was written by the first openly transgender NCAA Division I swimmer, per Wikipedia and thecrimson.com, as well as the first publicly documented NCAA D1 transgender man to compete as a man in any sport, he also served on the Transgender Visibility Panel to advocate for the Trans Bill MA before the Massachusetts State SenateSuper HumanNicola Yoon 5 Stars The Los Angeles Times headline the day after he saved her read BLACK SUPERMAN SAVES GIRL which incites a flurry of commentaries, CNN decides he should be referred to as African American, another points out that if he was like Superman, he wasfrom another planet and therefore not human, never mind African or American Meanwhile, two years passes, and the seventeen year old black girl is convinced that she must be the one to reason with this Black Superman as he his vision of saving humanity has become darker, and he s no longer sure they deserve saving Another one I loved, just enough superhero fantasy story to appeal to a large group of people, with a story that was heartbreaking I ve read other books by Nicola Yoon, and enjoyed her writing before, so I expected this to be good, and it surpassed my expectations.Altogether, a fine collection of stories to enjoy and reflect on, and while this is targeted for Teens YA, I think it could be enjoyed by almost all ages I haven t rated all of these individually, but I ve noted the ones I considered 5 Stars, but none are really less worthy, it s just a matter of what types of stories you prefer Overall, I consider this a 5 star collection.Pub Date 14 AUG 2018Many thanks for the ARC provided by Random House Children s, Crown Books for Young Readers