[Review] Summer Days & Summer Nights - Stephanie Perkins (edited by)

Title of Book: Summer Days & Summer Nights
Author: Stephanie Perkins, Leigh Bardugo, Francesca Lia Block, Libba Bray, Cassandra Clare, Brandy Colbert, Tim Federle, Lev Grossman, Nina LaCour, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Jennifer E. Smith
Publisher: Pan MacMillan
Publication Year: 2016
Language: English
Format: hardback
Pages: 384

This beautiful collection features twelve gorgeously romantic stories, by some of the most talented and exciting YA authors writing today. Includes: Leigh Bardugo, Nina LaCour, Libba Bray, Francesca Lia Block, Stephanie Perkins, Tim Federle, Veronica Roth, Jon Skovron, Brandy Colbert, Cassandra Clare, Jennifer E Smith, Lev Grossman.

In winter 2014, a collection of short stories revolved around Christmas and winter called My True Love Gave to You edited by Stephanie Perkins was released. In summer 2016, they published another short story collection revolved around summer which titled Summer Days, Summer Nights. I quite enjoyed the last one, so I picked this one up. Like other short story collections, there are stories that I like and there are some I don’t. The authors who contributed to this book are different from the last one, though.  I see this as a chance to discover new authors, especially because most of these authors are popular authors whose books I haven’t got the chance to read yet.
To be honest, I was most excited to read short stories by Veronica Roth and Cassandra Clare. Those two authors have published popular series which still sitting on my shelf untouched. I kind of want to get a taste of their writing. Sadly, one of them doesn’t live up to my expectation. The one that disappoints me is Veronica Roth’s story, Inertia. It confused me. I assume the story sets in a fantasy world or in the future because in the story there’s a technology which enables two people to share memories. I don’t like it because the setup of the story is vague. Everything is unclear, such as who are the two main characters, what happened to them, and what kind of world they are living in. Those questions distracted me from the story so I didn’t enjoy it as much as I wanted to.
Meanwhile, Cassandra Clare’s story is a bit dark, but it’s still fun and I can feel the summer vibe from it. It’s a fantasy but the setup is clear and I understand what kind of world that the characters are living in. That being said, it makes me excited to read her books the Mortal Instruments and the Infernal Devices.
One short story that I love is In Ninety Minutes, Turn North by Stephanie Perkins. This story is a continuation of her short story from the last collection, My True Love Gave to Me. It follows the same characters, Marigold and North. This time, their story takes a sad turn but still manages to be cute. I still can’t believe how Perkins’s character, North, could make me swoon over him when I only know him for less than a hundred pages. I need to read her other books.
There are varieties in this collection. It has contemporary and also fantasy stories. When I think about summer, I would imagine a fluffy-cutesy-contemporary story. Surprisingly, this collection also includes stories about mental health and diversity, which is a good thing. From what I perceive, the theme of this collection is taking chances and growing up. Usually, summer is a mark of the new semester at school. It is the time when teenagers trying to reinvent themselves or find love and that’s what’s shown throughout the book.
There are other stories that became my favorite too, such as Love is the Last Resort by JonSkovron, A Thousand Ways This Could All Go Wrong by Jennifer E. Smith, and The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman. One of those is a fantasy, and the rest are contemporary. All I’m saying is, there’s one for everyone. You’ll get the fun and fluffy kind, you’’ll also get the dark, sad, and almost depressing kind. In the end, it depends on what kind of story you’re looking for to read in the summer. Luckily, since this book is a short story collection, you don’t have to read it back-to-back. Read one that you’re in the mood for. To end this post, I’ll give you a quote from the last short story in this book, The Map of Tiny Perfect Things by Lev Grossman.

“You can spend your life waiting and watching for perfect moments, but sometimes you have to make one happen.”

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