The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff Review

Started: March 12, 2016

Finished: March 19, 2016

Rating: 5 stars

Summary (from Goodreads): From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories. A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck. Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing. A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream). These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction. But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors. So, are you curious now?


A week ago, I had the wonderful experience of getting to go to a YA book festival and meeting my favorite author: Maggie Stiefvater.

I was so excited, and when we got there, I saw that she had a panel with two other authors: Brenna Yovanoff and Tessa Gratton.

Pictures of me meeting all of them are below!

I had heard their names before, but I had never looked them up or read their books. I thought they didn’t write novels that I would want to read.

Boy, was I wrong.

They were two of the most interesting people I’ve ever heard speak, and I was just waiting until I could get my hands on some of their writing. Luckily, the festival had a bookstore.

I found The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories in the bookstore and I thought it was the perfect way to introduce these two authors into my reading and see if I liked their writing (Spoiler alert: I loved it all).

I loved every story in this book. There wasn’t a single one that I was bored with while I was reading it. But I had a dilemma about how to review this book. And then I figured it out. I’ll give a review of the book as a whole, and then decided to pick my favorite story by each author.

First, the overall book.

I loved this book. I couldn’t stop reading it in my free time. The annotations were probably my favorite part, because seeing the notes from the authors made my reading experience even better than it would have been. Even if it was just a short, snappy joke comment, it made my experience a little bit brighter. The little tips about writing and the illustrations were great, and they made this book so entertaining.

Now, the stories.

“Dumb Supper” by Tessa Gratton: This story was interesting. It gripped me from the moment I started reading because I just had no idea what was happening. I didn’t know what a dumb supper was (I do now), and I didn’t know a short story could be creepy and a little romantic at the same time (I do now). Gratton’s writing was a different style than I was really used to, and I will be trying to read more of her writing in the future.

“Another Sun” by Maggie Stiefvater: This was the last story in the book, and it was the perfect story to close out the collection. This story was the most intense by far, and I just took it all in. It was unique, interesting, and suspenseful because I just had absolutely no idea where it was going. Maggie Stiefvater is my favorite author, and this story is up in my list of favorite works by her.

“Scheherazade” by Brenna Yovanoff: THIS IS MY FAVORITE SHORT STORY EVER. And that’s not exaggeration. I loved this story. I loved this story more than most things I’ve read this year. It wasn’t necessarily exciting, but it was suspenseful and unsettling. It was everything I look for in a short story and I loved it. I had never read Brenna Yovanoff before, but after reading this story and the other stories she authored in this collection, I can say with absolute certainty that I will be reading more of her writing in the future.

All in all, I loved this collection and I recommend it to everyone. It’s fantastic, and perfect if you maybe don’t have the time to read full novels. Every part of this collection gets a five star rating from me, and I’m so happy that I have this book in my personal library now.


 

NEXT READ: Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy


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Maggie Stiefvater
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Brenna Yovanoff
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Tessa Gratton
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