Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Review: Brave New Love

Brave New Love
ed. by Paula Guran

Book Description:
Young love has always had its challenges, but even so, the world falling apart at its seams is a pretty big obstacle. This stellar collection of YA dystopian tales explores survival of the fittest in terms of love, passion, and humanity. When the survival of the human race is at stake, what will it take for the bond between two people to hold strong together?

Featuring some of the most well known and best-selling names of the dystopian genre, as well as the hottest up-and-coming authors, this anthology includes works from Jeanne DuPrau (City of Ember), Kiera Cass (The Selection), William Sleator (Interstellar Pig), Jesse Karp (Those That Wake), Diana Peterfreund (Secret Society Girl), Carrie Vaughn (The Kitty Norville Series), and Carrie Ryan (New York Times bestseller The Forest of Hands and Teeth).

I enjoyed each of the stories that I read in this anthology separately, as their own entities. Each was interesting, creative, and engaging. I'm going to break it down and tell you about some of the ones I liked the best... I do want to note, though, that overall I felt the tone of this book was depressing! I do not think I would ever recommend that anyone read this book straight through in one shot. This is a book to read one story at a time...to parse out between other books...trust me.

The Stories:
In the Clearing by Kiera Cass - I liked this short story about a society where people are drugged into complacency through their food. I thought it was plausible and intriguing. I liked both main characters and thought the romance built well.

Now Purple with Love's Wound by Carrie Vaughn - I thought this story was really powerful. I loved the concept, even as it totally creeped me out. It gave me chills to think of a society where girls were drugged into feeling lifelong love for someone who claimed them. Short, but extremely effective.

Berserker Eyes by Maria Snyder - This had the feel of a longer dystopian novel excerpt...or maybe it was just that I wanted it to be... I would read a whole novel set in this world. I also loved how the romance built through their quest to beat the government that was abusing them...

Foundlings by Diana Peterfreund - Oooh! The perfect example of when "helpful" government agencies go wrong. WOMB is supposed to protect babies and their mothers...but then it begins to help babies at the cost of their mothers. This was a story I could actually see happening in our distant future.

The Dream Eater by Carrie Ryan - This story broke my heart. I felt bad for *everyone* involved and wanted to rail out at the city that allowed this poor girl to sacrifice herself for thier happiness. I loved how Ryan kept the absolute realism that I love in her zombie books, even as I felt so sad reading the story...

Those were the standout stories for me, though as I mentioned I would not read them all in a row...it might make you want to close your eyes and pretend that there is no future!! 

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