Thursday, October 24, 2013

Defy the Dark-anthology collection (review)

Defy the Dark 
 Defy the Dark
By Saundra Michell and 
other authors!
Genre: Young Adult, Anthology
Published June 2013
Pages: 480

Publisher: HarperTeen
View on Goodreads

Summary:  "Defy the Dark, an all-new anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell.
It features 16 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark. Authors include Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Ryan, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, Sarah Ockler, and more.

Contemporary, genre, these stories will explore every corner of our world- and so many others. What will be the final story that defies the dark? Who will the author be?
Review:  Not a bad little collection of stories. Some stories are disturbing, others creepy. We had modern tales, medieval fantasy, urban fantasy, dystopian, science fiction and more in this book! If it has to do with darkness or nighttime it could be in hear. Many of the stories leave you with a feeling of wondering what happened as you use your imagination to fill in the blanks.

So here are my thoughts (briefly) for each story.

Sleepstalk by Courtney Summers
The main character stalks her ex-boyfriend who she finds sleepwalking. something happened betwwen them that is stimulating their behaviors, but what? The girl terrifies me slightly with her though process a bit.
Nature by Aprilynne Pike
Dystopina cast system for what you will be for one's adult life. Due to her physical measurements, a girl is put into the ‘wrong’ caste. This story left me wanting more! i loved it but so much of the girls life, the world around her, is left unanswered. If the author ever writes more of this world, I will jump on the chance to read it! 

Dark side of the Moon by Dia Reeves
Was I suppose to be high reading this? Does it take place in another ‘world’ setting? Strange town, everyone wears black, monsters exists, unusual is common place and boy gets on Night trolley whch all the town people fear, for once you get on, you don’t come home. This book reminded my of those psychedelic movies. Interesting concept on one level but needed a lot of polishing. 

Ghost Town by Malinda Lo
Story works backwards and filled with ghost pranks, but is any of it real? This was done in an interesting style and has me curious for the authors work.

Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins
Okay so the first thing that REALLY jumped out at me was that cost of the food. Peaches were on 25 cents! And this is relatively current times as the have cell phones and texting. So my first though is "Where is this store, I want to go shop there." Anyways for the story itself... The girl goes with ‘bad boy’ for a ride and goes to a forbidden bridge Where they see red eyes belonging to...something...
Not a bad story idea. Just creepy enough without actually being scary. 

Stillwater by Valerie Kemp
A teen boy questions the town he lives in. Why does he keep finding notes to himself or from a brother he doesn't always remember. Also a family fued to add some spark! I have lots of questions on this one. Some practical plot holes but otherwise an interesting premise. 

I gave you my love by the light of the moon by Sarah Rees Brennan
A girl is transformed into a werewolf and is 'rescued' by a vampire who helps her cope with her new identity. Fluff piece with potential romance. I felt this was a part of a full novel, broken and turned into a short story. 

Night Swimming by Beth Revis
Science fiction. Based on the summary of Across the Universe, I think this is ashort story in that 'world.' A group of teens are on meds to 'keep sane,’ but what is really going on? What I couldn't figure out is if the main character was male or female! It about drove me nuts. Behavior had me thinking it is a gut but thoughts had me thinking a girl. We get no name, nothing! Still the storyline has a curiosity to it that I enjoyed. 

Almost normal by Carrie Ryan
Zombie carnival! Need I say more. It reminded me of the movie 'Frozen.' (which was too unrealistic for me) an a couple levels.  Both are stuck in a bad place, at a very bad time! A short fun read although I was left wondering how the zombies got so close without pre-warning or if they were thay close why are people at am amusement park! 

There’s nowhere else by Jon Skovron
Teen boy lives with his mother and her abusive boyfriend but finds himself dreaming of being another person. Literally! But when one person observes his 'ability' what will happen? I felt bad for this kid in a way but his choices (big and small) have me shaking my head. He does not seem to have a lot of common sense. 

Naughty or Nice by Myra McEntire
Private school vacation is about as far as I could stomach on this one. The book just set me on edge with the how the story is laid out. Settings and conversations seem jumpy and out of place. Too Boring so I didn’t finish.

Shadowed by Christine Johnson

Interesting shadow curse has been placed on the Duke’s daughter. She cannot see light (daylight, candle light, etc) for fear of what her shadow will do. Medieval setting with knights! 

Now bid time return by Saundra Mitchell
We get a story by the editor!
A young teen girl goes to take pictures of the northern lights but something is in the pictures and someone seems to be entering her cottage she is staying at. Bit of romance. Sweet! 

The moth and the spider by Sarah Ockler
This all takes perspective from a suicidal girl who is very distant from life, family, etc. She wants to ‘do it right’ with suicide note. Very distorted story. Didn't make a lot of sense. was her mind just that broken or did I just not get it.

Where the Light is by Jackson Pierce
A high school graduate finds himself working with the other townsmen deep in the mine. His father was a hero so he has a lot to live up to. A strange noise leads him to a girl who lives in the mines. Interesting idea. I could not quite tell if this was a dystopian world or just a community that really stuck together. 

This was Ophelia by Tessa Gratton
I have NO CLUE what was happening here. Not sure if I was just tired of the story that confusing. Did not finish!
Have you read any good books involving the dark? 


  1. I love creepy stories and these sound really eerie and awesome. Plenty of (new?) authors I've never heard of! Great review :)

  2. I always love when published pull together some of their authors to create a combined novel of short stories each of them writes. I was actually pretty excited to read this one when or if I ever got time because it sounded pretty good. Thanks for your awesome review! It gave me a great deal of insight into what stories were worth reading and the ones that were just alright.

  3. It sounds like a perfect book for this time of year. I enjoy reading these collections of short stories since I often find an author I was not familiar with that I enjoy his/her writing.

  4. I've been reading a couple of short story compilations like this. It's fun to see what's out there!


Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.