Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Review: Love Is Hell

So, I said last night that I really like short story collection. Today I plan on giving you a rundown of the latest short story collection that I read. Love Is Hell is a collection of five stories written by Melissa Marr, Scott Westerfeld, Justine Larbalestier, Gabrielle Zevin, and Laurie Faria Stolarz. Before I read this I had only read books by Melissa Marr and Scott Westerfeld, so it was nice to read some new authors.

Sleeping with the Spirit by Laurie Faria Stolarz is a story about a girl who moves into a haunted house. The boy who haunts the house needs her help solving her murder. This was a pretty good story, even if it was a little strange. The whole girl meets ghost and falls in love concept is strange for me. It also becomes predictable. The story was well written, and the main character is really likable, but it wasn't one of my favorites.

Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld is a story of two kids who live in a world where there is no sickness, coldness, discomfort, nothing bad at all really. However, for a class project they have to pick one of the discomforts of the past and live with it for two weeks. Keiran chooses to sleep and Maria chooses to suspend her hormonal imbalancers. The story follows the pair as they go through the two weeks of their project. I really enjoy Scott Westerfeld. A lot. I really think that he has such a gift for creating these crazy alternate realities that are so much like our own worlds. Everything I have read by him completely sucks me in! This short story was no different. My only complaint? I wish it were a novel (or even a series) because I would love to know more about what happens between Keiran and Maria.

Thinner Than Water by Justine Larbalestier is a story about a girl who is desperate to escape from her family. She meets a guy who she loves and they are happy until her family ruins it. Jeannie must find a way to survive while her family continuously tries to crush her spirit. I loved this story. I have never read anything by Justine Larbalestier before, but this story made me want to hunt up everything she has ever written. It was a wonderful story about love, loving yourself, and not ever giving up. It was beautiful.

Fan Fictions by Gabrielle Zevin is a story about Paige, a loner nerd girl who spends most of her time in the library. One day she meets a dreamboat who sees her and sweeps her off her feet. I didn't really like this story. It was really strange, and didn't make a lot of sense to me. The ending was really abrupt and I thought it left a lot of plot points unaddressed. I don't necessarily need every little thing tied up with a pretty bow, but I hate not knowing something big. Maybe it's just me though.

Love Struck by Melissa Marr is a story about a girl and a selchie who fall in love. This was another really good story. Fairies, elves, and other fey creatures are really popular right now, and I think that Melissa Marr did a great job with this story. Legend says that if you take a selchies pelt that he/she is bound to you until he/she finds the pelt again. Melissa Marr really puts a new spin on this legend and also manages to show that if you really love someone that you don't have to change who you are.

I thought that this was a really good collection. There was only one story that I really didn't like and that was only because it seems like it was a few chapters from a book more than a story. I would definitely recommend this to any teen who is looking for a quick read.