Love is Hell
…is a book of short stories including some personal favourites of mine Scott Westerfeld and Melissa Marr. The collection is themed Love is Hell which means you know that it’s more about the course of true love running less than smoothly. I enjoyed them. There was quite a spooky ghost story to start the book, and I particularly enjoyed Westerfeld’s perfect world school assignment romance where kids elected to experience some of the crap humans had to put up with in the past, such as the common cold, or sleeping. Overall, good light fun.
As You Wish by Jackson Pearce
Classic teen supernatural romance, except this time it’s human girl/Djinn boy. I really liked this. It alternated points of view between the two leads, which was really nice for seeing the changing way they felt about each other. It was pretty light, pretty fluffy and I’m not too sure I endorse the ending, but the book as a whole is cute and a good read.
Before I Fall by Lauren Oliver
OK so. Unlike the other two this is not a light or fluffy read. This is the story of Sam, who has an ordinary school day (she’s one of the popular mean girls, but painfully aware of her geeky roots) and then dies. Then she wakes up on the morning of her last day, like a horrible version of Groundhog Day where she’s not sure what she has to do to get out of the time loop and save her own life…It’s very compelling.
I loved the way the author showed you scenes from multiple points of view and as Sam learned more about her actions and the consequences, she saw how they impacted everyone around her. Very good, very life affirming, and if the romance was kind of obvious, I forgive it for being sweet and believable. There were a couple of missteps in the telling of it (notably the italics where Sam addresses the reader directly) but otherwise I was really into it and read the last third in a day. Highly recommend this one.