If there's one thing I usually try to avoid it's young adult romance. Maybe I'm simply too old to care about teens falling in love–or maybe I just don't really care for romance in general. There are, however, a few exceptions and most of them come in the form of anthologies.
I wasn't really familiar with most of the authors featured in Summer Days and Summer Nights, but I am a huge fan of Francesca Lia Block's Weetzie Bat (another exception), and seeing ner name on the cover was enough to make me curious.
I admit, I read Block's story “Sick Pleasure” first, and it definitely is my favorite out of the twelve short stories featured in the collection. Block's autobiographical account is not a big fairy tale, or a thrilling romance. It is a simple story you probably heard a 100 times already, but her equally sweet and gloomy perspective, and the way she threats Los Angeles as a setting, make it stand out in the best way possible.
Others that stood out to me are “Last Stand at the Cinegore” by Libba Bray and “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things” by Lev Grossman. Bray's “Last Stand at the Cinegore” might not be the best out of the stories, but I am a sucker for campy horror, and this tale of a cursed movie was right up my alley. And “The Map of Tiny Perfect Things”, a clever take on Groundhog Day, is just one of those stories that really makes you stop and reminds you to enjoy the little things that make endless summer days so special.
Overall, I really enjoyed the anthology as a whole. There were two or three stories I just skimmed over, but I think that's going to be the case with any anthology–especially if it combines a wide range of styles. So if you haven't read it yet, check out Summer Days and Summer Nights. It's the perfect book for those last few lazy summer days.
Peace, Love, and Lobsters