Title: The Curiosities
Author: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff
Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group
Pub Date: 10/28/2012
Top 25: Yes
Convince us to read the book: The Curiosities is a collection of short stories by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff that have previously been posted on their writing group website The Merry Fates. These stories are deft and charming, but the most remarkable thing about them is the way you can see the authors’ creative exploration and experimentation flourish throughout the book. Each author maintains and develops her own voice, yet at the same time thematic parallels can de drawn between stories by the different authors. One of my favorite things were the inclusion of the authors’ introductory comments at the beginning of each story as well ad their handwritten comments scribbled in the margins.
Memorable or Forgettable: This collection contains a plethora of characters and worlds, many of which were memorable and captured my imagination long after reading. I have always loved short story anthologies, and this one is full of creative plots, characters and world-building. It manages to break free from the structural clichés and self-consciousness of other anthologies. The Merry Sisters of Fate have expanded their imaginations and writing skills by letting themselves experiment, and that makes these unique stories a pleasure to read.
Cover: I chose this book off the shelf because the authors had come to talk to us and I was curious. The drawing of birds escaping from a cage on top of someone’s head on the cover is a wonderful symbol for what the authors have done in this book: escaped from the usual stresses and confines of trying to write something perfect in order to write something original and exploring unknown styles. I was not convinced red is the right color for this cover, though, and the drawing itself could have been placed in a more effective way.
Age Range: 14 through 18 and up
Quality: 4Q Better than most
Popularity: 4P Broad general teen appeal