New York is my favorite city in the world, so of course I had to read this collection of short stories taking place one summer night when a heatwave makes the city go dark. And I’m happy to say that I got all the New York vibes I was hoping for!
In essence, Blackout is a collection of six short stories (even though they are divided into more chapters to connect the different stories and characters along the way) that are all featuring Black teens dealing with relationship issues that are put to the test during a blackout in New York. Each of the story focuses on a specific relationship issue and with different characters, but along the way the six stories eventually connect and add different view points from other characters. I really loved the way the stories were interconnected, which made it closer to a novel than an anthology, and the amazing queer representation.
My two favorite stories were All the Great Love Stories... and Dust by Dhonielle Clayton and Seymour and Grace by Nicola Yoon. The first one was about two childhood friends who secretly felt more than friendship for each other. It was such a sweet story and I loved the scrap book and literature references. The second one was about two strangers meeting on an Uber ride, who end up discussing philosophy, the meaning of life, their family history, friendship and relationship in such a fun and romantic way that really warmed my heart.
The Long Walk by Tiffany D. Jackson was a story divided into several chapters that followed the two exes Tammi and Kareem as they competed for the same internship and ended up having to walk all the way to Brooklyn together. And having to talk about why their relationship really ended in the first place… Kareem was such a sweetheart, but I never really warmed to Tammi, who in my opinion didn’t take responsibility for her actions and tried to blame the failed relationship solely on Kareem, when she had just as much, or even more, to do with their breakup. But it was entertaining to follow their walk through the city while dealing with their issues!
Made to Fit by Ashley Woodfolk was a really sweet story about two girls falling in love when visiting a senior living facility, just like the residents/relatives had predicted, but with a little bit too much of instalove.
Mask Off by Nic Stone was also a story divided into several chapters about a closeted basketball player and his secret crush, who get stuck on a train during the blackout. I really liked the glimpses we got to see of their past and their history together and Tremaine was such a brave and wonderful character. The basketball player JJ on the other hand was not a favorite, in the way he didn’t stand up for himself or his beliefs.
No Sleep ‘til Brooklyn by Angie Thomas was my least favorite of the stories. It was full of cliches and I the emerging love triangle and the characters didn’t engage me enough. It all felt quite artificial and bland, sadly. Except for the bus driver, who was such a gem!
Overall, this was a sweet, hopeful, light and easy read with amazing representation and perfect New York vibes! I really enjoyed the stories and the characters, even though none of them stole my heart, and the whole concept of this anthology.
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The Hate U Give is a stunningly brilliant book that is so, so important. It’s, a real eye-opener that addresses the difficult, complex topic of systematic racism in a way that grips you and makes you understand by feeling, rather than being told, how this undergirds the everyday life.
I love this brilliant book and its amazing characters that are absolutely real, with flaws and shortcomings, and all the complexity that comes with being human. The main character Starr is so bad-ass, smart, funny, adorable and brave in a real way; trying to stay true to herself and her believes while maintaining a balance between her two worlds (the poor neighbourhood and the posh school on the other side of town).
Starr’s favorite TV show in the book (and mine as a teen...) is The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and I loved the references to it throughout the book. It was such a clever way to use The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air as an analogy for how Starr felt to be sent to Williamson Prep after Natasha’s death, just like Will Smith was sent to from his West Philadelphia neighborhood to live with his wealthy aunt and uncle in their mansion in Bel Air after he got himself into trouble.
I have to admit that it took me some time to get into the book and the narrating, but once I did it was impossible to put this book down. It was heart-wrenching, stirring, with a perfect balance of heartbreak and humor, telling the story about love, friendship, loss, grief and racism in a completely new way. Even though the book touches on difficult topics and there are some really sad parts in it, it’s not a heavy read. I can’t recommend it enough!
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All 1 Star 2 Stars 3 Stars 4 Stars 5 Stars Abbi Glines Abdi Nazemian Adam Silvera Aiden Thomas Aisha Saeed AJ Collins Alexandra Christo Alexis Hall Alex Kelly Alex Sanchez Alice Dolman Alice Oseman Al Riske Alwyn Hamilton A. Meredith Walters Amy Harmon Amy S. Foster André Aciman Andy V Roamer Angie Thomas Annabeth Albert A. Poland Ashley Poston Ashley Woodfolk Audrey Coulthurst Becca Fitzpatrick Becky Albertalli Benjamin Alire Saenz Beth Bolden Bill Konigsberg Briar Prescott Bri Spicer Brooke Skipstone Cale Dietrich Casey McQuiston Cassandra Clare C.G. Drews Chris Bedell Ciara Smyth Clarissa Pattern C.L. Beaumont Colleen Hoover Crystal Frasier C.S. Pacat Daven McQueen David Biddle David Yoon Dean Atta Debbie McGowan Debbie Rigaud Deborah Harkness Delia Owens D.G. Carothers Dhonielle Clayton Douglas Stuart Dustin Thao Elizabeth Acevedo Elle Kennedy Elle Wright E. Lockhart Emily M. Danforth Emily Mims Erin Watt Ernest Cline Eve Morton Everina Maxwell Evie Dunmore Felice Stevens Grace Williams Gwen Martin Hanya Yanagihara Hayden Stone Heather Truett Hettie Bell Holly Black Hope Irving Hudson Lin Ingrid Sterling Jacqueline Lee Jacqueline Woodson Jamie Deacon Jandy Nelson Jax Calder Jay Hogan Jeanette Winterson Jeff Zentner Jenna Evans Welch Jenn Burke Jennifer E. Smith Jennifer G. Edelson Jennifer Gilmore Jennifer Iacopelli Jennifer Kropf Jennifer Niven Jenny Downham Jenny Han Jeremy Ray John Green Julianne Donaldson Kacen Callender Kami Garcia Kara Leigh Miller Kasie West Kate Larkindale Katharine McGee Kathleen Mareé KD Casey Kendall Grey Kevin Van Whye Kiley Reid Kim Fielding Kim Holden Kim Liggett Kitty Bardot Kris Ripper K.S. Marsden Laura Hall Laura Pavlov Laura Silverman Lauren James Laurie Frankel Leah Johnson Lee Matthew Goldberg Leigh Bardugo Leylah Attar Lisa Williamson Liv Rancourt Liz Plum Lola Noire Mackenzi Lee Madeline Miller Maggie Doolin Maggie Stiefvater Malin Persson Giolito Malorie Blackman Margaret Stohl Marie Lu Mary E. Pearson Mason Deaver Matthew R. Corr Melina Marchetta Meredith Russo Miel Moreland Mila Gray Miranda Kenneally Moa Backe Astot M. Tasia Nancy Garden Natalie Haynes Nicholas Sparks Nicola Yoon Nic Stone Nina Kenwood Nita Tyndall Nora Sakavic N.R. Walker Penny Aimes Phil Stamper Quinn Anderson Rachael Lippincott Rachel Hawkins Rainbow Rowell Ray Stoeve River Braun Roan Parrish Roseanne A. Brown Ruby Moone Ruta Sepetys Ryan La Sala Sally Green Sarah J. Maas Sarah Waters Sarina Bowen Saundra Mitchell Sidney Bell Simone Elkeles Siryn Sueng Sophia DeRise Sophie Gonzales Stephen Chbosky Stephenie Meyer Susan Mac Nicol Suzanne Collins Tahereh Mafi Teagan Hunter Tiffany D. Jackson T.J. Klune Tomi Adeyemi Val Wise Veronica Rossi Veronica Roth V.E. Schwab Wesley Chu Victor Dixen Victoria Aveyard Xan Van Rooyen Yamile Saied Méndez