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I Belong

Review: Defy the Dark edited by Saundra Mitchell

Defy the DarkTitle: Defy the Dark

Editor: Saundra Mitchell

AuthorsMalinda Lo, Myra McEntire, Sarah Ockler, Jackson Pearce, Dia Reeves, Jon Skovron, Courtney Summer, Aprilynne Pike, Beth Revis, Carrie Ryan, Rachel Hawkins, Sarah Rees Brennan, Tessa Gratton, Valerie Kemp, & Christine Johnson

Genre: YA Anthology

Series: N/A

Publication Date: June 18, 2013

Format: Hardcover, 455 Pages

ISBN-10: 0062123548 (HarperTeen)

ISBN-13: 978-0062123541 (HarperTeen)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Defy the Dark, an all-new anthology edited by Saundra Mitchell. Coming Summer 2013 from HarperTeen!

It features 16 stories by critically-acclaimed and bestselling YA authors as they explore things that can only happen in the dark. Authors include Sarah Rees Brennan, Rachel Hawkins, Carrie Ryan, Aprilynne Pike, Malinda Lo, Courtney Summers, Beth Revis, Sarah Ockler, and more.

Contemporary, genre, these stories will explore every corner of our world- and so many others. What will be the final story that defies the dark? Who will the author be?

Quick & Dirty: An interesting collection of short stories that I enjoyed but would never read again.

Opening Sentence: Jed Miller is a sleepwalker.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

Defy the Dark is collection of seventeen stories written by various authors.  For the most part they all feature something to do with darkness.  Many of the stories are on the scary side, there are also a few paranormal ones, and one dystopian one as well.  It was a unique blend of mostly interesting little stories but to be fully honest it wasn’t something I would ever read again.  I’m not going to go into detail about all of the stories because this review would be way to long if I did, but I will feature a few of the ones I really enjoyed.

First up was Nature by Aprilynne Pike. This was a dystopian story and it was very different from any of the other stories. To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure why it was included in the book because it really didn’t have anything to do with dark, but it was my favorite story in the whole book. I actually really liked the main character, she was smart and someone that I could cheer for.  The story also had a really great message and unlike most of the stories in the book it actually had a resolution at the end.  I have read many other works by Pike and I thought Nature was a great addition to her works. I would love it if she decided to expand on the world she created and write more books. I think they would be fascinating.

The other two stories that stood out to me were Sleepstalk by Courtney Summer and Eyes in the Dark by Rachel Hawkins.  These were both scary stories that reminded me of something you would tell at a sleepover or around a campfire.  They were both on the jumpy side and made me feel like a kid again while reading them.  I’m not a huge fan of scary stories, but I thought that both of these were fun to read.

As for the rest of the stories I thought they were fine, some were certainly better than others, but the anthology as a whole was an interesting read.  To be perfectly honest, I am not a huge fan of short stories that aren’t part of a series.  I feel that you don’t quite get enough to really connect with the story and most of them don’t have any kind of resolution, which I’m not a huge fan of.  It is refreshing at times to not have to commit to a huge book, but I just felt I didn’t really get anything out of reading most of these stories.  If you are a fan of short stories then I think that you would probably really enjoy this for the most part. Like I mentioned earlier, I think this would be a wonderful book to take to a sleepover or a camping trip where it is fun to share scary stories.

Notable Scene:

I am nearly sobbing with frustration when there’s a thump under the truck. A small, stifled scream bursts from my throat, and I freeze.

The thump comes again, harder this time. The sound of my own blood rushing in my ears is almost painful. It’s like every piece of me, every last molecule, is straining to hear. Another thump. And the another.


FTC Advisory:  HarperTeen provided me with a copy of Defy the Dark.  No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.


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