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I Belong

Review: Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness

Title: Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness

Editor: Liz Miles

Genre: YA Anthology

Series: N/A

Publication Date: April 26, 2011

FormatPaperback, 384 Pages

ISBN-100762441046 (Running Press Kids)

ISBN-13: 978-0762441046 (Running Press Kids)

Reviewed by: Bridget


Truth & Dare is a collection of short stories confirming the truth we all know– high school is painful–and written for those who dare to be different. These edgy short stories are told from the point of view of the quirky, cool, but not necessarily popular teens, who are dealing with all the pressures of growing up–school, friends, music, relationships, parents, and just plain fitting in.This collection features some of the hottest writers in the teen genre, including: Jennifer Boylan, Sarah Rees Brennan, Cecil Castellucci, Emma Donoghue, Courtney Gillette, A.M. Homes, Jennifer Hubbard, Heidi R. Kling, Jennifer Knight, Michael Lowenthal, Liz Miles, Saundra Mitchell, Luisa Plaja, Matthue Roth, Sherry Shahan, Gary Soto, Shelley Stoehr, Sara Wilkinson, Ellen Wittlinger, and Jill Wolfson

Quick & Dirty: This was full of love, humor, pain, embarrassing moments, and pretty much anything associated with the game truth & dare.  I enjoyed most of the stories, but some were a little boring.

Opening Sentence: You know those intriguing warnings you get before the start of a suspect TV show or movie, such as: “This show contains scenes that some viewers may find disturbing” or “This program contains strong language?”

Excerpt: No

The Review

Truth & Dare is filled with short stories written by a handful of authors.  The stories cover a range of different topics.  Some were really funny and some were filled with disappointment.  Growing up can be difficult in life, but it also is a defining part of our life. That is the time where we learn who we want to be, and everything you experience helps to shape you.  All the stories being written talk about some of the issues teenagers go through while trying to grow up.

In the first story you learn that not everything is as it appears to you.  Sometimes something that seems wonderful and great on the outside is totally different when you start taking away the layers.  Another story talks about first love and all the embarrassing moments that come when trying to let someone get to know the real you.  In one story a poor girl has to wear headgear to school at the age of 17, and she talks about how it affected her.  Another story is about being too shy and not putting yourself out there, and the consequences that can come from it.  Another one talks about rejection and that you need to stay true to yourself no matter what others say.  There are many other stories and the topics covered were entertaining as well, but these were a few of my favorites.

Overall, I thought that this was a fun easy read.  Some of the stories were really entertaining and funny, while others were more serious and heartbreaking.  I like that you can sit down for about 10 minutes and finish one of the stories; it is sometimes nice to not have to commit to a big book.  While I did really love some of the stories, there were others that I didn’t quite connect as well with.  But that is another great thing about an anthology, there is so many different stories that there is bound to be one that you will love.  If you are looking for a fun, light read I would recommend picking up Truth & Dare.

Notable Scene:

As if he could hear my psychic berating, he started suddenly up the steps.

I wasn’t expecting this.  I was leaning too far over the railing.

I flinched.

The moment stretched out, as if time itself had slowed to savor my unbelievable humiliation.  Endless seconds passed as the tray slid from my hands: there was the moment when its weight was still against the sweaty tips of my fingers but it was already irredeemably lost; the moment when the tray was flipping, its red plastic bright in the fluorescent lights, and the moment when I fully realized what was going to happen and felt my stomach turn in a slow churn of horror.

There was the moment when the boy whose name I didn’t know looked up, just before the tray hit.  His eyes were wide and bright blue, narrowing.  He saw me.

Than the tray hit in an explosion of food and milkshakes.

FTC Advisory: Running Press Kids/The Perseus Books Group provided me with a copy of Truth & Dare: 20 Tales of Heartbreak and Happiness. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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