Saturday, February 2, 2013

Review: The Curiosities

I finally managed to write a review in the format I laid out in October.  We'll see how it goes.

The Curiosities
by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff
Released: 2012    ISBN: 978-0-7613-7527-2

This collection of short stories was compiled from the website, which the authors started to challenge themselves to write weekly short fiction to consistently stretch their writing muscles. I picked it up because I love Stiefvater's novels, and was intrigued by the idea of quickly written, mostly unedited stories that also broke down their inspiration and process in writing them.
The thirty-three stories in the collection run the gamut of subjects from King Arthur to zombies to fairy tales to a world where fires never die out to a moment of pure mean girl jealousy. They're not all perfect- but that's the point. They all have a moment the author wanted to explore further, and it could potentially turn into a larger story, or a part of the world of one of their novels, the entire purpose was to get it onto paper and follow where these half-formed ideas want to lead them.
Scattered throughout the book are notes from the authors, in their own handwriting, both explaining their own works or commenting on their cohorts' stories. (There are also doodles, which I appreciate, since most of my writing notebooks are also covered in horrible doodles.) That, and the introductions to each story, were actually the most interesting thing for me. They really laid out their processes and thought patterns that led to each story, as well as the things they still feel they need to work on. As a writer I was amazed at how well they could articulate their inspirations and their writing process, as well being allowed to see their weaknesses.
My favorite of the stories was Berserk by Tessa Gratton, which managed to put a modern spin on Norse Mythology while still working in the patterns and cadence of the ancient eddas. I also enjoy the fact that there are tons of stories on the website that were not in the collection, so it's like the book doesn't have to end.

Recommend- Absolutely. I would recommend it to anyone that likes Young Adult fiction, as well as any writers. It's like a very intimate interview about writing as well as a simple motivator to write more.

Genre – Young Adult Anthology. It's hard to narrow it down any further since they cover so many types of stories, but it definitely has a magical bent to it.

Post-It Flags- 15. I will probably purchase it at some point.

A Favorite Quote- “Luis had two years of a liberal arts education – the two years that instilled principles but not the two years that instilled when to shut up about them.” from Another Sun by Maggie Stiefvater

Let me know if you like this format, like me doing reviews, have suggestions, or even if you hate me with a fiery passion.  I like comments.  

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