What to Read in YA Fiction: Short Stuff.

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This collection of four short stories celebrates the magic of the meet-cute! Edited by Constantine, this anthology featuring LGBTQ+ characters, specifically those who identify as lesbian, gay, and bisexual, includes stories from five authors: Julia Ember, Katie Fierro, Jude Sierra, Tom Wilinsky, and Jen Sternick. 

Wilinsky and Sternick set the tone for the collection with “I Ate the Whole World to Find You,” a story featuring Will, a budding chef stuck working at a poolside snack bar, and Olympic hopeful Basil, who is tired of the constant comparison to Michael Phelps. Readers will be charmed as the two headstrong characters overcome misunderstandings, finding common ground and romance. In Sierra’s “August Sands,” readers are transported to a small, lakeside town in Michigan where college-bound Tommy expects to spend the summer babysitting his much younger siblings, but finds the cottage next door rented to new friends, including one boy who might even be more than a friend, leading to a summer of firsts. Fierro’s “Love in the Time of Coffee,” a friends-to-lovers romance, follows best friends Gemma and Anya from their meeting as kids through college, exploring the complexity and nuance of falling in love with someone you’ve known your whole life. And finally, Ember’s “Gilded Scales,” a loose retelling of Beowulf and the only fantasy contribution, tells the tale of Fenn, who chafes against the expectations and limitations set upon her as a woman. Determined to rescue a maiden and slay a dragon to earn a place among the male warriors, Fenn soon discovers that the maiden and the dragon are one in the same, challenging her to forge an entirely new path.

A strong, memorable collection of short stories, readers will be happy to discover that each of the contributing authors have published full-length novels featuring LGBTQ+ characters! 

About The Book

It could start anywhere…   At a summer vacation at the lake, just before heading off to college. In a coffee shop, when the whole world is new. In a dragon’s cave, surrounded by gold. At a swim club, with the future in sight.   Short Stuff features bestselling and award-winning authors dialing down the angst for an anthology of light LGBTQ-YA romance. 

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Article originally Published in the February/March 2020 Issue “Short Stories”

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