Book Review: The Curiosities by Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff
November 14, 2012
Title: The Curiosities: a collection of stories Authors: Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton and Brenna Yovanoff Publisher: Lerner Publishing Group Published On: August 1, 2012 Source: ARC from publisher (BEA 2012)
From acclaimed YA authors Maggie Stiefvater, Tessa Gratton, and Brenna Yovanoff comes The Curiosities: A Collection of Stories. – A vampire locked in a cage in the basement, for good luck.– Bad guys, clever girls, and the various reasons why the guys have to stop breathing.– A world where fires never go out (with references to vanilla ice cream). These are but a few of the curiosities collected in this volume of short stories by three acclaimed practitioners of paranormal fiction. But The Curiosities is more than the stories. Since 2008, Maggie, Tessa, and Brenna have posted more than 250 works of short fiction to their website merryfates.com. Their goal was simple: create a space for experimentation and improvisation in their writing—all in public and without a backspace key. In that spirit, The Curiosities includes the stories and each author’s comments, critiques, and kudos in the margins. Think of it as a guided tour of the creative processes of three acclaimed authors. So, are you curious now?
I can’t even begin to say how much I liked this book because saying it means I’m done. Finished. Seriously though, this is by far the coolest collection of short stories I’ve ever read. As an aspiring author (ehem!), I have already written some unfinished stories (kept somewhere here in my laptop). My point is, even though I’m just starting, I understood what Maggie, Tessa and Brenna were conveying to their readers through their doodles. I felt a sense of camaraderie with them (and maybe this proves I’m a writer too?) ha!
The stories are all a jumble of words and different characters and settings in my mind right now that I can’t possibly remember them all, just that I like them. In one word though, I’ll describe them as: GENIUS! Despite the oddity and weird (I mean really weird) stories, I still adored them. Yes, even the gruesome ones. Overall, they are like a herd of assorted kind of candies mixed together. There are bitter ones, sweet, sour, bland and salty. A lot of times I’m so into the book that I’m lost as to what world each story exists on: past? present? or the future? In my opinion, I think this is where all the inscrutable and uncanny ideas of the authors have piled in. Right? If you’ll ask me which is my favorite story, I can’t answer you. But I’ll tell you that I will always remember The Curiosities inspired me to continue writing novels and start writing short stories. To not be afraid to speak my mind and pour in words into stories and let my creative juices flow (whenever I’ll have them, lol). Right now, I badly want a BIG notebook where I can write my short stories and doodle on them too. (big notebook with the kind of paper they used in The Curiosities,haha).
I truly admire the friendship these three women have developed over the years. I see how Merry-mates helped them grow as writers and expand their horizons, stretching as wide and far from what they expected. I hope one day I’ll be put in the category of authors that they are currently residing in. The way they write and weave their stories completely awes me. Especially how lyrical and complementing the words are. The vocabulary they use are astounding. I know I use big words at times too, but I can’t seem to use them continuously in one sentence. And the short stories they wrote in here (in this book) was unedited! Not only that though, because of this book, I know the authors better: Maggie loves writing with leadership as one of the main topics. Her words are lyrical too. Brenna writes mostly in high school settings. And Tessa, she loves killing her characters off!
I really had a wonderful learning experience in reading this book. Lots of enjoyable moments too. (I even told my friends I’ll read these stories to my future kids! haha)