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Love is Hell [Paperback]

Scott Westerfeld
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
Price: 5.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 July 2009

Sure, love is hell. But it’s totally worth it.

In these supernatural stories by five of today’s hottest writers including Melissa Marr and Scott Westerfeld, love may be twisted and turned around, but it’s more potent than ever on its quest to conquer all.

From two students who let the power of attraction guide them to break the hard-and-fast rules of their world to the girl who falls hard for a good-looking host with a score to settle, the clever, quirky characters in this exciting collection will break your heart, then leave you believing in love more that ever.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins (1 July 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061443042
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061443046
  • Product Dimensions: 20.4 x 13.4 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 689,498 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Melissa Marr was voted in high school the "most likely to end up in jail". Instead, she went to graduate school, worked in a bar, became a teacher and did a lot of writing. Her first title was Wicked Lovely.

Product Description

Review

Praise for the Love is Hell authors:

“Riveting and dark: I love this tale of a smart, tough girl who walks the razor’s edge between an ancient fairy curse and her future” Tamora Pierce on Melissa Marr’s Wicked Lovely.

“Laurie Faria Stolarz has captured perfectly the angst and folly of the teenage world.” www.teenreads.com

Praise for Prom Nights From Hell:

“With edgy writing designed to hook and captivate even the most reluctant of readers, each story is filled with strong, appealing characters who work their magic on the senses by appearing to be strong, daring, and passionate. Readers are taken on an exhilarating ride through the terrifying side of an otherwise common event, and the mood is cleverly sustained with an aura of fast-paced writing.” Caryl Soriano, New York Public Library

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

About the Author

Melissa Marr was voted in high school the “most likely to end up in jail”. Instead, she went to graduate school, worked in a bar, became a teacher and did a lot of writing. Her novels Wicked Lovely, Ink Exchange and Fragile Eternity are published by HarperCollins.
Scott Westerfeld is the author of over ten books for young adults, includingin Peeps, The Last Days and the Midnighters trilogy. He was born in Texas in 1963 and is married to author Justine Larbalestier, also featured in this collection.

--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By Rebecca
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
All right, this anthology should be easy to sum up. First off, the quaint title is completely misleading. Three out of these five stories were disturbing or sad and certainly not happily-ever-after. Scott Westerfeld and Melissa Marr's stories are among the lighter of the bunch, and I get the feeling that lot of readers were more dismayed about the sad tone to the stories in this anthology than anything else. To rate each one...

Sleeping with the Spirit by Laurie Faria Stolarz: Ghost love. The writing style is reminiscent of Carrie Jones, author of Need, another supernatural YA. Like that book, Sleeping with the Spirit is written in first person, present tense and the characters are shallowly developed, but the plot moves quickly and the same themes are present, albeit even stronger here. In fact, I found the themes of grief and loss here very moving, but I would guess that would affect older readers more, or perhaps readers who have experienced a loss themselves. Too mushy?

Stupid Perfect World by Scott Westerfeld: Futuristic. A nice pick-me-up after the last story, these characters were not developed in the least, but I'll admit, it was pretty funny and imaginative. ;) Reading this, I can see Westerfeld's appeal to a YA audience.

Thinner Than Water by Justine Larbalestier: Girl with dreams bigger than her small town and a strange boy. Another moving story made the more so by the very disturbing, too-realistic themes of mob violence, ignorance, and insular societies. This reminded me of one of my favorite authors, Juliet Marillier, whose fey creatures can also be very cruel and inexorable. The first two thirds of this story read like a horror story about an actual girl in an actual isolated, xenophobic town.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 29 Jan 2009
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
A hot ghost with a message from beyond the grave. Two futuristic teens discovering the wonders of dreams and hormones for the first time. A hand-fasting that leads to more heartbreak - and magic - than any girl would have thought possible. A mysterious, immortal boy who may or may not be any more real than the paper he's printed on. A selkie who traps a human with his skin - though really he only wanted to date her.

That's a brief glimpse of the stories of LOVE IS HELL, an anthology of romantic and fantastical YA fiction from several of the genre's top authors.

Though most of the stories are dark, there's plenty of humor to be had, especially in Westerfeld's amusing take on a too-perfect future. Zevin's tale will make you question your own reality (in a good way), and Marr, Larbalestier, and Stolarz prove that love is a force more powerful than common sense, hate, or even death.

With plenty of swoon-worthy moments and surprising twists, there's much to enjoy from all.

I found myself wishing that many of the stories were longer, so their characters and events could have been developed more, but that's always the danger with short stories. Readers will race through this eagerly and likely find themselves hoping each author chooses to explore the worlds they've created again in the future.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
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4.0 out of 5 stars some good, some not so 24 April 2013
By Yeti
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
i loved the Scott Westerfeld story and the Justine Larbalestier story, in fact Justine's was so so so good I stayed up to 2 am to finish it!
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very good book :) 16 Dec 2009
Format:Paperback
It is a good book. But it took a while to get here :) I like the other books as well. Such as Prom Nights From Hell: Five Paranormal Stories: Paranormal prom stories from five hot authors Love it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.9 out of 5 stars  23 reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Magical twists on love and heartbreak 16 Dec 2008
By Teen Reads - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Story collections like LOVE IS HELL allow readers to find some writing from such popular authors as Scott Westerfeld (PEEPS) and Melissa Marr (WICKED LOVELY) while waiting for their next books to be released, and it's an opportunity to sample new authors who will become favorites. Plus, this particular book benefits College Summit, a non-profit organization that helps school districts, especially in low-income areas, send more young people to college.

While there is already a lot to like here, the themes will be irresistible to fantasy and romance fans: Love is hard enough between humans, but what if you love someone who is not human or you live in a time where love is not allowed?

Laurie Faria Stolarz kicks off the collection with "Sleeping with the Spirit," in which Brenda can't explain why she keeps waking up in the middle of the night with bruises. Her family feels she's depressed over the move to a new house and high school, but she knows something even weirder is happening here. Brenda's new friends, Raina and Craig, tell her that a 17-year-old boy was murdered by his stepfather in her new house. Brenda finds information about the dead teen, Travis Slather, and realizes she's been dreaming about him. She begins falling for him and his beautiful blue eyes, though he's not haunting her just for romance. Travis needs her help so he can cross over, but Brenda knows he will go away forever if she assists him.

In "Stupid Perfect World," Scott Westerfeld introduces a future where teen bodies are totally regulated --- there are no hormonal imbalances, sleep isn't needed, diseases don't exist, and passion and intensity are absent. Kiernan is supposed to do something "old-fashioned" for his Scarcity class, so he chooses to sleep every night, which no one has ever needed to do. Maria, another student, decides to go off the hormonal regulator to feel her body's natural urges and needs. Neither thinks the two weeks of the assignment will be a big deal, until Maria starts becoming insulted more easily and actually yells. And Kiernan begins experiencing dreams like he never imagined he could. The two argue and realize that other feelings are emerging in this humorous romance.

Justine Larbalestier, in "Thinner Than Water," brings readers to a primitive time when girls like Jean, who may want to go to college, are forced instead either to handfast to a boy from the village or work for her family bakery forever. Jean dreams of being a doctor, yet when the handsome and almost magical Robbie asks her to handfast, she agrees. The village doesn't like Robbie, saying he's from the fairy world, but Jean loves him and enjoys studying and living simply with him. When her family takes him away, Jean tries to escape the village, only to be stopped. Her broken heart numbs her even as she handfasts to another boy who is not interested in women. They join forces in an effort to leave the village when Jean suddenly is offered another wrenching choice and must decide which world is her future.

In Gabrielle Zevin's "Fan Fictions, Paige thinks no one can really see her in her high school. Tired of being the second choice for dates to dances, or the friend of girls whose best friends have just moved away, she starts hiding in the school library when the librarian practically forces her to read THE IMMORTALS. A handsome boy with violet eyes begins talking to her about the book. They become friends and then more, but Aaron only comes to her house or the library and has never expressed an interest in seeing her family or friends. When Paige asks him to go to a dance, he says he can't because of a secret; some make fun of her, saying she has a made-up boyfriend. The school librarian continues to hound Paige, urging her to join a book club. When she hears the group talk about THE IMMORTALS, Paige realizes the plot sounds very familiar. She knows Aaron is real --- what else would he be?

Selchies come to life from the sea in "Love Struck" by Melissa Marr. Alana doesn't know that by picking up a fur from a man at the beach when she was cold, they have now becomes betrothed. Murrin had been watching her for a while and knew she was his mate, but she can't accept it. It all seems like something from her grandmother's stories. He quietly persists in getting to know her, and they fall for each other. But their differences may force them apart, as Alana doesn't want to pull Murrin from his home in the sea forever and they struggle to be together, in this sweet fantasy love story.

Many magical twists on love and heartbreak appear in these five selections. While short, each of the stories is unique and memorable in their creative settings. Fans of vampire tales, romance, fantasy and science fiction will find plenty to enjoy in LOVE IS HELL.

--- Reviewed by Amy Alessio
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 29 Jan 2009
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A hot ghost with a message from beyond the grave. Two futuristic teens discovering the wonders of dreams and hormones for the first time. A hand-fasting that leads to more heartbreak - and magic - than any girl would have thought possible. A mysterious, immortal boy who may or may not be any more real than the paper he's printed on. A selkie who traps a human with his skin - though really he only wanted to date her.

That's a brief glimpse of the stories of LOVE IS HELL, an anthology of romantic and fantastical YA fiction from several of the genre's top authors.

Though most of the stories are dark, there's plenty of humor to be had, especially in Westerfeld's amusing take on a too-perfect future. Zevin's tale will make you question your own reality (in a good way), and Marr, Larbalestier, and Stolarz prove that love is a force more powerful than common sense, hate, or even death.

With plenty of swoon-worthy moments and surprising twists, there's much to enjoy from all.

I found myself wishing that many of the stories were longer, so their characters and events could have been developed more, but that's always the danger with short stories. Readers will race through this eagerly and likely find themselves hoping each author chooses to explore the worlds they've created again in the future.

Reviewed by: Lynn Crow
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Love is Hell 26 Jun 2011
By Murphy's Library - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
from Murphy's Library

Love isn't always just flowers, right? Sometimes it can be a little hellish, and thinking of it some authors have done a collection with little stories about how love can be a tad too paranormal sometimes. I first thought the stories would be scary, but I was wrong... Some of them were sickeningly sweet!

In Sleeping with a spirit we are presented to a girl who can't sleep without having very strange dreams that make her wake up startled since she's moved to her new house. She is scared, because the dreams feel truly real, and her parents are starting to think she's gone crazy. It is when she meets Raina and Craig, her new friends, that she starts to see her dreams for what they truly are--or can be.

Scott Westerfeld contributes with Stupid Perfect World, using his dystopian abilities to tell a tale about a world where people are almost robotic. But if the world is robotic, is there space for such a thing like love? Maybe when they need to incorporate some human experience for a class it will help them to fell human emotions too.

There is a story about a girl who is forced to forget her dreams of being a doctor for a tradition, but sees herself falling in love in the process, just to have her heart broken after that. Can a broken heart be mended by a right choice?

We read a little fan fiction--yeah, your read it right--in a short history about a girl who is a little intertwined with The Immortals plot.

And last but not least, we read a short story by Melissa Marr about a girl who needs to accept her mate, but is struggling with it.

As you can see by my descriptions, my favorite stories were the first two. All of them had some appeal, but the first two were the ones that truly got my attention. The book is fast paced and I read everything really fast. You can read a short story each time and when you less expect it, the book is finished. A good read!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Intro to Authors 7 Jan 2011
By Book Sake - Published on Amazon.com
I picked this book as an introduction to some popular young adult authors. I have previously only read work by Melissa Marr and Gabrielle Zevin, all the other authors are new to me, even though I see Westerfeld's books everywhere! Now that I have read Westerfeld's Stupid Perfect World I can see what all the talk is about, he is an amazing writer. If an author can get me hooked with a short story, that is a feat, and it makes them worth checking out further.

All of the stories were completely different from one another and dealt with different aspects of the fantasy world and each were lovely in their own right. The book is definitely a young adult, paranormal romance readers dream of a good time. Some of the stories didn't draw me in as much as Westerfeld's did, but they were all unique and charming in their own way. I will be looking up the other author's works to see how I feel about their novel formats. All in all, pick up this book if you are interested in an intro to an author you may have not tried reading before.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mixed feelings... 27 Mar 2010
By Emily - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Two of these stories I don't feel belong at all: Westerfeld's and Stolarz's additions. In Westerfeld's, I just don't see where love comes in at all! Even calling it a crush seems like pushing it. The only real hint of romance between the two is them being called "lovebirds" by their teacher and them holding hands. Stolarz's has some romance, I suppose, but it is very fleeting and does not seem to be the main focus of the story. That's not to say that both of the aforementioned authors did not have good stories, but I just didn't understand why they were in this anthology. Otherwise though, this is a fair collection of stories; some were far better than others (Marr's for example), but for being short stories the rest weren't terrible. I don't think this book was for me though and probably will not continue with the "____ is Hell" collections. I had high expectations for this book, having read most of the authors' other works, and I was disappointed.
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