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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars magickal chick lit, urban fantasy, paranormal romance, magic, fiction, 15 Jun 2010
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This review is from: Love is Hell (Paperback)
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. Even the romance was darkened by questions of self denial and destruction. Thought-provoking. The ending, while a little abrupt, indicated a strong, realistic heroine, and I couldn't shake off the feeling this wasn't fiction about fey, it was commentary. Well-written.

Fan Fictions by Gabrielle Zevin: I kept waiting for something to give this story purpose, but nothing showed. The ambiguous, very unresolved ending left me thinking that I could have skipped these pages, but horror or psychological thriller fans will probably appreciate this. It reminded me a lot of the Katie Holmes flick, Abandon.

Love Struck by Melissa Marr (yes, that Melissa Marr): Selkie meets mate, accidentally traps mate. Madness ensues. If any of these is typical, it's probably this short, but anyone with a soft spot for paranormal romance will probably enjoy this one. It's flawed, but I will give major points for the intelligent heroine (although that same intelligence makes her later Misunderstanding less plausible, LOL). I liked it overall. I really can't resist those dreamy selkies who will give up so much for their "mates," though the character of Veikko was great in that he is not the typical stuff of PNR fantasy. There are apparently loser selkies too. LOL! A nice down-to-earth warning, as most of Alanna's actions are to young readers. I give you props, Marr. I think parents would approve. :)

So there's probably something to appeal to everyone in this collection, although if you have strong feelings about your happily-ever-afters and fluffy reads, you may want to forgo this one
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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 "Eat. Drink. Read. Be Merrier." (All Over the US & Canada) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Love is Hell (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
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This review is from: Love is Hell (Paperback)
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
This review is from: Love is Hell (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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Love is Hell
Love is Hell by Scott Westerfeld (Paperback - 3 Sep 2009)
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