Special thanks to Algonquin Young Readers for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Goodreads: Up All Night: 13 Stories between Sunset + Sunrise
Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers
Publish Date: 13 July 2021
Genre: Young Adult Contemporary
When everyone else goes to bed, the ones who stay up feel like they’re the only people in the world. As the hours tick by deeper into the night, the familiar drops away and the unfamiliar beckons. Adults are asleep, and a hush falls over the hum of daily life. Anything is possible.
It’s a time for romance and adventure. For prom night and ghost hunts. It’s a time for breaking up, for falling in love—for finding yourself.
Stay up all night with these thirteen short stories from bestselling and award-winning YA authors like Karen McManus, Tiffany D. Jackson, Nina LaCour, and Brandy Colbert, as they take readers deep into these rarely seen, magical hours
BUY A COPY:
TL;DR: Up All Night is a wonderful collection of inclusive and diverse stories with rich LGBTQ+, disability, and POC representation. The stories were a good mix of various genres and they ranged from uplifting and heartwarming, to heartbreaking and achingly bittersweet, and even to the chillingly spooky, but all were tied together with themes of love, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. I really enjoyed a lot of these stories and I would happily add this anthology to my shelves to revisit in the future if ever I want to read some heartwarming and nostalgic short stories!
To say I went into this anthology with a little trepidation would be an understatement as I generally don’t have a good track record with the anthologies that I’ve tried. This is definitely more of a ‘me’ thing as I tend to have difficulties connecting with or getting into short stories. That’s why it was such a surprise when I found myself really enjoying all of the stories in this collection! There were a few that were “just okay” and didn’t leave a big impression on me, but there were more that I really liked and even loved, and none that I gave less than 3/5 stars to (and no matter what you think, 3/5 is not a bad rating!). Many of these authors’ books are still on my TBR but I’m now even more excited to pick them up as soon as I can!
Up All Night is a wonderful collection of inclusive and diverse stories with rich LGBTQ+, disability, and POC representation. The stories were also from a good mix of genres including contemporary, romance, light SFF (superheroes!), thriller/mysteries, and horror. They ranged from uplifting and heartwarming, to heartbreaking and achingly bittersweet, and even to the chillingly spooky, but all were tied together with themes of love, friendship, family, and coming-of-age. I found myself experiencing strong bouts of nostalgia as most of these stories are set in the final year(s) of high school when the air is charged with that electric feeling of change and possibility that makes you feel brave enough to take chances—it’s simultaneously nauseating and thrilling and those feelings really came through in the stories. That feeling was also compounded by the stories being set in the night-to-dawn hours when possibilities not only feel endless but the world even feels a little bit more magical.
Individual story ratings:
- Never Have I Ever: 4/5 (CW/TW: murder)
- Like Before: 3.5/5
- Old Rifts and Snow Drifts: 4/5
- Con Nights, Parallel Hearts: 5/5 (CW/TW: mentions of parental abuse—physical and sexual)
- Kiss the Boy: 4.5/5
- Creature Capture: 4/5
- Shark Bait: 3/5 (CW/TW: racist slur, infidelity, car accident)
- A Place to Start: 3/5
- When You Bring A Dog to Prom: 3.5/5
- Missing: 4.5/5
- What About Your Friends: 3.5/5 (CW/TW: racism, bigotry)
- Under Our Masks: 5/5
- The Ghosts of Goon Creek: 3.5/5
Out of the 13 stories, my favourites were: “Con Nights, Parallel Hearts“, “Under Our Masks”, “Kiss the Boy”, and “Missing”. Ha, trust me, The Ultimate Chicken™️, to end up liking the spookiest story in the collection! 😂 Was I thoroughly creeped out while reading “Missing”? Absolutely! My heart was still racing and the back of my neck prickling uncomfortably as I started on the next one but I can appreciate a well-spun tale! “Con Nights, Parallel Hearts“ absolutely broke my heart and had me unexpectedly crying by the end. It was emotionally raw and powerful. I haven’t read many superhero novels but I was delighted by “Under Our Masks” and the tentative sweet romance that blooms. “Kiss the Boy” filled me to overflowing with nostalgia thinking back on the final days of senior year—absorbing the novelty of the last school event(s), acknowledging secret crushes and taking chances with your heart, mischief-making with the best of friends surrounding you… This was such a delightfully heartwarming story!
Overall, I found this to be a very enjoyable anthology and I’m so glad that I gave this a try!
Have you read Up All night or is it on your TBR?